Howard the Duck may have been the first Marvel comic book to make it to the silver screen, but if things had worked out for producer Lee Kramer, we would’ve seen Silver Surfer make it to the theaters in the form of a cosmic rock opera, as per these concept images from the scrapped production.
Back in 1980, Kramer was jazzed about the idea of bringing the story of the Surfer to life. “We’re going to make an epic picture on the scope of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the kind of soundtrack that that film had, only using contemporary rock and roll,” Kramer said at the time. “It’s even conceivable that the Surfer might have a chant or a fanfare made up of one thousand electric guitars. Doing the Silver Surfer has always been a dream of mine, and now it’s going to be realized.”
Except it wasn’t. At least not until 2007, when Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer graced audiences with its story of the Surfer, the herald for the planet-devouring Galactus, who turns on his master to save mankind from destruction. Kramer’s version sounds like an early '80s blast, and if you really want to imagine what kind of whacked-out film it might’ve been, consider the project Kramer moved on to make -- the infamous cult musical Xanadu, starring his then-girlfriend Olivia Newton-John.
This information, along with the amazing unused concept shot, comes from Sean Howe’s new book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, which hits bookstores on October 9.