The Production History-Thing:
Plans changed radically for this project over the years since intentions to make a film about Man-Thing were announced back in 2001. At that time it was intended to be a straight to video release.
Filming was conducted in Sydney, Australia without much in the way of news or promotion. The production wrapped in 2003.
Marvel Studios' Ari Arad (Producer) told The Continuum that the lead character in the upcoming Man-Thing movie would be a combination of prosthetics and computer-generated effects.
From the outset, Man-Thing was intended to be a prosthetic, CG-enhanced creature,Arad told The Continuum during a visit to Marvel Studios So there was a great deal of R&D.... There's positional stuff happening on location, on the set, but at the same time the stuff you don't currently see in camera was always engineered to be enhanced by digital effects. So when you see the movie, hopefully the line is pretty blurry. It's not an all-CG creature.
In January 2004 Arad said that Man-Thing is a bit more of a departure from the original comic than Marvel's other films. It's a horror movie,he said. It's a different telling of the Man-Thing. He's more menacing.Then in April 2004 Arad stated that the film had been completed, with the finished print received and waiting to be tested with audiences, after which an exact release date would be determined. According to Yahoo! Movies in June 2004, the film was rated R for violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality by the MPAA.
For a while the US release date for Man-Thing was going to be Halloween (October 31) 2004, but when Marvel Enterprises released its Second Quarter financial report, Man-Thing was included in the 2005 line-up with a release date 'to be decided'. This suggested a lack of confidence in the film, and made the publishing schedule for the prequel comic series and trade paperback a misfire. During Marvel's second quarter conference call in late July Arad stated That's probably a good thing ...We'll discuss in the next few weeks where we are going with it.. It seems those talks were less than positive, because the film was nowhere to be seen in the release schedule included in Marvel's 2004 Third Quarter financial report, though the Internet Movie Data Base was still showing October 2005 as expected release date in the US. By late 2004 Arad had fallen strangely silent on the film's progress, and it was left up to Fierce Entertainment's Christopher Petzel, a spokesperson from one of the other production companies involved, to comment that he anticipated an early 2005 release date for the film: As far as I am aware Lions Gate is planning a release during the month of April 2005..
Somewhere along the way the producers decided they had a film that either didn't warrant, or couldn't get US cinema distribution, so suddenly the film was re-branded a SciFi Pictures' film for cable TV. Thus it ended up back where it started as a 'video' release, though over the intervening years the video format died and DVD had taken its place.
Screenwriter Hans Rodionoff was interviewed by Comics Continum about the film shortly before it screened.
The Continuum: Was it a big disappointment that the film didn't make theaters?
Rodionoff: Man-Thing has been a disappointment to me in a number of ways, but the non-theatrical release is the least of them. Under the circumstances, I think it's a good thing that it's premiering on the Sci-Fi Channel.