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     Anime and Manga adaptations 
  • The live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion movie was originally announced in 2003 by ADV Films but nothing has come of it since then, apparently due to the insane costs of pulling the series off correctly in live-action compared to actual interest in such an endeavor. The collapse of ADV and the general decay of the American anime market didn't help it, either. Who's actually still involved remains up in the air, but the last time they said anything about it, the producer of Appleseed Ex Machina, John Woo, was a producer and they were looking for more. That was in 2008.
    • Apparently, the producers got so far as that they needed Studio Gainax to hand over the rights so they could finally get moving... and that's when things fell apart. When ADV went to buy the rights they had optioned, Gainax backed out, citing certain unfulfilled conditions. The producers lost their window with the studio (at least for the moment), and ADV is now suing Gainax over the rights. This happened Q3 2011, and no word has been heard since. Hideki Anno's Studio Khara later gained all rights to Eva, and it is currently devoted to Rebuild of Evangelion. The release of Pacific Rim, which many considered to be sort of a Spiritual Adaptation of the series, probably didn't help either.
  • In June 2006, producers Neil Mortiz and Roy Lee announced that they had the green light to go ahead with making an American remake of Battle Royale, which would, indeed, retain the "high schoolers killing each other" theme, and that New Line Cinema had given a tentative release date of 2008. Aside from the then-recent Virginia Tech Massacre making New Line nervous about the themes, it later turned out they still haven't acquired the rights to make the film in the first place and apparently don't wish to try. A television adaptation was planned for The CW but was later scrapped. Plus, the popularity of The Hunger Games franchise (which had some similar themes to Battle Royale but went about them differently) probably rendered it unnecessary anyway.
  • The American live-action adaptation of Wicked City.

  • Hellsing. A while back, there was a trailer, but nothing more has been even whispered about it. Technically, it was a concept trailer, used to pitch the idea to studios to get them interested in the project. The girl playing Seras in the trailer was a hired model. However, the company developing the film pulled the trailer from their site and YouTube, indicating things may not have gone in favor of the project.
  • The live-action Voltron film, due to rights issues between the American rights holders (they own the names) and the Japanese rights holders (they own the likenesses). This seems to have been settled and there were rumors that Paramount and Relativity would team up on an adaptation back in Spring 2011, but it was eventually abandoned in favor of Voltron Force. Said series ended up getting canceled after one season, leaving the franchise in limbo for years.
    • Things seemed to be looking up as of 2016. With Universal buying DreamWorks Animation (the current owners of the Voltron franchise) and production of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Universal appeared to be dead set on starting a Voltron multimedia franchise, going full-steam ahead with the movie and David Hayter rumored to be attached as scriptwriter. However, following that latest incarnation of the series showing dismal merchandise sales, and Dreamworks hurrying to finish their commitment and wash their hands of the series, it remains to be seen if Universal still continues to see Voltron as a viable franchise, with no news since the announcement of the film, or for any Voltron related items following a final season that has a very divisive reception.
  • The live-action Cowboy Bebop film was announced sometime between 2005-2007 from 20th Century Fox, but nothing has come of it since. Keanu Reeves (who is supposed to playing the lead character, Spike Spiegel) has given conflicting statements about his involvement in it. The last we heard anything from the project was in 2013.
  • The AKIRA live-action film has been this for a long time, with Warner Bros. acquiring the rights back in 2002, and more and more prospective producers passing on the project (Leonardo DiCaprio was once attached). Every other hot young actor in Hollywood has been considered for roles in the movie (notably, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chris Evans, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart). Jaume Collett-Serra (House of Wax (2005)) was once attached to direct before the project was halted over budget concerns. George Miller has confirmed that he turned down an offer to direct. Currently, Warner Bros. has Marco Ramirez (Netflix's Daredevil) attached to write with Christopher Nolan possibly involved in some way, and Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious creator), David Sandberg (Lights Out), Jordan Peele (Get Out), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) all in talks to direct, with the latter expressing the most interest.
  • A Robotech live-action film was announced in 2008 by Harmony Gold and Warner Bros. A certain Tobey Maguire was said to be producing it. Also heavily hyped was the announcement that Lawrence Kasdan (yes, the same one who wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Bodyguard) had written a script. Things were looking up until the fans were informed that Mr. Kasdan's script was handed over to Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (writers of Smallville and Herbie Fully Loaded) for a rewrite. The script was then handed to another writer named Tom Rob Smith for yet another rewrite. Given the questionable sanity involved in not just going with a script by a lauded screenwriter (let alone entrusting it to a two mediocre writers and then one nobody to "rewrite"), Robotech fans were no longer optimistic that the film would be worth seeing if it was ever made. The rights were sold to Sony in 2015, completely abandoning the original project. Sony hopes to develop a franchise out of the property, but whether it actually happens remains to be seen. James Wan (SAW, Fast & Furious) was attached to direct for a while, but as his plate was full through 2018 with Aquaman and The Conjuring 2, the hell continued. As of September 2017, Andy Muschietti (It) is now attached to direct with Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) attached to write.
    • Following a 2017 ruling indicating Harmony Gold will lose the rights to everything Robotech related except the name (as the three original properties all revert to their original owners) time is quickly running out on whether a Robotech movie can be made without being an In Name Only adaptation.
  • Star Blazers was originally licensed by Disney. Somehow the script was leaked over the internet and the feedback was universally negative. Their treatment would have included almost none of the characters from the series and would have turned the Star Force into a Ragtag Band of Misfits. The Yamato/Argo would have been renamed Arizona (allegedly after the WWII American ship sunk at Pearl Harbor) and constructed under Mount Rushmore. Given the location, this was not, unlike the anime, a spaceship built from the wreck of a sunken WWII ship. Thus, naming the ship after a sunken WWII ship was for no discernable reason in this case. Disney allowed the film license to expire. Christopher McQuarrie announced in 2011 that he was currently working on a script for Skydance Productions. It remains to be seen whether an American Star Blazers film even remains viable given the 2010 Japanese production of a live-action theatrical Space Battleship Yamato (the source material for Star Blazers). In a December 2012 interview, McQuarrie said that a script has been completed but no one can agree on what direction the film should go.
  • The rights for a live-action Hollywood Lupin III film were purchased back in 2003, and ads for the manga mentioned: "soon to be a major motion picture!"...but nothing ever came of it.
  • In the late '90s, Disney was in talks to make a live-action movie based on Sailor Moon featuring Geena Davis as Queen Beryl (and, depending on the source, Alicia Silverstone or Kirsten Dunst rumored for the title role). At the time, Disney owned DiC, the then-US licensors of the Sailor Moon franchise. Save Our Sailors later reported that the project had been canceled to due to Kodansha, the Japanese publishers of the original manga, refusing to sell the rights. Not helping was the failure of two superhero films at then-rival Warner Bros., Batman & Robin and Steel, at the box office, the underperformance of the series itself in syndication, and the fact that both Davis and Silverstone (if the latter is credited as the one Disney was seeking for the title role) had recently starred in damaging box office bombs, including one of the two aforementioned superhero film Genre Killers. This ''Variety'' article from 1997 mentions that director Stanley Tong (who made the Mr. Magoo live-action film) was attached to the project.
  • A Hollywood live-action/CGI film based on the manga series Parasyte was announced in 1999 by Jim Henson Studios and Don Murphy's production company to be distributed by New Line Cinema. They confirmed it again in 2005, but nothing has been heard since. As with Star Blazers, the Japanese live-action franchise may have mooted the need for this film.
  • The Dragonball Evolution sequel. It was being whispered about during promotion for the film, and it appears to end on a Sequel Hook, but the poor critical and commercial reception have apparently shelved it. Fox still holds the film rights to the franchise, despite not moving forward with the sequel. Their contract gives them a distribution stake in any future Dragon Ball films, live action or animated, and Funimation had to go through them to license Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F'.
  • A live-action adaptation of Bubblegum Crisis was announced at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 for a 2012 release. The rights were purchased by Cubix International in Singapore, and the project was set up to be a co-production with various companies in the UK, China, Canada, and Australia, with the film itself being shot in Sydney under a $30 million budget, and options for three sequels. The writers and designers from the original anime were also in contact with the production team about maintaining consistency, and the film was confirmed to have a multi-ethnicity cast. There was even a Malaysian filmmaking reality show where part of the grand prize package was being hired to work on this movie. The first promo images were released in 2009, and then... nothing.
  • A Hollywood live-action film based on Ranma ½ was optioned in the late 90s, but nothing ever came of it.
  • Sony Pictures registered many domains relating to a Hollywood Attack on Titan film back in 2014, but nothing ever came of it. There's now word that Warner Bros. is in talks for the film rights.
  • Probably following the huge success superhero movies still enjoy, in 2015 there were talks for a live-action film based on Tiger & Bunny, with none other than Ron Howard as one of the producers. IMDB lists it as "in development" for 2019, and writer Ellen Shanman was attached to it as a screenwriter, but nothing else is known about it.
  • A movie based on Sentou Yousei Yukikaze was optioned to star Tom Cruise. The last news on it was Dan Mazeau, the screenwriter for Wrath of the Titans joining the project in 2013... and nothing after that.
  • A live-action film based on Space Adventure Cobra was once in development at Lionsgate as a passion project for Alexandre Aja. It was greenlit in 2011 by French production companies Onyx and Studio 37, and a teaser poster was unveiled. Aja confirmed in 2015 that a script had been completed by him and producer Gregory Levasseur. However, in 2018, Aja confirmed that the project died following casting difficulties, budget concerns (it was once supposed to carry a $130 million price tag), and similarities to Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

     Comic book adaptations - DC 
  • The Sandman. Considering that the person interested in filming it was Jon Peters, though, it may be fortunate that this film never got off the ground. One of the proposed scripts is available online. The script Roger Avary and the guys behind Pirates of the Caribbean worked on was a pretty sweet blending of the first two collections and the "Endless gather again for the first time" scene from Season of Mists. But then the script was sent in for rewrites under Jon Peters, and Neil Gaiman called the script not only the worst Sandman script he'd seen, but one of the worst scripts he'd ever seen.
