Paramount Thought The Superhero Movie Craze Would Die By 2004

Hindsight is always 20/20. Ten years ago, most of us didn’t see the Marvel Cinematic Universe coming, and that includes Marvel. Still, it’s always fun to mock the certainty of studio executives who get it completely wrong, and Rob Liefeld has a hilarious story of Paramount’s head doing just that.

As related on Twitter, Liefeld went to Paramount to pitch Youngblood, and got stingingly rejected by the head of the studio at the time, John Goldwyn. These two tweets, among several collected by /Film really say it all:

To be fair, he was right in terms of quality. X-Men: The Last Stand was a mediocrity and Fantastic Four was worse. Basically between 2003 and 2008, there were a lot of bad superhero movies with only a handful of good ones. Admittedly, that includes The Dark Knight, but it’s not like Paramount could ever option Batman.

Ironically, Paramount would help launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe, four years after Goldwyn left as studio head, with Iron Man. But as Liefeld himself points out, they were just the distributor; Marvel funded and produced the movie itself. Paramount basically just handled getting it into theaters.

Although Goldwyn deserves credit for one good decision, we must say. Having Liefeld’s Discount Avengers running around on screen would have probably been an embarrassment to rival Batman & Robin. So, credit where it’s due, at least he could spot a bad superhero movie a mile away.