In 1998 Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy. In an effort to bring new life to some of its books they hired artists Joe Quesdada and Jimmy Palmiotti, and their infrastructure at the indy Event Comics, to package a group of titles. Their line, known as Marvel Knights, and focused on "street level" heroes such as Daredevil, Punisher, Black Panther, and Black Widow, before moving on to more popular characters like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. They hired creators who were more known for independent or at least non-mainstream titleslike Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon, Christopher Priest (the comics writer, not the novelist), Brian Bendis, Paul Jenkins, Jae Lee, J.G. Jones, and filmmaker Kevin Smith (whose run on Daredevil, with art by Quesada & Palmiotti) was the anchor of the launch. It was such a successful effort that in 2000 Quesada was named Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, bringing the focus on creators to the rest of Marvel's line.
In 1999 Harlan Ellison revealed to a panel at the Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, that he had been having conversations with Quesada about a possible Silver Surfer one-shot. It would be an adaptation of the story Ellison had written for the Fox Kids Network's Silver Surfer cartoon, and possibly feature art by Quesada and Palmiotti. The story would have involved Galactus, the planet-eater, dying and the Silver Surfer having to travel inside Galactus' giant body in order to save him, lest the Universe become unbalanced. Despite this "announcement", no book was ever officially announced. At the time, editors at Marvel Knights said was strictly in the "wouldn't it be nice" phase, since both Ellison and Quesada were so busy. (Mania Magazine: Daily Buzz, "Ellison A Marvel Knight," July 30, 1999)
A year or so later this project evolved into a potential Dr. Strange project, working from the same story, but now to be drawn by John Romita Jr. This project also never developed beyond a few convention panel conversations (see entry for Doctor Strange, Marvel Knights)