If you’ve ever wondered just how far back Marvel films go, it seems that long before even Sam Raimi worked on the first Spider-Man film in the early 200s, he was already trying his hands at a Marvel project in the early 1990s. Not only that, but he was working on it together with Stan Lee, as they tried to adapt a film based on Marvel’s Thor.
In the interview with Rolling Stone, he talks about how they pitched the concept around but just couldn’t get any studio to sign off on the project. He mentions a few reasonings such as people downplaying Stan Lee’s involvement and even worries about the religious implications of making a film based on the Norse God of Thunder.
They were great. We worked on a story based on his Thor stories, then we took it around to pitch to the different studios — and I couldn’t believe that they didn’t regard [Lee] more highly back then. This was probably 1991 or something, and he was treated like just another writer. “Oh, great. You write comic books. Big deal.” I remember going to eight different studios, and then looking at eight different rejection slips, saying “How could they say no to this?” They’d say things like, “People are kind of touchy about their gods,” and I’d go, “Yes, but it’s not like a religious picture. He’s the God of Thunder!” They so didn’t get it.Sam Raimi
Of course, it seems rather bizarre considering how we’ve had Bast, Thor, and even the Egyptian pantheon introduced in recent projects. Yet, even in the early days of the CU, there were concerns that they could not only make Thor work but even how he’d fit into the bigger picture of the MCU. So, in the early 1990s, there wasn’t a world that believed in comic book movies or expanding upon old mythology.
Source: Rolling Stone