Time To Give Up: 11 Long-Anticipated Movies That Are Never Happening
We've all been there. You hear about a movie going into development, about a character or a subject you love, or with a director attached who's great, or with a star on board who is perfect for the role. It's the kind of movie you're dying to see and you anxiously await for the news on when it actually happens… until it doesn't. For every time there's a splashy announcement about a Hollywood studio optioning a book, hiring a screenwriter, or attaching an actor to a project, there are half a dozen equally big-deal movies that just fade away and never happen. Whether it's caused by clashing egos or budgets or lack of interest or some kind of change of heart, movies die on the vine all the time, leaving disappointed fans out there who were dying to see it happen.
Sometimes fans or even the filmmakers themselves will try to keep hope alive and drop hints about how the movies might happen, but at a certain point you just have to stop kidding yourselves. We've found 11 movies that were anticipating at one point for whatever reason, but with all the evidence in front of us, we have to conclude will never happen. Some of these movies still have writers attached or people still promising they'll happen, but we've decided we think otherwise. Come to terms with reality by checking out the list below of the highly anticipated movies it's finally time to give up on.
*Note: you may remember we did a similar piece two years ago, and some of our predictions turned out to be wrong-- Anchorman 2 and the 300 prequel are happening now. But hey, what's the fun in this if you don't make a few risky bets?
The first episode of Arrested Development aired on FOX on Nov. 2, 2003. And I’m pretty sure the first rumor regarding a potential Arrested Development movie hit the Internet on Nov. 3. OK, I’m exaggerating, but AD fans have been speculating (nay, praying) for a feature-length film for a long time now … and I’m going to bet that they’ll be waiting longer than they want. Oh, I know. Creator Mitch Hurwitz has been saying that the movie is coming, and a Netflix deal is in place for one more season of the TV program that could feed into the potential film. But during a recent Netflix event in Las Vegas, Hurwitz talked about releasing all 10 episodes of the new season at once … yet made no mention of the movie. At all. Maybe the show will be enough? Maybe it will be too hard to lock up everyone’s contracts for a film? Basically, I’ll believe there’s going to be an Arrested Development movie about 10 minutes after I’ve screened it, because until then, it’s all hopeful hearsay.
Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man has been in various stages of development for quite some time, mostly located in the area known as hell. Vertigo’s 10 part series follows Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand trying to prevent the apocalypse as the only cure to a mysterious plague. How are a goofy amateur magician and his pet monkey the cure to the end of the world? Well, they happen to be the only remaining mammals containing a Y chromosome, making Yorick the last man on Earth. Joined by Special Agent 355 and Dr. Alison Mann, the team tries to determine how these two ‘men’ managed to survive in hopes of saving our species from extinction.
Shia LaBeouf was set to star as Yorick with DJ Caruso directing a script by Carl Ellsworth, Jeff Vintar and Vaughan but that intended trilogy has been long abandoned. First Shia fell by the wayside and then DJ followed suit. Out of the ashes, Louis Leterrier suddenly spoke up about taking over the reins for an HBO-style miniseries but, of course, nothing has come of that either. Then crickets… until just last month when the writing duo of Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia began negotiations to adapt the comic series for New Line. Presumably, 'negotiations' with new writers means Y is back to square one and also one film. Well, that's if it ever happens. And I saY, naY. SorrY.
When 24 wrapped up its eighth and final season, Jack Bauer wasn't in the best shape. In fact, his final moments had him exhausted, grief-stricken and wanted by the government. It seems only fair to fans that Bauer have the opportunity for a comeback and a chance at some kind of conclusive ending for his story, for better or worse. What's more, aside from the 24-hour format of the show, the setting and the characters would likely translate nicely to a feature film, transforming the action-drama series into an action film that even non-viewers of the show could follow and enjoy. Who wouldn't want to see Jack Bauer fighting terrorism and kicking ass on the big screen? Unfortunately, the project keeps getting put off. Budgetary issues and scheduling conflicts appear to be the cause of the more recent delays, all while Sutherland is now starring in Fox's drama series Touch. Assuming the series gets a second season, that'll likely tighten his schedule, and who knows if things will ever line up right for this to happen. At this point, I'm not holding my breath that we'll be seeing Jack Bauer on the big screen anytime soon.
There is no other comic book character out there right now who needs his own movie more than Deadpool. After the disaster that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, people really need to recognize that the Merc With The Mouth is more than some hairless, veiny freak, but instead a cancer-stricken, amoral, hilarious lunatic outfitted with more guns, swords and weapons than you can count. The project already has the perfect star set with Ryan Reynolds, an interesting new director on board in Tim Miller and a well-reviewed script by Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, but, sadly, it’s never going to happen. When we spoke to producer Lauren Shuler Donner last year at a Blu-ray press event for X-Men: First Class, she told us that we’d know by the end of the year what was going to happen with the project. 2011 ended nearly four months ago. Add the fact that it will likely be an expensive movie to make (superhero film always are) and that it would have to be R-rated in order to stay true to the character and you can see why 20th Century Fox hasn’t be in any kind of rush to get Deadpool made.
David Fincher’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best selling The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, was very well received by critics (including both Katey and Eric) and received five Oscar nominations including one win. So, with all the resounding critical success, why has the plan for Fincher to shoot the sequels simultaneously only continued to crumble? Well, despite the ‘strong’ opening, the film was actually beginning a disappointing box office run. Even then, Sony remained committed to the sequels but, at that point, screenwriter Steven Zaillian had clearly only been brainstorming ideas, not a good sign for an ever approaching shoot requiring two polished screenplays. And then David Fincher’s involvement in The Millennium Trilogy also came into question.
