To put it simply, this is when a work that is part of a series or franchise is re-tooled into a standalone work, with most or all signs of its heritage completely erased. This is, for all intents and purposes, the exact opposite of a DolledUpInstallment.

Just to be clear on this, here is what this trope is '''not''' about:

* This trope is '''not''' about being a CanonDiscontinuity or an AlternateUniverse. If an author writes a novel about ''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'' in a dystopian future, and later declares that novel never happened, it's still a Sherlock Holmes novel. If he rewrites that book so that it no longer has anything to do with the Sherlock Holmes mythos, ''then'' it's this trope.
* This trope is '''not''' about having a simple title change or partial omission. If a work is called "Sherlock Holmes Without a Problem," and is later renamed to simply "Without a Problem" (or is simply called that in the first place) but still stars Sherlock Holmes, it's still a Sherlock Holmes story. If Sherlock Holmes and any recognizable characters from his universe are renamed and re-written into completely different characters, ''then'' it's this trope.
* With some exceptions, this trope is '''not''' about an idea changing into a completely different idea during the creative process. The only exception is if an idea started out as an installment of a franchise and turned into either something original, or an installment of a completely different franchise. If an author starts out writing a story about cats but it ends up being about cyborgs, it's ''not'' this trope. But if an author starts out writing a Sherlock Holmes book and winds up turning it into something original, it ''is'' this trope. If he starts out writing Sherlock Holmes and then turns it into a James Bond book, it ''is'' also this trope. Yes, this trope ''can'' overlap with DolledUpInstallment, and often does--see the examples.

If you're not sure if an example counts, read on and ask yourself if it fits in with the ones below.

Subtrope of WhatCouldHaveBeen. Compare SerialNumbersFiledOff, SpiritualAdaptation, AscendedFanfic. Sometimes overlaps with MarketBasedTitle. A SubTrope of DerivativeDifferentiation.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/EagleRiders'' was actually a mash-up of ''Gatchaman II'' and ''Gatchaman F''. Because [[Creator/SabanEntertainment Saban]] did not own the rights to either of the previous ''[[Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman Gatchaman]]'' adaptations (''Anime/BattleOfThePlanets'' and ''[[Anime/GForceGuardiansOfSpace G-Force]]'') they had to pitch their dub as an unrelated series.
* ''Anime/GearFighterDendoh'' is partially based on ''Saint of Braves Baan Gaan'', the proposed ninth installment of the ''Anime/BraveSeries'' and a sequel to both ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' and ''Anime/{{Betterman}}''.
* ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' is a strange case. It's well known that this dub is a mash-up of ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', ''Anime/SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross'', and ''Anime/GenesisClimberMospeada'', but the rewrites mean that ''Robotech's'' version of events are unconnected to the events of its originators (though you could still watch a sequel like Macross 7 and understand what's going on), and in fact Robotech wound up having its own canon with events that play out completely differently.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}:'' Originally written by Creator/AlanMoore to make use of Creator/CharltonComics's superheroes after DC Comics aquired the rights to them, but because they wanted to incorporate said heroes into the mainstream DC Universe, the characters were [[SerialNumbersFiledOff changed into original characters in a reality of their own]], e. g. Comicbook/CaptainAtom to Doctor Manhattan, ComicBook/TheQuestion to Rorschach, ComicBook/BlueBeetle to Nite-Owl, ComicBook/PhantomLady to Silk Spectre etc.
* Also in the 1980s, ''ComicBook/KravensLastHunt:'' Based on a storyline involving ComicBook/WonderMan and the Grim Reaper that J. M. [=DeMatteis=] submitted to Marvel and was rejected. He then reworked it into a Franchise/{{Batman}} vs. ComicBook/TheJoker project that got nixed because ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'' was already in production. Next [=DeMatteis=] developed the "return from the grave" story into one about Batman and Hugo Strange, but that also was rejected by DC. Finally he reworked and expanded the story for Marvel into the epic we know today featuring ComicBook/SpiderMan, his wife Mary Jane, Kraven the Hunter and Vermin, which was published in 1987.
* ''ComicBook/ContestOfChampions'' was originally written and drawn as a tie-in to the 1980 [[UsefulNotes/OlympicGames Summer Olympics]], following a similar tie-in that featured ComicBook/SpiderMan and Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk at the Winter Games. Unexpectedly, UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter decided to boycott the Summer Games that year, resulting in the crossover being shelved. It was eventually revived two years later, with the plot heavily {{ReTool}}ed to omit all references to the Olympics.
* ''ComicBook/AstroCity: The Dark Age'' started life as a sequel to Kurt Busiek's ''ComicBook/{{Marvels}}'' series. It was originally to be called called ''Cops & Robbers'', and then ''Crime & Punishment''. When Marvel ended up not going ahead, Kurt retooled the story to take place in Astro City rather than the ComicBook/MarvelUniverse.
* Creator/RobLiefeld's ''ComicBook/{{Youngblood}}'' was originally a proposed ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'' spin-off, explaining Shaft's "[[{{Expy}} coincidental similarities]]" to ComicBook/GreenArrow's sidekick Arsenal. In addition to Shaft being an obvious Arsenal stand-in, Diehard was supposed to have been a S.T.A.R. Labs android, and Vogue would have been a new version of the Harlequin. Additionally, the characters Brahma, Photon, Combat, and Cougar were recycled from a rejected ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'' pitch Liefeld created with Jim Valentino during the 90's.
* Liefeld's ''Fighting American'' series started off as a way for the artist to reuse some unfinished artwork and plots from his short-lived tenure on the ComicBook/HeroesReborn ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' series. This resulted in the Fighting American becoming even ''more'' of an {{Expy}} of Cap, which in turn led to Marvel taking legal action against Liefeld.
* Liefeld also created a character for the Comicbook/{{New 52}} ''Grifter'' series named Niko, who was originally supposed to have been Cheshire from the ''Teen Titans''. The name was changed, but her Asian ethnicity and green costume were kept.
* Creator/JackKirby's character ''Captain Glory'' began as an unused ComicBook/CaptainAmerica design Marvel had asked him to create in the event that the company lost ownership of the character.
* Duncan, the main protagonist of ''ComicBook/{{Firebreather}}'', originated in a pitch for a Marvel series called ''The Crew'', which would have starred a ComicBook/YoungAvengers-like group of teen heroes. When that plan fell through, the character was simply {{Retool}}ed for use at Creator/ImageComics. Had he been published at Marvel, the Firebreather would have been the son of Fin Fang Foom.
* ComicBook/{{Storm}} and Comicbook/{{Nightcrawler}} from the Comicbook/XMen were recycled from a pitch Dave Cockrum had for a ''Comicbook/LegionOfSuperheroes'' SpinOff called ''The Outsiders''. Nightcrawler ended up being pretty much the same, while Storm was created as a CompositeCharacter of Trio (costume and basic physical appearance) and Typhoon (weather powers), two of the unused Outsiders. Silkie from ''The Futurians'' was also conceived as a member of the X-Men before rights issues got in the way.
* Many of the characters and plots from ''ComicBook/{{Hardware}}'' were originally part of a ComicBook/LukeCage series Creator/DwayneMcDuffie had unsuccessfully pitched to Marvel Comics.
