Best Films Never Made (listed by Director)

by HLMPartDeux | created - 25 Jul 2012 | updated - 31 Dec 2012 | Public

1. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

TITLE: Napoleon CAST:David Hemmings (Napoleon), Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Charlotte Rampling PLOT: Three-hour epic biopic of Napoleon’s entire life, from birth to death REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Three other Napoleon Related Films were released in 1971 and all 3 failed. That plus the high cost caused MGM to cancel it.

2. Roman Polanski

Director | Chinatown

Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...

TITLE: Chinatown Sequels: 'The Two Jakes' and 'Gittes vs. Gittes' CAST: Jack Nicholson PLOT: 'The Two Jakes' - Jake Gittes investigates adultery, murder and the money that comes from oil. 'Gittes vs. Gittes' - Jake Gittes near the end of his life investigates pollution and environmental destruction. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Polanski was convicted for sexual assault of a minor and fled the country. Years later, the Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne took over making the sequel but Jack Nicholson had him fired and with neither of the creative minds that made the original a success the sequel bombed and the third film never happened.

3. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Writer | La montaña sagrada

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 17, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La cravate...

TITLE: Dune CAST: Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali(Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV), Orson Welles(Baron Vladimir Harkonnen), David Carradine, Gloria Swanson, Geraldine Chaplin, Alain Delon, Hervé Villechaize, Brontis Jodorowsky(Paul Atreides) PLOT: 3-14 hour retelling of the novel in which the young heir to a desert planet holding the most precious resource in the universe (Spice) struggles against other forces trying to gain control of it. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Financial backing dried up during pre-production which had already meant a large part of the budget.

4. Terry Gilliam

Writer | Brazil

Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...

TITLE: The Man Who Killed Don Quioxte CAST: Jean Rochefort(Don Quioxte), Johnny Depp (Sancho Panza), Vanessa Paradis, Miranda Richardson, Christopher Eccleston, Bill Paterson, Rossy de Palma, Jonathan Pryce, Ian Holm, Eva Basteiro-Bertoli, and Peter Vaughan PLOT: An advertising executive, who finds himself unstuck in time, unwittingly travels between modern day London and 17th century La Mancha, where he participates in the adventures of Don Quixote, who mistakes him for Sancho Panza. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: All documented in the documentary film on the subject titled 'Lost in La Mancha' but in short lead actor Rochefort got a herniated Disc which meant he had to leave the film which was plagued by many weather difficulties beforehand.

5. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

TITLE: Heart of Darkness CAST:Orson Welles (Captain Marlow's voice) PLOT: Captain Marlow, an ivory trader, goes on a journey through the 3 levels of African wilderness on a journey to return another ivory trader, Colonel Kurtz to civilization. Adaptation told POV style through the eyes of Captain Marlow (literally) REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: When RKO saw the necessary budget, they backed off. You would think the wierdness of doing a POV style movie back in the 40s would be enough to turn them away but the POV style was used only a few years later in the film-noir 'Lady in the Lake'.

6. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

TITLE: My Best Friend's Birthday CAST: Craig Hamann(Mickey), Quentin Tarantino(Clarence) PLOT: Mickey is devastated when his girl leaves him on his birthday. Determined to cheer his best friend up, Clarence vows to show Mickey the best birthday ever. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: This was Intended to be Tarantino's first film, however the first batch of film was completely out of sync and a later reel was destroyed in a lab fire. Tarantino redirected his efforts towards acting and screenwriting and wrote True Romance the following year.

7. Jerry Lewis

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Jerry Lewis (born March 16, 1926) was an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter and film director. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis...

TITLE: The Day the Clown Cried CAST: Jerry Lewis, Harriet Andersson, Anton Diffring, Ulf Palme, Pierre Étaix, Tomas Bolme, Jonas Bergstrom, Bo Brundin, Lars Amble PLOT: A German circus clown is imprisoned in a Nazi Concentration Camp for political prisoners. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: The producer mishandled the money, and Lewis had to put his own money up to finish the film. Lewis tried to take the film away from him and the producer filed a lawsuit and kept the negative while Lewis took a rough cut of it. That producer and the screenwriters who were upset over the changes Lewis made to the script while filming have kept it from ever seeing the light of day.

8. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

TITLE: Kaleidoscope PLOT: A gay bodybuilder goes on a spree of raping and killing innocent women. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Hitchcock later felt that it may be too extreme and MCA thought the entire idea was abhorrent. Hitchcock would make his comeback instead with 'Frenzy' which contains some of the same thematic elements.

