Failed film series include 'Speed Racer,' 'The Shadow,' 'Jonah Hex' and more
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The Spirit (2008)
Why it got the greenlight: The pet project of "Sin City" and "300" mastermind Frank Miller, "The Spirit" featured several big names (Samuel L. Jackson among them), significant sex appeal (the Will Eisner-created character also had a rogues gallery of foxy femme fatales), and was positioned as a period "Sin City."
Why a franchise never materialized: Like "The Shadow" and "The Phantom," "The Spirit" was based on a decades-old property largely unknown to modern audiences, and unseasoned director Miller had a tough time striking a balance between cartoonish visuals and fanboy-courting violence. The critical drubbing it received certainly didn't help. - DL