* Likewise, [=McDuffie=]'s ''Deathlok'' series was originally supposed to be a licensed ''Franchise/RoboCop'' comic book.
* Creator/FrankMiller's graphic novel ''ComicBook/HolyTerror'' was originally going to be a Franchise/{{Batman}} story in which Batman fights Islamic terrorists, but Miller decided that it would work better with an original character.
* ''ComicBook/{{DEMO}}'' was spawned from unused ideas Creator/BrianWood came up with for ''Comicbook/{{NYX}}'' back when he was going to be the writer for that book, as well as stuff he wasn't allowed to do when he was writing ''Comicbook/GenerationX''.
* ''Breach'' was originally going to be a ''Comicbook/CaptainAtom'' reboot.
* Likewise, the Creator/{{Vertigo|Comics}} series ''Scarab'' was conceived as a DarkerAndEdgier take on ''ComicBook/DoctorFate''.
* Creator/AlejandroJodorowsky turned his unproduced script for ''Film/{{Dune}}'' into ''ComicBook/TheMetabarons'': elements such as the Hooker-Nuns Shabda-Oud are a clear {{Expy}} forthe Bene Gesserit, with the same kind of genetic agenda.
* Creator/NeilGaiman originally pitched ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' to Creator/GeorgeRRMartin as part of the ''Literature/{{Wildcards}}'' universe. Martin passed because of Gaiman's lack of writing credits, and the idea was eventually revived at Creator/VertigoComics.
* Similar to the ''Watchmen'' example above, ''ComicBook/{{Wanted}}'' was originally going to be a reboot of DC's Secret Society of Supervillains, but was converted into a stand-alone work when Creator/{{Mark Millar}} decided he wanted to go {{Darker and Edgier}}.
* ''Comicbook/TheOrder'' was supposed to be a revival of ''The Champions'', a Marvel team book from the '70s that starred Comicbook/BlackWidow, Comicbook/TheIncredibleHercules, Angel, Iceman and Comicbook/GhostRider. Unfortunately, Marvel had lost the trademark to the name "Champions," so the series had to be named something else.
* Creator/JohnByrne's ''2112'' was originally a pilot of sorts for the project that eventually became the ComicBook/Marvel2099 line. When he parted ways with Marvel, he simply excised the Marvel-exclusive parts of the story and published what was left as a graphic novel.
* In the 1970's, ''Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}'' was cancelled at issue #56, ending on a CliffHanger. Writer Steve Skeates later created a similar hero named Prince Targo for the ''Eerie'' magazine, and used his plot for what would have been ''Aquaman'' #57 for one of Targo's adventures. He later did a direct sequel to ''Aquaman'' #56 in the pages of ''Comicbook/SubMariner'' over at Marvel, with the set-up involving a BroadStrokes recap of #56 and a LawyerFriendlyCameo from Aquaman himself.
* Goldrush, a one-shot character from Creator/GeoffJohns' ''Comicbook/{{Justice League|Of America}}'' run, was originally supposed to be the [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] heroine Lady Luck.
* ''ComicBook/TomorrowStories'' was intended to have a Cobweb "story" which consisted of Cobweb narrating a comic biography of the real-world rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parsons. DC refused to print it because it described the alleged involvement of Creator/LRonHubbard in ritual magic and questionable financial dealings in the years before he founded the Church of Scientology, which they feared would get them in trouble with the Scientologists. The item was eventually printed in a Top Shelf anthology called Top Shelf Asks The Big Questions, with the Cobweb transparently renamed as La Toile, a French translation that had already been used in the main series as the alias of an earlier Cobweb who lived in France. However, the incident heavily contributed to Creator/AlanMoore's second break with DC.
* Willoughby Kipling of ''ComicBook/DoomPatrol'' and Creator/AmbroseBierce in ''ComicBook/StanleyAndHisMonster'' were both meant to be ''[[ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}} John Constantine]]'' but ''[[Creator/DCComics DC]]'' wouldn't let the character be used in child friendly comics.
* John Wagner and Alan Grant's ''SelfDemonstrating/{{Lobo}}'' story, ''Bob The Galactic Bum'' was reprinted in ''[[ComicBook/TwoThousandAD The Judge Dredd Megazine]]'' and for copyright reasons, Lobo had to be replaced with a female Bounty Hunter called ''Asbo''.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/TheRescuers'' was originally going to be sort of a sequel to ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians'', with Cruella [=DeVil=] as the villain, but they decided to replace Cruella with an original villain.
* Likewise, ''Disney/OliverAndCompany'' was originally going to have Penny from ''The Rescuers'', but they replaced her with Jenny.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Colombiana}}'' staring Creator/ZoeSaldana, was originally written by Creator/LucBesson as a sequel to ''Film/TheProfessional'', following Mathilda's character getting revenge on those that had wronged her. When he couldn't get Creator/NataliePortman interested, it became a standalone film.
* The Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme movie ''Film/{{Cyborg 1989}}'' was originally going to be a sequel to ''Film/MastersOfTheUniverse'' (though as TroubledProduction shows, the story is complicated). It also utilized props, sets and costumes from a ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' movie that was almost made before Cannon lost the rights.
** ''Film/MastersOfTheUniverse'' was itself written to be a ''ComicBook/NewGods'' film, which is why it imports its cast to Earth, something that was never an element of the franchise, but makes total sense if it's Orion fighting Darkseid.
* ''Film/DoctorMordrid'' was originally written as a ''Comicbook/DoctorStrange'' movie, but the script was changed after the rights expired and returned to Marvel.
* ''Film/DieHard'' is a weird case: it was based on a novel titled ''Nothing Lasts Forever''. Since the predecessor novel, ''The Detective'', which was already turned into a film (starring Music/FrankSinatra), it was written as a sequel to ''The Detective'', but when Sinatra turned it down, it was rewritten as a stand-alone film. It was also briefly considered to be used for a ''Film/{{Commando}}'' sequel. ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'' started life as ''Film/LethalWeapon4'', making it a Divorced Installment ''and'' a DolledUpInstallment.
** ''Film/DieHard'' is a franchise consisting entirely of these. The second film was based on an unrelated novel called ''58 Minutes.'' The ''Vengeance'' script started as a standalone Brandon Lee movie titled ''Simon Says'' before even being a ''Film/LethalWeapon'' film. Even ''Film/LiveFreeOrDieHard'' was written as something called ''[]'' (''really?'') before being Die-Harded. That's right: ''the only'' ''Film/DieHard'' movie that was ''supposed to be'' a ''Die Hard'' movie is ''Film/AGoodDayToDieHard.''
* ''Film/TearsOfTheSun'' started life as ''Die Hard 4'', but became stand-alone when it was decided it was too different from the other movies. Bruce Willis said John [=McClane=] should die at the end of ''Die Hard 4''.
* ''Film/TheCollector'' started as a ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' prequel.
* In what is probably the most bizarre case of this happening in film history, the plot of ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' was originally meant to be used as a second sequel to [[Creator/RomanPolanski Roman Polanski's]] ''Film/{{Chinatown}}''. (which kinda crosses with DolledUpInstallment, as the film is [[Literature/WhoCensoredRogerRabbit based on a book]])
* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical'' was originally written as ''Film/{{Grease}} 3'' (which explains a lot), with Sharpay being Rizzo's daughter.