    • The film adaptation of The Sandman spin-off Death: The High Cost Of Living has also been in development hell for several years. In December 2013, the film adaptation was going into production with Warner Bros. Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who was strongly rumored to direct and star as well) as producers and Jack Thorne was announced as the scriptwriter in February 2014. However, in March 2016, Levitt left the project, citing Creative Differences with New Line Cinema and Thorne went with him. Eric Heisserer was hired to fill in the screenwriter position, but he too left the project in November for similar reasons. He stated that The Sandman would be a better fit as a TV series rather than a movie.
  • A live-action adaptation of Batman Beyond was among the projects considered before Batman Begins was green-lit. Rumors keep surfacing that the film is still trying to enter development. How many of these rumors are started by hopeful fans is another matter entirely.
  • A live-action film of Transmetropolitan has been been in the early proposal/planning stages for over a decade now; spearheaded by long-time fan Patrick Stewart, who is the fan-favorite to play Spider Jerusalem. At one point, an animated version was proposed, with Stewart voicing Jerusalem. Ellis and Robertson have indicated that they would like Tim Roth to play the title role; but as of this time, no production has started on an adaptation.
  • The DC Extended Universe had several of its post-Justice League projects have difficulty getting off the ground. Many of these projects were intended to springboard from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League only to be shelved after the mixed to negative reception of both films.
    • The solo Batman movie was originally intended to be released in 2020 and be directed and written by star Ben Affleck. However, Affleck relinquished the director's chair to Matt Reeves, who then proceeded to discard the original script that Affleck co-wrote with Geoff Johns. As of this writing, the cast and crew haven't offered any concrete details with Affleck offering conflicting statements about whether he will stay on the project. In January 2019, Warner Bros. announced that The Batman would be released on June 25, 2021, simultaneously confirming that Affleck would not return as Batman and that the role would be recast. After four months of silence, WB announced in May 2019 that Robert Pattinson would replace Affleck as the title role, with filming set to begin in the summer.
    • A sequel to Man of Steel was also one of the DCEU projects shelved after Justice League's poor critical and commercial reception. For a while, it was rumored that Matthew Vaughn and Christopher McQuarrie would direct the film, and Amy Adams stated during a promotional tour for Arrival that a screenplay had been written. Further shrouding the prospects of a Man of Steel sequel were reports that Henry Cavill had abandoned the Superman role following a breakdown in contractual negotiations, his inability to cameo in SHAZAM! (2019), and his obligation to Netflix's The Witcher series. The studio's lack of interest in either retaining Cavill and prioritizing a Man of Steel sequel seems to suggest that it's unlikely that there will be another Superman movie for the foreseeable future. Not only that, but Vaughn announced in May 2019 that he had left the project, bringing the sequel's production back to square one.
    • In 2014, a Cyborg Spin-Off was announced as part of the DCEU's first slate of films, with a tentative 2020 release date. Absolutely no progress has been reported since then, while other movies announced several years later have either entered production or at least had scripts and directors attached. In 2018, actor Ray Fisher even said at a convention that he hadn't heard anything about Cyborg happening anytime soon. In the mean time, Warner Bros. decided to introduce a new version of Cyborg in Doom Patrol, which itself isn't set in the DCEU. Further complicating matters is that there is Fisher's contract will end on March 31st, meaning that it's likely that the Cyborg movie is cancelled and Fisher is gone.
    • The The Flash movie went through a tumultuous turnover of directors regarding the direction of the film. Seth Grahame-Smith was originally hired as the director before being replaced by Rick Famuyiwa, who later dropped out over creative differences, leading to Warner Bros. finally settling on John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein of Spiderman Homecoming fame. However, production was repeatedly delayed due to star Ezra Miller's commitment to Fantastic Beasts. Then in 2019, Miller expressed dissatisfaction with the Lighter and Softer approach of the film and announced that he will re-write the script with Grant Morrison to make it darker. Further complicating things is the fact that Miller's acting contract for the franchise is set to expire May 31, 2019, and The Hollywood Reporter reported that if the studio doesn't agree with his take on the character, he won't re-sign his contract. If that happens, WB will be back to zero on casting which will likely take another six months.
    • A Justice League sequel was also originally announced for 2019, but was later shelved. Originally intended to be directed by Zack Snyder, the sequel was to be Darker and Edgier than its predecessor and follow up on Sequel Hooks present in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A combination of the negative reaction to Batman v Superman, Snyder's plans for the original Justice League movie being scrapped by the studio (with the film being heavily rewritten and reshot by Joss Whedon), Snyder leaving the franchise following a family tragedy and frustrations with WB, and Justice League ultimately flopping at the box office, led to the studio abandoning plans for a sequel, at least for now.
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     Comic book adaptations - Marvel 
  • The Punisher (2004) sequel went through this for a while and was ultimately canceled, with a reboot produced instead. Once the reboot bombed Lionsgate gave up and let the rights revert back to Marvel, who opted to introduce Punisher in Daredevil (2015) instead of doing another Punisher movie yet. Owing to the amazing reception the Punisher received, a standalone Punisher series was greenlit for Netflix.
  • The proposed Luke Cage film, canceled after Sony decided to return the rights to Marvel to focus more on their rebooted Spider-Man series. Like with Daredevil, Luke Cage became a Netflix series.
  • The fourth Blade movie, which lapsed into this after the much-maligned Blade: Trinity failed to meet New Line Cinema's financial expectations and star Wesley Snipes sued the studio and the film's director over being cut off the filmmaking processes and casting decisions. In 2008, Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion, directly resulting in Marvel revoking the film license from New Line/Warner Bros. and killing their franchise due to NLC/WB being deemed unable to produce a fourth film on time without Snipes. While Marvel has stated they have no plans to introduce him to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Snipes has expressed interest in reprising his role should a reboot move forward.
  • One recurring X-Men film rumor was a prequel for Magneto. Many postponing later, it became officially dead with the production of X-Men: First Class, which covers much of the same ground (the Magneto writer even got a story credit for ''First Class'' despite his script never even being touched by that film's crew).
    • Among many other X-Men related projects following First Class, one that suffered the most in development hell was a solo Gambit film. Announced in 2014 with Channing Tatum attached and supposedly set for release in 2016, it lost a director, a release date and is overall pretty stalled. In May 2019, not long after Disney took over Fox, the film, along with other Marvel films planned by Fox, was removed from the release schedule, ensuring its death.
  • Sub-Mariner. Failed plans to make a film go as far back as 1997, though for the longest time the film rights to the character were owned by Universal Pictures and out of Marvel's reach. As of late 2014, the rights have apparently reverted back to Marvel Studios, with hopes that the character could be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sometime in the future, though some contracts with other companies still need to be done with first, according to some Marvel representatives.
  • Micronauts: In 1998, Annex Entertainment, Gribouille and Kaleidoscope Media Group considered the Micronauts toys for an animated series. The original plan for an animated series would have been in association with Marvel. That series would have been based on the Marvel Comics. That project never got past a few conceptual illustrations. In 2012, J. J. Abrams announced that he was developing the Micronauts as a movie franchise for Paramount. However, Marvel is not involved with this movie, so fans are being warned that this will be a total reimagining as they are unable to use any of the characters, concepts, names, and situations created by Bill Mantlo.
  • Marvel had a script and had done some preliminary casting for a movie based on the Runaways back in 2010, with Keke Palmer approached for a role (presumably Xavin). It was ultimately shelved in favor of putting the studios' energies into The Avengers. In 2013, the writer of the script was told that for the time being the film wasn't moving forward and reassigned to help Shane Black with Iron Man 3 instead. Ultimately, the comics were adapted into a Hulu-exclusive TV series.
  • There were plans for James Gunn to direct a Thunderbolts movie, but the project has been officially shelved due to the surprise success of Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • And then, of course, there's the long and winding road to an Incredible Hulk sequel, which has been discussed for years. While some actors are under contract or willing to return for the sequel, Norton himself is not, and since The Avengers recast Mark Ruffalo in the role, the chances of Norton returning are virtually nonexistent. Leterrier has gone back and forth on the decision but has stated that he's open to directing the sequel. But now Kevin Feige said in 2014 there are no plans for the movie to appear in Phase 3, and Kevin Feige has said, for now, Marvel would like to restrict the Hulk and other characters like Hawkeye to the Avengers franchise. It only got worse in 2015 when it was revealed that Marvel has to work out rights issues with Universal before they can even consider doing another solo Hulk film.
  • Same goes for the possibility of a Black Widow solo film. Lionsgate commissioned a script from David Hayter back in 2004 before dropping the project, and Kevin Feige has stated that Marvel was in discussions with Scarlett Johansson for a Black Widow movie as far back as 2010. Nothing has come of the project since. A Twitter hashtag campaign was even started by fans after Marvel announced movies for Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel, but not Black Widow.
    • As of July 2018, Jac Schaeffer (Olaf's Frozen Adventure) has been tapped to write a Black Widow solo film with Cate Shortland as director, but when (and if) it ever comes to fruition remains to be seen.
  • A Nick Fury movie written by Andrew Marlowe was announced way back in 2006 as part of the MCU's first slate of movies. As of 2014, no further developments have been made.
  • A new Red Sonja film was announced, with a teaser poster announcing a 2009 release date. Since the 2011 Conan the Barbarian tanked at the box office, the film has been on hold. The film supposedly has a new screenwriter as of 2015.
