What if Eric Stoltz starred in Back to the Future? What if? It's one of my favorite topics to fantasize about (yeah, I know I'm a nerd). The idea of a parallel universe where just one or two things are changed is one of the plot points to the series Fringe. The Dodgers never left Brooklyn, Green Lantern is actually the Red Lantern and yes, Eric Stoltz was Marty McFly in Back to the Future. With the season finale of Fringe coming up and The Dark Knight Rises final trailer dropping, I'm left wondering "What if" quite a bit. In a bit of escapism I'd like to entertain that idea for just a minute. The following, in no particular order, are my 10 favorite sci-fi fantasies that never happened... at least not in this universe.
1. A universe where Eric Stoltz starred as Marty McFly in Back to the Future. I want to see all of this footage. Just release a rough cut of the movie much like the Richard Donner cut of Superman II.
2. A universe where Eddie Murphy starred in Ghostbusters. Sure, Ghostbusters is great, but how amazing would it have been if Murphy was in it? Would Bill Murray and Murphy feel the need to be in more movies together after the success of Ghostbusters? Maybe Eddie Murphy would have played a part in Groundhog's Day! Maybe Murphy's career would be in a totally different place than it is right now.
3. Nic Cage stars in Tim Burton's Superman Lives! Would that have been the death of the Superman character on film forever? Would it have changed the character forever? I can't imagine a positive outcome coming from the release of this movie, but it would be interesting to see the fallout. If anything, I'd just like to read the wikipedia entries years later in an alternate timeline regarding this franchise.
4. I'd like to see Lost with their original idea of having Michael Keaton playing Dr. Jack Shephard and having them kill him off in the pilot episode. Alternately, I'd like to see the original idea for Lost if Mr. Eko never left the show. Lost adapted to many different situations, but I would love to know what was supposed to happen in an ideal world where actors didn't leave the show because they didn't like Hawaii or didn't drink and drive.
5. A universe where Heath Ledger is alive. Does The Dark Knight get a different ending? Would the Joker be a part of the upcoming sequel? He would have to be, right? To keep Batman's iconic nemesis on the shelf for the last film would be an outrage. Maybe he would play a small role like Scarecrow did in TDK, but unlikely. Not after Ledger set a new standard for Batman villains. Would Bane be the villain in The Dark Knight Rises?
6. A universe where Batman vs. Superman actually happened. I used to have this poster hanging over my bed when I was a boy. Again, super duper nerd writing to you here! I always wanted to see these two duke it out on the big screen. I wonder how that would have turned out especially with Christopher Nolan at the helm. There's still a chance this one happens though thanks to The Avengers.
7. I'd also like to visit a universe where The Justice League movie actually happened! You can read the the slightly silly and possibly fake plot here. Maybe it's a good thing this never happened since The Avengers will now be the blueprint for successful superhero movies, but Seth Cohen would have been a great Flash!
8. A universe where Jack Black's Green Lantern movie actually happened. Robert Smigel wrote the screenplay and you can read all about it here in this wonderful Vanity Fair interview. Could it have been any worse than Ryan Reynolds one? I wish they would have included just one Smigel sight gag in the real Green Lantern movie. A Green Lantern with a fanny pack is so very awesome. Only in dreams...
9. A universe where Jon Hamm played Superman. Seriously, has there ever been a better idea than this one? Mad Men even makes a little wink to this idea in a recent episode. I'd love to see a Superman movie set in the 1950s. In fact, I honestly think that's the only era a Superman movie would work well in. Bonus: Speaking of Mad Men, how about Christina Hendricks as Wonder Woman? I'll give us all a minute for that to sink in.
And we're back!
10. What if we visited a universe where George Lucas hands the keys of the Star Wars universe over to a talented director and they make the Star Wars prequels? Oh, the possibilities are endless! No Jar-Jar Binks! Maybe a brand new Millenium Falcon makes an appearance in the trilogy or better dialogue! Sigh, this is depressing.
I can think of about 30 more alternate universe ideas to throw at you but I don't want to over stimulate you all. I didn't even get to Cary Grant as James Bond or Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones! The possibilities are endless.
Follow Kris LoPresto on Twitter: www.twitter.com/krislopresto