* It's been speculated that ''ZOMBIES'' originally started out as ''Franchise/HighSchoolMusical 4'', only for it to be rewritten into a standalone musical.
* ''Film/ShockTreatment'' was the final incarnation of a horrendous script titled ''Rocky Horror Shows His Heels,'' which would have been a very direct sequel to ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow.'' In the end, the plot was changed entirely while many of the songs remained, though the final film bears no resemblance and only weak connections to ''Rocky Horror''
* ''Film/SnowDay'' was originally written as a [[Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete Pete & Pete]] movie, but Nickelodeon took so long to approve the script that by the time they gave the go-ahead to start filming, the actors who played Pete and Pete themselves (Michael Maronna and Danny Tamberelli) were too old for their roles (and as well a good part of the kids cast), resulting in the change of characters.
* ''Train'' (essentially ''Film/{{Hostel}}'', [[RecycledInSpace on a]] [[ThrillerOnTheExpress train]]) was initially going to be a remake of ''Film/TerrorTrain''.
* ''Camp Fear'' was originally slated to be a sequel to ''Film/CheerleaderCamp''.
* The UsefulNotes/HongKong movie ''[[ The Avenging Fist]]'' started out as a LiveActionAdaptation of ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''. A lot of the source material's influence remains, though.
* ''Film/{{Chaos}}'' was going to be a remake of ''Film/TheLastHouseOnTheLeft'', though the change was so last minute that both films are still extremely similar.
* ''Ghosts of Goldfield'' was originally going to be the fourth ''Film/UrbanLegend'' film, but was released independently of the series at the last minute.
* The 1997 made-for-TV Disney film ''Film/TowerOfTerror'' removes all the ''Series/TwilightZone''-based elements from [[Ride/TheTwilightZoneTowerOfTerror the source ride]].
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'' was originally a ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' film, but the license never worked out. The similarities are obvious, just to start with the plot: An unlikely hero rescues his political love interest (the governor in ''MI'', the governor's daughter in ''POTC'') from an undead pirate. Many of the locations from the games were recycled as well. Examples: the Voodoo Lady and her shack accessible by coffin became the Tia Dalma and her cabin in the ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' sequels, and the town cobbled together from various ships in the [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd third film]] was taken directly from ''[=LeChuck's=] Revenge''.
** There's actually a circular dependency here. ''Monkey Island'' was originally inspired by the Ride/PiratesOfTheCaribbean ride at Disneyland. And then it came full circle when the first ''POTC'' movie took elements from ''Monkey Island''. The ride has since been remade to be more in line with the films.
* ''Film/KullTheConqueror'' was originally going to be the third ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' movie, but Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger was unavailable at the time. Amusingly, this is the reverse situation of the first Conan story, see under literature for that one.
** Arnie's character in ''Film/RedSonja'' was supposed to be Conan, but the film did not have the rights to this name.
* ''Film/{{Eurotrip}}'' was originally supposed to be a sequel to ''Film/RoadTrip'' before it was realized that other than the concept, had little to do with the previous film. ''Road Trip'' would later get an InNameOnly sequel in the form of ''Road Trip: Beer Pong'' (which is more of an American college version of ''Film/{{Beerfest}}'').
* ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' was originally planned as a prequel to the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' series until Ridley Scott decided to rewrite it as a stand-alone story (it's still set in the ''Alien'' universe, but has very little ties to the actual storyline). However, the ''Alien'' connection is so obvious that it's nearly impossible to not think of it as a prequel, to the point that the sequel was even titled ''Film/AlienCovenant''.
* ''Film/MinorityReport'' was originally written as a sequel to ''Film/TotalRecall1990'', with Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger in the leading role. Both films are based on short stories by Creator/PhilipKDick, but the original works do not share a protagonist.
* ''Film/MrSmithGoesToWashington'' was supposed to be a sequel to ''Film/MrDeedsGoesToTown'', but when Creator/GaryCooper was unavailable, Creator/FrankCapra rewrote the film as a vehicle for Creator/JamesStewart.
* Franchise/UniversalHorror film ''The Climax'' was initially written as a sequel to their 1943 version of ''Film/PhantomOfTheOpera1943''.
* When Creator/VinceOffer started making another SketchComedy AnthologyFilm, he announced it as ''Underground Comedy 2010'' to be a sequel to his 1999 film '' The Underground Comedy Movie''. When it actually got released in 2013, it was titled ''InAPPropriateComedy''.
* The 1955 film serial ''The Adventures of Captain Africa'' was intended as a sequel to the 1943 serial ''Film/{{The Phantom|1943}}'', but Columbia lost the film rights to the Phantom and had to substitute an "original" masked jungle hero.
* ''Film/District9'' was originally going to be a ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' movie, before it became apparent that the final production budget would be in excess of $250 million; Universal had paid $5 million for the option alone, and that was only after Microsoft had asked for $10 million and 15% of the gross; they settled for 10%. 20th Century Fox even came on board as a partner, but eventually the production was cancelled because Creator/PeterJackson and executive producer Peter Schlessel refused to cut their percentage points in the gross, reducing the profit margin for the studios even further. Jackson allocated $40 million to Creator/NeillBlomkamp both as way of a good will gesture, and to salvage all the work that had already been done. Many of the props used in the film were repurposed from their original intended use.
* ''Film/VantagePoint'' was a discarded script for a ''Series/TwentyFour'' movie.
* The first ''Film/{{Final Destination|1}}'' was originally written as a spec script for an episode of ''Series/TheXFiles''.
* The script for ''Film/SuperheroMovie'' was originally intended for ''Film/ScaryMovie 4'', until they realized it had no horror movie references, and so it was made it into a Superhero spoof.
* ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina'' started life as a sequel to ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossTheEighthDimension''.
* ''Film/GhostsOfMars'' was originally a third [[Film/EscapeFromNewYork Snake Plissken]] film called ''Escape from Mars'', but after ''Film/EscapeFromLA'' flopped, it became a standalone film.
* ''Film/LockUp'' was originally a prequel to ''Film/FirstBlood'' detailing Rambo's time in prison.
* ''Film/FoxyBrown'' was originally a sequel to ''Film/{{Coffy}}''.
* Creator/QuentinTarantino' originally envisioned ''Film/TheHatefulEight'' as a sequel to ''Film/DjangoUnchained'' (called, apparently, ''Django: White Hell''), until he realized the disadvantages of having a main character the audience already knew was the good guy, and was also [[PlotArmour not likely to die in his own sequel.]].
* ''Film/{{Excalibur}}'' was born out of Creator/JohnBoorman's failed attempt to adapt ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* When Creator/SamRaimi was unable to obtain the rights to ''Comics/TheShadow'', he made ''Film/{{Darkman}}'' instead.
* ''Film/Speed2CruiseControl'' was an unused script for ''Film/DieHard'' 3.
* ''Film/FastFive'' started life as ''The Brazilian Job'', a sequel to the remake of ''Film/TheItalianJob''.
* ''Film/PrinceOfDarkness'' was originally written as the fourth ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' film (when the series was to be unrelated Halloween anthology films like ''Film/HalloweenIIISeasonOfTheWitch'') but was rewritten as a stand alone film when the producers decided to resurrect Michael Myers, a story arc Creator/JohnCarpenter felt he had concluded with ''Film/HalloweenII1981''.