    • Speaking of Conan, an indie film production of the original Robert E. Howard short story Iron Shadows in the Moon (which had fallen into Public Domain) was shot and scheduled for release in 2014, with Finnish hockey player Pasi Schalin as Conan. However, the film entered Development Hell when it turned out that producer George Tan (a mail-order distributor of Bruce Lee films) made false statements about settling the Conan film rights, and Tan subsequently vanished from the production. The film has never been released.
    • A third Schwarzenegger Conan film has been in the works on and off since the second film was released in 1984.
      • Author Karl Edward Wagner was hired to write the script, and ended up writing three distinct versions with increasingly smaller budgets before the film was scrapped completely due to the financial woes De Laurentiis was facing in the wake of Dune.
      • De Laurentiis tried again in the early 90s, with a script titled Conan the Conqueror, by Charles Edward Pogue. This was rewritten into Kull the Conqueror when Schwarzenegger proved unavailable.
      • In 2001, the original film's director John Milius was hired to write and direct a sequel, with the Wachowskis producing and Schwarzenegger set to return. The script, titled King Conan, Crown of Iron, was completed, but a number of factors culminating in Schwarzenegger's election as Governor of California kept the film from happening.
      • In 2012, it was announced that Universal had optioned the rights to the character and brought on The Fast and the Furious producer Chris Morgan to develop a sequel title The Legend of Conan. Drafts of the script were completed and some location scouting was said to take place, but Universal passed on greenlighting the production, letting the rights lapse in 2016.
  • The third Guardians of the Galaxy film was placed on indefinite hold after Disney fired director James Gunn in July 2018 for some nearly decade-old offensive jokes made on Twitter (that he's sincerely apologized for). Although Disney and Marvel kept Gunn's script out of goodwill, the film lost its original 2020 release date when it became clear no director wanted to take over in light of the controversy and several cast members, most notable Dave Batista, threatened to leave in protest of Gunn's dismissal. Worse, it came out that the jokes were dug up by alt-right trolls trying to smear Gunn for his political views, thus discouraging anyone from associating themselves with the film. Then, three months after his firing, Gunn was hired by Warner Bros. to write and direct a new Suicide Squad film, making him even less likely to come back to MCU. Gunn's dismissal also led to the scrapping of many of the cosmic storylines that would take place after Avengers: Endgame, since he was supposed to oversee them. Although Gunn was rehired in March 2019, the film still doesn't have a release date and production won't start until late 2020 at the earliest given his obligations to The Suicide Squad.

     Comic book adaptations - other 
  • The Sin City sequels. After the box office success of the first movie in 2005, Robert Rodriguez announced plans to film the next two installments back-to-back the following year. Frank Miller was working on a screenplay based on "A Dame To Kill For", with production expected to begin in the summer of 2006. Instead, Rodriguez made Grindhouse with Quentin Tarantino (who collaborated with him on the first Sin City). Nothing more was said about the project until 2010 when Rodriguez announced that production would begin once he had completed work on Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. Rodriguez announced at the 2011 ComicCon that Sin City 2 was officially back on the table, and that he was working on "refining the script". Not only was the script refined, but it was also filmed - Sin City: A Dame To Kill For was released in 2014....to mixed reviews and tanked massively at the box office, meaning that the Sin City franchise may be put in Development Hell yet again.
  • The Spawn movie sequel. Michael Jai White even expressed interest in reprising his role. As of 2012, plans for a sequel seem to have all but faded. Ditto for a supposed Continuity Reboot creator Todd McFarlane keeps mentioning.
  • An ElfQuest movie has been discussed for at least fifteen years, whether live-action, animated or CGI animation. In 2008 Warner Bros turned down making a film adaptation due to fear of competing with The Hobbit.
  • A third Hellboy movie was, unfortunately, a victim of this (along with Guillermo del Toro juggling so many projects that few of them came out), with a reboot now on the way.
  • The new adaptation of The Crow. Nobody could agree on a script. Stephen Norrington eventually left the project. Then a lawsuit between Harvey Weinstein and Relativity Media threatened the project again. Relativity won the suit and F. Javier Gutiérrez was named as director in January 2012. And after numerous actors leaving the project note  the film was halted for good around August 2015 when the production company, Relativity Media, filed for bankruptcy and was forced to let 75 staff members go and halt any pre-production of The Crow at Pinewood Cardiff.
    • As of Fall 2016, the film is once again set to enter production in January 2017, with Jason Momoa starring. However, both star and director left at the end of May 2018, sending the project back into Development Hell.
  • Witchblade was in development not too long ago. It seems to have been scrapped in favor of a movie about The Darkness, with Witchblade making a guest appearance. Although The Darkness seems to be in Development Hell too, with no news about it for several years. In 2017, a reboot of the Witchblade television series was announced.
  • The Hack/Slash movie has been in development since the summer of 2006, and so far has nothing to show for it. Somewhat humorously, the Devil's Due ongoing featured "Slated to be a major motion picture by Rogue Studios!" prominently on the cover of its earliest issues; maybe don't advertise it until it's a done deal next time. The last news to come out for it was in February 2013.
  • A Darkchylde movie has apparently been in the works since August 2007, but IMDB lists its year of release as (???). Posters, trailers, and stills from the set were released, and John Carpenter was slated to direct, but there has been no news since 2010.
  • And, completing the oddly specific "movie adaptation of a horror-themed comic with a teenage female lead going nowhere" trifecta, there's been no news about the Dead@17 movie since a director was attached in 2010.
  • An adaptation of Rob Liefeld's Youngblood series has been in the works for years, with Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand) attached as the director, and talk of Robert Pattinson starring as Shaft. As of 2014, Ratner confirmed that the film had been stalled thanks to copyright issues over the original source material. In 2018, it was announced that Netflix secured the exclusive rights to Liefeld's Extreme universe and intends to build a cinematic universe out of it.
  • Mark Millar has a lot of announced adaptations, to the point of rivaling Stan Lee for having the most adaptations in comic book history. Some of them are taking a bit too long to get here, though:
    • Wanted was supposed to get a sequel, yet everyone involved in it got so busy (the director with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the protagonist with X-Men: First Class) that the producer has since said the movie "will not happen any time soon if at all." James McAvoy then admitted that while he is still interested, the time in development hell and the studio's struggles to find a suitable script are all red flags.
    • The planned third and final installment of Kick-Ass has been up in the air considering the negative reception and poor box office returns of the sequel, and the fact that Hit-Girl's actress, Chloë Moretz, said she was done with the character ain't helping much. However, despite all of that, Matthew Vaughn is in talks of doing a Hit-Girl prequel and then the third Kick-Ass movie.
    • His religious comic American Jesus has been in talks of getting adapted to film ever since Kick-Ass was getting press. The last we heard from it was in 2012, where Millar announced that in a few months he'll be able to say who his partners are.
    • War Heroes, a comic that itself has been going through development hell, was announced in 2008 to be produced by Sony. Then it all went silent from there.
    • An adaptation of the supervillain-centered comic Nemesis was to be directed by the late Tony Scott and written by Joe Carnahan, but Scott left in 2012 to focus on Top Gun Maverick (which also seems to be comfortably settled here), leaving Carnahan to fly solo on this one. There was a load of back-and-forth on whether it would get made at all, considering the rare status of a successful R-rated superhero film, much less a supervillain film, but considering the successes of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Deadpool, and the growing interest of other Millar properties, the likelihood of this story being adapted isn't too bleak looking, despite the studio change from 20th Century Fox to Warner Bros.
    • An adaptation of Superior, a comic about Simon Pooni, a 12-year old paraplegic who gains super powers by a demonic monkey, has been in Matthew Vaughn's hand's since 2010 and has been teased in Kick-Ass 2, but still no movement.
    • Supercrooks, a comic that has been described by Millar as "A gang of super-villains decide to go and pull the biggest heist of their career in Spain because let’s face it, there’s no Captain Spain" has also had trouble getting out of here. What makes this more infuriating is that it has a director, Nacho Vigalondo, that is extremely passionate about it and has even released a trailer for the comic, but no studio seems to want to give it a fair chance. Though there may still be hope considering producer Ken Kao (The Nice Guys, Rampart) has announced that he would produce it along with American Jesus. Then in 2019, it was announced by Netflix that Supercrooks would be adapted into, of all things, an anime series by Studio Bones.
  • This article (some NSFW pics) talks about the possibility of a Ranxerox film directed by Chris Cunningham. Ranxerox was an Italian comic book about a human-looking robot who is in a relationship with an underaged girl in a Crapsack World full of drugs and violence. You can guess why nothing was said anymore about the project.
  • An adaptation of Afterlife with Archie has been discussed. Riverdale was Saved from Development Hell; however, the film project hasn't been discussed since.
  • In early 2007, New Line Cinema bought the film rights for Y: The Last Man. The screenwriter got to work and the cameras were supposed to start rolling by Fall 2008. The script passed through many hands (even the comic's creator Brian K. Vaughan) but no one could crack compressing the story enough to fit into a movie's runtime while still staying true to the original series. Ultimately the director D.J. Caruso and his team pitched a trilogy to New Line (the first movie would have ended at issue #14) but were told it needed to be one movie. Caruso couldn't make it work and quit the project. By 2013, a new script that the studio felt was workable was written and then they hired a new director, aiming to shoot in 2014. However, the rights reverted back to Vaughan and co-creator Pia Guerra by the time it could start shooting. In 2015, Vaughan and Guerra optioned the rights for a show to debut on FX which was to debut sometime in 2019 or 2020, over a decade after the rights were first sold. Then, in April 2019, it was reported that showrunners Aida Mashaka Croal and Michael Green had exited the project during pre-production due to Creative Differences, leaving the show in limbo as well.