Remember, this is still all within three weeks of release. You know what we’ve heard since? MGM declared it a modest loss, which almost assures no big salaries for Fincher or his creative team of DP Jeff Cronenweth, editors Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter and, of course, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. And don’t forget about Rooney Mara’s tight relationship with the director. She is the franchise and her captivating performance was born from her trusting relationship with the director. Finally, the second and third books are not only unbelievably boring but one long story, meaning you don’t do Fire without Hornet and Sony moving forward means financing not one but two films. I thought TGWTDT was great and even I don’t see any reason to return. Don’t think Sony will either.
Michael Ritchie’s Fletch is a very funny movie. The wise-cracking, overly confident newspaper reporter was a great part for a young Chevy Chase. Can’t we just leave it at that? Even the sequel Fletch Lives – which actually had Chase back in the lead role – sucked. Do we need to try and reboot a franchise that has been dormant since 1989? The answer might be “Yes,” though it’s probably “No.” Let me explain. Hollywood has been trying to get novelist Gregory McDonald’s character back on screen in the biggest way, and everyone from John Krasinski to Zach Braff has been rumored to be up for the part. Our favorite pairing would have had Kevin Smith directing Jason Lee in a Fletch reboot. Didn’t happen. Now, Hollywood won’t give up hope, and screenwriter David Mandel was hired by Warner in May 2011 to write a reboot treatment, so the wheels are spinning-- though we haven't heard anything about it since then. Will Fletch ever return to the big screen? It’s unlikely, though you are more than welcome to order a Bloody Mary a steak sandwich and a second steak sandwich while you wait. The Underhills will pay for it.
The tricky thing about bringing a TV show to the big screen - or in the case of Friday Night Lights, technically back to the big screen - is that all of the stars have to align for it to happen the right way. And by stars, of course I mean the main cast and Peter Berg. After all, do we even want a Friday Night Lights follow-up that isn't written and/or directed by Peter Berg, and starring Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Adrianne Palicki, Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemons, Michael B. Jordan, Aimee Teegarden, and some of the other leads from the series? It seems like all of the latest updates indicate that the cast does want to do a sequel, but intentions and enthusiasm are only part of what gets a movie made. Availability is obviously a key factor, and there are a lot of people that would need to be available at the same time for FNL to happen. We can hold out hope that things will work out ("Clear eyes, full hearts…"), but judging by the upcoming film projects for Kitsch, Chandler, Britton, and a possible starring role in a TV series for Teegarden, should The Selection get picked up by The CW, things really aren't looking good for a FNL film.
On May 4, Marvel's elaborate plan to unite its mightiest heroes in one sprawling adventure comes to fruition when The Avengers join forces on screen. It will be a banner day for Marvel … and a low point for DC Comics. Why? Because DC has its own version of The Avengers, of sorts, in The Justice League, and efforts to unite them for a big-screen adventure have hit countless roadblocks over the years. Though Batman is poised to dominate the summer season in The Dark Knight Rises, a Justice League film is a distant reality. It likely never will happen. The closest Hollywood came was when George Miller circled a potential project that would put Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman in the same film. Then, Green Lantern drastically underperformed. The last thing we heard was an unsubstantiated rumor that a Justice League will was being prepped for a 2015 release date, after Christopher Nolan wrapped his Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder had a crack at rebooting Superman. But far too much groundwork would have to be covered by DC if audiences were going to care about a Justice League reunion. Marvel started mapping out The Avengers in 2008 with the first Iron Man movie. I’m not saying audiences will never see a JLA movie. I just don’t see it happening in my lifetime.
For years Anchorman 2 was the comedy sequel that director Adam McKay and star Will Ferrell wanted to make, with throngs of fans clamoring to make it happen and jerky skeptics assuming it would never work. Then Anchorman 2 really did die when Paramount turned it down, but that got Adam McKay talking about focusing instead on a sequel to Step Brothers, the equally goofy comedy with Ferrell and John C. Reilly as dopey adults who suddenly become siblings. This time last year Ferrell also admitted that the three of them had gotten together to kick around ideas, all while admitting that Anchorman 2 was dead. Well, as you may have heard, Ron Burgundy's return is back on, and while McKay and company seem more than excited to finally get to make Anchorman 2, that almost definitely means the end of their backup plan of Step Brothers 2. Ferrell and McKay aren't just busy guys with other, original ideas calling their names, but neither have ever seemed all that fond of sequels. Even if Anchorman 2 becomes some huge hit and clears the way for a huge Step Brothers 2 budget, the main people behind it will almost definitely be ready to move on, leaving Dale and Brennan to make their own bunk beds only in our imaginations.
With many of her Justice League brethren scoring features of their own, a Wonder Woman movie seemed inevitable, and in 2005, it was off a good start with Joss Whedon penning an origin story script for Warner Bros. A flood of casting rumors followed that ranged from Lindsay Lohan to Eva Green and Katie Holmes. But somewhere in there Whedon was cut out of the picture. With a new script, came renewed frenzy; Beyonce wanted the coveted role, and McG aimed to direct. Thankfully this led nowhere. Then there was a lull on Wonder Woman talk until Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn declared he "has a plan" for a Wonder Woman movie that includes Christina Hendricks as the lead. So now the hopes for Wonder Woman rest on Refn's shoulders, but really he's only announced his interest. He doesn't have the box office prowess needed to draw Warner Bros' attention. And so, Wonder Woman is forced to wait for a filmmaker with bankability and an idea. Of course, The Avengers--which is already tracking to be a major blockbuster—could be Whedon's window to doing Wonder Woman the way he wants. But it's highly unlikely he'd want to tangle with Warner Bros. again.
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