** Speaking of which, ''Film/Halloween1978'' was originally a sequel to ''Film/BlackChristmas1974''.
* It's rumoured that ''Film/BioDome'' was meant to be the third ''Franchise/BillAndTed'' film, though Alex Winter (understandably) denies this.
* Creator/JohnWoo's ''Film/BulletInTheHead'' was meant to be a prequel to ''Film/ABetterTomorrow''. When he fell out with producer Tsui Hark, he made a standalone film, while Hark made the prequel ''A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon''.
* ''Film/{{Nighthawks}}'' was originally ''Film/TheFrenchConnection'' III with Creator/GeneHackman reprising his role opposite new sidekick Creator/RichardPryor. When Hackman said no, it became a standalone thriller.
* ''Film/{{Solace}}'' was originally a sequel to ''Film/Se7en'' called ''Ei8ht'' focusing on Detective Somerset as a psychic who helps the FBI find a known serial killer.
* ''Film/TheKissOfTheVampire'' was meant to be the third in Film/HammerHorror's Literature/{{Dracula}} series. It was an attempt to make a Dracula film without Creator/ChristopherLee.
* Legend has it that ''Film/RoboCop1987'' started out as a ''Comics/JudgeDredd'' film that got changed for legal reasons.
* ''Film/KnockedUp'' was originally a sequel to ''Film/TheFortyYearOldVirgin'', with Creator/SethRogen and co. to reprise their roles as the Smart Tech team.
* ''Film/AvengingForce'' was originally written as a sequel to ''Film/InvasionUSA1985'' with Creator/ChuckNorris returning to the role of Matt Hunter. When he was uninterested, the role was rewritten to be younger and was given to Michael Dudikoff instead and it became a standalone film.
* Creator/WilliamWyler originally conceived ''Film/HowToStealAMillion'' as a follow-up to ''Film/RomanHoliday'', another film he made with Creator/AudreyHepburn.
* Creator/MichaelCimino's 1987 film, ''The Sicilian'' was based on a book that was a spin off from ''Film/TheGodfather'', but all references had to be removed for copyright reasons.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' only came about because Creator/GeorgeLucas couldn't get copyrights to ''ComicBook/FlashGordon''. Ironically it was the success of ''Star Wars'' that caused the [[Film/FlashGordon 1980 Flash Gordon movie]] to be made.

* ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything'' is a Divorced Installment ''and'' a DolledUpInstallment -- originally an abandoned ''Series/DoctorWho'' story proposal called "Doctor Who and the Krikketmen", it was first considered as the plot for one of the many unsuccessful proposals for a ''Doctor Who'' [[TheMovie feature film]], and then divorced from ''Who'' and dolled up as the second season of the ''Guide'' TV series. When that got canceled in pre-production, it finally became the third ''Guide'' novel.
* Similarly, ''Literature/DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency'' was originally "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E6Shada Shada]]", a ''Series/DoctorWho'' script by Adams that was never completed due to a BBC strike (and has since seen other adaptations). The plot also contains elements of "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E2CityOfDeath City of Death]]" (also by Adams), a serial that ''was'' filmed.
* At the time of his death, Adams was considering transforming ''Literature/TheSalmonOfDoubt'', which in the existing draft is a Literature/DirkGently novel, into a ''Hitchhiker's'' novel.
* The first Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian story, "Literature/ThePhoenixOnTheSword", is a rewrite of a rejected Literature/{{Kull}} story, "By This Axe I Rule". Many passages are word for word identical.
* Project Itoh's novel ''Genocidal Organ'' was based on a ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'' fan-fiction he wrote.
* The Creator/JTEdson novel ''Blonde Genius'' was originally written as a screen treatment for a ''Film/StTrinians'' movie.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's short story "Fiddler Fair" was originally written to fit the world of Ithkar for a shared-universe anthology, before being rewritten into the springboard for the ''Literature/BardicVoices'' series.
* ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' started as an erotic ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' fanfic titled ''Master of the Universe''.
* John Grant's 1994 licenced ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'' novel ''The Hundredfold Problem'' was republished in 2003 with all references to the Mega-City One 'verse removed. Judges Dredd and Callisto were replaced by Dave Knuckle and Petulia [=McTavish=].
** The ''Franchise/DoctorWho'' novel, ''The Burning Heart'' was supposed to be a crossover with ''Judge Dredd'' but after the failure of the [[Film/JudgeDredd 1995 movie]], Dredd was replaced with Adjudicator Joseph Craator.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The third ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' show, ''Series/BattleFeverJ'', was originally planned to star a Japanese counterpart of Marvel's ComicBook/CaptainAmerica character named "Captain Japan", following up on the success of Toei's live-action ''[[Series/SpiderManJapan Spider-Man]]'' series.
* ''Series/TheFollowing'' was based on a discarded screenplay for ''Film/{{Scream 3}}''. Both the series and the movie franchise are produced by Kevin Williamson.
* ''Series/TheLAComplex'' was split off from the ''Franchise/{{Degrassi}}'' franchise, presumably so it could be sold to US networks outside the Viacom group.
* ''Series/{{K9}}'' was the only Franchise/{{Whoniverse}} show not to ever reference or be referenced by the other TV series in the franchise, as it was licensed by Bob Baker, the character's co-creator who owned the rights to him, with no involvement or permission from the BBC.
* ''Series/StrangerThings'' came about because the studio passed on the Duffler Brothers' treatment for ''Film/It2017''.
* [[Creator/RowanAtkinson Rowan Atkinson's]] ''Comic Relief'' sketch, ''Spider-Plant Man'' was originally conceived as a fifth season of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' where Blackadder and Baldrick would have been ''[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Batman and Robin]]'' style superheroes.
* Rob Brydon's gameshow, ''The Guess List'' was meant to be called ''[[Series/MrsBrownsBoys Mrs Brown's]] Celebrities''. A pilot episode was recorded but Brendan O'Carroll turned down a full series because he thought it would water down the ''Mrs Brown'' brand.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/ProWrestlingZero1 is named for the fact it was started in 2001. The original concept of the promotion was called "Pro Wrestling Zero", as it was conceived at least a year earlier, and was intended to be an extension of Wrestling/NewJapanProWrestling dedicated to a purer strong-style product and commanded by Wrestling/ShinyaHashimoto. However, with bookers Wrestling/AntonioInoki and Riki Choshu shutting down the idea, and especially after Inoki mistreated Hashimoto's career to build Wrestling/NaoyaOgawa's, Shinya left the company and started the company as an independent promotion, capitalizing on it to rebuild his career.
* Pro Wrestling El Dorado was born under the Toryumon flag, very much like its predecessor Dragondoor, but before its debut show they declared the promotion as independent from Toryumon or any of its marks.
* Perros Del Mal Producciones was drawn up as an idea to make a Perros Del Mal angle in Wrestling/{{CMLL}} more believable to audiences by having the PowerStable run their own promotion. Disputes lead to PDM starting up a year late and having nothing to do with CMLL.

* The ''Franchise/SpiderMan: Techno Wars'' and ''Franchise/XMen: Mutant Armor'' lines were actually {{ReTool}}ed Iron Man figures leftover from his short-lived [[WesternAnimation/IronMan animated series]].