  • The film adaptation to Mouse Guard was picked up by Fox in 2016 and was ready to start shooting by May 2019 before it got caught up in the studio's merger with Disney. The new owners shut production down two weeks before filming was to begin as part of the studio's restructuring. However, Disney allowed the producers to shop the project elsewhere.

     Comic strip adaptations 
  • Opus: The Last Christmas, which is dead according to Berkeley Breathed.
  • A Get Fuzzy movie has been long rumored.
  • A film adaptation of Dilbert has been attempted by creator Scott Adams for years. His most recent efforts date back to at least 2014, where he has kept updates on his writing efforts on his personal blog. Sadly, such efforts may never get past the screenplay level.
  • A The Family Circus movie was announced by Fox in 2010, but nothing about it has surfaced since its announcement, likely due to the lackluster performance of another comic strip adaptation from them that year, Marmaduke.

     Literature adaptations 
  • Eloise in Paris — A live-action adaptation of the Eloise book of the same name has been in development since late 2007-2008 and was to star Australian child actress Jordana Beatty for the title role alongside Uma Thurman. A few years later and yet little, if any, development was announced, and Beatty would obviously be too old to play the title character.
  • Invisible Monsters, based off of a book penned by Chuck Palahniuk (of Fight Club fame), has been in development for forever and a half.
  • Terry Pratchett joked that the road to film for Good Omens had become so long and complicated that even he stopped paying attention. He relied on fans at conventions and signings to keep him posted on the latest news/rumors. One such rumour was that Robin Williams would play the angel.
  • The Three-Body Problem—This was actually filmed, but after two years, nobody knows when it will be released.
  • The ongoing tale of the film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces. First of all, the book was only published years after its author's suicide when his mother found a handwritten manuscript. Attempts were made to make a movie starring John Belushi in 1982, but then Belushi died. Then there was going to be one with John Candy in 1994, but then Candy also died. And then one with Chris Farley in 1997, but then... well... yeah. Yet another attempt with Will Ferrell seemed to be going well and had even accrued other big names like Lily Tomlin and Mos Def. Then Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the film's setting.
    • At one point, John Waters was being considered to direct an adaptation. Waters himself wrote that it was the one and only time he seriously considered making a film not based on one of his own scripts. Oh, what might have been...
    • Speaking about Waters, he had planned to direct a family-oriented Christmas comedy called Fruitcake about a gay teenager finding acceptance during the holidays for a 2007 release. The film never got made due to financial troubles at production company Capitol Films (unlike Waters' newer projects, this did not have studio backing) and seems to have been locked up due to that company's bankruptcy. Waters hasn't directed since then (but has done many acting roles and live appearances).
  • What the hell is up with Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon movie?
  • Apparently, there were plans for a Warrior Cats movie, but they were dropped when it was considered a gamble in light of the economic recession, due to the appropriateness of the content of what is ostensibly a children's series. The film's status was downgraded from "definitely going to happen", to "not even under consideration". As of late 2016, however, the rights to a movie were obtained and a producer (David Heyman) named, so it's more likely, but not 100% certain.
  • The Dragonriders of Pern has been in development hell since probably the '80s. At one time there was a TV series that was in production, but it was basically In Name Only so it never went forward (most people see this as a good thing). A movie was supposed to be released last year (2009), but the date has been pushed back to 2011.
    • Warner Brothers optioned all 22 volumes of the series for a film adaptation in summer of 2014.
  • The Elfstones of Shannara and Magic Kingdom for Sale — SOLD! movies. Yes, there are plans. One version of the proposed script for the latter would have given Ben a son and daughter, but Terry Brooks nixed that because their characters weren't developed enough. Shannara eventually went to television.
  • Diane Duane wrote a screenplay for the first book of the Young Wizards series and reported that it was in very early development stages on the Young Wizards website back in 2007. As of 2010, there has been no progress whatsoever towards a finished movie.
  • There's been talk going around about filming the first installment of The Wheel of Time, The Eye Of The World since the turn of the century, but absolutely nothing has come of it. Probably because nobody likes the implications of filming the first in a series of 14.
  • A few years ago, Tom Hanks expressed interest in making and starring in film adaptations of Arthur C. Clarke's 2061 and 3001, although nothing has been heard of this since.
  • It's possible the fourth The Chronicles of Narnia film will enter this, as the contract of production company Walden Media with the C.S. Lewis estate has expired.
  • An adaptation of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath has been in the works since at least 2010, if not earlier. It's been pushed back repeatedly and IMDB has very little information that hasn't changed much in all this time. The only screen adaptation of the novel that's been released was back in the 1970s and the few people who've actually seen it will usually tell you that it's terrible, so maybe it's a good thing this will probably never be released.
  • An adaptation of the Maximum Ride books was announced by Summit Entertainment in 2010 with Catherine Hardwicke (director of the first Twilight movie) set to direct. Cut to 2012 and it looks like that the project has been quietly canceled due to Lionsgate buying Summit, Alex Cross (from the same author) flopping at the box office and Lionsgate/Summit choosing to adapt the Divergent series instead. The screenwriter for the movie also died in March 2013. Eventually, it was released as a digital film in 2016.
  • In 2011, Sony and MGM had plans to remake the sequels to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and were going to shoot them back-to-back. But despite hiring Steven Zaillian to write the screenplays, the disappointing box office (Sony had expected the first film to be their successor to The Da Vinci Code and spent millions marketing it) combined with David Fincher's refusal to direct and the decline of the book series' popularity have shelved these sequels for the time being.
  • A live-action adaptation of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain series was once hinted at by Disney around a decade ago, but with nothing to back it up.
  • An adaptation of the young adult horror novel Killer Pizza was announced by MGM in 2011 with Adam Green set to write and direct. Very little has been heard about the project since.
  • An Artemis Fowl adaptation has been talked about and rumored since at least 2001. A script has even been written and a director even signed on to do the film but it has never come through. It seems though the film might be back on track with Walt Disney Pictures, currently slated for release in 2019.
  • The adaptation of Sister Souljah's urban fiction novel The Coldest Winter Ever. The adaptation was rumored as far back as 01 or 02. But nothing ever came of it. Then in 05 Jada Pinkett-Smith tried to get it off the ground as a producer but it fell through.
  • Atuk based on a book by Canadian author Mordecai Richler was never filmed and is linked to a curse in which the actors who signed onto to star in it all met with untimely ends.
  • The Catcher in the Rye is probably the most legendary literary example.
  • Every few years, there's a rumored adaptation of George Macdonald Fraser's Flashman books. In 1970, actor/producer Stanley Baker optioned rights to the first book, for a project that never materialized. In 2007 Celtic Films announced a made-for-TV adaptation of Flashman at the Charge with Colin Firth. This was apparently derailed by Fraser's death. Most recently, in 2011 rumors surfaced of a film featuring Michael Fassbender - rumors Fraser's estate denied. Besides the difficulties of adapting the novels, from the period setting to their politically incorrect tone, that the one extant Flashman film, 1975's Royal Flash, flopped at the box office likely weighs heavily in studios' minds.
  • Foundation:
  • From Classic Hollywood, there was John Ford's production of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The White Company. Ford was a lifelong fan of Conan Doyle's novel and spent decades trying to adapt it for the screen. He came closest in 1960 when he contracted with Samuel Bronston for a production which was to film in Spain with John Wayne, Laurence Olivier, and Alec Guinness. But pre-production became mired in budget wrangles, with Conan Doyle's estate demanding an exorbitant fee for the film rights. After several years in limbo, the project fell through, but Ford never gave up on White Company. As late as 1973 he announced it as a future project, but Ford's deteriorating health prevented it from getting past the idea stage.
  • An adaptation of Where's Wally? (a.k.a. Where's Waldo? in the US) has been in the works for quite some time, but it's never gotten any traction. Paramount and Universal all had interest in a Where's Wally? film, but eventually declined. MGM eventually got the film rights to do a live-action movie in 2011, but its 2015 release came and went with.....nothing. DreamWorks Animation bought the company who owned the Where's Wally? property in 2012, but let MGM keep the film rights for the time being, and things seemed to be headed back on track with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg signing on as producers.....then DreamWorks was purchased by Universal, sending the film back to Hell once again as the rights disputes are sorted out.
  • For about a decade now, various Hollywood studios have been wanting to produce a faithful adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that would take advantage of modern special effects, and possibly start a new franchise or cinematic universe of Land of Oz-related films. This shouldn't be too hard, since the original novel is in the public domain. Despite this, no project has entered production, though there's talk of a mini-series. Instead, various films have been made that tie into the more well-known 1939 musical film, the most notable being Oz: The Great and Powerful.
  • In 2010, some very early conceptual work was leaked for a live-action/CGI Thomas the Tank Engine movie, with 9 director Shane Acker at the helm. After three years, it dropped off the radar and what little information about it that's since come teeters between this or cancellation.
  • Back in 2011, an adaptation of 13 Reasons Why was announced with Selena Gomez in the lead role. Three years elapsed and nothing happened. Eventually, Netflix picked up the adaptation rights and developed it into a full series.
  • In 2010, Steven Spielberg signed on to direct a film adaptation of Robopocalypse, with Drew Goddard writing the screenplay. Speilberg's studio, DreamWorks, was set to finish the film for a 2013 release by Touchstone Pictures (owned by Disney) domestically, then it was bumped to 2014 after financial issues at DreamWorks plagued the project and led to 20th Century Fox jumping on board. Then, DreamWorks announced the film had been shelved indefinitely thanks to script disagreements and continuing financial strives. Now, with DreamWorks' deal with Disney expiring and moving to Universal in 2016, and major restructuring at DreamWorks, the project may finally be coming off the ground. Ironically enough, Disney is now back on board thanks to buying Fox.
