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The DEVELOPMENT HELL TOURNAMENT (The Greatest Films that were never made)


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#1 of 65 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted August 16 2003 - 04:07 AM

THE DEVELOPMENT HELL TOURNAMENT
(The Greatest Films that were never made)


WHAT IF ……..? That is the question. Have you ever read about a film project (past or present) that got mired in Development Hell? Proposed films that if they ever got off the ground could’ve resulted in something special. A concept for a film that could’ve possibly joined the ranks of greatest films of all time. Lost films that regrettably you’ll never be able to see on the silver screen.

Rules: Eligible films MUST have some basis of fact that it was ever considered to be made into a feature film. No film ideas that just sprung up from your own fertile imaginations please.

Be descriptive:
Title, source material, Director, actors, writer, etc. Brief summary is a must!

I’ll start things out with a couple of automatics (I’ll add more if I see there’s any interest in this tournament)


MASTER LIST







Everyone has 2 Automatics
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#2 of 65 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted August 16 2003 - 09:49 AM

The follow-up to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I don't remember the details right now, but I'll take to elaborate later.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#3 of 65 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted August 16 2003 - 12:56 PM

Not sure if these fit your criteria...

Watchmen
Director: Terry Gilliam was linked to this for a long time; M. Night Shayamalan and Darren Aranovsky have also been mentioned.
Original source material: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's graphic novel, Watchmen, published by DC.
Rumored actors: ?
Summary: Anything but your typical 'superhero' story; an intricate, entertaining deconstruction of the standard 'superhero' myth using characters that resemble heroes from the Golden Age of comics.
Other screen adaptations: None; Pixar's The Invincibles, due next year, may be the humorous version, and likely just as brilliant.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Director: Terry Gilliam, again!
Original source material: Take a guess...
Rumored actors: Johnny Depp, Jean Rochefort (Quioxte)
Summary: A time-traveller (Depp) meets an elderly Quixote. Hilarity ensues.
Other screen adaptations: Don Quixote has been filmed many times. Gilliam's struggles to make the film are documented in the film Lost in La Mancha.

Posted Image


#4 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 16 2003 - 02:55 PM

Great idea!


My autos:

Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon

The great director had long planned on making an epic film covering the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. The story on that is apparently going to be published. Go here for details.


Orson Welles' adaptation of Don Quixote

Welles never completed this film though Jess Franco (of all people) "finished" it for him. Go here for details. Some of the Welles footage can be seen in the documentary Lost in La Mancha.


Some suggestions:

I believe Welles had planned on adapting Heart of Darkness but it never came to fruition.

George Romero's original version of Day of the Dead which wasn't filmed due to budget constraints. I hear the screenplay for this version is available on the new DVD edition of DOTD. This one's kind of iffy but if ya need filler...

David Fincher's Rendezvous With Rama. What happened to this?


Angelo: good call on Watchmen.

#5 of 65 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted August 16 2003 - 04:22 PM

I'm torn for my second choice between The Blind Man, a Hitchcock / Jimmy Stewart thriller and The Godfather film that never got made that was about the years between Part 2 (the DeNiro story) and the beginning of Part 1. The film would have focused on Sonny. Although I have to admit also being intrigued with the original idea for Star Trek 6, called Starfleet Academy about Kirk's days there.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#6 of 65 OFFLINE   Kirk Tsai

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Posted August 16 2003 - 10:55 PM

Tora Tora Tora!
Directors: Akira Kurosawa and David Lean
The troublesome shoot of the film was one of the dark chapters in Akira Kurosawa's career. What was originally proposed to him by Fox, however, was that he would direct the Japanese portion of the film, with Mr. David Lean directing the American sequences.

Current version: directed by Richard Fleischer and Kinji Fukasaku, the film now has some good battle sequences, but reveals nothing about Pearl Harbor that we do not know.

