Hollywood is the land of ideas and stories big enough to change pop culture forever. It’s also where larger-than-life dreams go to die. It takes a lot of perfect circumstances and moving parts to feed a film from concept to finish. Because of this, many phenomenal directors have seen their greatest ambitions never see the light of day.
Many of these movie ideas have been picked up by other directors or studios, but the original intent has long since disappeared. It’s just hard to forget certain actor-director duos, ideas, and concept art once you’ve heard directors talk about them so passionately.
At Guillermo del Toro’s The haunted mansion
Ryan Gosling made headlines in 2015 when he mentioned he was in talks to star in Disney’s revamp The haunted mansion. Guillermo del Toro was about to direct it, and the two had a great day at Disneyland together. The team seemed like an unbeatable combo.
Sadly, the movie completely fell apart over the years, breaking the hearts of fans. After the trip to Disneyland, no major news came out about it until 2019, when del Toro said he wasn’t sure the movie would ever happen. Del Toro would have been an incredible choice to bring the magical darkness of the ride to life. His foray into dark fantasy earned him numerous accolades, including Best Picture at the Oscars for The shape of water. Gosling’s acting abilities also reportedly brought a more serious tone to an otherwise goofy premise.
by Gore Verbinsky Bioshock
Bioshock is one of the most beloved sci-fi horror games in the world, and it still deserved an amazing director for an adaptation. Gore Verbinski is a master at making movies with stunning, chilling visuals and an eye for the weird. He made movies like the ring and A cure of well-beingthe last of which had the most Bioshock-esque style.
The film, however, never came to fruition, with Verbinski and Universal finger jointing heads on tone, note and budget. Verbinski was clear about what he planned to do with the adaptation and how to handle its mature themes and graphic imagery. In the late 2000s, there was a reluctance to spend so much money on anything R-rated. Verbinski refused to waste his time after he had already spoken to the game’s creator, Ken Levin. Despite some great concept art and brilliant action ideas from Verbinski, it’s almost certain no one will ever see his ambitious vision of Rapture.
by Neill Blomkamp Extraterrestrial
Neill Blomkamp is no stranger to existential alien films. He became known for his disturbing creature designs and grotesque body horror. This would have made him the ideal candidate for a new Extraterrestrial film.
Blomkamp was ready to lead a Extraterrestrial movie until Fox decided to go ahead with a Ridley Scott version that would continue the Prometheus story. A breath of fresh air might have saved the franchise, because Alien: Alliance failed horribly at the box office and with critics, and sent the franchise into limbo. Blomkamp’s vision was crushed by the studio and the situation even put him off working on properties based on other people’s IP addresses forever.
by Tim Burton superman lives
No other scrapped superhero movie bears more infamy than by Tim Burton superman lives. Burton and by Kevin Smith The Superman movie even achieved cult status that inspired a documentary titled Superman death lives.
The film’s production was plagued with all sorts of problems and the studio even squandered $30 million on it before Warner Bros. does not get cold feet and finally puts him to rest. Test images of Nicholas Cage in the Superman costume will live forever in the hearts of comic book fans.
by Ridley Scott blood meridian
blood meridian is an intensely violent story of the Old West set in Manifest Destiny in the United States. More a horror story than a western, Cormac McCarthy wrote about the gory adventures of a group of men on a mission to tame the wild country. The subject matter and its lack of narrative momentum made it particularly difficult for the filmmakers to bring it to life.
Many have wanted to adapt it, but no one could do it justice better than Ridley Scott. The story is often offensively vicious, but it stays true to the gruesome realities of the brutal Old West. Scott is well known for his bloodthirsty themes, but he’s talked a lot about how studios don’t want to make his version of it. He said the movie would be “an anti-western NC-17 movie,” which ensured it never saw the light of day.
by David Cronenberg Frankenstein
David Cronenberg is one of the masters of horror and has created its own genre by vividly exploring the disturbing convergence between the human body, science fiction and the subconscious. Frankenstein’s Monster is the perfect subject for what it does best, with themes of monstrosity and alienation.
In the 80s, fans almost got to see his version of Frankenstein. He planned to use most of the by Mary Shelley clever and sensitive ideas while making the monster more emotionally complex than previous versions. The project fell apart for unknown reasons, however, and Cronenberg left it behind.
by Baz Luhrmann Alexander The Great
Baz Luhrmann has a style unlike anyone else in Hollywood. His films are filled with flashiness, flamboyance and mayhem due to his highly choreographed and colorful way of directing. There’s no one else who combines pop culture and period pieces quite like him.
That’s why his version of an Alexander the Great movie would have been perfect. It never saw the light of day but thanks in part to by Olivier Stone, alexander, released around the same time. Stone’s version was already in development by the time Luhrmann wanted to make his own, which led to the project’s collapse.
by Steven Spielberg Robopocalype
Steven Spielberg directed some of the most iconic science fiction films in cinematic history. With movies like jurassic park and War of the Worldsyou could call him a bit of an expert on the subject.
During the rise of sci-fi entertainment in the early 2010s, Spielberg attached himself to a project called Robopocalype, an adaptation of the book of the same name. By 2012, Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway were attached to the film, distributors had been set up, and everything was looking good. The project collapsed in early 2013, despite Spielberg’s concerns about an underwhelming script and his boredom with blockbusters.
Nicolas Winding Refn’s Jekyll
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a classic gothic short story that tells the story of a highly respected scientist who dabbles in the dark side of science. The duality of man and repression are strong themes in the story, and who better to portray them than a director known for his elegantly haunting anti-heroes.
Refn would have been a perfect choice to bring Jekyll to the big screen, and he almost did it with the help of Keanu Reeves in 2009. Refn said he wanted the adaptation to be as realistic as possible and set in modern-day America. It would have been an interesting approach, but Refn abandoned the project to do Conduct In place.
by David Fincher 20000 Leagues Under the Sea
Few discontinued movies have a bigger fan base than by David Fincher version of 20000 Leagues Under the Sea. And for good reason, no film not made came so close to production before it fell apart, with Disney’s huge budget for the 3D version of it.
by Jules Verne the classic underwater adventure would have been a sight to behold on a budget like Disney’s. And Fincher is well known for his incredible cinematography, heavy moralistic themes, and wild imagination when adapting books. Imagining what a Fincher version of one of the greatest aquatic journeys would have looked like might bring you to tears.
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