Getting the costume right is an integral part of any comic book film. As we all know by now, fans will painstakingly dissect each and every component of the suit to ensure that it’s up to par. The reaction to a superhero’s outfit could make or break the movie before it’s even released. And sometimes, the one seen in the final product isn’t even the first design. As creators search for an iconic look for their characters, they go through several variations, some of which could have been a disaster. Here are 10 most WTF unused superhero costumes of all-time.
Just about everything about Batman is ingrained in pop culture. This of course includes the famous Batsuit, which is meant to inspire fear in the hearts of Gotham City criminals. But originally, the Dark Knight was going to have a very different appearance. Co-creator Bob Kane presented Bill Finger with one possibility, which saw Bruce Wayne wearing a red leotard, two large wings, and a typical “domino” mask instead of a cape and cowl. Fortunately for everyone, Finger vetoed the design and the one agreed upon is the one viewers are still familiar with today.
After Fox screwed up Deadpool in X-Men: Origins Wolverine, the filmmakers got a mulligan to do the Merc With a Mouth justice. The Deadpool solo movie features one of the most page accurate costumes to date, but there’s an alternate reality where fans didn’t get to see it. During the conceptual stage, artists designed numerous suits for Wade Wilson, including one that looked like a Jason Vorhees rip-off. Luckily, star Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller were committed to getting everything about the beloved character “right” for the film, and the results paid off handsomely. If they went with something else, maybe the movie doesn’t break records.
Deadpool didn’t have too many X-Men cross over into his solo film, but one main player was Colossus, who was designed to be more loyal to the comics than the versions seen in previous movies. Fans were appreciative of this, but they would have had a completely different reaction if another version was used. The initial look from the earlier X-Men films was meant to be carried over into Deadpool, giving the sleek Colossus a hood to make him look cooler than ever before. Renderings of this highlights an unfortunate comparison to Anakin Skywalker from Revenge of the Sith, so luckily this was scrapped for what we saw in the final product.
Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, and now Henry Cavill all definitely look the part of Superman in their respective films. The Man of Steel could have gone down a bizarro path if the planned reboot Superman Lives had ever come into fruition. The story is infamous by now; none other than Nicolas Cage was cast as Clark Kent, and he got as far as costume testing. The suit was… different to say the least. It appeared to be made out of shiny plastic and the iconic “S” on the chest was squished up. It was a far cry from anything we’ve seen on-screen to date and as much fun as it would have been to see Cage playing Superman, we’re happy this didn’t become a reality.
Batman: Year One
Before Christopher Nolan got the keys to the Batmobile, Darren Aronofsky was set to be the auteur to bring Batman back to respectability. His take on the property would have been very unique, with a street orphan Bruce befriending a mechanic named “Little Al.” The director had his own idea for Batman’s costume as well, and illustrations of it suggest something like Victorian era steam punk. While they do resemble the traditional Batman outfit somewhat, there are enough variations – namely in the ears, neck, and utility belt – that make it seem like an odd fit for the screen. Sometimes, you can’t mess with the classics.
T’Challa is a reserved and stoic leader, and his simple suit is the ideal reflection of that personality. It’s so efficient that comics writers have seen little reason to change it over the years, and the appearance has generally stayed the same since the character’s inception. The original design for his costume could not have been more of a polar opposite, with bright yellow and red colors, an elaborate cape, and even a “T” logo on his torso. It seems like something that’s totally out of place and thankfully was changed before the first comic was published. Can you imagine this during the airport scene in Civil War?