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EXCLUSIVE: Development Updates on 30 High-Profile Projects That Will Probably Never Happen

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 4, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 4, 2011 |

News broke yesterday that there’s another short-list for a female role in Superman: Man of Steel that includes Alice Eve, Diane Kruger, and Rosamund Pike. The role is not for Lois Lane. In fact, there may be no Lois Lane at all in Man of Steel. As The Playlist wrote, “In fact, most of the names bandied about early on—Rachel McAdams, Jessica Biel, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis—don’t seem likely at this point.” Slashfilm also added that this new cast lists makes all the previous shortlist stories “moot.”

Moot? These shortlist stories just broke this week and last. The fuck? You mean to tell me, the trade news blogs spent a week discussing, analyzing, and breaking down something that didn’t even exist? (We did it, too). It was fun, and it gave us something to do for the week, but still. The hell? And I think some of these stories even broke in the major publications, like Deadline, THR, and Variety. Were they just making shit up?

That’s just more fuel for the fire, demonstrating the sham of the trade news beat. It’s also further proof that you shouldn’t take anything any of us says seriously until there’s a studio press release. You shouldn’t take those seriously, either, because they’re written by publicists, who have never met a hyperbolic adjective they didn’t love.

Take the movies seriously. The rest? It’s just fucking around.

It’s not just the seemingly made up stuff, either. There are a lot of movies that go into development that never, ever get made, and yet we spend a news cycle bitching and moaning about them. For every remake that goes into development, there’s 9,000 “raped my childhood” comments. But we can’t possibly know which ones will actually get the green light, and which ones will languish in development hell.

Anyway, after getting over my frustration, I called up the Hollywood Cog this morning, and we had a chat about a lot of projects that were announced, both here and elsewhere, that sent many of us and our readers into seizures, seizures we could have avoided if we had the benefit of hindsight and knew, as the Cog knows now, that most of these projects will never, ever get made.

So, I’m going to briefly go through 30 projects that have been announced, most of them in 2008 - 2010, and provide status updates (and these don’t even include the Arrested Development movie, Ghostbusters III or The Veronica Mars movie, none of which are likely). The truth is, most of these projects never went anywhere, may never go anywhere, and probably will never get made. Can we still hate the studios for considering them? Of course! It’s the American way. But we don’t really have to worry that they’ll see the light of day.

Flash Gordon: Still looking for a rewrite. No cast. Breck Eisner still attached to direct.

Risk: No writer, no director.

Scanners Remake: Three drafts, still needs another rewrite. No director attached.

Short Circuit Remake: Looks like Steve Carr may have left the project; the previous writers didn’t work out. Looking for another rewrite, may need another director.

The Fall Guy: No writer, no director.

The Viewmaster: Looking for a rewrite of Caleb Kane’s script. No director.

The Sims: Thee drafts so far, still working on the script. No director.

Clue: Gore Verbinski is still attached as director, but there’s still no script. There’s no writer attached at all.

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Johnny Depp is still technically attached, but there’s no writer, no director.

Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots: Wolfgang Peterson still attached to direct, but there’s no writer, and no movement on the project. I think we broke this one.

Terminator 5: Ha!

The Day of the Triffids: Sam Raimi is tenuously attached as director (and producer), but they’re already looking possibly for another director, and there’s no writer on the project.

Red Sonja: Simon West is the latest director to attach his name, but come on? Unless Conan the Barbarian is huge, this movie — which is looking for another screenwriter to replace David White — will never happen.

Baywatch: This movie is once again without a director, and looking for another rewrite, the 6th, I believe. Jeremy Garelick is no longer involved.

Popeye: Looking for a third writer, no director attached.

Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: No writer, no director.

Battlestar Gallactica: Bryan Singer still attached as director, but there’s still no script, and as of right now, no screenwriter attached.

Candy Land: Still looking for another rewrite, although Kevin Lima is still attached as director.

Full Metal Panic: No writer, no director. Not going to happen.

Monopoly: Ridley Scott is still attached to direct, but there have been two drafts already, and they’re looking for another, and they’re in no hurry to find that replacement.

Van Helsing Remake: This one is another of the 47 projects that Guillermo del Toro is producing (that Tom Cruise once considered), but it has no writer and no director, and is very unlikely to get either.

Where’s Waldo: Two drafts, and looking for another. Pete Segal is still attached.

War Machine: Mmmm. Maybe, but probably not. No writer, no director. Just an idea. We broke this one, which was later confirmed.

Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future: We actually broke the news that Sam Worthington was attached to this. He still is. But, they’re looking for a second writer, and there’s no director.

Don Quixote: We also broke this one, which has Joel Silver producing. But there’s still no writer and no director, and may never be.

The Neverending Story Remake: No writer, no director.

The Thin Man: It has Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall loosely attached, based largely on a conversation. But there’s no writer, and not a lot of momentum on the project.

Tom and Jerry: Looking for another rewrite. No director.

Wild Bunch Remake: Looking for another writer, still no director.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.