You've read about them endlessly here on Cinema Blend. You've heard promises from directors, cast, and beloved extras who sit home at night hoping for a walk on role. You've gone to sleep dreaming of the potential; fantasizing about space-suited warriors firing lasers, guitar gods rocking out on stage, or a kid just hanging out in a frozen banana stand. But they never happen. We're still waiting for the Arrested Development movie. Whatever happened to that Master & Commander sequel? Goddamn wouldn't it be cool if there was another Anchorman? Reality check: I love lamp. Also, these movies, they're never happening.
We've gotten our hopes up right along with you over the years, but though the people behind them might keep teasing us with endlessly unlikely possibilities, it's time to give up hope and apply some common sense to these endless rumors. This is their funeral, a way to say goodbye to all the great projects we've lusted after which we're pretty sure aren't going to happen, or if they do happen, they're never happening the way we all wanted them to. Beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly for these much beloved movie ideas as we predict they'll drift slowly off to their final resting place in development hell. If some day these movies claw their way back out of the abyss and actually happen, then we'll start getting excited again. Until then, this is our way of letting go.
Halo: The Movie
By 2005 Microsoft's Halo video game franchise had become so popular that it transcended hardcore gamers and its central character, the helmeted Master Chief, blasted his way into what seemed like pop culture immortality. People lined up hours in advance, in the middle of the night, just to get a copy of the sequel. And Microsoft, full of hubris, launched a bidding war to turn their mega-video game franchise into the biggest video game adapted movie ever made. They had a script, they had Peter Jackson producing hot off Lord of the Rings… and no one would give them any money. The project, which was massive in scope, was the fever dream of every fanboy for years, but eventually everyone gave up and went on to something else. Microsoft still remains upbeat about the possibility of making a Halo movie, but the truth is that five years later the franchise has lost its luster. People no longer line up at midnight for the new Halo release and if the movie does get made, which it almost certainly won't, it'll never be the grand project we all hoped for back in 2005. You deserved better Master Chief.
The Arrested Development Movie
Hardly a week passes without one of the Arrested Development cast promising that a movie version of the cancelled Fox television series about a dysfunctional family is on the verge of happening. There's even supposed to be a script. But it's been seven years and just as often as some Arrested Developmenter claims the movie is a lock there's another one who insists that it's a lost cause. Let's be real here. We're talking about a television show that was cancelled for low ratings. The odds of it being turned into a movie were always pretty slim but they get slimmer and slimmer with every year that passes. How would Arrested Development work as a movie anyway? No matter how much fans might want it, it's an idea that never made a whole lot of sense. At some point we all have to stand up and stop letting ourselves be jerked around by Jason Bateman or whoever it is that's most willing to predict an imminent start date for this vapor-movie as a way of getting their name in the headlines. Pick up an Arrested Development box set, join a Never Nude support group, and be happy with that instead.
Star Wars Episode VII
Though George Lucas seems to think otherwise, no one ever really wanted to know the backstory for any of his original trilogy Star Wars characters. We never wanted prequels, what we wanted was sequels. What we wanted was more of Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia, Lando, Admiral Ackbar, and yeah, even Wicket. Yub yub. Every couple of years someone teases the possibility of this finally happening in some form, and better yet there's already a perfect template out there detailing exactly how to do it right. Do yourself a favor and check out Timothy Zahn's sequel novels in which a character named Thrawn is an even bigger badass than Darth Vader was before Hayden Christensen ruined him. We want it, they keep teasing, it but it'll never happen. Instead we're probably going to get some horrible, sequel, comedic animated series (no really, detail here) or worse, Lucas will find a way to reshoot the original trilogy but replace Chewie with Jar Jar or something. The truth is even if it were to happen Lucas would only find some way to make it horrible. Abandon all hope. Return of the Jedi will never have a sequel, or at least not a sequel any real Star Wars fan will want to acknowledge.
Veronica Mars: The Movie
The cast and crew of Veronica Mars has been holding out hope for a movie since way back in 2007 when the show first went off the air, and every other month or so someone crawls out of the woodwork and stirs up fans by promising it's still a possibility. But it's not. Let's apply some common sense to this. A show from the CW network, a show which has been off the air for three years and never really had great ratings to begin with, is going to be turned into a movie? I mean, at least Arrested Development was on Fox. And even if they did turn it into a movie, how would it work? Kristen Bell is getting too old to play the youngish girl and doesn't the whole thing lose a lot of its appeal if she's just this normal chick who solves mysteries? Where's the hook? Not that it matters. The cast and crew may keep right on teasing us with empty promises of a movie, but common sense dictates that they're empty promises. After three years of making them, if this movie was happening it would already have happened. We have to move on. Kristen Bell has.
