Putting a film together is certainly no easy task. After securing the rights to a script, a studio doesn’t always start working on the film right away. There are many factors that influence how fast a film gets made after a script is bought, such as copyright issues, casting decisions, budgeting problems, or even in some cases the technology required to make the film is not invented, such as with Avatar which was stuck in development hell for almost 10 years. For those of you not familiar with the term, development hell is the the period during which a film is stuck in development. Today we will analyze 10 highly-promising films that have been or were at one point stuck in development hell.
Akira (Live Action)
According to several internet sources, Warner Bros. acquired the rights to produce a live action version of the highly acclaimed animated film Akira back in 2002, Ever since that announcement there have been an endless parade of names associated with the project including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leo DiCaprio, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michael Fassbender, Justing Timberlake and Keanu Reeves, however licensing issues and a disagreement over the cast have led to the production being shut down at least 4 times, most recently in January of 2012.
Back in 1990, Dan Akryod wrote a potential script for the third installment in the Ghostbusters franchise. The script apparently had the characters transported in some sort of parallel universe which made most of the actors involved in the original films become disenchanted with the franchise, apparently 3 out of the 4 Ghostbusters were convinced to be in the sequel by 2004 but Bill Murray was still not entirely convinced. At that point Ben Stiller was considered to replace Murray in the third installment but the project was once again stalled due to “a lack of interest and motivation” and the script was canned. A new script surfaced in early 2010 which was written by the writers of “The Office” and decided that they would shoot the sequel with or without Murray. When the script was sent to Murray he reportedly shredded it to pieces and returned it to Ramis and Aykroyd with a note reading: “No-one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts.” A third script is supposedly in the works.
Mad Max 4
Although Mad Max: Fury Road is now being produced it was stuck in development hell for around 25 years due to several issues ranging from the script to shooting locations as apparently the producers wanted the film the be shot in Namibia which represented a huge risk. With the outbreak of the Iraq War Mad Max 4 was abandoned and finally a few years later a script was secured to make the film, however due to the many scandals that Gibson has gone through lately they decided not to have him in the 4th installment and Tom Hardy will play Mad Max instead.
“Invisible Monsters” is a novel by Fight Club writer Chuck Palahniuk, the novel is about a model who gets her face blown off by a gunshot and how she comes to terms with her new disfigured identity as she embarks on a trip with a transvestite diva. Do not be mistaken, “Monsters” is a very powerful book which would make an excellent movie. A small independent studio called MacLaren Productions acquired the rights to the novel in 2009 and were supposed to start production in 2011 but not much has happened since. Some of the names associated with the project back then were Jessica Biel, Lady Gaga and Mila Kunis to play the role of the unnamed protagonist.
Jurassic Park 4
After the release of Jurassic Park III, Steven Spielberg was quoted as saying he was ready to produce a fourth installment, that JP3 director Joe Johnston would direct and that the script writing would be handled by William Monahan, a rough draft was submitted in mid-2003 but the script went through many rewrites which ended up delaying the film indefinitely. In 2010 Johnston revealed that JP4 would be the first installment of a second JP trilogy which would not include any of the original actors and that it would be considered a spinoff of the original trilogy. The old script was canned and a new script was to be written by “Rise of the planet of the apes” writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. JP4 is expected to be released in late 2014.
Not many details are out there regarding a possible adaptation of the massively popular video game “Halo”. Apparently a finished script is out there but disagreements over the distribution rights have sent this film into development hell and some of those involved in the project have claimed the project is “dead”, however executive producer Peter Jackson claims the film will eventually get made. Some of the names associated with the project include Ron Pearlman and Nick Jones Jr.
Rumors of a possible film adaptation to the cult series have been floating around the net ever since the show’s final episode. Back in 2008 Ron Howard was rumored to be in talks to direct the adaptation and that all of the original actors from the show would be interested in reprising their roles.
World War Z
Though no longer in development hell, the adaptation of the Max Brooks novel was stuck in development hell for more than 5 years after Plan B entertainment (The company owned by Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston) acquired the rights to the film, however the script did not entirely satisfy the producers and a second script was commissioned in 2009. The film was supposed to be released in early 2011 but due to many setbacks the date has been pushed back a couple of times. The film will finally be released on June 21, 2013 and it will star Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos.
Independence Day 2
Though the possibility of a sequel has been discussed even before the first installment was released, several issues have stopped this film from becoming a reality. Back in 2004 director Roland Emmerich and Producer Dean Devlin got together to try to come up with a script but ultimately they couldn’t “make it work” and they both abandoned the idea. In October 2009 Emmerich said he was ready to work on a sequel and was actually interested in doing a trilogy . On June 24, 2011 Devlin confirmed he and Emmerich found an idea for the sequels but Fox’s refusal to cover Will Smith’s salary of $50 Million US Dollars caused the production to be stopped again. In July 2012 Devlin confirmed that a sequel for ID4 was still in the works and that he would go on to make the film regardless of Smith’s involvement.
Sin City 2
Another film that is no longer in development hell, the sequel to Sin City was announced in 2005 by Robert Rodriguez and he claimed that the sequel would feature many of the same characters and that he wanted the film to be based on “A Dame To Kill For”. Due to scripting issues the production of the film was pushed back for more than 7 years. Angelina Jolie was at one point considered to play Ava, however she was replaced by Rachel Weisz in 2012.