9. John Boorman

Producer | Excalibur

John Boorman attended Catholic school (Salesian Order) although his family was not, in fact, Roman Catholic. His first job was for a dry-cleaner. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. ...

TITLE: Lord of the Rings (Starring The Beatles) CAST: The Beatles: John Lennon(Gollum), Paul McCartney(Frodo), George Harrison (Gandolf), Ringo Starr(Sam) PLOT: All 3 Lord of the Rings books in one movie. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Screenplay was written and the Beatles were initially down because it was Lennon's idea. However, by the time the script was finished United Artists lost interest in the film(calling it too risky, costly, and not commercially viable) and the Beatles had broken up. However, United Artists did purchase the rights to make this version which enabled them to make Peter Jackson's version many many years later.

10. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

TITLE: Gangs of New York (Starring The Clash) CAST: The Clash (Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, Nicky Heddon) PLOT: Adaptation of the novel that details the rise and fall of immigrant gangs in New York prior to the domination of the mafia and Prohibition of the 1920s. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: His musical 'New York, New York' flopped, he couldn't figure out how to make the buildings look like 19th century New York style buildings, and studios would only spend big money on special effects blockbusters due to Star Wars' success.

11. George Sluizer

Director | Spoorloos

George Sluizer was born on June 25, 1932 in Paris, France. He was a director and producer, known for The Vanishing (1988), Dying to Go Home (1996) and The Stone Raft (2002). He died on September 20, 2014 in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands.

TITLE: Dark Blood CAST: River Phoenix(Boy), Jonathan Pryce, and Judy Davis PLOT: A youthful widower who lives as a hermit on a nuclear testing site in the desert, waiting for the end of the world while making dolls that he believes have magical powers, comes to the aid of a couple when their car breaks down near him. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: River Phoenix died of an overdose with 11 days of production left

12. George Cukor

Director | My Fair Lady

George Cukor was born on July 7, 1899 in Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as George Dewey Cukor. He is known for his work on My Fair Lady (1964), The Philadelphia Story (1940) and Les Girls (1957). He died on January 24, 1983 in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, California, USA.

TITLE: Something's Got To Give CAST: Marilyn Monroe(Ellen Arden), Dean Martin(Nick Arden), Cyd Charisse PLOT: Nick Arden thinks his wife Ellen is dead. Rather, he does until she turns up seven years later to find he’s just remarried. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Marilyn Monroe was frequently late and when she did show up she was too high and groggy from drugs to Act. Eventually she died from an overdose and the project was cancelled.

13. Harold Ramis

Writer | Ghost Busters

Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" ...

TITLE: Confederacy of dunces CAST: Jim Belushi(Ignatius J. Reilly), Richard Pryor PLOT: an educated but slothful 30-year-old man still living with his mother in the city's Uptown neighborhood, who, due to an incident early in the book, must set out to get a job. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Jim Belushi died during production. Belushi was later replaced by John Candy who also soon died. Candy was later replaced by Chris Farley who also soon died. (So you can see how soon might say its cursed).

14. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

TITLE: Leningrad CAST: Robert De Niro PLOT: During the Siege of Leningrad, an American war-photographer becomes trapped in Russia as the German Luftwaffe begin to bombard the city. He later falls in love with a Russian woman, and they struggle to not only survive the prolonged siege but also the secret police because relationships with foreigners are forbidden REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: 100 million was secured to finance the film but Leone died two days before he was to officially sign on.

15. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

TITLE: Megalopolis CAST: Nicolas Cage, Russell Crowe, Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, Parker Posey, Kevin Spacey PLOT: A genius city planner with the ability to stop time has turned New York into the center of a global economic and cultural empire, but is also threatened by conservative forces in politics, organized crime, and big business who are plotting his downfall. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN It features a New York that had recently been hit by a major disaster which was seen as insensitive by some at the time because of 9/11.

16. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

TITLE: Don Quixote CAST: Francisco Reiguera(Don Quixote), Akim Tamiroff(Sancho Panza), Patty McCormack(Dulcie), Orson Welles (Narrator/Himself) PLOT: A young girl meets Orson Welles who tells her the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza's classic adventures, she later meets then in the modern day and goes on new adventures with them. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Schedule restraints and financial woes. Some of the completed footage was later compiled into the film titled 'Don Quixote de Orson Welles'

17. Jack Cardiff

Director | Sons and Lovers

Almost universally considered one of the greatest cinematographers of all time, Jack Cardiff was also a notable director. He described his childhood as very happy and his parents as quite loving. They performed in music hall as comedians, so he grew up with the fun that came with their theatrical ...