* The Mutant figures from ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' were retooled prototypes from the cancelled ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' line.
* ''Beastformers'' were a SpinOff of the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' ''[[Anime/TransformersHeadmasters Headmasters]]'' line in Japan. When Creator/{{Hasbro}} imported the line as ''Battle Beasts'', they dropped any connection to the Transformers.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The UsefulNotes/TurboGrafx16 platformer ''VideoGame/KeithCourageInAlphaZones'' was originally one of many games based on then-popular anime series ''Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru'' (''Spirit Hero Wataru''). The story went from being about a kid pulled into a spirit realm to battle demons, to being about an adult who is part of a military organization that fights aliens. However, the game's title screen still shows a Creator/{{Sunrise}} copyright, perhaps because only the ExcusePlot was actually altered.
* One of the most successful examples came from Creator/{{Capcom}}'s attempt to create a sequel to ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'', which spawned not only ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', but three other potential versions of that game (out of four) which saw release as their own games. ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'' is the most well-known, originally starring a new protagonist named Tony, which was turned into an original game (with its protagonist Dante having the alias "Tony Redgrave" as a MythologyGag) after realizing it was straining credibility to have an action-packed hack-and-slash as the next entry in what was then still a pure SurvivalHorror franchise. ''{{VideoGame/Onimusha}}'' also started as a prototype of ''Resident Evil 4'', which in turn helped inspire the ''Devil May Cry'' combat system (pre-release versions of ''Onimusha'' allowed the player to knock enemies into the air, [[GoodBadBugs them juggle them by continuing to attack]] - this was fixed in that game, then incorporated into ''DMC''). Finally, ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilGunSurvivor Resident Evil: Dead Aim]]'' was based on one of the final rejected proposals for ''[=RE4=]'', and thus bears quite a bit of resemblance to it due to being an actual ''Resident Evil'' game (in particular the duo of hero Bruce [=McGivern=] and flip-flopping sidekick/nemesis Fong Ling [[{{Expy}} being similar to]] Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong).
* The Franchise/WonderBoy games were developed by Westone and published by Creator/{{Sega}}. While Westone owned the rights to the programming of each game, Sega owned the rights to the title and character designs, and as a result Creator/HudsonSoft was forced to graphically modify and rename each game when they got the license to work on ports for non-Sega platforms. The only exception was ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIIMonsterLair'', which remained unchanged when it was ported to the UsefulNotes/TurboGrafxCD, though "Wonder Boy" was dropped from the title in the US.
** The original ''VideoGame/WonderBoy'' itself was remade for the NES as ''VideoGame/AdventureIsland'' (with Hudson's spokesman/gaming expert Toshiyuki Takahashi serving as the model for the new protagonist Takahashi Meijin, [[DubNameChange also known as Master Higgins]]), which inspired its own series of sequels independently developed by Hudson for the NES, Super NES, Game Boy, and the [=TG16=].
** ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand'' was remade for the Japanese PC Engine as ''Bikkuriman World'', a licensed game based on the ''Bikkuriman'' series of trading stickers.
*** There was also a Famicom version of ''Monster Land'' by Jaleco titled ''Saiyuki World''. This version inspired its own sequel (''Saiyuki World II''), which was localized for the NES under the name of ''Whomp 'Em'' and had its ''Journey to the West'' motif replaced with a Native American one.
** ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIITheDragonsTrap'' was remade as ''Dragon's Curse'' for the [=TurboGrafx 16=]. The PC Engine version of said game was curiously enough released under the name of ''Adventure Island'', the same name that Hudson's own ''Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima'' series is known as outside Japan.
** ''Wonder Boy in Monster World'' became ''Dynastic Hero'' on the [=TurboGrafx CD=] and had all the original characters replaced with bug people.
** Outside the ''Wonder Boy'' series, Hudson Soft also ported the Sega/Westone arcade BeatEmUp ''Riot City'' to the [[UsefulNotes/TurboGrafx16 Turbo CD]] under the name of ''Riot Zone'' (or ''Crest of Wolf'' in Japan) with different player characters, while ''Blood Gear'' (a mecha-themed action game) was originally planned as a sequel to ''Aurail''.
* ''VideoGame/DecapAttack'' was originally a tie-in to the anime ''Magical Hat'' in its Japanese version. The localization team didn't feel like paying the licensing fees for an obscure and unimported anime series, so the graphics and story were redone from scratch.
* Several games released by Bandai for the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem were anime {{Licensed Game}}s in Japan that were released overseas in disguised form:
** ''Dragon Power'' was originally a ''Franchise/DragonBall'' game. At the time, ''Dragon Ball'' was not well-known in the United States (although the game was also translated to French with the ''Dragon Ball'' license intact). Bandai tried to change it into a more generic ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' game, which while still not being well known in America, unlike ''Dragon Ball'', it is public domain. They didn't do a very good job at it, incidentally; Bulma, Oolong, and Yamcha, among other characters, all kept their original designs, while Puar became [[PinkGirlBlueBoy pink]] but was otherwise unchanged.
** ''Chubby Cherub'' was originally a game based on the anime ''Obake no Q-Taro''. Few changes were made to the game aside from replacing Q-Taro with a cherub.
** ''Ninja Kid'' (not to be confused with the UPL UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame) was a similar alteration of ''Manga/GeGeGeNoKitaro: Youkai Dai Makyou''.
* ''Black Belt'', a side-scrolling [[BeatEmUp beat-'em-up]] for the UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem, is a localization of a ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' game for the Mark III in which the graphics were altered to remove all traces of the original license. Kenshiro was renamed Riki and his blue vest and jeans outfit was replaced by a white karate gi, while all of the other characters and backgrounds were modified as well, changing the game's locations from post-apocalyptic deserts and towns to modern day temples and cities.
** The Japanese UsefulNotes/MegaDrive sequel, ''Hokuto no Ken: Shin Seikimatsu Kyūseishu Densetsu'', was released overseas as ''Last Battle: Legend of the Final Hero'', but the changes made during the localization were lazier by comparison to the first game. All the sprites were recolored and the names were changed, but the character designs remained almost identical and the seemingly nonsensical script (which consisted mainly of out-of-context dialogue transcribed verbatim from the manga) was a word-to-word translation of the original, aside for a few minor changes. Gore was also removed for the overseas release.
* Sega also made two video games based on the manga ''Kujaku-Oh'' (''Manga/PeacockKing'', also known as ''Spirit Warrior''): one for the UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem and a sequel for the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis. The Master System original came out in America as ''Spellcaster'' and the Genesis sequel came out as ''Mystic Defender,'' in both cases having all the ''Peacock King'' elements replaced with wholly new storylines and characters.
* ''Street Combat'' for the Super NES was originally a ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' game in which you played as either male or female Ranma and battled the rest of the anime cast. The U.S. version turned Ranma into a mulleted soldier named Steven (female Ranma was Steven in street clothes, while male Ranma was Steven in PoweredArmor), and the Ranma cast with all sorts of things (Kodachi, for example, became a ''clown''). This was averted with the sequel, which was brought to the U.S. as ''Ranma ½: Hard Battle''.