  • Michael Cimino spent much of the '70s and '80s trying to make The Fountainhead into a film, with Clint Eastwood playing Howard Roark. Then Heaven's Gate happened.
  • The last film in The Divergent Series, Ascendance, has officially entered this due to Allegiant flopping at the box office. There's been talk of making a television film or miniseries rather than a theatrical release, but Shailene Woodley's stated disinterest in doing another installment makes even that questionable.
  • In 2002, DreamWorks bought the rights to Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm novels. In 2008 Paramount acquired the rights and in 2009 it was announced that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci would write a screenplay with Steven Spielberg as a possible director. It seems that the project has since died.
  • According to its Wikipedia article, the film adaptation of journalist Jake Adelstein's memoir book Tokyo Vice was supposed to be filmed in Tokyo around 2015, with Daniel Radcliffe taking the role of Adelstein. IMDB still lists it as "In Development", but with no info about it whatsoever.
  • Lauren Beukes Urban Fantasy novel Zoo City seemed to be quite a hot property for a time, before any news about the movie adaptation disappeared.
  • The unfinished 1938 production of I, Claudius was waylaid by an accident involving its lead actress and by the difficulty that Charles Laughton had in getting into Claudius's role. Only a few scenes from the film were ever publicly released in the 1960s. (The DVD release of the TV version of I, Claudius includes a documentary which features this footage.)
  • In 2006, producer Boris Acosta began an ambitious task of adapting Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy into various mediums, including a live-action film trilogy, which was first announced back in August 2008. An all-star team was assembled, with Dante scholar Dino Di Durante writing the scripts, Armand Mastroianni as director, Chuck Shuman as the cinematographer and Aldo De Tata as composer. Andy Garcia, Adrien Brody and James Caviezel were all considered to portray Dante, with Al Pacino in the running for Virgil. The trilogy was set to be released between 2009 and 2012. However, during pre-production of the first film, Inferno, Acosta realized that its proposed $55 million budget was too expensive and decided to produce lower-budgeted films to help fund the live-action films, as well as an animated film trilogy. He has since produced and/or directed documentaries about The Divine Comedy as well as a short film based on Inferno. The live-action films are still in development.
  • An adaptation of The Berenstain Bears was dicussed at Walden Media for several years, but quickly stalled due to director Shawn Levy's other projects in the pipeline. After the film rights reverted back to the Berenstain estate in 2014, rumors began circulating in 2017 that Fox had picked up the rights. Unfortunately, they got picked up the moment Disney acquired the studio, leaving that iteration of the film in limbo as well.

     Theatre adaptations 
  • Rumors of a Cats adaptation have been floating around for over a decade but none have made it to development. In 2018, it was announced that Tom Hooper would be directing, with Sir Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden in the cast.
  • A film version of The Phantom of the Opera was desired almost as soon as the show made its London and Broadway debuts (1986 and 1988, respectively), but plans fell by the wayside until it was finally released in late 2004.
  • This trope tends to hit Andrew Lloyd Webber a lot. Evita was first discussed in the 1970s, right after the release of the concept album. The film of the musical adaptation of Sunset Boulevard has languished since it was new, with brief flickers of life every few years.
  • There has been a lot of talk about the very popular musical version of Wicked being made into a movie. It appears to be just that: talk. Oh sure, it's said to be officially confirmed and the studio says the project isn't dead (which came out back in March 2014), but they still have yet to get anyone on board (director, writers, cast, etc). The fact the musical made its debut on stage in 2003 and there has yet to be a movie of it is especially odd considering that the musical itself was actually produced by Universal, which logically should streamline the movie-making process.
    • At least two animators at Disney want to see an Animated Adaptation. There was an unofficial storyboard of "Defying Gravity" created by an animator has been floating around for a while. There was also another animator who hoped Disney (or at least some animation studio) would pick up the film. A possible third person who does character designing for Disney also made his own concept arts for what he thought Wicked might look like coming out of Disney as a part of their art portfolio. Sadly, considering the musical is property of Universal Studios, the chances of Disney getting hold of such a project is dubious. The blockbuster reception of Frozen has also likely killed the chances of Disney animating Wicked; the stories are incredibly similar, even down to the original Elphaba actress Idina Menzel being the voice of Queen Elsa. It's a joke in both fandoms that Frozen is the closest thing to a Wicked adaptation we'll see.
    • Other things that have been said about making a film are that "they're waiting for the musical ticket sales to taper off", and also that, based on the success of the Les Misérables film, a Wicked movie "will be made sooner than later".
    • It's been taking so long that Idina Menzel herself has expressed that by the time a film starts being made, she and Kristin Chenoweth (the original Glinda) will probably be too old to believably reprise their roles. And her concern isn't unfounded. Both are still gorgeous of course, but even if filming started right this minute, they'd be playing characters that are supposed to be roughly half their current age (though there is a timeskip in the musical after Shiz).
    • A film adaptation has a tentative date of December 2019 but nothing has been heard of it other than its date.
  • There has been talk of a film version of Aida for years, but things have clearly stalled.
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     TV adaptations 
  • The doomed Red Dwarf movie has a complicated history, mostly revolving around budget problems. It came very close to entering production in 2001, to the point where shooting schedules had been worked out and costume tests were being done, but a last-minute yanking of the budget brought the project to a standstill. Several restarts would be attempted over the course of 7 or 8 years, but ultimately nothing would come of it; when the television series (which had ended due to Doug Naylor's desire to focus on making the film) restarted various parts of the film's script was cannibalised for episodes (most notably "The Beginning", which borrows much of the film's set-up, but a notorious set piece made its way into "Lemons").
  • There were plans for a Babylon 5 theatrical movie. There was a project to produce one in 2004, but it was aborted in 2005. It would have been called "The Memory of Shadows" and involved Galen and an EarthForce intelligence officer tracking down an intergalactic conspiracy that used Shadow technology.
  • Ripley's Believe it or Not!
  • The Movie of Arrested Development languished in this and Netflix reviving the series probably ended the chances anyway.
  • The rumors about a Xena: Warrior Princess movie have been circling around since the series ended in 2001. It has been discussed many times by series creator Rob Tapert, who kept saying it was stuck because of legal issues at Universal. Looks like it will never get made, though.
  • This is the current and probably permanent location of the proposed film of the television series Blake's 7 since Paul Darrow (the actor who played Avon) resigned from the project due to "artistic differences".
  • The Stargate Atlantis film Extinction has been put on hold indefinitely. This is due to the cancellation of Stargate Universe and MGM's waning interest in the franchise.
    • Same goes for the third Stargate SG-1 movie, Stargate: Revolution, which would have featured the SGC going public.
  • The Skins movie. It was supposed to be released in summer 2011, but as of the last report they were having difficulty even just figuring out which characters were going to be in it. While it was originally supposed to focus just on tying up Generation 2's loose ends, they also were trying to shoehorn in a few characters from Generation 1, and then with the additional third generation, things became even more complicated. Especially with some fan speculation that the show's sixth series in 2012 may be its last, and the film may be intended as a wrap-up to the whole franchise. As it turned out, said fan speculation was true, and the film ended up shelved to instead make way for three extra-long episodes focusing on Cassie, Cook and Effy years later, concluding the whole show.
  • The second The X-Files movie I Want to Believe fell victim to this concept. The show ended in 2002, but the script for the movie ended up in Development Hell for six years. What was supposed to be a continuation of the Myth Arc ended up being a drawn-out Monster of the Week episode featuring a psychic. The fans were not pleased. It didn't do well. Now fans are hoping a third movie will wrap up loose threads of the plot. Chris Carter stated that he would make a third X-Files movie featuring the 2012 invasion promised by the series finale and was to be released in the summer of 2012 if the second X-Files movie did well. 2012 has come and gone, and no mention has ever been made about a third film. A six-episode season of the TV series was released in early 2016 instead.
  • Doctor Who has been propositioned for a film several times since the last time he was on the big screen (starring Peter Cushing in the 1960s). The 1996 TV movie doesn't count as it was never intended for cinema release and was really a Failed Pilot Episode for a proposed TV revival. Most attempts were during the period when there was no TV series, and were stalled due to the uncertainty over the franchise, especially considering any theatrical movie would have been a total reimagining. One proposal had the Doctor and Master as half-brothers with Borusa as their grandfather. Another would have reimagined the Daleks as bipedal Terminator-style machines. And yet another proposal wanted to cast Johnny Depp as the Doctor. In 2011, Harry Potter director David Yates proposed making a Doctor Who film despite the lack of official cast or crew on board or any interest from the BBC in giving permission. There is also a strong faction of Who fans who are opposed to the idea of a film not taking place in the TV continuity, or worried that a film would overshadow the show. Interestingly, the Doctor's status in the current series as being "Last of the Time Lords" is borrowed from the working sub-title for the late 80s movie proposal.
  • A movie based on the short-lived Comedy Central show That's My Bush! entitled Secret of the Glass Tiger was proposed sometime after its cancellation, although nothing more was heard afterward.
  • After the success of his Austin Powers films in the late 90s, Mike Myers was in talks do a film based on his old Saturday Night Live character, Dieter, the German talk show host of Sprockets. However, after being given a year and a half to work on the script, Myers felt it wasn't strong enough and abandoned it. Universal outright forced him to make a different movie so he wouldn't breach his contract, resulting in The Cat in the Hat.
  • Of all things, a feature film adaptation of Laverne & Shirley was announced in 2010, with, of all people, Jamie Foxx writing the screenplay. According to series creator Garry Marshall, the movie was to have been something of a Darker and Edgier take on the series, updating the setting to the present day and featuring Milwaukee's finest (played by Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel, respectfully) having grown up in the streets, with such gems as Laverne's trademark "L", iconically embroidered in the upper right corner of her shirts and sweaters in the series, instead tattooed on her arm. Small wonder that exactly nothing else has been heard about the project since then.
