Today’s superhero tentpoles from Marvel and DC are polished spectacles, but what would they have looked like if they were released in another era? Digital artist Peter Stults has once again reimagined movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Doctor Strange, and Deadpool as coming from different decades, like the ‘80s, ‘70s, all the way back to the ‘40s. And yeah, some of his ideas are killer: Bruce Campbell as Deadpool? Here for it.
Stults’s latest “volume” of his unique series includes the aforementioned superhero movies as well as sci-fi/fantasy fare like The Matrix and The Hunger Games. But while they’re all stunning, it’s the superhero stuff that drives home how much more bizarre — or better — these films would have been with primitive special effects and legends like David Bowie as Doctor Strange.
Besides dumping his posters in his online gallery, Stults adds insight into the impact these theoretical movies would leave behind. For example, in Captain America the film would be directed by Western filmmaker Andrew V. McLaglen in 1980 as “the beginning trend of Marvel movies” that decade.
Stults adds, “[Alejandro] Jodorowsky’s Doctor Strange had only hit local art-house theaters two years prior, but everyone knew about the Captain. The sequel was signed off even before the first one was officially released.”
Check out some of Stults’s reimagined Marvel and DC movies below, with their official posters beside as comparison.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Both Batman and Superman stars from the serials engage in the showdown that never was from directors Thomas Carr and Spencer Bennet. Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in the Superman serials, reprises the Metropolis reporter.
David Bowie stars as Stephen Strange in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s adaptation of the trippy Marvel hero.
Captain America: Civil War
Sam Jones (Flash Gordon) and Tom Berenger (The Big Chill) clash as Captain America and Iron Man while a young Michael J. Fox, fresh from Back to the Future, plays a young Peter Parker. Michelle Pfeiffer supports as Black Widow.
Bruce Campbell, Michael Ironside, Cynthia Rothrock, Dolph Lundgren, and Nicholas Cage as Weasel in a film directed by Sam Raimi? With respect to Ryan Reynolds, this is a version of the Merc with a Mouth I would have preferred.
Mad Max director George Miller goes epic in Thor with Mel Gibson as the God of Thunder. Its star aside, I’d also rather have this interpretation than either of the last two Thor movies we actually got. Still hoping Thor: Ragnarok kicks ass, though.
A huge ensemble cast that includes Mario Van Peebles, Daryl Hannah, Mia Sara, Richard Norton, Willem Dafoe, Oprah Winfrey, and Christopher Reeve, appearing as Superman as a bridge to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
The Dark Knight
Michael Mann’s Heat was a major inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, making this alternate version incredibly fitting. Alec Baldwin, who played the dark pulp hero The Shadow (an inspiration for Batman) leads as the Dark Knight.