* ''VideoGame/ThunderForce IV'' for the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis was released in America was ''Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar.'' Not only the spelling of this was odd, as two previous games in the series had been released internationally under the ''Thunder Force'' title, and ''Thunder Force IV'' came out under its actual title in Europe.
* One of the original concepts for ''FightingForce'' was to make it a 3D sequel to the ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage'' series (and indeed, the [[ leaked Saturn prototype]] has much more overt similarities to SOR, such as Hawk looking like Axel), but Sega pulled the deal after disagreements with the developers over what platforms the game would be released on, and it became its own thing.
* The WorkingTitle of ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' was ''Franchise/StreetFighter '89''. According to producer Yoshiki Okamoto, he was originally commissioned to work on a sequel to the first ''Videogame/{{Street Fighter|I}}'', but he wanted to make a side-scrolling [[BeatEmUp beat-'em-up]] after being inspired by the success of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon''. When it was obvious that the resulting product looked nothing like the original ''Street Fighter'', the game was renamed ''Final Fight''. Despite this, many of the characters from ''Final Fight'' later crossed their way into the ''Street Fighter'' series and other Capcom fighting games (including a spin-off of its own titled ''Final Fight Revenge'').
* An inversion: Natsume's side-scrolling action game ''VideoGame/{{Shatterhand}}'' for the NES was first released in Japan as a LicensedGame for the Famicom based on the ''Franchise/MetalHeroes'' series ''Series/TokkyuuShireiSolbrain''. However, the ''Solbrain'' version, despite being released first, is actually the modified version, not ''Shatterhand''. Angel, a subsidiary of Bandai, agreed to cover the publishing costs for Natsume under the condition that they could modify the game to promote one of Toei's superheroes.
* ''VideoGame/RedFaction'' was originally conceived as the [[{{Vaporware}} cancelled]] ''VideoGame/{{Descent}} 4''. Some elements were carried over, such as the textures, the protagonist's name (Parker) and [[UnexpectedGameplayChange the jet fighter combat level]].
* ''VideoGame/JourneyToSilius'' started development as a game based on ''Film/TheTerminator'', but was reworked into a stand-alone title when Sunsoft's license expired.
* Creator/{{Sunsoft}} also started work on a ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' game for the NES (following their success with the ''VideoGame/{{Batman|Sunsoft}}'' games), but was later re-tooled into a CaptainErsatz called ''VideoGame/{{Sunman}}'' for some reason or other (they did release a ''Superman'' game for the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis). It ultimately ended up not being released in any form.
* ''Power Punch II'' was originally developed as a sequel to ''[[VideoGame/PunchOut Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!]]'', with the original title ''Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch''. (A beta version of ''Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch'' has since leaked out.) And no, just in case you were wondering, there is no ''Power Punch I''.
* ''[[VideoGame/DesertStrike Nuclear Strike]]'' had a trailer for a new installment called ''Future Strike'', which ended up being turned into the unrelated game ''Future Cop LAPD''.
* The sequel to ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed: Shift'' dropped the ''NFS'' from the title and was titled ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' (not to be confused with the other ''VideoGame/{{Shift}} 2''.
* The first ''VideoGame/BattleTanx'' started out as a UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}} port of ''[=BattleSport=]''.
* ''VideoGame/AgentUnderFire'' was originally a [=PS2=] version of ''VideoGame/TheWorldIsNotEnough'', before it was turned into an original Bond story.
* ''Renegade'', ''VideoGame/SuperDodgeBall'', ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom'' (aka ''Street Gangs''), ''Nintendo World Cup'', and ''Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge'' were all localizations of different games in the Japanese ''VideoGame/KunioKun'' series that were westernized (or in the case of ''Nintendo World Cup'', globalized) in order to make them more marketable overseas. The UsefulNotes/NeoGeo version of ''Super Dodge Ball'', along with the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS games localized by Aksys Games, are the only games in the series where Kunio and Riki retained their Japanese identities in the overseas versions.
** The original ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' was planned as a sequel to the original ''Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun'' (aka ''Renegade''). The change in title, setting and characters was precisely done to appeal to the western market from the get-go without the need of making a separate overseas version.
** The Super Famicom game ''Super Mad Champ'' was originally planned as a Kunio bike-racing game. Developer Almanic was the same team that worked on ''[[VideoGame/KunioTachiNoBanka Kunio-tachi no Banka]]'' for Technos.
* The NES game ''Destiny of an Emperor'', along with the arcade games ''Dynasty Wars'' and ''Warriors of Fate'', were all games by Creator/{{Capcom}} based on Hiroshi Motomiya's manga series ''Tenchi o Kurau'', which was loosely based on the Chinese novel ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms''. While the former two kept the characters and plot mostly intact [[PublicDomainCharacter which isn't really hard to do]], ''Warriors of Fate'' removes even that and replaces everyone's names with Mongolian names.
* ''VideoGame/BattalionWars'' is a borderline example. The WorkingTitle was ''Advance Wars: Under Fire'', but Nintendo decided to change the name due to the fact that it was a very different game from the original ''Advance Wars'' and it wouldn't have made much sense to release a game [[SuperTitle64Advance named after]] the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance on the [[UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube GameCube]] (it's still part of the overall ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars Wars]]'' series, though). In Japan, the game was released as ''Totsugeki! Famicom Wars''.
* ''Lunar Knights'' for the Nintendo DS is actually the overseas version of the fourth ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' game (''Boktai DS''). The first two games sold poorly outside Japan due to its solar sensing gimmick and as a result, the third game didn't get an international release and Konami took out the solar sensor in the fourth game. The localization team attempted everything to distance the fourth game from the franchise by changing the title and renaming the main characters Django and Sabata into Aaron and Lucian.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' was originally meant to be a licensed game based on ''Manga/{{Astroboy}}'', but they lost the license, so Capcom tried something different.
* The NES game ''Tecmo World Cup Soccer'' is actually a ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa''-themed soccer sim with Westernized character designs, likely changed because ''Captain Tsubasa'' is not licensed in the United States.
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombat1'' was originally going to be a ''Film/{{Bloodsport}}'' video game, but ended up as an original property. This can be seen in Johnny Cage, a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme.
* ''VideoGame/ProjectSnowblind'' was originally going to be ''VideoGame/DeusEx: Clan Wars''. It was changed to be a SpiritualSuccessor to ''Deus Ex'' when that game's own sequel ''[[VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar Invisible War]]'' sold poorly.
* A persistent rumor has it that ''Lady Stalker'' was originally going to be a ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' GaidenGame based around Alena from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV'', but was quickly made into an unrelated game when the license was lost partway through development. The rumor has strong supporting evidence, including: the party being near carbon-copies of the party from Alena's chapter in ''DQIV''; a series of tomato enemies that are suspiciously similar to the ''Dragon Quest'' slimes in appearance and near-identical in mechanics, right down to having a "rotten tomato" that can inflict poison equivalent to the Babble/Bubble Slime; and some items being identical between the two games, ''down to their price''.
* The [=PS2=] shooter ''Dragon Rage'' was planned to be a ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'' spinoff.
* After the developement of ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'', 3D Realms planned to make another side-scrolling Duke Nukem titled ''Duke Nukem Forever'' (no, not [[VideoGame/DukeNukemForever that one]]). The project was cancelled and sold to another developer, which finished and released it as ''Alien Rampage''.