  • A Sliders movie has been discussed since 1999-2000.
  • The Fugitive was released in 1993, but TPTB had been trying to get it off the ground since 1989.
  • Nickelodeon has been planning films for The Legend of Korra and Dora the Explorer since early 2015. However, nothing has come of these films since then. The reason for Korra being delayed is unknown, but in the case of the Dora, there could be two factors that led to the delay: one, its popularity has been decreasing among its target audience, due to it being dethroned by PAW Patrol as Nick's big preschool show, as well as being beaten in the ratings by shows on rival networks such as Sofia the First and Teen Titans Go! note  and two, the spin-off, Dora and Friends: Into The City! was poorly treated by the Nick Jr after "We Save A Pirate Ship!" aired and had a toy line with poor quality toys.
    • Good news came out in October 2017, when it was announced that the Dora movie was finally greenlit for release in 2019. There's still no info yet about Korra.

     Video game adaptations 
  • This document details how there were projects to turn several Sega properties including Altered Beast, Golden Axe and Shinobi into "feature films and television series for worldwide releases". Yeah right... has anyone ever heard of any of these?
  • In 2011, a film adaptation of the game Alan Wake was announced with former New Line head Robert Shaye (who has a first-look deal with Warner Bros.) set to produce. Nothing has been heard about it since.
  • American McGee's Alice. There were even rumors of Tim Burton directing, probably just because the game appears heavily inspired by his works. A Burton-directed Alice movie has been eventually released for real, but it has nothing to do with the videogame. As of 2017, the film is in preproduction with Chinese actors in mind, but nothing is set stone.
  • Army of Two was set to have a movie adaptation, announced in 2008 and to be released in 2011. Since it's 2013 as of this writing without so much as a word of update on its status, it's safe to say the film is either in Development Hell or cancelled outright.
  • The BioShock movie project has taken this road because of budgetary concerns, still unresolved as of summer 2010, also due to Gore Verbinski not wanting to compromise the atmosphere for a lighter rating. This also led to the higher-ups deciding to film the movie overseas, forcing Verbinski to step down as director due to his attachment to other projects at home. While he may remain as a producer, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) will replace him as director. In an early 2011 interview, Verbinski implied that the project was dead, in part due to difficulty finding anyone willing to finance it as an R-rated picture (and Verbinski's lack of interest in watering down the material for a PG-13). Fresnadillo has since left the project. Rumors of the film picking back up resurfaced in 2014 when it was revealed Sony had been attached to the project, evidenced by their acquisition of several domain names related to the movie.
  • Jennifer Lopez was in talks with Walden Media to produce the film adaptation of Carmen Sandiego back in 2011. Though an animated series was announced to be in production for Netflix in 2017, no updates of the film project have been made. Even prior to that rumors have been floating around since the 90s.
  • The Castlevania movie seemed to have been this one for some years, and still is, thanks to the writers' strike.
    • Castlevania might actually be one of the rare cases in which Development Hell is a good thing. Originally, the script was referred to as a sort of "Dracula Begins" and did away completely with the Vampire Killer. Instead, Simon had a BFS and everything that makes Castlevania what it is in favor of basically a retelling of Dracula. The current director signed onto the project because of the Vampire Killer and how the hero can be just as "dangerous and sexy" as the villain. The movie poster revealed in 2009 shows Simon holding a katana as well as the Vampire Killer looking upon Dracula's castle in a similar picture to what is usually used as box art for the games.
    • This may be underway now, with James Wan attached as director. But it looks like it won't be anytime soon as he has other projects in the forefront.
    • Paul W.S. Anderson is still attached to it somehow, as he was asked about the movie during the promotion of Resident Evil: Retribution. He claimed that there are issues over how to properly adapt it, and apparently some rights issues.
    • Ultimately, Netflix released a Castlevania animated series written by Warren Ellis, so something shook loose.
  • A Clock Tower movie has supposedly been in the works since 2007, even having multiple release dates set and the main characters cast. However, with the synopsis constantly being changed and nearly everyone involved dropping out of the project (one director even being found dead in his hotel room), it's unlikely the movie will ever be finished or released.
  • There was an attempt for a Crazy Taxi film in the early 2000s by Richard Donner. The only thing outside of the initial announcement was that it was supposed to be tied in with T-shirts and toys and that the production company was changed due to the original company having an "absence of plot elements".
  • At one point there was talk of a Dead Rising movie.
  • The long-rumored Dead Space film seems to have faded away. The last mention of it was in 2011 when attached director D.J. Caruso announced it would be a prequel, and that he was looking over a script treatment. Since then, Visceral Games have indicated that they don't want to rush into a "cash grab adaptation", which is the likely reason for the holdup. Since then John Carpenter (Yes, that John Carpenter) expressed great interest in directing the film.
  • Around in the late 2000s, Electronic Arts announced that a film adaptation of The Sims is in development at 20th Century Fox with producer John Davis and an animated series based on their title MySims is stated to be in the works at Film Roman. However, several years later, both projects never materialized for unknown reasons.
  • Rumors of a Devil May Cry movie being in production/already existing have been floating around since the release of the third game. Fan movies exist, but that seems to be where the trail ends.
  • There were rumors that there would be a Fatal Frame movie, but it seems we're in for a long wait.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's was announced to be getting a film adaptation at New Line Cinema in 2015. Two years later, New Line canceled the film and placed it into turnaround due to Executive Meddling causing the budget to rapidly increase after the staff was forced to restart from scratch. Blumhouse then bought the rights shortly thereafter, and Chris Columbus is attached to direct, write and co-produce.
  • The Gears of War film has hit many roadblocks. New Line slashed the film's budget and apparently trimmed back the epic plot elements, requiring a new script to be written. Also, Len Wiseman decided not to direct the film. As of 2011, no one had any idea if the film would come out at all.
    • New Line's rights eventually expired in 2016 and were promptly picked up by Universal. Production seems to be back on track, with Scott Steuber (who was hired back in May 2013) and Dylan Clark (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) attached as producers.
  • Sony registered several domain names pertaining to a Grand Theft Auto movie in 2009. Nothing else was revealed after that.
  • The Halo movie adaptation was talked about a great deal in the late 2000s, but nothing ever came to fruition. Mostly due to creative control and budgetary constraints/disputes. The resulting collapse of the initial project turned into District 9. Microsoft has currently stated the project is on hold.
    • That said, a 90 minute 5-part web series titled Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn was released to promote the release of Halo 4, and another one titled Halo: Nightfall was released to promote The Master Chief Collection and Halo 5: Guardians.
    • This Wired article provides an in-depth view of the drama, and points out that the film's failure to materialize is likely due to Microsoft's inexperience in dealing with Hollywood politics, plus the problems that would be involved with it - minimizing the amount of Conspicuous CGI would be prohibitively expensive, and Hollywood has never done well with more-or-less silent protagonists.
  • A film based on Heavy Rain had the rights purchased for it before the game itself was released. The last word about it was in 2011, when Deadwood writer David Milch was said to be writing the script for the film adaptation.
  • Hunter: The Reckoning. Rumor has it the project entered development hell because Uwe Boll bought the film rights to the video game and when White Wolf found out just who was going to be adapting one of their properties for cinema, they rapidly put the kibosh on the project.
  • A film adaptation of Kane and Lynch has been in varying states of development over the years. Early information had Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx picked to play Kane and Lynch, respectively. A leaked 2007 draft of the script analyzed by Kotaku was not received well by fans due to a number of changes from the game, such as Lynch being a ditzy TV Genius instead of an Ax-Crazy psychopath. Since then, the only news of the film was in late 2013, stating that Gerard Butler and Vin Diesel were in talks to play the lead roles and Skip Woods was writing the script.
  • In 2014, it was announced that there would be a film adaptation of the 2013 hit The Last of Us, with the original game's creative director Neil Druckmann penning the screenplay. As of 2016, Druckmann mentioned that no work has been done for over a year and a half. The project was officially cancelled in early 2017.
  • The film adaptation of Mass Effect has been stuck in limbo for a long time. After being announced as a project by Legendary Pictures in 2008, nothing moved forward for two years until it was announced that Mark Protosevich (Thor) would be writing the screenplay. In 2011, Protosevich talked about the film, their plans for the script... and then nothing for another year. Protosevich left the project in early 2012, and Morgan Davis Foehl was brought on to revise the screenplay nine months later. Since then, little information has been heard besides vague references to the film being "fresh and new". Rumors abound that there are conflicts over how the game's narrative should be adapted to a film.
  • A movie based off Mega Man was announced in September 2015, after Fox had registered several domain names for it a year prior. Two years later, it was revealed that Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish) would write and direct the movie. Now, with the sale of Fox to Disney, its future is in uncertain territory.
  • In 2006, Hideo Kojima announced a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid was in development by Sony Pictures. However, aside from the usual reasons for this trope (budget concerns, who to give the rights to), the fact that Kojima (understandably) was very picky about who should direct the movie caused more than a few hurdles. For a while it seemed like the movie was being scrapped, until Avi Arad (former CEO of Marvel Studios and producer of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) came on board in 2013, reviving the project. A director (Jordan Vogt Roberts) has been brought on board and has been meeting with Kojima himself on writing the script. However, the movie is still being written and rewritten, and no other news (production team, actors, etc) has come out. Time will only tell if the movie ever will get off the ground.
  • The rights to make a Metroid movie were sold to two unnamed producers in 2003, who then sold them to John Woo in 2005, with a 2006 release date. Since then, not a word on so much as possible casting has been released, and no one's sure if John Woo even still has the rights or not. Nintendo has stated that they killed the project and the rights likely reverted to them. While Jordan Vogt-Roberts has expressed a desire to direct the film, and both Ronda Rousey and Brie Larson are interested in the lead role, whether Metroid will be Saved from Development Hell or not remains to be seen.
