08 August 2010

The No Good, The Really Bad and the Butt Ugly -- Movies That (Thank God) Haven't Been Made (So Far)

On a recent trip to Hollywood (I was asked by some bigwigs for advice on a few forthcoming films) I happened upon a box filled with rejected movie proposals. Some of these had actually been in development before being scraped and for each a script had been written. These ideas ranged from the pathetic to the apocalyptic. It's amazing to realize that for all the garbage that comes out of Hollywood, audiences are not subjected to every lame brained notion that comes down the pike.

Here is a sampling of what I found.

The 8th Seal. A sequel to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957) in which Max von Sydow's character is re-animated. He challenges death to a re-match only this time instead of chess they play chutes and ladders.

Dictionary the Movie. Steven Seagal had already signed on to play the Letter B and Beyonce was reportedly interested in playing U. This was to be an epic length special effect laden extravaganza, perhaps divided into three or four films released each year -- always in time for the holidays.

Catcher in the Rye. This treatment of J.D. Salinger's iconic novel would have starred Zac Efron as Holden Caulfield and featuring Cameron Diaz as a prostitute with a heart of gold. To lure a wider audience there would have been some action scenes in which Caulfield actually caught things while in the rye.

Schindler's List the Musical. Stephen Sondheim had started writing some of the songs for this lighter look at the Holocaust. Instead of killing, the Nazis would have poked their Jewish captives with some good natured jibes.

Benjie H. A biopic of America's 23rd president with Danny DeVito in the title role. Though the film would have spanned Harrison's entire life it would have focused on his presidency, particularly with regards to the McKinley Tariff.

Password, the Movie. Based on the long running and highly popular game show. Password the film would have been on behind-the-scenes look at the production of the show, particularly on the selection of the words used. In a controversial casting decision, Sidney Poitier was to play the show's host Allen Ludden with Rita Moreno as his wife, Betty White.

Streetcar Two, Blanche is Back. Although this was going to be a feature length film it was really a set up for what was hoped would be a long running TV sitcom capitalizing on the popularity of the Tennessee Williams play and the Eliza Kazan film of 1951. Blanche DuBois would return after a short stay in the mental institution a "cured" woman. She'd be back with the Kowalskis and this time her character would "be up to all manner of madcap antics" often helping Stanley with crazy get-rich-quick schemes. A wacky neighbor would also have been introduced into the cast.

Superman Undergoes Analysis. The world's most famous super hero admits that the strain of saving the world and maintaining a dual identity are mentally taxing. Enter Bob Newhart as a helpful psychologist (reprising the role of Dr. Robert Hartley from his long running hit CBS sitcom The Bob Newhart Show). It would be a psychological thriller!

No Country For Old Men Part 2. This follow up to the 2007 Best Picture Winner would have begun with Tommy Lee Jones getting over his latest dream, coming out of retirement and meeting Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh for a final showdown. Guns a blazin' an obvious conclusion would have been reached and less sophisticated movie goers would have been happy at last.

A series of sequels to Rocky. This totally insane idea was to take Sylvester Stallone Best Picture winning film, Rocky (1976) and create a series of sequels. One of these would even include him fighting against a great Soviet boxer.....wait a second, I'm being told that these films were actually made! Oh my. Next you'll be telling me that they actually made a movie in which Robert Downey Jr. played Sherlock Holmes as an action hero...what?  They did! Jesus wept.


Armen Karaoghlanian said...

This is why your blog is the best blog, ever.

Richard Hourula said...


kate gabrielle said...

I have to second the first comment.

And The Catcher in the Rye one? Priceless.