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50 Amazing Unmade Movies

Singing Out Loud

The Unmade Movie: A filmmaking dream team (director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman and composer Steven Sondheim) were set to collaborate on this original film musical - a meta-comedy about the making of a musical - in the 1990s, until Reiner lost interest.

If They Made It Now: Sondheim wrote several songs (two of which have since been released) so the material is certainly there. Baz Luhrmann, are you listening? Stop thinking about Alexander The Great and make this instead.

Alexander The Great

The Unmade Movie: Baz Luhrmann announced plans to make a biopic of the Macedonian king after Moulin Rouge - with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role - only to see Oliver Stone's much-derided rival project beat him into cinemas.

If They Made It Now: Luhrmann was reportedly thrown into depression by his failure to film Alexander's story, so maybe this one is best left alone.

The Vega Brothers

The Unmade Movie: Pulp Fiction 's John Travolta as Vincent. Reservoir Dogs ' Michael Madsen as Vic (aka Mr Blonde). Yes, they're brothers, and Quentin Tarantino hoped to make a spin-off.

If They Made It Now: Tarantino has vetoed the idea on the grounds that the film would have to be a prequel - given both characters died in their original outings - and the actors have aged too much. But why not recast? Given their shared musical heritage, Zac Efron might make a good, suitably leftfield choice to assume Travolta's role.

The Deep

The Unmade Movie: Orson Welles just couldn't catch a break. His adaptation of Charles Williams' Dead Calm - starring the director alongside Jeanne Moreau and Laurence Harvey - might have been his most commercial film in years. But his struggle to find funding meant he only filmed sporadically over several years, before Harvey's death left the film incomplete.

If They Made It Now: Check the source novel's title - Philip Noyce already resurrected the story of a couple bringing a psycho aboard their boat in his 1989 version starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane.

Batman: Year One

The Unmade Movie: Frank Miller's hit graphic novel about Bruce Wayne's early career behind the mask was mooted as a franchise reboot in the early Noughties, with Darren Aronofsky set to direct Miller's screenplay. Both moved on, by which time the project morphed into Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins .

If They Made It Now: They already did - DC released an animated version in 2011 with ex- O.C. star Benjamin McKenzie as Bruce Wayne and Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon.

Good Omens

The Unmade Movie: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's cult novel - a comic fantasy about an angel and demon living on Earth - has been in development hell for years. It probably didn't help that the writers' preferred director is Terry Gilliam, no stranger to stalled projects. Funding, inevitably, has been a series of false starts.

If They Made It Now: The latest rumour is that Gilliam's old Python colleague Terry Jones is trying to mount an adaptation for TV. That makes sense, although these days Jones is no more bankable than Gilliam, sadly.

I, Claudius

The Unmade Movie: Robert Graves' hit novel about sex and politics in Ancient Rome was still in the best-seller charts when Josef von Sternberg began filming an adaptation starring Charles Laughton as Claudius. However, when co-star Merle Oberon was injured in a car accident, the film was abandoned.

If They Made It Now: Graves' novel eventually found its way on TV screens in the superb 1976 BBC adaptation. Jim Sheridan was poised to make a new film version in 2008, until rights passed to HBO and BBC2, where a Rome -style series looks the best bet. Ben Whishaw would be a tremendous Claudius.

Ronnie Rocket

The Unmade Movie: David Lynch wrote his screenplay about a teenage dwarf with the ability to control electricity in the 1970s, and tried to get it made after just about every one of his films up to Twin Peaks only to find that financiers deemed it too weird.

If They Made It Now: Lynch hasn't directed a film since 2006's Inland Empire , but nor has he ever really given up on Ronnie Rocket . It's the sort of project so unique that it wouldn't matter when it was made, so long as somehow it does get made.

The Catcher In The Rye

The Unmade Movie: Possibly the most famous 'unmade' movie, in that just about everybody - from Billy Wilder to Steven Spielberg - tried and failed to convince J.D. Salinger to let them adapt his era-defining novel of teenage discontent. Arguably, animator Ralph Bakshi came closest: he wrote Salinger a letter explaining why he should be given the rights, only for the author to reply with a polite but firm, "No."

If They Made It Now: Salinger's estate still maintains a fierce 'zero tolerance' policy to protect the late author's wishes, but it hasn't stopped directors like Wes Anderson (in Rushmore ) and Burr Steers (in Igby Goes Down ) making Rye -lite homages.

The Aryan Papers

The Unmade Movie: Stanley Kubrick's interest in the Holocaust led to efforts to adapt Wartime Lies , a novel about a Jewish aunt and nephew in hiding from the Nazis. Johanna ter Steege and Joseph Mazzello were in the running to play the leads, until again the release of a similarly-themed film - in this case Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List - convinced him there was no need for the film.

If They Made It Now: Natalie Portman is the right age to play the aunt - how about reuniting her with Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky?