50 Amazing Unmade Movies

Flamingos Forever

The Unmade Movie: John Waters wrote the screenplay to his proposed sequel to cult classic Pink Flamingos hoping to reunite the original cast. However star Divine - attempting to move into more serious roles - refused to reprise her iconic role as Babs Johnson, while the death of co-star Edith Massey in 1984 ended the project outright.

If They Made It Now: Waters is practically mainstream now, so this would be a very different beast to the days when the director opted for maximum outrage. Who knows? Maybe John Travolta (who played Divine's role in the musical remake of Hairspray ) might be tempted to drag up again?

Heavy Metal

The Unmade Movie: In 2008, it was announced that a dream team of directors - including James Cameron, David Fincher and Guillermo Del Toro - would be collaborating on a new compendium of animated shorts based on the cult magazine and its 1981 movie adaptation. It never happened.

If They Made It Now: Robert Rodriguez is still trying to get a version off the ground, although it's unclear whether he's looking at a solo gig or would involve his mates. Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino are probably waiting by the phones right now.


The Unmade Movie: Henri-Georges Clouzot, France's leading director of thrillers, had ambitious plans for his part-colour, part-black and white drama about a middle-aged hotelier's jealous love for his young wife. Then his key location (an artificial lake) was drained, the cast suffered heat exhaustion and the director had a heart attack.

If They Made It Now: Clouzot's footage found its way into 2009 documentary Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno , but there's mileage in a remake. We could see Sean Durkin ramping up the tension, and why not reunite him with the stars of Martha Marcy May Marlene , Elizabeth Olsen and John Hawkes.

Leningrad: The 900 Days

The Unmade Movie: Sergio Leone acquired funding to begin his dream project - a retelling of the siege of Leningrad from the viewpoint of an American trapped in the city - in 1989. He died two days before he was officially due to sign the contract.

If They Made It Now: Since the project was still in its infancy, only the broadest outline exists of Leone's intentions, but it sounds like a future Oscar-hog should anybody feel up to the challenge of Leone's vision.


The Unmade Movie: William Gibson's generation-defining cyberpunk novel was top of Hollywood's "must adapt" list for many years. Chris Cunningham - renowned for his weird music videos for the Aphex Twin - came closest, going as far as drafting a screenplay that drew a positive response from Gibson.

If They Made It Now: Cube director Vincenzo Natali is currently the favourite to get the film made, although it's a year since the most recent announcements regarding the project.

Divine Rapture

The Unmade Movie: It would have been one hell of a cast: Brando, Depp, John Hurt. But director Thom Eberhardt's Irish drama about a series of miracles faltered two weeks into shooting when it turned out the production company didn't actually have any money.

If They Made It Now: Jessica Chastain would be great casting for the central role originally played by Debra Winger, but the remake had better find a new location. The collapse of the original film virtually bankrupted the small town of Ballycotton, and Hollywood is now persona non grata.


The Unmade Movie: Robert Rodriguez spent several years trying to get a remake of the Jane Fonda sci-fi classic off the ground, only to flounder due to problems getting funding for his preferred star, Rose McGowan, and the director's unwillingness to shoot in Germany, the producers' favoured location.

If They Made It Now: Rodriguez has moved on, but Nicolas Winding Refn's name has been linked. With Ryan Gosling as Barbarella, presumably.


The Unmade Movie: Joseph Conrad's classic novel of corruption in the silver mining industry was set to become a David Lean epic starring Marlon Brando, Paul Scofield and Peter O'Toole. The director's death weeks before principal photography was due to start led to the project's collapse.

If They Made It Now: Colin Firth starred in a BBC mini-series in 1996, but we still fancy the idea of a big-screen version. Given that Ridley Scott borrowed the story's title for the name of the ship in Alien , he'd be a great choice of director, perhaps with long-time collaborator Russell Crowe in a starring role.

Peter Pan

The Unmade Movie: Audrey Hepburn as Peter. Laurence Olivier as Captain Hook. George Cukor directing. Rights owned by… oh. A bust-up between Disney (who owned the animation rights) and Great Ormond St Hospital (who owned all other rights after they were donated by J.M. Barrie) scuppered this proposed 1964 live-action version. Even Cukor sided with the hospital.

If They Made It Now: We don't need another version of Peter Pan . However, there'd be plenty of mileage in a dramatisation of the court case, with Tom Hanks reprising his role as Disney from Saving Mr Banks , and maybe David Strathairn as Cukor. Downside: no way would the Disney studio green-light it.

The Toon Platoon

The Unmade Movie: A sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit was always on the cards, but to date it has been scuppered by escalating costs, the difficulty of marketing traditional animation in the CG era and storytelling issues. The most interesting draft was this prequel set in WWII, with Roger parachuted behind enemy lines to rescue future wife Jessica from the Nazis.

If They Made It Now: Rewrite the story to remove Roger, and there's no reason why the story couldn't work as a stand-alone animated adventure. It'd be tricky to nail the tone - a kids' film about war - but in Pixar we trust. How about it, guys?