Hollywood's a tricky beast, and getting a movie made involves millions of people and bajillions of dollars. Or even pounds, occasionally. But it's still depressing when some of the coolest projects announced just don't seem to quite happen.
Especially when top bods are ploughing money into something like Ben Hur, which we totally could have told them wasn't a very good idea.
There are thousands of movies in development. Right now, there are in fact 28,413 movies listed on IMDb as "in development", and a lot of them are never going to see the light of day.
But these are the ones we really, really hope might get shuffled to the top of the pile again, simply because they clearly would've been awesome.
1. Neil Blomkamp's Alien
District 9 was exceptional, Chappie was cute and funny, and okay, Elysium wasn't very good. But Blomkamp is a director with flair and edge and his Alien movie just sounded really interesting.
There was talk of Newt and Hicks possibly making a return, Sigourney Weaver was well up for it, and the concept art just blew us away – but Alien: Covenant held things up, with Sir Ridley wanting his Prometheus sequel to come out first.
Now Blomkamp says the chances of it getting made at all are slim. Ah well, you never know, these things have a habit of reappearing.
It's ironic that arguably the most literate, grand and movie-like video game of all time has not made it to the big screen, while disposable tosh like House of the Dead and Doom gets farted out with glee by Uwe Boll and their ilk. The reason, as ever, is money and audience.
Pirates of the Caribbean's Gore Verbinski, who signed on as director – and who we reckon would have nailed the atmosphere of the underwater city of Rapture – reckoned the project was just eight weeks from shooting before it was canned.
"It was devastating," he told IGN. "Everyone wants to protect their IP – it started to smell a little funky. I think at the time there had been some expensive R-rated movies that hadn't worked out."
Based on right-wing pin-up Ayn Rand's weighty tome on the art of selfishness, Atlas Shrugged, BioShock is an unapologetically adult, cerebral take on a supposed utopia that goes very wrong when all restrictions on scientific progress are removed, reducing the population to thieves, murderers and drug addicts, so a PG-13 was never quite going to cut it.
And with the game's developer Irrational closing since, this one may now be swimming with the fishes forever.
3. Beetlejuice 2
We're a bit torn about this one. Beetlejuice is an absolute classic, one of our favourites of the '80s when Tim Burton was at his peak. It was greenlit in 2016, with a script by Seth Grahame-Smith, and Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton potentially attached. But it's all gone a bit quiet since last year.
Thing is (arguably), Burton hasn't made an actually good live-action movie since Sleepy Hollow, or maybe Sweeney Todd if we're being generous. And the last thing we want is Beetlejuice ruined. So: "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice," (but only if it's good) "Beetlejuice!"
4. The Crow
The original is gothic and sad but we really would like to see a remake. Trouble is, it's been through so many different hands we can't imagine ever seeing it come to life. Everyone and his dog has been attached to star, including Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Tom Hiddleston, Jack Huston, Luke Evans and, currently in the frame, Jason Momoa.
It's gone through its fair share of directors too, including F J Gutierrez, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and most recently Corin Hardy, who may or may not still be in. This one remains flapping about in the background.
5. Blood Meridian
Some say No Country for Old Men author Cormac McCarthy's bleak, brutal novel is unfilmable due to the unrelenting and extreme violence (it's about a teenage boy who joins a group of scalpers in the 1800s), but a few directors have had a crack.
Tommy Lee Jones was attached to direct at one point, later Ridley Scott was on board, and after that James Franco shot an extract starring Luke Perry and Dave Franco. Mercifully, the last version isn't happening. Most recently, Tye Sheridan and Vincent D'Onofrio were to play the leads – great casting, but not much use without a director.
6. Hancock 2
The first Hancock wasn't as well received as it could have been, probably because of its muddled second half, which took the cool anarchic principle of a drunk, careless, homeless superhero who annoys the city he lives in and made it into a convoluted love story about gods or something.
But that doesn't mean we couldn't still have a sequel, with Smith back in the beanie hat and all that Charlize Theron biz brushed under the carpet. Could be just what Smith needs.
This live-action manga adap has been in the works for yonks, and we're sort of glad earlier attempts didn't quite get off the ground, with actors including Ezra Miller, Robert Pattinson, Emile Hirsch, Paul Dano, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Charlie Hunnam, Toby Kebbell and Zac Efron considered for the role of Tetsuo.
Post-Ghost in the Shell, it's unlikely they'd make it with without Japanese actors (you'd hope), and the most recent director attached is Jordan Peele, who made the very much loved Get Out. Get in, we say.
8. At The Mountains of Madness
Pretty much the only story by go-to gothic writer HP Lovecraft that hasn't been turned into a film – although it's not for want of trying by beardy horror-master Guillermo Del Toro.
The Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director has spent in excess of ten years trying to adapt the bloody thing, with Tom Cruise, James Cameron, ILM and a $150m budget all attached at one point.
Alas, the fear of so much money being thrown at a bleak, R-rated horror about ancient tentacled beasts in 1930s Antarctica spooked a succession of studios including Warner Bros, Universal and Legendary Pictures – even before Ridley Scott's Prometheus did something similar and made a fortune. "I think the R-rating should be worn as a badge of merit in promoting this movie," declared Del Toro to deaf ears a good five years before Deadpool broke down the door.
So where's this horror classic at now? Over, as far as Del Toro is concerned. "We did over 300 pieces of art, we did storyboards, we did models, we had a whole presentation," he told Collider just this month. "One day, I'll show you everything we did. You will cry, you will go, 'Why?'"
9. Gremlins 3
Not a horrible, cynical, ruin-your-childhood redo but another scrappy instalment of the satirical creature franchise would be welcome. Star Zach Galligan has said a sequel (not a reboot) is in the works, and Gremlins writer Chris Columbus is keen.
For our money we want series director Joe Dante back along with all the black humour and the ickiness. Could still happen.
10. The Sandman
Neil Gaiman's spectacular graphic novel series – featuring the embodiments of Dream, Death, Destiny, Desire, Despair, Delirium and Destruction – is crying out for a movie adap and one has been in the works for years at Warner Bros.
Neil Gaiman has said he'd love Terry Gilliam to bring his strange existentialist, surrealist work to life, although Joseph Gordon-Levitt was attached for a time. He's now dropped out and everything's gone quiet. The last we heard is that it might be turned into a TV show. Which we 'spose is alright if that's all we can have.
Screw Beauty and the Beast (well okay, we really liked it), we can't stop thinking about how wonderful this proposed Disney adaptation from Guillermo del Toro might have been.
A dark update in stop-motion, we can picture it being a sort of nightmarish fantasy, Jan Svankmajer-style. It might still happen – although the fact that there's another Pinocchio optioned by Ron Howard with Robert Downey Jr attached may not bode well.
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