The Seige of Leningrad
Director: Sergio Leone
Leone died in 1989 preparing the story of Leningrad during WWII. It was to be a co-production with the Soviet Union (which I suppose would have fallen out after the fall of the USSR anyhow). But if it were to come true, the USSR probably would have provided massive landscape and human resources to dramatize the historical victory. I think it's safe to assume The Great Ennio Morricone would have scored the film.

#7 of 65 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted August 17 2003 - 12:24 AM

Excellent choices all around. Posted Image

George we need details, details, details. Posted Image

Since everyone came up with some great choices I'll up the ante with 2 more automatics for everyone.
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#8 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 17 2003 - 01:20 AM

Okay, I'll go with Orson Welles' Heart of Darkness. Apparently he did write a treatment and planned to make the film in 1939. Unfortunately, the start of World War II closed the European market for films and it wasn't thought that Americans could handle the complexities of the story. Welles has also planned to use the camera as the eyes of the narrator so perhaps this unique approach turned off potential investors?

I realize Welles had many other unrealized projects, but Heart of Darkness was important to him and it certainly would have been an interesting film.


I'll be back with my second auto...

#9 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 17 2003 - 01:26 AM

I think I'll go with David Fincher's Rendezvous With Rama. I haven't been able to find any current news on the status of this film so I think it's safe to say that it's in "development hell." Posted Image Posted Image

#10 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 17 2003 - 01:43 AM

Here's a few paragraphs from Indiewire about a film Samuel Fuller never completed:


Quote:
Fuller, cigar tucked between his lips, gives the curse on his project a human name. He is speaking to Jim Jarmusch, whom Kaurismaki had asked to accompany him to Brazil while Fuller looks for the Indian village where he had shot footage in 1955 for a film to be called "Tigrero." (Jarmusch becomes an interviewer, then a participant.) "It's not WHAT was behind this, it's WHO: Daryl Zanuck!"

Zanuck, then head of Fox, had sent Fuller to the Amazon to scout locations. Armed with a 16mm camera and a rifle, Fuller shot a few scenes. The film would star John Wayne as a tigrero, or bounty hunter; Tyrone Power as a prisoner in a Rio jail; and Ava Gardner as Power's wife, who kills a guard to help him escape. She hires Wayne to get them through the Mato Grasso, but only the Indians know some of the shortcuts. The last part of the story is set on a disintegrating island in the Amazon. The husband won't risk his own life on the island for her. He gets killed anyway, and the tigrero also saves himself first. "I attack love!" Fuller exclaims proudly.

Zanuck had actually cancelled the project for the same reason that Gilliam's fell through: insurance problems. Fuller had given Zanuck footage of what he considered a place safe for shooting. "The insurance company wanted to work around it," Fuller, who died in 1997, says in the doc. "And they wanted $18 million to insure the three stars. Zanuck nixed it." The footage was not wasted: Some appears in other Fuller movies, like the protagonist's mad scene in "Shock Corridor" where he hallucinates a dance by village men in grass skirt.

According to Kaurismaki, who had moved from Finland to Brazil years earlier, his doc began by chance. Fuller told him over dinner in Paris that he still possessed amazing footage of men in grass skirts performing hunting dances in an isolated village, but did not remember where in the Amazon it was. "I told Sam and his wife, Christa, that the whole episode could make a nice film, and they agreed. A week later I received a package containing the footage Sam had shot in the jungle. I watched it with a Brazilian friend who is an expert on Indians, and he knew right away which tribe and which village. I visited this village of Karaja Indians with my friend and prepared the filming, then returned with Sam and Jim." Encroaching "civilization" had altered the tribe to its detriment since Fuller had first arrived.

"It was a very improvised and fast project where all of the pieces fell in place naturally," Kaurismaki adds. Why did he undertake it? "


I've used up my autos so would someone... Posted Image

#11 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 17 2003 - 02:18 AM

Argh. Can't believe I forgot this one: Krzysztof Kieslowski's Heaven (the first part of a proposed trilogy) for which he wrote the screenplay but never got the chance to film. Tom Tykwer eventually helmed the project with Cate Blanchett starring.

