Comic book films have had an interesting cinematic journey. They were basically considered smut - nothing but low-brow entertainment for the lowest common denominator - in their infancy, and that attitude persists today in certain circles.
Over the years, though, something happened: they went from being the laughing stock of Hollywood, to getting nominated for Oscars and dominating the box office at every turn. Now, that's not to say that every superhero film of the 21st century has been a cinematic masterpiece. Comic book cinema has been a mixed bag. We've gotten (very) good and (very) bad, and everything in between. For every Logan, The Dark Knight, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we had to endure a Jonah Hex, Fantastic Four, and *shudder* Catwoman.
All that to say this: the following list won't be an examination of just how consistent superhero films have been. They haven't. Not in the slightest. We won't be making a case for how much better or worse off the superhero genre would be if these films made it to the big screen. It's had - and still has - a pretty wide range of quality without these films influencing it one way or another.
No, these are just the films that could have been. Some for better, some for worse, and some we're not quite sure of.
10. Kurt Sutter's Punisher
Sons of Anarchy is a CRIMINALLY underrated series - a Hamlet-inspired crime show about the inner workings of a motorcycle gang, starring Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, and Ron Perlman for anyone living under a rock. The FX series was dark, gritty, and difficult to watch at times but it was also deeply human, exploring the inner turmoil of troubled, violent people with surprising nuance, and the man behind it all was showrunner, Kurt Sutter.
After the release of 2004's The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane, Sutter was hired to write a sequel to the film, and things didn't work out.
Sutter claims that he tried to humanize the Punisher, delving in the character's backstory and putting some motivation behind his actions. Allegedly, Marvel wasn't a fan of this, as they wanted the character to be more two-dimensional.
On one hand, that seems like an easy way to shift blame off of himself for writing a bad script. After all, Jon Bernthal's Punisher humanized the character to great effect. On the other hand, this makes some sense, as this was before Marvel began to consistently put out quality films with the MCU.
Either way, this is one movie we'll never get to see.