I’ve always been a huge fan of Cannon movies and not in an “ironic” way either; I genuinely love most of their films and watch them on a regular basis.
Here are just a few of the Cannon projects that either didn’t happen or ended up with different casts.
This was originally going to be a sequel to Invasion USA and become a franchise for Matt Hunter. It would eventually end up being retooled into Avenging Force and star Michael Dudikoff instead.
Chuck Norris as the America Ninja
I posted this photo on our Facebook page a few weeks ago and a lot of fans were surprised to hear that Chuck Norris was one of the the original choices for American Ninja (previously titled American Warrior). In even more interesting news though, Chuck wasn’t actually the first choice; Sho Kosugi was but he apparently had a falling out with Cannon and dropped out. After that, Cannon tried to get Chuck Norris to play the role and they were very close but then at the last minute, he also dropped out and would be replaced by Michael Dudikoff who would make the role his own.
The Delta Force
Why, what’s this? Chuck Norris AND Charles Bronson were scheduled to star in a film together? Surely something so awesome would send the Earth into chaos and hurtling towards the sun?!? Word is Bronson didn’t want to play second fiddle to Chuck Norris so they replaced him with Lee Marvin instead… who was also an excellent choice.
Spitfire: Delta Force II
Now this I would have enjoyed watching, although it ended up that Delta Force II was awesome anyway. Spitfire was going to be directed by Albert Pyun and yes, that’s Michael Dudikoff and Steve James who were also going to star in it. Needless to say that didn’t happen and the Chuckster returned to bring the pain.
Death Match (1989)
Chuck Norris and Michael Dudikoff were meant to star in this martial arts movie; Chuck apparently wanted it to eclipse Enter the Dragon as the greatest martial arts film ever made. He also stated that his further desire was to see the film rejuvenate the martial arts genre in general. Sadly the movie never happened as it sounds like it could have been something special.
Yes Texas Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper was in line to make Cannon’s version of Spider-Man; I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief though that it didn’t happen as it just wouldn’t have been any good with the special effects of the time.
David Cronenberg’s Frankenstein
I would have loved to see this movie; Cronenberg is a legend of the horror genre and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a classic story. It would end up getting made in the 90’s by Kenneth Brannagh and was a great movie but one can’t help but wonder what might have been…
Masters of the Universe 2
I don’t care what anyone says, I loved the Dolph Lundgren movie; was it pure cheese? Yup, but it was a lot of fun. I was about 10 years old when it came out and loved all the characters. It wasn’t the huge hit Cannon wanted though so the sequel was scrapped.
There were a lot of other movies we never got to see, including a few interesting horror flicks but I thought these would be the most fascinating for action fans.