In 2004 it was Anchorman that really cemented Will Ferrell's status as a comedic god and the film quickly gained a dedicated following which went out into the world and signed up for classes in jazz flute. And what's more the movie seems to lend itself to sequels, the continuing adventures of a 70s news team out harassing women and murdering competing weathermen feels right. So it's no surprise that there's interest in a sequel, and the movie's cast has been more than happy to tease us with the possibility of one for what has now been six years. Only, it's not happening. Anchorman was only a minor success by box office standards and in the years since everyone in the cast has moved on to bigger and better things. Steve Carrell is now arguably an even bigger star than Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd is pretty in demand. There is no Anchorman 2 without all three of those names and finding a way to get them all back in one movie now seems not only impossible but prohibitively expensive. They'll keep teasing us with possibilities but we're applying some common sense to the proceedings to say it's not happening. Start hoping for Step-Brothers 2 instead.
I may, admittedly, be jumping the gun on this one. Any talk of a third Ghostbusters movie only really turned serious recently, when it appeared as though Bill Murray might finally wise up and agree to do it. But now Murray's back to sneering at the notion and Akyroyd sounds like he's getting pissed, and worse there's this whole director controversy in which Ivan Reitman won't let Sony make the movie unless he can direct it and Sony doesn't want to make it unless they can hire someone who hasn't spent the last decade making box office disasters. Worse there's a pretty good chance that if it does happen the old Ghostbusters will really only show up to introduce some hip, young, new replacement when really all we want is Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, and Egon Spengler. There are too many obstacles in the way of another Ghostbusters happening and worse there are too many reasons for it to end up being terrible if it does happen. Cross streams and send the endless Ghostbusters 3 rumors back to hell.
Jurassic Park 4
It's been pretty much all downhill for the Jurassic Park franchise since that fantastic first movie, but it doesn't matter. We all want more dinosaurs. A fourth entry in the franchise has been rumored on and off for most of the last decade, and those rumors have frequently been pretty crazy. At one point the film was even supposed to have machine-gun toting raptors. And though everyone from Steven Spielberg to Joe Johnston keeps promising it, they always seem only to promise it after touting some other project they're working on first. Jurassic Park sits around on a perpetual back burner and it's starting to seem like the only reason it's being mentioned at all is to get people's attention to promote some other project. It's a project that's already been declared dead at least a half a dozen times and maybe it's time we simply gave up and let it stay that way. It's ok. The original movie has actually held up really well and it's not like they're going to come up with something better anyway.
Kill Bill 3
Quentin Tarantino's big on promises, short on fulfillment. He's promised all sorts of movies which will never happen from a Pulp Fiction sequel focused on the Vega brothers to some sort of Western to Kill Bill 3. None of those movies seems really likely to happen, but in particular Kill Bil Vol. 3 seems increasingly unlikely. After all Uma Thurman isn't getting any younger and after watching Inglourious Basterds you just get the sense that Quentin has already mentally moved on to other things. He'll continue to talk a good game, but as with any Quentin project your default position should be utter disbelief until you see the trailer. In this case, it's a pretty safe bet to assume you'll never see the trailer. The Bride has had her revenge, and much as we all want more, we've no choice but to let her drive the Pussy Wagon off into the sunset.
Most Stuff Promised By Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino promises big projects which never seem to happen, but compared to him Robert Rodriguez is a volume shooter. The Troublemaker Studios filmmaker has more ideas than he has the will to do them and so barely a month seems to pass without Robert promising something cool which never shows up. Sure he's actually doing Machete but for every Machete there's a Jetsons movie, or a Red Sonja, or a Barbarella remake, or a Sin City 2 or a Nerverackers. For some reason, whenever it comes time for Rodriguez to actually make something we want to see, he always seems to bail out and make another awful Spy Kids movie or best case scenario he takes a producing credit and hands it off to some other, less talented director. The truth is, almost none of the stuff Robert Rodriguez promises is ever going to come true, and since most of it sounds sickeningly cool, the world's a poorer place for it. At least we're getting Machete.
Bubba Ho-Tep may never have been a hit exactly, but after its release in 2002 it quickly became one of those cult hits that everyone just had to share with their friends. Bruce Campbell was born to play an elderly Elvis and he's at his very best here fighting a soul-sucking mummy in his nursing home. The story didn't really seem to lend itself to a sequel but everyone involved started promising one almost immediately and more Bubba sounded so cool that we instantly got excited. They even came up with a premise in which Elvis would end up fighting vampires and a title which was Bubba Nosferatu. There may even be a completed script out there somewhere. But though every once in awhile someone pokes their head up and promises Nosferatu is about to get done, the truth is that it'll never happen. Worse if it does, it'll happen without Bruce Campbell. Keep right on promising Don Coscarelli, but we've stopped listening. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Ugly Betty: The Movie
Ugly Betty was a big deal its first season on network television, but whatever steam it had at the outset quickly vanished, and though it maintained an ardent group of fans the show never really had the cultural relevance it did at the start in those first fifteen minutes. After the show's cancellation a few weeks ago America Ferrara started hinting around at the possibility of a movie, but she's America Ferrara. She knows she'll never have another role as big as this one so she's milking it for all its worth. But it'll never happen. Even fans seemed to agree the show had run its course by the time it left TV and anything else they could do with it will probably be adequately covered by the next Sex and the City movie.
