Between Deadpool, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are all kinds of amazing things happening in the world of film right now. Yet even today, there are amazing concepts which Hollywood either has yet to explore, or are simply impossible to depict on the big screen. That’s where fan films rush in the fill the gap, as you’ll see with these eight projects that leave you wishing they could be more.
Any great fan films you think we missed? Share them in the comments!
Star Wars has several great animated series under its belt, but there’s one field it could explore further: Anime. The TIE Fighter fan film made a great case for that, showcasing an epic battle between Rebel and Imperial ships which borrows the best elements of Star Wars visuals and sci-fi anime aesthetics. It even takes a risk by making Imperial pilots it’s protagonists, which was rarely explored in Star Wars outside of the TIE Fighter video game. If Disney XD decides to branch out from Rebels, an anime series would be a great next step.
Pac-Man finally made his Hollywood debut in last year’s Pixels, but the results were underwhelming to say the least. But it’s not like Pac-Man’s “universe” would actually work in a full-length film anyway – although one fan film presented an intriguing alternate take. The video reimagines Pac-Man, the ghosts, and mazes as part of a military experiment tasked with creating AI that can consume oil spills and biohazardous waste. If you keep this film’s authentic designs and throw in a scene where the ghost AIs escape? You might have the formula for a fun, but authentic Pac-Man film experience.
2 Evil Eyes
Even if Warner Bros hadn’t acquired the rights to Five Nights at Freddy’s, a film version was certainly inevitable. It’s the fan project 2 Evil Eyes, however, that gave us a great idea of what such a project might look like. Structured almost a film teaser, 2 Evil Eyes follows an animatronic creature as it struggles to reach the security guard’s chamber. The creators managed to do some impressively creepy work entirely with CG effects, which hopefully the Warner Bros film will do with Jim Henson animatronics at its disposal.
Batman versus The Terminator
Batman is not the kind of character you typically picture in a crossover with the Terminators. But set it in a future where Bruce Wayne has to wear his Dark Knight Returns outfit everywhere, and suddenly it becomes a natura fit. What’s more, the original concept for this film project was a larger film that would’ve let Batman do his usual ninja stealth thing in the Terminator’s central base. Sadly, those scenes never made it to the final cut, but what’s here is impressive enough to show the concept has merit.
Spawn: The Recall
However popular the Spawn comic book was in the 90s, it’s not something that holds up well today and the movie adaptation wasn’t much better. Even so, the concept of a demonic warrior abandoning Hell to defend humanity is a promising one. This fan video of Spawn stepping in to save a child sucked into a hellish plane perfectly strikes that note, and captures the essence of his character as well. Say what you will about Spawn’s excessive chains and cape designs, it’s wonderfully presented in this video, and almost makes me crave a reboot.
Okay, Dirty Laundry might be cheating on this topic because Thomas Jane already had a Punisher film. But that doesn’t matter, because Thomas Jane was a wonderful Punisher, and it’s criminal we never got a sequel which wasn’t saddled with his character’s origin story. Dirty Laundry is a glimpse of what could have been starring Jane himself. Overall, it’s an excellent reminder of why Jane is the definitive Punisher for many movie fans.
Enter the Freeman
Rumors of Half-Life feature films have circulated ever since Valve released the original game two decades ago. Enter the Freeman is a great snapshot of what a film adaptation might look like – specifically one of the horror segments where zombies creep around in the dark. Even better, Freeman’s first line – “I used to have a lot to say” – is a great character moment and perfect explanation for why he stays so silent in-game. The film’s creators are working to extend Enter the Freeman into a full series, but perhaps a film version can take inspiration from this as well.
Left 4 Dead – Impulse 76
Impulse 76 starts out as a straightforward, but impressive Left 4 Dead fan film, following Francis, Louis, and Zoey as they survive on zombie-infested streets. It didn’t need to be anything more than that, considering how visceral, authentic, and well-paced the experience was. But then the creators up the ante with all the cameo crossovers you wish were featured in your zombie games. I won’t spoil the experience for you, but you have to admit Left 4 Dead would be a very different, but hilariously engaging game if all these characters could be slipped in somehow. Thankfully, that’s what fan films are for.