Best Movies Never Made

This link was sent to me by Rob Mills (

Best Movies Never Made by lukeprog
1. Stanley Kubrick's 'Napoleon' - No explanation necessary. Link

2. Orson Welles' 'Heart of Darkness' - Also no explanation necessary. Link

3. James Cameron's 'Avatar' - I just LOVE the idea of doing an epic alien love/war story entirely set on another planet. One day when I'm 'in,' I'm going to write a similar script that can be made on a smaller budget. Link

4. Alfred Hitchcock's 'Kaleidoscope' - Concerning a serial rapist and killer, this could have been Hitch's darkest movie. He also wanted to shoot the whole movie from the killer's POV. Great stuff, but of course it was too ugly and dark for its time, and studio brass turned it down. Link

5. 'Don Quixote' - A literary classic that is the curse of every director that tries to bring it to life. Orson Welles tried it, and failed. Gilliam tried it decades later - the resulting failure produced the documentary 'Lost in La Mancha'. It's a movie that defies its directors to be made. Link

6. Terry Gilliam's... Everything - Gilliam is an exciting and imaginative filmmaker. He's also been involved in more projects that failed to get the final green light than anyone I can think of. See the long list of really great projects that never quite made it: Link.

7. Carl Dreyer's 'Jesus' - I still hold that a decent & reasonably accurate account of one of the best stories ever told (whether you believe it's true or not) has not been filmed. But if anyone could've made an excellent and challenging spiritual drama, it would've been Dreyer. Link.

8. David Lean's 'Nostromo' - He was developing Joseph Conrad's epic Nostromo when he died in 1991. Could've been another Bridge on the River Kwai or Doctor Zhivago. Link.

9. Andrzej Munk's 'Passenger' - Andrzej Munk died during filming from a car crash. What survives of Munk's work is brilliant, what was 'filled in' to copmlete the film by Witold Lesiewicz is, well, not Munk's movie. Link

10. Lem Dobbs' 'Edward Ford' - A really, really great script. I can understand while certain other projects on this list didn't make it, but this one dumfounds me. Certainly this would have at least as big an audience as his other projects, like Kafka, Dark City, and The Limey? There's hope for this one yet. I have a copy of the script if you want to read it. Link

11. 'The Catcher in the Rye' - Several directors have been interested in developing an adaptation of this classic novel, but the author isn't too keen on the idea. Link

12. David Lynch's 'Ronny Rocket' - David Lynch's script for a followup to Eraserhead has floated around Hollywood for 20 years and never quite gotten the green light. Link

13. Ray Bradbury's 'The Dreamers' - A terrific novel and a terrific script for this promising supernatural thriller couldn't attract any Hollywood talent in 1958. Link

14. 'I am Legend' - Plenty of big-name actors have jumped on board with this kickass-sounding project, but the budget has always been the problem that sunk it. There's still hope for this one. Link

15. Disney's 'A Princess of Mars' - This would have been the first animated feature, before Snow White, had it not been scrapped. And back then, Disney was making really good movies. Link

16. Benjamin Christensen's 'The Saints and The Spirits' - Christensen intended, and began to shoot a trilogy of spiritual investigation films that began with the amazing Haxan, but the two followups were never realized due to a financial crisis.

17. Sergei Eisenstein's 'Que Viva Mexico' - The maker of the superb The Battleship Potemkin wanted to make a social history of Mexico, but couldn't get funding. Some footage was actually shot, and revealed the film's innovative approach, but his full vision was never realized. Link

18. James Cameron's 'Spider-Man' - Despite True Lies, I have faith that James Cameron's Spider-Man would have been far superior to what Raimi has given us. Link

19. 'Manhattan Ghost Story' - A really cool novel that was ripped off by the wildly popular The Sixth Sense. But, now, The Others was made, so why can't this one succeed, too? Link

20. Honorable Mention: Orson Welles' Batman - Orson Welles' vision of Batman was a dark, serious psycho-drama. Had it made it past the silly little casting disagreement that sunk it, it might have single-handedly brought a public popularity and respect for comics that has never existed, at a time when comic books were in their infancy. Link - This is a hoax!

Maybe we can add Megalopolis to this list. Rob would have added Walter Newman's 'Harrow Alley'.

As far as I know James Cameron is working on Avatar right now and will be out in 3D in 2009.


Anonymous said...

When I finish transcribing Harrow Alley to proper script format I'll send it to you so you can post it here.

Anonymous said...

I Am Legend has been made twice. Once with Charlton Heston (The Omega Man) and once with Vincent Price (The Last Man on Earth). The most recent version starring Will Smith will be out this December.

Anonymous said...

And the very first episode (maybe even the pilot) of The Twilight Zone featured a great Rod Serling script with Earl Holliman as an astronaut all alone - except there were no zombies and it's revealed in the twist-ending that he's actually been hallucinating in a flight simulator; but obviously "inspired" by the same theme.

Alternative Housing said...

I thought it was surreal that you posted a comment about Cameron's "Avatar" when you wrote screenplay yourself with the same name!

Mark said...

I certainly wouldn't have put my screenplay in the best movies never made category. I've never been able to lick that story properly.

I was talking to Rob last week and he asked me about my 'Avatar' screenplay. It got me to thinking about where the story went wrong but also about how I might be able to fix it.

I also am sad to mention that I always wanted to change the name. I used to think 'who would go to a film called Avatar?!?' I guess I got my answer.

Thanks for the comment.

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