(AOTN) Ever wonder what happened to several high profile projects that various well-known directors were said to be helming, but somehow have never seen the light of day? Many of these films were either “pet projects” for the directors or they ended up getting tied up in so many legal battles that eventually they were just scrapped or the director ended up simply walking away.
The wonderful folks over at IndieWire have complied a fantastic list compiling several of these films that have yet to see the light of day from directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow, Christopher Nolan and more!
First up is director Christopher Nolan’s rumored Howard Hughes biopic. In several interviews Nolan called the script for the film “the best he had ever written”, in fact, the film was even picked by Castle Rock in 2002 and actor Jim Carrey was attached to star. So, just where did things go wrong? It seems that director Martin Scorsese had a very similar idea and with Leonardo DiCaprio in the starring role, Scorsese made “The Aviator” based upon Hughes life, getting a jump on Nolan’s project before it even got fully off the ground. Nolan went on to then make “Batman Begins” and the rest is history. He never looked back at the failed Hughes project.
Next, we look at director Quentin Tarantino’s highly hyped “Killer Crow” project. The script is said to be mostly completed and taken from a section of his epic film “Inglorious Basterds” that had to be cut during the films editing process. According to Tarantino, the plot would follow a group of black soldiers who go on a revenge mission against the white officers who took advantage of them in the military. Given Tarantino’s reputation as a director it was sure to be both incredibly violent and bloody. He feels the script would need some more polishing to ever get off the ground, however according to IndieWire, he is only doing ten films before he retires which only leaves two movies left and one of those is rumored to be the story of the Charles Manson murders, so it appears that “Killer Crow” will most likely not see a release.
Director Kathryn Bigelow was rumored to be at the helm for an epic Joan of Arc film titled “Company Of Angels” and she was working with script writer Jay Cocks to bring the story together. Rumor has it that producer Luc Besson came on board to provide funding for the film, however he demanded that his girlfriend Milla Jovovich be cast in the lead, while Bigelow had her sights set on Claire Danes. The battle became so heated that Besson pulled his funding for the film and went on to make his own version of the Joan of Arc story with Jovovich with 1999’s “The Messenger: The Story Of Joan of Arc”. Bigelow was further infuriated and ended up suing Besson claiming that he used part of her script in his own project. The pair settled and she completely walked away from the project.
For awhile director Spike Lee was plugging his idea for “Save Us Joe Louis” which was said to be a drama film about the rivalry between the African-American boxer and German fighter Max Schmelling that took place just before World War II. Lee was attached to direct in 2001 and it was announced in 2006 that Terrance Howard would star in the film, however there has been no word on the film since that time. Could it still be made? It is a possibility, but thus far it has been radio silence.
Director Sophia Coppola was said to be working on a live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid”, however Coppola’s ideas for the film were much bigger than her budget would allow and the film idea ended up being scrapped. Coppola’s version of the film was said to be a lot darker and follow more of the story line from the original Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. Much of the film was supposed to be filmed under water and Chloe Grace Mortez was attached at one point to play Ariel. There has been no updates on the status of the film since 2005.
“Where The Wild Things Are” director Spike Jonze was rumored to be adapting another children’s book “Harold And The Purple Crayon” IndieWire states, “Jonze had been meeting with “Wild Things” author Maurice Sendak, who considered Johnson a mentor, and he spent a year developing the movie and the ways in which he could blend live-action photography and animation in a believable way.” The project was eventually dropped by Tristar because they felt the short version of the film they had seen was too risky to bring in any type of financial gain.
A passion project for director Guillermo del Toro was “At The Moutains Of Madness” which has yet to get off the ground. del Toro created a script for the H.P. Lovecraft story with Matthew Robbins back in 2006, however Warner Bros. decided not to endorse the project because it had too large of a budget and did not feature a love story or a happy ending. After Warner Bros. rejected the film, del Toro took it to Universal where James Cameron was said to be directing and Tom Cruise would star, however because of the film’s R-rating the studio opted to not follow through on the project leaving it without a home yet again.
Other notable mentions are David Lynch’s follow-up to his infamous “Eraserhead” with “Rocket Rocket” which has never come to fruition, Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of “Flicker” and Martin Scorsese’s failed Dean Martin bio pic titled “Dino” that was scrapped due to budget and timing battles.
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