Legendary filmmaker George Romero almost directed Marvel’s first movie Copperhead, a new documentary reveals. Romero sadly passed away in July at the age of 77 and left behind a strong body of work in the horror genre. He created the zombie movie with 1968’s Night Of The Living Dead, and followed it up with the equally acclaimed sequels Dawn and Day.
Outside of zombies, he helmed famous horror anthology Creepshow, vampire film Martin and Stephen King adaptation The Dark Half. The director also developed a number of promising, but tragically unrealized projects. For years he developed an ambitious, expensive adaptation of King’s The Stand that came to nothing, and he was the first director attached to the IT miniseries when it was intended to be 10 episodes. He also developed a gory remake of The Mummy in the early '90s, which was shelved due to rising costs.
Now Bloody Disgusting reports another unrealized Romero movie, for which he would have teamed with Marvel to make their first superhero movie, Copperhead. In a clip from forthcoming documentary mini-series Untold Horror, Romero describes the origins and ambition of the project, which he pitches as “Transformers meets Robocop.”
The movie was developed in the early '80s by Marvel, and like Creepshow before it, Romero was intent on making Copperhead look as close to a comic as possible. To that end, he hired concept artist Bob Layton to storyboard it, with the boards in the style of a graphic novel. The movie was set in a grim post-apocalyptic world that featured cyborgs, ninjas and mad scientists, and Layton describes the scene that made him want to work on the project.
“At one point in the midst of a battle, Copperhead picks up a horse and throws it at somebody! That’s what hooked me when I read the script.”
The project quickly came to a halt as Marvel couldn’t raise the finances to produce it, and Romero moved on to other movies. If Copperhead had been made, it could have been a turning point in the famed director’s career, as his success in horror found him somewhat typecast in the genre.
It also would have been an intriguing film debut for Marvel, who at that time had trouble convincing studios and investors of the value of making comics into movies. This led to them selling movie rights to B-movie companies, leading to low-budget movie versions of The Punisher and Captain America in the '80s and '90s. If Copperhead had been made, it almost certainly would have been better than Marvel’s actual first movie, Howard The Duck.
Source: Bloody Disgusting