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9 Movies We Wish They'd Hurry Up and Make

What's taking them so long?

By Joe Oesterle     September 23, 2010


9 Movies We Wish They'd Hurry Up and Make
© Bob Trate

 

Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re getting antsy to see that one movie you were promised would already be out by now. Yes, we’re aware you’re more than willing to buy the tee shirt, pay 5 bucks extra to see it in 3D and you’ll even see it with that creepy guy you kind of hang around with, because he’s always willing to let you cut in line after he’s camped out in front of the theater for the week.
 
Don’t forget however, for every Avatar there are plenty of Land of the Lost’s, Superman Returns and Terminator Salvations. The lesson here? Often times these movies are best left as “what-if’s” rather than “shouldn’t-have-beens.”
 
We know of course our cautionary tales aren’t going to stop your cravings, so, for better or worse, here’s the scoop on the progress (or lack thereof) of 9 Movies We Wish They’d Hurry Up and Make.
 
 
 
9. SANDMAN

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

  
Since 1989 this Neil Gaiman comic book creation has been revered by critics and fan boys alike. Even two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Norman Mailer, hailed the work as a “comic book for intellectuals," but still Hollywood hasn’t pulled the trigger on this apparent no-brainer.
 
Gaiman himself is on the record saying, “I'd rather see no 'Sandman' movie than a bad 'Sandman' movie made… I think the time of a good 'Sandman' movie is getting closer.” Hopefully someday this fanciful dream will be turned into celluloid reality.
  
 
8. MADMAN

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
Reanimating the dead would seem to be an easier pursuit than making the MADMAN movie. After a number of starts and stops, it would appear that with all of Frank Einstein’s psionic abilities even he can’t get a clear read on when this project might ever get off the ground.
 
Perhaps the Mr. Monstadt has now become a big-time Tinseltown power broker. He may not have a lot of experience in making films, but the guy is certainly evil enough to make it big in Hollywood.
 
 
 
7. VOLTRON

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
When the Transformers movies got the green light, Voltron fans felt it was only a matter of time before Commander Keith Kogane would cook up some brilliant tactical plan to land Lion Voltron Force on the big screen as well. While all hope is not lost, the earliest we can expect these parts to come together (ha, get it, parts coming together) would be summer of 2013.
 
 
 
6. ROBOTECH

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
With a bona fide super hero like your friendly neighborhood Tobey Maguire behind this project it would seem like a done deal, and yet even the combined might of the silver screen’s Spidey, plus Lawrence Kasdan, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, this movie has been plagued with bad luck followed by worse luck.
 
It now looks like the chances of this film ever getting made are less likely than discovering Protoculture in your cereal cabinet.
 
 
 
5. JAMES BOND

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
It’s not as if there’s a lack of public awareness about Ian Flemming’s dashing but lethal super spy. Couple that with the public and critical acclaim of the latest charming European to prefer his martini a very particular way, and it would seem the James Bond franchise is a license to not only kill, but to print money.
 
Money of course is something MGM isn’t exactly flush with these days. Rumored to be close to 4 billion dollars in debt, the storied studio is having problems raising the funds for what would likely (based on the previous two Bond flicks) conservatively pull in 500 million in US currency. Not even Goldfinger can sneeze at that kind of cash.
 
 
 
4. BATTLE OF THE PLANETS

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
There seems to be a glut of Americanized Anime-turned live action CGI blockbusters stuck in the works on the desks of every little boy who grew up in the 80’s and became a powerful movie mogul.
 
Sadly, Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop, and Tiny don’t seem to have the necessary G-Force required to propel this visually unique Japanese answer to the Star Wars phenomenon from the laptops of would-be writers to an Earthbound movie theater. Somewhere the Luminous One’s head is chortling a maleficent chortle.
 
 
 
3. THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
You’ve got to assume that by this point Terry Gilliam is not just seeing dragons in windmills, but he also must be imaging Banshees in his briefcase, Centaurs in his cell phone, and a Succubus in his Subaru. If ever a film didn’t want to be made, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is that film.
 
Flash floods, fighter jets and herniated discs cursed the film back in 2000, despite the fact that lead actor, Jean Rochefort, spent 7 months learning the English language. That comedy of errors led to Gilliam to shut down the movie and release the 2002 documentary based on the legendary mishaps, Lost in La Mancha.
 More recently, after signing Robert Duval and Ewan McGregor, Gilliam jumped back into the saddle to take another stab at the project, only to have the finances collapse. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote may very well claim the life of Terry Gilliam if he doesn’t take cosmic hint.
 