300: The Sequel
How do you make a sequel to a movie about three-hundred men dying? It's not like you can kill them again. The answer is: You don't. Zack Snyder has promised a follow-up to his wildly successful Spartan last-stand movie 300, but we can't see it happening. Sure Frank Miller is supposed to be writing a prequel comic in which the story of another battle is told. But there's really nothing out there that can possibly compare to the most famously desperate last stand in history. Making a movie about some other, bigger battle throws out everything which made 300 so great in the first place. It wasn't about massive armies colliding in yet another Hollywood CGI-fest. 300 worked because it took a relatively small group of men, put them in impossible circumstances, and then watched them play hero to the death. Any sequel will be something else entirely, inevitably it becomes just another sword and sandal war movie and we've already seen that. It was called Troy. Though Miller's still writing and promising, Snyder has moved on to other things, and in the interim Frank Miller has made The Spirit and proven himself a horrible filmmaker when left to his own devices. Hollywood will see clearly on this one and leave 300 as the lonely last stand it should be. Nothing else makes any sense.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure 3
Here's the thing: Bill & Ted 3 was never happening. Every now and then some journalist will inevitably ask Keanu Reeves about it and he'll invariably respond in a vague and mystical way which seems to indicate that he's building a phone booth in his Buddhist temple with the intention of letting Bill & Ted ride again… but he isn't. It isn't. You'll keep seeing stories about it but this is one movie without an ounce of truth behind it. There's no script, no producer, no one seriously exploring future Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure opportunities. Frankly, much as I love the original movie, for Keanu to return to that now would be kind of an embarrassment. He knows it and if he doesn't know it, someone close to him surely has the good sense to tell him. The headlines will continue and Keanu may keep teasing, but Bill & Ted's party has moved on to somewhere else. If it happens at all it'll only be as a horrible remake, and even that seems pretty far-fetched. Stop the rumors and be excellent to each other. San Dimas High School football rules!
Cloverfield existed in a specific place and time and captured something special among movie audiences. They've been promising a sequel to it since the first one debuted in early 2008, but the longer it takes the less likely it seems. Cloverfield just isn't the kind of movie that people keep caring about and interest wanes more with every passing day. Besides, how do you follow up a movie which revolved primarily on not showing you the monster? How many times can that gimmick really work? It was great once, but how do you do a real sequel to that? How do you keep inventing excuses to hide something the size of a skyscraper? You can't and you don't. At best Cloverfield is likely to turn into just another Godzilla movie and if they're doing that, then let's ditch the alien bug thingy and bring in the actual, you know, Godzilla. He has experience at this sort of thing. When it comes to stomping Tokyo flat, nobody does a better job than Japan's favorite giant lizard. Cloverfield 2 is still being promised but there's been so little actual movement in the two years since the original one that it feels like the moment has passed.
For years former inde-filmmaker Kevin Smith teased fans with the possibility of doing a science fiction movie, Smith style. He even had a teaser logo and a title for it: Ranger Danger. But then Zack and Miri failed and the director went into some sort of weird weed coma where he morphed into Andy Millman, Ricky Gervais' sad sack sellout character from Extras. Smith says he has the Ranger Danger script half completed but believes that he's changed so much since he started it that he's now incapable of or unwilling to complete it. Instead, he's making some sappy sounding hockey movie based on a pretty horrible Mitch Albom song, fighting with airlines, bullying film critics, and generally flushing the expectations of his fans down the toilet in pursuit of making movies more pleasing to the common man. Good luck with that sir, we wish you nothing but success, but it sure would have been awesome to see Ranger Danger. You'll be missed.
Indiana Jones 5
George Lucas claims to have yet another crazy idea for a new Indiana Jones movie and he seems to believe he'll talk Spielberg and Ford into doing it. But it took nearly twenty-years to get Indiana Jones 4 made and at that rate Harrison Ford will not only be too old to play the character I'm pretty sure he'll also be dead and in the grave. Worse, though the last movie made a lot of money, none of the people who paid to see it seemed particularly happy about it. Lucas is long past noticing when audiences hate what he's doing but surely Spielberg and Ford had to have noticed that “nuke the fridge” has replaced “jump the shark” in the newest edition of Miriam and Webster's. Lucas doesn't have better sense which might prevail and keep another Indiana from happening, but it only takes one of the Indy trifecta to keep a fifth movie from happening. Surely they can't all be completely senile. Indy has cracked his whip for the last time.