Any takers? Posted Image

#12 of 65 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted August 17 2003 - 09:46 AM

My next 2 Auto's

Avatar
Dir: James Cameron
Source material : AVATAR - original screenplay written by James Cameron.
Summary: "Possibly the most beautiful script I’ve ever read. So far Cameron has stuck to earth (well, he did travel off-planet in ALIENS) and we now get to see his vision of an exotic alien world. Where giant panther-like animals lope around the jungle. And a peaceful race of people are being harassed by the humans who have installed an army base there and plan to encroach on their land.
Cameron describes three epic battles here. If he can truly present this world, as described, and do exactly as he writes, I think it would be the pinnacle of the action genre. Cameron takes the time to develop a tender romance between a female alien and a human-alien hybrid. What happens and how it does (the people are fearful of him at first and later trust him as he proves himself) has been done innumerous times before, but it’s always Cameron’s striking landscape -- his dazzling visuals -- that make everything seem new." - Summary courtesy of Darwin Mayflower at screenwritersutopia.com


Dune
Dir: Alejandro Jodorowski
Source material: Dune by Frank Herbert
Summary: There were many attempts at making this sci-fi epic. The most impressive would've been Jodorowski's planned 3+ hour version filmed in 70mm. Conceptual artists included H.R. Giger, Jean Giraud a.k.a. Moebius, Dan O'Bannon & Chris Foss. Pre-production started in '75 so it's an interesting notion had this battled Star Wars at the Box-office.
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#13 of 65 OFFLINE   Bill J

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Posted August 17 2003 - 11:46 AM

Ghost Soldiers
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Cruise
Source Material: Based on Hampton Sides' book Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission. First draft of screenplay was written by Josh Friedman.
Summary:Ghost Soldiers is the name given to those who survived the Bataan Death March of World War II, and were held captive in a Japanese prison camp until ultimately being freed by Allied troops. From inhollywood.com

#14 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 17 2003 - 02:47 PM

Jim: good call on Jodorowski's Dune. I forgot about that one.

Here's a summary for Rendezvous With Rama:

An all-time science fiction classic, Rendezvous with Rama is also one of Clarke's best novels--it won the Campbell, Hugo, Jupiter, and Nebula Awards. A huge, mysterious, cylindrical object appears in space, swooping in toward the sun. The citizens of the solar system send a ship to investigate before the enigmatic craft, called Rama, disappears. The astronauts given the task of exploring the hollow cylindrical ship are able to decipher some, but definitely not all, of the extraterrestrial vehicle's puzzles. From the ubiquitous trilateral symmetry of its structures to its cylindrical sea and machine-island, Rama's secrets are strange evidence of an advanced civilization. But who, and where, are the Ramans, and what do they want with humans? Perhaps the answer lies with the busily working biots, or the sealed-off buildings, or the inaccessible "southern" half of the enormous cylinder. Rama's unsolved mysteries are tantalizing indeed.


Sorry about not posting that sooner - I thought everyone was familiar with the story. Posted Image


Here's another suggestion:

Werner Herzog's original version of Fitzcarraldo, starring Jason Robards and Mick Jagger. After 40% of the film was completed, Robards became seriously ill and was forced to leave the production. Then Jagger had to leave due to another commitment. Herzog had to start over from scratch with Klaus Kinski in the lead. Although the story would basically have been the same, I think the Robards/Jagger version would have been quite different. Some of the unused footage can be seen on the Anchor Bay Fitzcarraldo DVD.

#15 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 17 2003 - 03:18 PM

And yet another suggestion. Posted Image

David Lynch's Ronnie Rocket:

Quote:
"I've been writing it for ten years, since I finished Eraserhead. It's an absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence. It's about electricity."
"about a three-foot tall guy with red hair and physical problems, and about 60-cycle alternating current electricity."

"Its not really a violent film, but in some ways its completely abstract, like Eraserhead, I need to work with people on it who are not looking for a tremendous commercial return."

"It's the absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence...and...that's..that's..."
"Little Mike, Micheal Anderson will be Ronnie Rocket. And Ronnie Rocket is three and a half feet tall."

