The Greatest Movies Never Made?
This year, movie fans will be treated to a plethora of big-budgeted action-adventure spectacles designed to entertain, inspire, and break office records. Christopher Nolan wraps up his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises, pitting a beleaguered Batman (Christian Bale) against Bane (Tom Hardy), the one villain from the comic books who actually came close to "breaking" the Bat. Visionary director Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define three decades ago as the director of Alien and Blade Runner with Prometheus, an entirely new sci-fi movie that just happens to be set in the world of Alien. And Peter Jackson, who elevated the fantasy genre to an all-time high as the director of the multiple Academy Award-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR) trilogy, returns to "Middle-Earth" with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part of a two-part telling of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic book that will see the return of many of the beloved characters, and the actors who played them, from LOTR.
Even before these movies hit theaters, they will all be success stories. Sure, one or more of them may fail to live up to the expectations of the fans, the critics, or the producers who invested small fortunes to have them made, but the fact that they all survived the long and arduous journey from conception to completion puts them in rare company. For every movie that makes it to the big screen, countless more fall into "Development Hell," never to see the light of day.
What would the Batman franchise look like today if Warner Bros. had decided to hand the keys to the Bat-mobile to Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) instead of Nolan? Would we have had to wait decades for Scott to return to sci-fi if his Alien-on-a-train movie, The Train, had left the station back in the late-'80s? And, can you imagine what it would have been like to have The Beatles play the four Hobbits journeying to Mount Doom in an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings directed by John Boorman (Excalibur)? These are but a few of the movies-that-never-were documented in David Hughes’ new book, Tales from Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made?, from Titan Books. Sit back, grab a handful of popcorn, and prepare to have your mind blown as we journey to Development Hell.