TITLE: William Tell CAST: Errol Flynn(William Tell), Bruce Cabot, Waltraut Haas PLOT: An expert marksman battles the tyrannical Austrian empire in Switzerland and ends up a folk legend. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Errol Flynn was in dire need of a hit by 1953. He sank $500,000 of his own fortune into the film, securing further financing from an Italian nobleman, Count Fossataro. With a third of the film shot, it emerged that Fossataro was a fraud. Repo men appeared on set and cameras were auctioned to pay off the production’s debt.

18. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

TITLE: Ghost Soldiers CAST: Tom Cruise(Henry Mucci) PLOT: Set during WWII. US Army Rangers and Filipino Guerillas undertake a daring raid on a Japanese prison camp, holding American POWs who had survived the Bataan Death March. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Script was written but John Dahl's The Great Raid which covers the same subject matter beat them to the punch.

19. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

TITLE: Walt Disney's The Little Prince PLOT: A mix of live-action and animation, an adaptation of the novella in which a downed airplane pilot meets a boy prince from another planet. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Welles met with Walt Disney himself and didn't want to give over as much control over the project as Welles desired. Disney reportedly said "There's only room for one genius at this company".

20. Russ Meyer

Director | Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens

Russell Albion Meyer was born in San Leandro, California, to Lydia Lucinda (Hauck), a nurse, and William Arthur Meyer, a police officer, who divorced during his childhood. His parents were both of German descent. Meyer began winning prizes at 15 with his amateur films. He spent World War II in ...

TITLE: Who Killed Bambi?(Written by Roger Ebert) PLOT: Punk rock version of The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN:Only a day and a half into filming, 20th Century Fox yanked all funding for the project after taking the time to read the script and finding it too vulgar/shocking.

21. Mark Rydell

Director | On Golden Pond

Mark Rydell was born on March 23, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA as Mortimer H. Rydell. He is known for his work on On Golden Pond (1981), The Long Goodbye (1973) and James Dean (2001). He was previously married to Esther Jacobs and Joanne Linville.

TITLE: The White Hotel CAST: Barbara Streisand(Anna G.) PLOT: An opera singer who seeks out the services of Sigmund Freud in post-WWI Vienna. Haunted by hallucinatory dreams about a white hotel, she becomes Freud's famous case study Anna G. Together, they unlock the key to figuring out both her memories and premonitions of the future, which include the Holocaust. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: First Rydell dropped out (probably never wanted to do it anyway), Streisand then backed out being turned off by the overt sexual material in the book, then they tried to get Terrance Malick but he didnt accept the offer, then they had Bernardo Bertolluci but dropped out right before Last Emperor was about to win a bunch of Oscars, then they got David Lynch but he dropped out when his wife and intended lead actress in the film, Isabella Rosellini, left him.

22. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Kakushi-toride no san-akunin

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

TITLE: Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death PLOT: Adaptation of the short story in which A Prince invites other wealthy nobles to attend a masquerade ball in order to escape the red death plague. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN:Took too long to write the script. By the time he finished the Japanese Film Industry was mostly making cheap Godzilla-like movies and wouldn't support this kind of film. Kurosawa didn't get financing to make another film for years and had to go overseas for it. Given Kurosawa history of making excellent adaptations of classic literature, this could have been a great one

23. Christopher Nolan

Writer | The Prestige

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.


TITLE: Mr. Hughes CAST: Jim Carrey(Howard Hughes) PLOT:Life Story of Howard Hughes that focuses more on the latter period of his career, his seclusion, and descent into madness. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Martin Scorsese beat him to the punch by making 'The Aviator' first.

24. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...

TITLE: Rendezvous with Rama CAST: Morgan Freeman(Commander Bill Norton) PLOT: In the 22nd Century, a special team of experts are sent to investigate a mysterious alien spaceship in the shape of a 30-mile-long hollow cylinder that drifts into the Earth’s solar system. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Freeman suffered health problems after getting into a car crash. That plus the fact that the script wasn't finished and investors were already worried that the book was too intellectual to be financially successful, led the project to be trashed.

25. Roman Polanski

Director | Chinatown

Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...

TITLE: Pompeii CAST: Orlando Bloom, Scarlett Johanssen PLOT: Based on the novel by Robert Harris, this movie is a thriller about the race to survive the looming disaster of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient Italy. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: This was supposed to be Polanski's first foray into big budget special effects filmmaking but the studio was forced to put the project on hold for months due to a strike by the actor's guild. This delay caused Polanski to have scheduling conflicts with the start date of the movie he wanted to direct next, The Ghost Writer, so he decided to drop Pompeii and do Ghost Writer instead. Pompeii later fell into the hands of Ridley Scott but then he left the project and its now in the hands of Paul W.S. Anderson and being completely re-written by the writers behind Batman Forever.

26. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

TITLE:Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian PLOT: An adolescent runaway joins a gang of Scalp Hunters contracted to massacre Native Americans. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Script was written but the overwhelming amount of racial violence made him think it was unfilmable. Todd Field later came on but dropped it as well. James Franco later started work on it but things have been quiet as of now.

27. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

TITLE: The Other Side of the World CAST: John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich PLOT: An ageing director (Huston) embarks on an ambitious project. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: In his search for international backers, Welles wound up borrowing money from the brother-in-law of the Shah of Iran. It must have seemed like a smart move at the time, but the upshot was he lost his rights to work on the picture following 1979’s Islamic Revolution. The film became the property of the Ayatollah Khomeini who, hardly being renowned as a movie fan, declined to release the footage.

28. Josef von Sternberg

Director | The Devil Is a Woman

Josef von Sternberg split his childhood between Vienna and New York City. His father, a former soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, could not support his family in either city; Sternberg remembered him only as "an enormously strong man who often used his strength on me." Forced by poverty to drop ...

TITLE: I, Claudius CAST: Charles Laughton(Claudius), Flora Robson, Merle Oberon PLOT: In his twilight years, the Emperor Claudius (Laughton) reflects on a life lived in a Rome that was every bit as grand as it was deceitful. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Josef von Sternberg hated Charles Laughton. He became so desperate to quit the picture that, when Laughton’s co-star Merle Oberon received superficial wounds in a road accident, he exaggerated the injuries to producer Alexander Korda and walked out, forcing the studio to abandon the half-finished film.

29. Michael Cimino

Writer | The Deer Hunter

Michael Cimino studied architecture and dramatic arts; later he filmed advertisements and documentaries and also wrote scripts until the actor, producer and director Clint Eastwood gave him the opportunity to direct the thriller Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974). But his biggest success was The Deer...

TITLE: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead CAST: Kris Kristofferson PLOT: An individualistic young architect chooses to struggle in obscurity making modern architecture rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision to make more traditional work. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: He decided to make Heaven's Gate first (OOPS!), which is considered one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. He was excommunicated from Hollywood and now lives in Paris as a transvestite.

30. Bernardo Bertolucci

Writer | The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed La Commare Secca (...

TITLE: Red Harvest PLOT: Based on the novel, its a blood-soaked tale of an unscrupulous detective who pits two warring gangs against each other in a city ruled by corruption. It serves as both a hard-boiled detective story and a critique on American Capitalism. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: No Studio picked it up. The large amount of violence and subversive politics likely scared them off.

31. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

TITLE: Richard Preston's Crisis in the Hot Zone CAST: Robert Redford, Jodie Foster PLOT: The U.S. Government combats the spread of a deadly virus. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Studio had a screenwriter write a draft, then Scott had other writers write drafts which made everyone less and less satisfied. Foster dropped out not liking the way the story was going and then Redford dropped out right before production was going to start. The fact the an unofficial adaptation of the book called 'Outbreak' beat them to the punch was likely a factor as well.

32. George A. Romero

Writer | Land of the Dead

George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; by all indications, though, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 ,in New York City to Ann (Dvorsky) and Jorge Romero. His father was born in Spain and raised in Cuba, and...

TITLE: Stephen King's The Stand PLOT: After a contagion wides out 99.4% of life on the planet, two groups of survivors battle in a metaphorical final contest between good and evil. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Script was written, King approved, Romero agreed to direct, all was ready to go but WB backed out for whatever reason.

33. Bill Cosby

Actor | The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high...

TITLE: Al Young's Sitting Pretty CAST: Bill Cosby(Sittin Pretty) PLOT: Comedy/Drama about black life in the 70s told from the perspective of a down on his luck raconteur named Sittin Pretty. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Unknown.

34. Adam Rifkin

Writer | Dog Years

Adam Rifkin is a Writer/Director whose eclectic career ranges from broad family comedies to cult classics to dark and gritty dramas. Most recently, Rifkin Wrote and Directed THE LAST MOVIE STAR, a poignant drama starring Burt Reynolds, Ariel Winter and Chevy Chase. The critically acclaimed film ...

TITLE: Planet of the Apes PLOT: Called 'Spartacus with Apes', it is set 300 years after the first film, a descendant of Charlton Heston's character leads a human revolt after the Ape Empire which has reached its Roman Era type period. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Studio decided against it, a few years later Tim Burton would came onto the project with his version.