"I want to have time to go into that world and live in it for a while, and that costs money. I don't really want to have a normal eleven-week shooting schedule on Ronnie Rocket. I'd rather go with a smaller crew, and build the sets and live in them for a while."

"an American smokestack industrial thing - it has to do with coal and oil and electricity"

"It's an absurd comedy, the story of a midget with red hair and physical problems. It's the absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence. Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell will probably be in it. I don't think Kyle MacLachlan will be in Ronnie Rocket because he looks too normal for that film."

- David Lynch

#16 of 65 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted August 17 2003 - 07:16 PM

I don't think that footage is on the Fitzcarraldo DVD is it Steve, unless there's a easter egg? The footage is included in Herzog's documentary My Best Fiend, and also I believe in Les Blank's Burden Of Dreams.

Also Jim, Jodorowsky's Dune was going to have music by Pink Floyd!

Off hand the only one that comes to mind is The Coen Bros. To The White Sea with Brad Pitt. If memory serves he is a bomber pilot during WWII who crash lands in Japan or the Aleutians and doesn't speak the language so he is virtually silent. They couldn't find anyone to finance it.
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#17 of 65 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted August 17 2003 - 11:33 PM


Also Jim, Jodorowsky's Dune was going to have music by Pink Floyd!

Posted Image Would've fit the film perfectly. Posted Image

OK we have 16 films, I know I can think of at least a dozen more but I don't want to hog this tourney. I'll leave this open today to see what we get.

After that I'll give Steve unlimited auto's then I'll fill in the rest. Posted Image
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#18 of 65 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 18 2003 - 01:06 AM

Quote:
I don't think that footage is on the Fitzcarraldo DVD is it Steve

I stand corrected. Guess I saw that footage on one of the docs.

#19 of 65 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted August 20 2003 - 10:10 AM

Against my better judgment I'm going to start this up. As a huge film-geek I guess I'm just overly fascinated by these lost films.

I've managed to come up with another 48 projects which will bring the field up to 64.

Vote for the film that interests you more.


so without any further ado

ROUND 1

(Bracket 1)

The Blind Man
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: James Stewart
Source material: Original screenplay by Ernst Lehman (North By Northwest)
Summary: Blind since birth, a pianist (Stewart) receives a double cornea transplant. The first thing he wants to see is Disneyland. The story take place mostly in the theme park where Stewart discovers that he’s been given the eyes of a murdered man. Stewart attempts to hunt down the killer as the killer is trying to murder him.
Other trivia: Was planned to be made after Psycho. Walt Disney refused to cooperate after his disgust with Psycho.


vs.


Destino
Dir: Salvador Dali
Cast: Animation
Summary: A Walt Disney/Salvador Dali collaboration. Nuff said! Posted Image
Other trivia: Planned during the mid 40’s. Test footage was shot but this idea never fully formed into a cohesive structure.

---------------------------------------------------


(Bracket 2)

Dean Martin a.k.a. Dino
Dir: Martin Scorsese
Cast:Tom Hanks(Dean Martin), John Travolta(Sinatra), Hugh Grant(Peter Lawford), Adam Sandler(Joey Bishop), Jim Carrey(Jerry Lewis)
Source material: Original screenplay by Nicholas Pileggi (Goodfellas)
Summary: Take a guess!
Other trivia: Was planned to be made in the late 90’s. Fell apart because Scorsese couldn’t get his “dream cast”.

vs.

Napoleon
Dir: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Jack Nicholson(Napoleon)
Summary: Epic Bio of Napoleon. Kubrick planned expansive battle scenes & looked for a country to loan out their army.
Other trivia: Was planned right after 2001:ASO. Was a bit too ambitious & costly for UA who pulled the financing. A competing film Waterloo didn’t help either.
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#20 of 65 OFFLINE   Ric Bagoly

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Posted August 20 2003 - 11:33 AM

The Blind Man

Dean Martin-actually the title was to be simply Dino
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