10 Great Movies You Will Never See Because of Development Hell

6. At the Mountains of Madness


At the Mountains of Madness is a horror novella written by H.P. Lovecraft which follows a group of explorers in Antarctica who find an ancient, alien city, and discover that the creatures who lived there were once the creators of all life. They also find six-foot tall blind penguins that serve as livestock. This bizarre and terrifying story had Guillermo del Torro written all over it.

Del Torro wrote a screenplay back in the 2000s but had trouble getting anyone to finance the project due to its dark nature. In 2010, Tom Cruise and James Cameron were attached to the project. In 2011, Del Torro was ready to film but Universal refused to greenlight the project until Del Torro would make the film PG-13. Del Torro insisted on an R-rating and Universal shut the project down. Typical Hollywood.


7. Rendezvous with Rama


Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most prolific science fiction writers of his generation, whose book 2001: A Space Odyssey became the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick’s most iconic film. The story of Clarke’s 1973 novel, Rendezvous with Rama centers on a group of space explorers who make the first contact with alien life after stumbling upon a remarkable interstellar spacecraft.

No one has fought for this film novel harder than Morgan Freeman, who was set to star in the film in 2003 with David Fincher directing, due to Freeman’s bad health at the time, it fell through. Fincher, of course, had proven himself capable of directing a massive sci-fi thriller after helming the third installment of the Alien franchise- which is not only a remarkable directorial debut but also an incredibly underrated film.

Unfortunately, though Freeman announced that he was still willing to do the film in 2013, in 2016 there has still not been any news on production.


8. Darren Aronofsky’s Batman


This may honestly be one of the strangest films stuck in development hell mostly because there is so little backstory available on this unmade Batman project that almost happened sometime after Batman and Robin and sometime before Batman Returns. Darren Aronofsky almost made a Batman movie- starring Clint Eastwood- that would have been based on Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel, Batman: Year One.

According to Frank Miller, Aronofsky had a much darker vision of Batman than he had, which is to be expected from the director of Requiem for a Dream. Miller said that he and Aronofsky were “wonderfully compensated” for the script they wrote together, but after an executive at Warner Bros. read it, he determined that the only sort of Batman movie he would approve of was one that he could take his kids to.

What is so disappointing about the non-existence of this movie is that the true reason that it was never made was because it wasn’t marketable- the more recent Batman films are hardly child-friendly, either, but they feature lots of potential for merchandising.

Aronofsky’s Batman wouldn’t produce any new toys because the Batmobile was just a tricked-out car, and Bruce Wayne turned his back on his lavish lifestyle to live in an abandoned part of the subway where he fought against a corrupt police force.

Obviously, this wasn’t very enticing to Warner Bros. executives. Without the cool toys, was he even Batman? Hollywood didn’t think so. This is mostly upsetting due to the fact that this movie would have been infinitely more interesting than Batman vs. Superman.


9. Triplets


The Twins sequel is yet another Ivan Reitman movie forced on hold by unknown Hollywood forces. The Twins sequel, aptly titled Triplets, has been in talks for years, but Reitman was actually never set to direct the film, according to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger also said that the sequel would also star Eddie Murphy as the estranged triplet the twins are introduced to after their mother dies.

Surprisingly, Murphy said that he loved the idea and that he and Danny DeVito laughed about it through the whole meal over which he first brought it up. The latest update was announced by Josh Gad who co-wrote the first draft of the script along with Ryan Dixon. Gad confirmed that the script was finished but Universal put it on hold. Gad also said that the film may see the light of day at some point but, at this point, it is unclear if Universal will ever greenlight the project.


10. Who Framed Roger Rabbit Sequel


Who Framed Roger Rabbit premiered in 1988 and it was a huge hit- so a sequel should have been in order, right? Apparently Robert Zemeckis has been toying with the idea of making a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit for years and even J.J. Abrams was even attached to the project at one point. Zemeckis said in 2012 that he had already written a script for the sequel and was just waiting for the executives at Disney to greenlight it.

Unfortunately, after Bob Hoskins passed away in 2014, a sequel for this movie is looking more and more unlikely. The live-action/animated cinematic hybrids that were popularized by Roger Rabbit and Space Jam may now simply be a thing of the past.

Author Bio: Alyssa Merwin is a writer, movie-lover, and amateur film critic from Los Angeles. She loves science-fiction, drama, and horror films but she is obsessed with the dark shadows, dangerous femme fatales, and cigarette-smoking, fedora-wearing leading men of film noir. If she could go back in time to any point in history, it would be the glamorous award ceremony for the 12th Academy Awards in 1940. You can find her work at alyssamerwin.com.