  • A Monkey Island film was in production for some time and got canceled. Much of the script was reworked for Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Mortal Kombat: Devastation, derailed by Hurricane Katrina. The studio had been set up in New Orleans.
    • In late 2015, early 2016 it was announced that James Wan would produce a new Mortal Kombat film for Warner Bros. Whether or not it'll materialize remains to be seen.
  • Onimusha, due to the death of Heath Ledger, who was to have played Roberto Frois from Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams.
  • Perfect Dark was announced in 2001 (later changed to a TV series, but still no word).
  • Back in 2013, director J. J. Abrams and Valve talk into the idea of developing a film adaptation based on Portal and/or Half-Life, despite its confirmation by Abrams himself in this footage and by Clevver News, Both projects are very early in development and no studio has been attached to them yet.
  • An adaptation of Rainbow Six (based off the third installment, Lockdown) with John Woo as director was announced way back in 2004. Nothing has been heard since.
  • A live-action/ stop motion hybrid film adaption of Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids was announced back in 2013 along with adaptions of other Ubisoft properties. Although said to be distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment and scripted by the writers of Robot Chicken, nothing has been officially announced since then.
  • Brad Pitt was rumored to be interested in developing and star in a film adaptation of Red Dead Redemption back in 2010, but since then there’s been radio silence.
  • Like the Crazy Taxi example above, Rent A Hero was one of several Sega properties that were announced to get a film adaptation; specifically, it came out of nowhere in Summer 2016. Steve Pink, the director of Hot Tub Time Machine, was supposed to direct it as the story of one guy who joins a hi-tech startup described as "Uber for heroes", so not very related to the original game that was very much a product of early 90s Japan.
  • 50 Cent wanted to make a Saints Row movie around 2009. Nothing has happened since.
  • Sony Pictures’ film adaptation of the 2005 PlayStation 2 adventure game Shadow of the Colossus has announced back in 2009. with Kevin Misher, producer of The Scorpion King and The Interpreter, was at first negotiating to produce. On May 23, 2012, it was reported that Chronicle director Josh Trank would be directing the film adaptation. On September 4, 2014, the film might finally move forward to become a reality as Variety reports that Mama Andrés Muschietti (who happens to be a fellow fan of the game) will be directing the film along with Hanna writer Seth Lochhead penning the script after Trank has dropped out in the wake Fantastic Four (2015). As of 2015, no cast or release date has been announced.
  • A Spy Hunter movie was advertised in the manual of the 2001 remake. The game Spy Hunter: Nowhere To Run was supposed to tie-in to this movie, but the film itself appears to be locked into this, if not cancelled outright.
  • The Suffering was slated for a 2012 release, but nothing has ever appeared hinting that the project even began. Given that the only available info on the project is from 2005-7, it doesn't seem likely.
  • Due to several directors dropping in and out in the course of making the film, the movie adaptation of Uncharted is currently an example of this. As of Spring 2019, the project seems to be finally headed to being a reality with casting underway. The studio has cast Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake, narrowed down the list of actors to play Nathan’s mentor, Sully, to four people and the female lead, Elena, is being screen tested.In May when Sony announced a new venture called PlayStation Production to turn their video game IP into movies, the CEO of Sony said that the film is in "advanced development". A few weeks later the project was given a Christmas 2020 release date.

     Miscellaneous sequels, remakes and reboots 
  • The Incredible Shrinking Man remake has been in preproduction for years with Eddie Murphy among the many people considered as possible candidates for the role of Scott Carey.
  • National Treasure 3 is becoming this, as IMDB lists a release date of ???? which is usually given to films in Development Hell. Whether it will happen remains to be seen. As of a statement made in 2014, they're still working on the script.
  • Universal Horror:
    • A remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon has been in on-and-off development since at least the early 1980s when John Landis tried to launch a production helmed by the director of the original movie, Jack Arnold. In 1995, Peter Jackson was given a choice between helming a new Creature movie or doing King Kong (2005). This fan site shows a stream of news and rumors about a remake going back over ten years. Stephen Sommers, Guillermo del Toro, Brett Rattner, and a crossover with Hellboy, of all things, have all been mentioned at one time or another (plus Gary Ross, who wrote a script as his father co-wrote the original). The latest would-be director is Breck Eisner (director of The Crazies (2010) and son of Michael Eisner), but who knows when or if a remake will actually materialize? Again, news of it appeared in 2016, and Scarlett Johansson was in talks to play the female lead, but nothing has been whispered since. Some of Guillermo del Toro's rejected ideas for a Creature remake were incorporated into his Best Picture-winning film The Shape of Water.
    • Universal announced a new Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe known as the Dark Universe in July 2014, with The Mummy as the first installment. Other films will include The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and yes, Creature from the Black Lagoon. A Van Helsing reboot set in the same universe has also been mentioned. However, the poor critical reception and box office flopping of The Mummy has put the future of the Dark Universe in question, with some even wondering if the whole thing will be a Stillborn Franchise. The Bride of Frankenstein remake had a set release date of February 14, 2019, with Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters and Beauty and the Beast (2017)) attached as director and Javier Bardem attached to star (with the studio in talks with Angelina Jolie as the Bride), but it was delayed indefinitely right before filming was supposed to begin. The Dark Universe was officially announced as cancelled in January 2019, with a series of separate and independent filmmaker-driven films taking its place.
  • Get Smart 2 was announced in 2008 after the release of the first Get Smart film set for a release in the summer of 2010. Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, and Alan Arkin all claimed they would return, but Carell stated several times later that he wasn't pleased with a script, and rewrites were in place.
  • The Dam Busters, a remake of the 1955 classic. Mel Gibson bought the rights in the late 1990s but never made much progress past rumors of filming in west England. Peter Jackson obtained the rights a few years ago and rumor has it that filming had begun in 2009. Then Jackson decided to scrap the film and restart in 3-D.
  • The American adaptation of Infection.
  • The Bad Seed remake, not counting the 1985 Made-for-TV Movie (in which, unlike the first film - but like the novel and play - the evil little girl's mother kills herself while the girl survives).
  • Halloween 9 seemed to have stalled. Once producer Moustapha Akkad died, the 9th film appeared to have died with him. Ironically, the remake of the first film got fast-tracked once he died. That means the fate of John Tate (Josh Hartnett) and Molly Cartwell (Michelle Williams), who were Put on a Bus at the end of Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later ("Drive down to the Beckers") will probably never be resolved.
    • There was even a contest sponsored by Dimension Films at one point that would award one lucky fan with a bit of screen time in this movie. Needless to say, a winner was apparently announced. Said winner was shown on the 30th-anniversary documentary, including showing the announcement of her winning. She was an extra in the remake.
      • Speaking of the remake, it was supposed to have a third installment at one point. Halloween 3D was announced with a 2012 release date before being shelved and canceled.
    • In February 2015, it was announced that Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan will be writing the new film along with Malek Akkad and Matt Stein producing. It even went into pre-production as Halloween Returns, with its storyline supposedly connected to the original series, apparently as yet another direct sequel to Halloween II (1981). It was delayed resulting from Melton and Dunstan's disagreements with the Weinsteins. Now the Halloween franchise has been dropped by Dimension and the Weinsteins, along with Melton and Dunstan's involvement. The rights then reverted back to Miramax, who teamed up with Blumhouse, Universal, John Carpenter himself, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green for the next film, finally resulting in Halloween (2018). However, that film is a direct sequel to the original 1978 film, completely abandoning the projects mentioned above.
  • The remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) was supposed to start a new franchise, with stars Jackie Earle Haley and Rooney Mara signed on for sequels, but the critical and commercial disappointment of the film stalled future installments, and sent Freddy back to the graveyard once again. Whispers of a new Nightmare film still pop up, but no such film is known to be in development.
  • A remake of Little Shop of Horrors was announced in 2009, with a director attached to the project and purportedly having a darker tone than previous versions. No further information has surfaced in the following years since.
  • Scream 5. The fourth film was supposed to be the start of a new trilogy (with Kevin Williamson writing outlines for the next two films), but after it failed to make money at the domestic box office (though it did well overseas), the Weinsteins decided not to make it a top priority. However, they kept dropping hints that it was still going to happen, possibly as the conclusion to the whole franchise (since the fourth film ended on something of a cliffhanger). Williamson has said that he's not writing the fifth film, likely because of the Executive Meddling that occurred during the fourth. MTV went on to air a television adaptation with a completely different storyline and set of characters, and then the Weinsteins said there will be no fifth film. Then the TV series itself was completely rebooted with the third season, ending its original story on a cliffhanger. Then Wes Craven (director of all four films) died. That, in addition to the troubles of The Weinstein Company, means that the possibility of any fifth film, especially involving the original characters, is extremely moot at this point. Neve Campbell has suggested that she might return to play Sidney Prescott once again if the script is good enough.
  • Hey Paul Reubens, when are you going to make those new Pee-wee Herman movies? At last report, two sequels were being written back-to-back but Herman's stage show has stalled production of said movies.
    • He stated in 2013 that a new TV show, and a new film, could happen in 2014. Late that year, Reubens announced the new film would be produced by Judd Apatow, and in February 2015, he stated it would be exclusive to Netflix, under the title Pee-wee's Big Holiday.
  • The sequel to Dog Soldiers, which was possibly derailed because of Gender Flip.
    • Announced for release on December 20, 2014, with further films coming, in March 2014. It hasn't happened.
  • Phantasm series, yet another horror franchise with a sequel stuck in Development Hell. The fifth (and supposedly final) film was announced as having been completed in March 2014, but no release date was given at the time.