* The [[UsefulNotes/AtariJaguar Jaguar]] shooter ''Hover Strike'' was originally meant to be a remake of ''VideoGame/{{BattleZone|1980}}''.
* ''Beetle Adventure Racing'' for the N64 started development as a ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' game, and used the same engine as the NFS games of the time.
* The UsefulNotes/{{Commodore 64}} game ''Astérix and the Magic Cauldron'' was released in the United States as ''Ardok the Barbarian'', likely because ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' was not popular enough there to be worth licensing.
* ''Tower of Doom'' for the UsefulNotes/{{Intellivision}} was to have been the third ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons & Dragons]] Cartridge'' for the system, but it was released without the license after Mattel abandoned the game and the console midway through development; most gamers couldn't tell the difference, of course. (The later Capcom UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragons :Tower of Doom'' is completely unrelated.)
** The two earlier [=AD&D=] games had the license stripped out for {{Compilation Rerelease}}s, appearing under their {{Working Title}}s ''Adventure'' and ''Minotaur''.
* The unreleased NES game ''Time Diver Eon Man'' by Creator/{{Taito}} started development as a sequel to ''VideoGame/WrathOfTheBlackManta''.
* The original ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' was reportedly a {{Popeye}} game initially, but changed due to licensing issues.
* ''Secret Weapons Over Normandy'' was apparently born out of a cancelled ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor'' spin-off called ''Fighter Command''.
* ''VideoGame/MagicalDoropie'' was originally going to be based on ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''. To add insult to injury, it was {{macekre}}d further into ''The Krion Conquest'' for the US market.
* ''Heavenly Guardian'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 and UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} was originally announced in Japan as ''Kiki Kai World''. Apparently the ''VideoGame/KikiKaiKai'' characters were replaced with original ones because the developer somehow lost the license.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'''s game system was originally meant at a computer adaptation of ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' called ''Vault 13: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Adventure'' before disagreements with Steven Jackson caused Black Isle to terminate their license and create their own SPECIAL system.
* ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTriad'' was to have been a sequel to ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D''; its working title was "''Wolfenstein 3D Part II: Rise of the Triad''".
* ''VideoGame/RageOfTheDragons'', a UsefulNotes/NeoGeo fighting game by Evoga and Noise Factory, was originally intended to be a sequel to the UsefulNotes/NeoGeo version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', but the developers were unable to get a hold of the rights. Thus, all the characters were turned into [[CaptainErsatz ersatzes]] of the ''Double Dragon'' cast: the Lee brothers became the ''Lewis'' brothers, while Abobo became ''Abubo''.
* After Creator/{{Rare}} was bought out by Microsoft, ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' characters were removed from two of their upcoming games for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance: ''Diddy Kong Pilot'' became ''Banjo-Pilot'', and ''Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers'' became ''It's Mr Pants''.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TheJetsons The Jetsons: Invasion of the Planet Pirates]]'' for the SNES was retooled for its Japanese release as ''Yōkai Buster: Ruka no Daibōken'', starring the mascot character of ''Marukatsu Super Famicom'' magazine.
* ''Pax Corpus'', a 1997 [=PlayStation=] action game by Cryo Interactive, was retooled from a canceled ''WesternAnimation/AeonFlux'' game.
* Zig zagged with ''VideoGame/SleepingDogs'': started out as an original game, was later incorporated into the ''[[VideoGame/TrueCrimeStreetsOfLA True Crime]]'' franchise by Activision who later cancelled it, then it was revived by Creator/SquareEnix who turned it into an original game again.
* [[ Early design documents]] have revealed the first ''[[Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaI Legend Of Zelda]]'' was conceptualized as a ''Videogame/MarioBros'' game.
* ''VideoGame/WiiSports'' was going to be a ''[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]]'' sports game and the Miis were just going to be placeholders. People liked the Miis though so they were kept in the final version. A ''VideoGame/MarioSportsMix'' did get made later despite.
* ''VideoGame/StarGladiator'' was originally going to be a licensed ''Franchise/StarWars'' fighting game developed by Creator/{{Capcom}} and Creator/{{LucasArts}}. [=LucasArts=] instead opted to make their own fighting game, ''VideoGame/StarWarsMastersOfTerasKasi'', which was released to decidedly mixed reception. Elements of the original source material can still be seen in ''Star Gladiator'', as Hayato's Plasma Sword is essentially a lightsaber, Gamof bears a very strong resemblance to Chewbacca, June has a [[LukeIAmYourFather seemingly-dead father who turns out to be working for the villain]], and Bilstein is a rather blatant DarthVaderClone.
* Likewise, ''Videogame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' was originally supposed to be a licensed fighting game starring the Franchise/UniversalHorror monsters. This influence can still be seen in many of the characters, as Demitri Maximoff is an obvious stand-in for Film/{{Dracula|1931}}, Jon Talbain for Film/{{The Wolfman|1941}}, Rikuo for the Film/CreatureFromTheBlackLagoon, Victor von Gerdenheim for Film/{{Frankenstein|1931}}'s Monster, and so on.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' was planned to be a ''Mario'' game at one point in its development, its idea being in part born thanks to the ''Super Mario 128'' tech demo for the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube.
* ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'' was born as the gameplay concept, and amongst the possibilities its developers considered was to make it a ''Mario'' [[RuleOfThree spin-off game]]. They eventually settled with making it a new IP with the shapeshifting Inklings as the protagonists instead.
* Coming full circle, ''VideoGame/CaptainToadTreasureTracker'' was originally envisioned as a ''[[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Zelda]]'' puzzle title starring Link, thanks in part to one of the main elements in the game being not having the ability to jump obstacles, which at first appeared to be out of place for a ''Mario'' title.
* Obscure Mega Drive/Genesis shooter ''[[ CrossFire]]'' was originally released in Japan as ''Super Airwolf'', based off the ''Series/{{Airwolf}}'' TV series and intended to be a sequel to Kyugo's 1987 arcade {{licensed game}}. The Western localization edited the theme song to a [[SuspiciouslySimilarSong suspiciously similar version]] and the rest of the references to the show were removed.
* ''VideoGame/{{Trapt}}'' suffers this twice over. Not only is it a game that would have been previously localized as a ''VideoGame/{{Deception}}'' game, but by Japanese reckoning, it's the first genuine NumberedSequel, being ''Kagero 2.'' It was instead marketed and released as a standalone title, and since it was a NonLinearSequel in the first place, this removes all franchise ties.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' began development as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', only to be divorced from that series and renamed ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' before becoming a ''Mana'' game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' was apparently planned to be either ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' or ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' during its development, but it was retooled into an original title because it was [[DarkerAndEdgier too dark]] for either franchise.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' was originally a LicensedGame based on ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', but it spawned into its own franchise due to lack of creative freedom. Interestingly, this came full circle with the first total-conversion GameMod for it, based on ''Aliens''.