 
 
2. KINGDOM COME

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
This is a movie that begs to be made. Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s vision of a superhuman apocalypse already reads like a modern day Cecil B. DeMille widescreen epic. While the thought of tackling such an enormous undertaking in live action seems too costly to touch, Hollywood would be wise to take a tip from Robert Zemeckis’ “performance capture fantasy film,” Beowulf.
 
Pulling in two hundred million dollars worldwide is pretty good business for a movie based on an 8th century Anglo Saxon poem. Imagine how much loot a bunch of well-known, muscle bound, spandex-wearing superheroes could take in when all is said and done. Unfortunately, there is no real movement to flesh out Ross’s brilliant brush strokes for the cinema at this time.
 
 
 
1. THE HOBBIT

Great Movies Stalling in Hollywood

 
By Gandalf’s beard, it looks as though The Hobbit may start shooting very soon. After toiling away on the assignment for some time, MGM’s financial woes caused Guillermo Del Toro to walk away from the film, but if Spyglass Entertainment is able to craft a deal to buy out the studio, it looks like a certain group of tiny residents will once again feel the warmth of Middle Earth between their disproportionately large and hairy feet.
 
While many Tolkienites were optimistically curious to see Del Toro’s vision of Bilbo’s quest, most agree bringing Peter Jackson back onboard is not at all “Tookish,” and is actually the common sense move. 
 
 
Joe Oesterle’s latest book, “Weird Hollywood” hits book stores Oct 5. It’s full of urban legends, Hollywood ghosts, roadside attractions, celebrity interviews and he got to sit in the Adam West Batmobile. Follow the book on Twitter: http://twitter.com/WeirdHollywood
 
And if you live in the Los Angeles area, write him at Joe@JoeArtistWriter.com for book signing events.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 53
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3rdSBS6 9/23/2010 12:48:22 AM

Nice article Joe.

I would really like to see the Foundation series touched by the magic of film. It would be interesting to see a screenwriter and director's take on predicting the future by mathematical engineering. One of my favorite series of books.

karas1 9/23/2010 1:18:37 AM

Or Harlan Ellison's I Robot script.  Then we could wash the taste of the Will Smith version out of our mouths with something Asimov would have approved of.

mortellan 9/23/2010 2:08:46 AM

That hobbit graphic cracks me up.

marcd30319 9/23/2010 3:50:33 AM

10.  Doc Savage

The ancestor for all modern superheroes, Doc Savage deserves a new movie to supplant the 1975 George Pal mis-fire.

Speaking of Harlan Ellision...

11.  Demon with the Glass Hand

Either a remake or reboot.  Sadly, Robert Culp is no longer with us, but how about Jon Hamm as the ageless man?

 

Dazzler 9/23/2010 4:54:56 AM

Another non news story? 

jdiggitty 9/23/2010 5:06:07 AM

They are making Foundation.

 

In 3D.

 

 

By Roland Emmerich.

Roqueja 9/23/2010 5:17:28 AM

I would also love to see adaptations of Bone, Y - The Last Man and Elfquest.  And Secret Wars while I'm wishing for everything else.

fenngibbon 9/23/2010 5:22:07 AM

 I've thought for a while now that it would be neat to see a movie version of the Kim Newman book Anno Dracula, though I fear that too much fiddling with the source material might turn it into another Leage of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the movie).

I'd also love to see some sort of adaptation of Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series, though I suspect  the best way to handle that would be as a series with a set 4 year limit (each season covering one of the books).  It would be quite an undertaking, but c'mon:  alien lizard people invading Earth smack dab in the middle of World War Two?  How can you resist?

If the CGI required for that would be too much, I'd nominate the Axis of Time novels as an alternative:  a multinational military task force from the year 2021 is thrown back in time to the year 1942.  They'd have to make some changes (given the name of the aircraft carrier, the author must have assumed Hillary Clinton was going to be elected in 2008), but just the scene of Himmler complaining about the Windows OS or Stalin screaming "Don't you quote old Wikipedia articles at me!" (both of which occur in the books), would make it worth it.  

ZurEnArrh 9/23/2010 5:27:43 AM

I'd say Superman Returns, Terminator Salvation and Land of the Lost were all more tolerable than Avatar.

tiredjay 9/23/2010 5:31:45 AM

@Karas1

Considering that "I, Robot" was a title that the publisher slapped on a collection of Asimov stories against his wishes, I really don't think Asimov would approve of anything with that title on it.   The "I, Robot" that everybody attributes to Asimov, and inspired the movie, was actually written by Eando Binder and was filmed as an episode of the original Outer Limits.

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