35. Neill Blomkamp

Director | District 9

Neill Blomkamp was born on September 17, 1979 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a director and writer, known for District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). He is married to Terri Tatchell. They have one child.

TITLE: Peter Jackson's Halo PLOT: Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced human super-soldier and his artificial intelligence companion Cortana lead humanity in a fight against a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Budget got too big and the studio couldn't convince Microsoft to compromise on their contract for $5 million upfront and 7.5% of theater revenue. Also, Investors also wouldn't give more money because Neill Blomkamp was a first time director and Peter Jackson wouldn't do it himself.

36. Roger Avary

Writer | Lucky Day

Award-winning filmmaker Roger Avary first began experimenting in Beta I video and 8mm film formats during the late 1970s. In 1983, his Super-8mm supernatural thriller The Worm Turns won Best Film from the Los Angeles Film Teachers Association Film Expo. He went on to attend the Pasadena Art Center ...

TITLE: The Sandman PLOT: Morpheus, The Ruler of the land of dreams is captured by a human seeking immortality, after escaping he struggles to rebuild his kingdom that has fallen into disarray in his absence. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Producers wanted a more action oriented superhero type flick. Avary disagreed and left.

37. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...

TITLE: Batman: Year One PLOT: After his parents murder, Bruce Wayne is adopted by an automechanic named Big Al who raises him on the streets. Bruce works in his shop while watching the comings and goings of hookers, johns, pimps and corrupt cops in the city. He eventually decides to wage a war on crime using a homemade costume and gadgets steadily working his way up from street crime to the criminal cope/politicians. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: WB let them develop it but probably didn't expect them to write an R-Rated Taxi Driver version of Batman. WB decided to stick to the Batman Year One source material and hired another young director to direct instead named Christopher Nolan.

38. Wolfgang Petersen

Director | Das Boot

This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies.

Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees....

TITLE: Batman vs. Superman CAST: Josh Harnett or Jude Law(Superman), Colin Farrell or Christian Bale(Batman) PLOT: Batman returns from retirement after his girlfriend Elizabeth is killed by the Joker, he fights Superman due to Superman saving Joker from a fatal beating but then after learning Luthor was behind the joker's actions, they team up to defeat both of them. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: A month before production WB decided to just make it a Superman-Solo Flick instead and thus due to liking a script that JJ Abrams wrote, that project later morphed into Superman Returns

39. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

TITLE: Superman Lives CAST: Nicolas Cage(Superman), Kevin Spacey(Lex Luthor), Jim Carrey or Tim Allen(Brainiac), Courtney Cox(Lois Lane), Chris Rock(Jimmy Olsen) PLOT: Brainiac teams up with Luthor and they block out the sun to weaken and then send the Doomsday creature to finally kill Superman. Superman is resurrected by a Kryptonian robot, The Eradicator and they team up to fight Brainiac and Luthor together. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: Tim Burton wanted to completely rewrite the script and when he did WB found it much too expensive. That in addition to clashes with producer Jon Peters led Burton to leave and WB to put it on hold.

40. Brett Ratner

Director | Red Dragon

Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood's most successful filmmakers. His diverse films resonate with audiences worldwide and, as director, his films have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. Brett began his career directing music videos before making his feature directorial debut at 26 years...

TITLE: Superman Flyby(Written By JJ Abrams) CAST: Josh Hartnett/Paul Walker/Ashton Kutcher(Superman), Christopher Walken(Perry White), Anthony Hopkins(Jor-El), Ralph Fiennes(Lex Luthor), Joel Edgerton(Kata-Zor) PLOT: The Planet Krypton is besieged by a civil war between Jor-El and his corrupt brother, Kata-Zor. Before Kata-Zor sentences Jor-El to prison, Jor-El launches his son Kal-El off planet for safety. Kal-El is adopted by the Kents and later forms a romance with Lois Lane at the Daily Planet who strives to expose a UFO-obssessed government official named Lex Luthor. Clark reveals himself to the world as Superman while tryiing to defeat Luthor which attracts the attention of Kata-Zor's son, Ty-Zor, on Krypton who along with three other Kryptonians come to earth to kill Superman. Superman is defeated and killed, and visits Jor-El (who committed suicide on Krypton while in prison) in Kryptonian heaven. Resurrected, he returns to Earth and defeats the four Kryptonians. REASON IT DIDN'T HAPPEN: JJ Abrams wrote the script. Ratner dropped out due to not being able to find the right Superman(and no actor wanting to do it because of having to sign on to sequels) and conflicts with Jon Peters the producer. McG was brought on but dropped when they got cold feet do to the budget and finally Bryan Singer came aboard with his economical version and thus 'Superman Returns' was made.

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