* Both the little-known RPG ''VideoGame/DivineDivinity'' by Creator/LarianStudios and the somewhat better known first installment of the HackAndSlash franchise ''VideoGame/{{Sacred}}'' by Ascaron were originally supposed to be set in the ''TabletopGame/TheDarkEye'' universe (having no connection whatsoever otherwise). The Larian game had the title ''The Lady, the Mage and the Knight'', abbreviated as LMK, which, in the German title, would have stood for ''Legenden der Magierkriege'', i.e. "legends of the Mage Wars" (the Mage Wars being a period in the history of Aventuria in the TDE setting). The precursor of ''Sacred'' was called ''Armalion'' (a powerful artefact in the TDE universe). In both cases, problems with the license prevented the projects from leaving the pre-alpha stage, but the existing code and parts of the art were used as building blocks for ''Divine Divinity'' and ''Sacred'', respectively.
* The SNES racing game ''Cyber Spin'' was originally a game based on ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'', it was brought overseas with references of the series removed, and in the American version, the setting was changed to a futuristic UsefulNotes/FormulaOne setting.
* In its '''very''' earliest stages, ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'' was actually a ContinuityReboot of ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter''. Creator/NaughtyDog decided to make it a new IP instead when they realized the ideas they liked best had nothing to do with ''Jak and Daxter''.
* The TwoAndAHalfD HackAndSlash ''Final Exam'' began life as an {{interquel}} in the ''VideoGame/{{ObsCure}}'' series of SurvivalHorror games. It was retooled into a separate game after the original developer, Hydravision Entertainment, closed its doors and reformed into Mighty Rocket Studios. However, it still has many {{Shout Out}}s and {{Continuity Nod}}s to the ''[=ObsCure=]'' games, most notably [[spoiler:Shannon, one of the series' protagonists, returning as an NPC, and the first game's villain Principal Friedman serving as the FinalBoss]], to the point where fans of that series consider it all but an unofficial sequel.
* ''Family Pinball'' was originally a [[Creator/BandaiNamcoEntertainment Namco]] game in Japan, but a different publisher brought it to the U.S. as ''Rock 'n' Ball''. The Namco characters were replaced with generic equivalents, and the ''VideoGame/PacMan'' table was not only genericized but slightly altered in layout.
* ''VideoGame/YoungMerlin'' developed out of a canceled SNES version of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfKyrandia Fables & Fiends]]''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bombshell}}'' was originally conceived as ''Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction'', but a legal dispute arose over use of the ''VideoGame/DukeNukem'' intellectual property (specifically, Creator/GearboxSoftware said that their deal with Creator/ApogeeSoftware - the one which resulted in ''VideoGame/DukeNukemForever'' finally coming out - precluded Apogee from publishing any more Duke Nukem games). As such, Duke was replaced by Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison as as the game's protagonist.
* ''VideoGame/ThemsFightinHerds'' started out as ''VideoGame/MyLittlePonyFightingIsMagic'', a ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Friendship is Magic]]'' fangame. While still early in development, ''Fighting is Magic'' got so much attention that Hasbro sent them a Cease and Desist order. Creator/LaurenFaust liked the game, however, so she helped ReTool it into an original game about several different kinds of quadrupedal animals.
* The planned third installment of the Amiga hack-n-slash series ''Switchblade'' was completely retooled into the ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog''-style platform game ''VideoGame/{{Zool}}''. Much later, after ''Zool 3'''s second cancellation, shovelware developer DataDesignInteractive picked up the pieces and assembled the infamously horrible ''VideoGame/NinjabreadMan''.
* Creator/{{Codemasters}} distributed the Spanish UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum game ''Phantomas'' under its original title, but distanced its sequel from it by retitling it ''Vampire''. Interestingly, ''Phantomas'' and ''Phantomas 2'' began development as unrelated but similar games, but Dinamic convinced the coders of both games to use the same main character.
* Similar to the ''Them's Fighting Herds'' example, ''VideoGame/FreedomPlanet'' started as a ''[[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic]]'' fangame, but later became its own thing for commercial release. In this case, it switched over before getting a C&D.
* ''Mickey Mouse III: Yume Fuusen'' was being localized as ''Mickey Mouse: Dream Balloon'', but licensing difficulties apparently intervened because Kemco ended up editing in their own character and releasing the game in the US as ''Kid Klown in Night Mayor World''. Indeed, every Mickey Mouse game from Kemco that wasn't published overseas by Creator/{{Capcom}} or Creator/{{Nintendo}} was modified into something else outside Japan.
* There was once a sequel to the original ''VideoGame/TheGreatGianaSisters'' in development. Due to the controversy of the original game it was cancelled and retooled into ''Hard 'N' Heavy''.
* ''Jimbo'', released with the March 1995 issue of German UsefulNotes/{{Commodore 64}} magazine ''Magic Disk 64'', doesn't do much to hide that it was originally developed as the fourth game in Creator/{{Codemasters}}' ''CJ's Elephant Antics'' series. (The third game was never released in any form. The first game, for that matter, was built on the engine of an unfinished Commodore 64 port of ''VideoGame/TheNewZealandStory'', different from the one actually released by Creator/OceanSoftware.)
* ''VideoGame/NexusTheJupiterIncident'' started out as ''VideoGame/ImperiumGalactica 3: Genesis''. It then got bounced around several developers/publishers under the title of ''Galaxy Andromeda'' before finally being released as its current title. WordOfGod is that the storyline remains largely unchanged, so ''Nexus'' can be considered a [[SpiritualSequel Spiritual Prequel]] to ''Imperium Galactica''.
* ''VideoGame/RetroCityRampage'' started as an NES hardware-based [[VideoGameDemake demake]] of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' titled ''Grand Theftendo'', but eventually ended up an 8-bit-{{retraux}} ReferenceOverdosed SpiritualAdaptation of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoClassic''.
* ''VideoGame/DiddyKongRacing'' was at one point planned to be a sequel to Rare's ''VideoGame/RCProAM'' series until the game was shown to Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto, who suggested to add Diddy Kong as the main character. This change happened late enough in development that a small amount of merchandise was printed under the ''Pro-Am 64'' title.
* The Famicom game ''Moeru! Oniisan'' was based on a Creator/{{Toho}} OAV of the same name. Toho published a Westernized NES version of this game under the title ''Circus Caper''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueCrisisOnTwoEarths'' was originally meant as a bridge between ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' and ''Justice League Unlimited'' that would show how things evolved post-Thanagar invasion and how the Justice League went from only seven members to HeroesUnlimited. However, timing problems messed that up so the idea was shelved until it was completely repackaged as one of the DC Universe animated features. Some traces still remain, however: the League are building a new Watchtower at the start of the film, the Flash inherits DCAU Wally West's personality, and the film ends with the League acknowledging they need to expand their ranks.
* ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' was the result of a collaboration between Creator/DiCEntertainment and Creator/TMSEntertainment, but it originally started life as a [[LighterAndSofter kid-friendly]] spin-off of ''Franchise/LupinIII''. It was to be called ''Lupin VIII'', starring the descendants of the ''Lupin III'' cast, and would feature a lot of futuristic gadgets. The pilot episode was nearly complete, but the estate of Maurice [=LeBlanc=], creator of the original ''Literature/ArseneLupin'' series which ''Lupin III'' was based on (without permission), decided to threaten legal action against the companies. This put a stop to ''Lupin VIII'', but since both companies had already put money into production, they needed to make ''something''. The result was ''Inspector Gadget'', which ran with the idea of a show centered around gadgets, and switched the main character focus from the thief to the police inspector, with Gadget being something of an {{expy}} of Inspector Zenigata.