  • A remake of A Clockwork Orange was originally announced in development, but due to the death of Heath Ledger (who had expressed great interest in playing Alex before the project was announced), it is unlikely that production will continue.
  • The remake of Hellraiser. Mostly due to the fact that the Weinsteins keep rejecting the ideas of every writer and director that has ever been attached to the project.
  • A sequel for Eastern Promises was supposed to happen, with Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel reprising their roles, but in the spring of 2012, director David Cronenberg announced that the project had fallen apart.
  • The Brazilian Job, the sequel to the 2003 remake of The Italian Job (2003) has been in the works since 2004 but was never finished due to the inability for the studio to agree on a finalized script. There have been rumors that a script was being considered in 2009, but nothing final. The project is currently still listed as being in development, but there's not even a projected year of release, so don't expect it anytime soon.
    • There are also rumors that one of the scripts for this film ended up becoming Fast Five, which is plausible, given that the plot for The Brazilian Job sounds almost identical to that film.
    • As of 2010, Word of God confirmed that the project is officially dead.
  • A third Fletch movie has been in the works since 1997, with Kevin Smith once attached to direct and Ben Affleck and even Zach Braff for the title role. This Entertainment Weekly article has all the sordid details.
  • Tongue of Fury, the sequel to Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, was announced since the end of the first film in 2002. However, no word of it has ever surfaced. Word of God states that Steve Oedekerk is still sifting through a huge library of Hong Kong martial arts films to find the right scenes to lift. There were also rumors of a possible 2010 release.
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension has two of these: The sequel film Buckaroo Banzai vs. the World Crime League, which stalled out despite enthusiastic responses from the original cast, and an animated spinoff TV series on Fox, Buckaroo Banzai: Ancient Secrets and New Mysteries. At this point, they can both be considered dead. The DVD release of the original movie was this for about a decade, due to a complicated rights issue that was not resolved until the death of the license holder. Amazon later gained the right to possibly make a whole TV series out of it, and even got Kevin Smith on as the director, but that didn't quite work out either.
  • Even after the under-performance of Reign of Fire, actors from the film still indicated that there still might be a sequel in the works. That was back in 2002.
  • The third Alien vs. Predator film. It helps both franchises went their own ways again.
  • A fifth Indiana Jones movie is much rumored by Spielberg, Lucas, Ford and LaBeouf. Considering that the fourth film was in Development Hell for nineteen years and that LucasFilm is occupied with Star Wars, it's hard to say if anything will come of the fifth film.
    • With the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, the Star Wars sequel trilogy is out of here (with Disney hot to produce some new films, and the merchandising that goes with them), and they have been talking about more films after those three, at a steady clip (every 2-3 years) into the indefinite future, which makes it harder to fit an Indiana Jones sequel in.
    • A fifth film can be made without Paramount's involvement (Disney has purchased Paramount's distribution rights to future sequels), and it has been confirmed for 2020, with Spielberg, Ford, and Crystal Skull writer David Koepp returning. But it has been confirmed to be the last, at least with Harrison Ford.
  • The sixth Die Hard film has become mired in pre-production. Initially titled Die Hardest and intended to be the Grand Finale to the series, the critical drubbing and underperforming box office of A Good Day to Die Hard was a likely cause of the film being placed on the backburner. It resurfaced a few years later with the title McClane, with a new plot that would cut between the present day and McClane's first year as a police officer. Production seemed to be progressing, but Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox appears to have put the film in limbo, and there is currently no word if Disney will allow the film's production to continue.
  • The remake of The Entity.
  • The remake of The Wiz, which was rumored to star Aaliyah and R&B singer Ginuwine. This was back in 1999-2000. But the idea seemed to stall even before Aaliyah's untimely death.
    • In 2015, NBC aired a live version of the musical, which appears to be unrelated, but makes the idea of another theatrical film less likely.
  • Multiple studios have tried to remake John Woo's The Killer. The first attempt was by Tri-Star in 1992, with a screenplay by Walter Hill with Richard Gere and Denzel Washington in the lead roles. It fell through due to the producers getting skittish over the script's Ho Yay undertones. A second attempt was announced in 2007 with John H. Lee directing and Woo producing, but also fell through due to Lee's committments to other projects. In 2018, Universal announced it was moving forward with the film, with Woo returning to direct and Lupita Nyong'o in a leading role.
  • The remake of Barbarella has been stuck here for a while. Back in 2008, Universal was gearing it up with Robert Rodriguez as the director. Rose McGowan was to take the role of Barbarella, but Universal freaked out over the high budget and they didn't think McGowan was right for the role. Rodriguez was not willing to make any changes, so he shopped the remake to other studios. Further problems came when his backers wanted Barbarella to be aimed for the German audience. Rodriguez didn't like that plan, so he finally gave up in May of 2009. Later, it was announced that Robert Luketic was to take over the director's chair, but production didn't really get off the ground. Now that the film's proposed producer, Dino De Laurentiis, has died, the remake now seems really unlikely despite rumors that Anne Hathaway is attached to the remake.
  • The Great Khan, Sergei Bodrov's follow-up to the 2007 Mongol.
  • A sequel to New Jack City has been in development since 1991, when it was announced to begin filming for a Christmas 1992 release. Since then, the project has been off-and-on in development. Most recently, there were plans to make it straight-to-DVD but not much is known yet.
  • The remake of Revenge of the Nerds. Fanboys director Kyle Newman was given the greenlight to direct a remake back in 2007. Unfortunately, the studio kept cutting the budget, and the only college in Georgia that would let them film was an all-girls school, as the other colleges had previously had bad experiences with film crews. The studios also kept on making demands for things as trivial as the main characters' wardrobe, then after the all-girls school found out that the film was more "risque" then the crew had let on, they were kicked out and had no money left to finish the movie, so the studio pulled the plug on the remake and nothing has been heard ever since.
  • Around 2003, Robert Zemeckis was planning to remake the William Castle film Macabre for Dark Castle Entertainment (a company he co-founded with Joel Silver) at some point in between the productions of The Polar Express and Beowulf. After Zemeckis got heavily into motion capture, he abandoned the project and eventually left Dark Castle to start Imagemovers Digital. Nothing has been heard about the project since.
  • The Clue remake, first announced in 2006. At first, it was announced as a straight remake of the 1985 comedy, then it wasn't, then Gore Verbinski joined the project, then it was a straight remake again, then it wasn't again. Hasbro soon parted ways on the project with Universal and went to 20th Century Fox with a new producing team, with Fox announcing the new film would be something of an international mystery that would span the globe, but to make a long story shortnote , the film seems to be stranded here for the foreseeable future. In January 2018, Ryan Reynolds was cast as the main star, with Reynolds collaborators Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick penning the script. Unfortunately, the film has since then gotten caught up with Fox's merger with Disney, leaving the future of the project very uncertain.
  • Jumanji 2, which would have involved the Jumanji board, after being spotted in the ocean, uncovered by two girls from France, building on a scene at the end of the film. It was scrapped when Chris Van Allsburg wrote Zathura as a sequel to the book that inspired the movie, with the intent of making The Movie based on the book (which ironically is more of a Spiritual Successor). A Jumanji sequel eventually was made, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, but going a whole different way (the board game updates itself into a video game).
  • A third film based on The Blair Witch Project is announced so many times that it's a clear case of this. It finally left this with a 2016 film, which was not billed as such (with a different title, even) during the early stages of its marketing.
  • The Highlander remake with Ryan Reynolds. The director who was attached eventually left the project due to Creative Differences.
  • Lawrence of Arabia was only the last in a long line of proposed T.E. Lawrence biopics, stretching back to the 1920s. Many never got past the idea stage, but a few came close to production:
    • Alexander Korda personally contacted Lawrence about a film based on his Revolt in the Desert. After Lawrence's death in 1935, Korda spent several years developing the project: Walter Judd, Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier and Robert Donat were all possibles for Lawrence. By 1939 the movie was finally ready to shoot, until the outbreak of World War II scrubbed it. Supposedly, Winston Churchill personally intervened, telling Korda that he didn't want to alienate Turkey in the lead-in to war.
    • In the early '50s, Columbia Pictures approached numerous directors to adapt Seven Pillars of Wisdom: John Ford, Michael Powell and none other than David Lean among them. None seemed especially interested, though the project kicked around for several years, with such unlikely names as Alan Ladd and Burgess Meredith rumored to play Lawrence.
    • Meanwhile, the British Rank Organization developed their own Lawrence movie. The project got underway in the late '50s, with a screenplay by Terence Rattigan and Dirk Bogarde attached to play Lawrence. The movie was set to film in Iraq, before a military coup in 1958 derailed production. Rattigan reconfigured his script into a stage play, Ross, which was successful enough that producer Herbert Wilcox again tried bringing it to the screen. By this time, however, Sam Spiegel and David Lean were producing Lawrence of Arabia. After an exchange of legal threats and lawsuits, Wilcox dropped the project. Ross was finally adapted in 1970... as a low-budget BBC television movie, starring a young Ian McKellen.
    • In early 2013 Roland Emmerich announced a Lawrence-focused miniseries, supposedly based on Michael Korda's Hero. There's been no news since that initial announcement.
  • In the late 2000s, Disney had been planning sequels to surprise hits Wild Hogs and The Proposal but canceled both after the box office failure of Old Dogs. While the former had gone through some development (even having a plot be revealed), the latter seems to have never gotten past talks nor was it known what it would have been about.
  • Development of the third Sherlock Holmes film seems to have stalled due to producer Joel Silver jumping ship to Universal and the second film not being as successful as Warner Bros. had hoped for (Silver and the studio also had a spat over the second film's marketing campaign, which was one of the things that led to Silver's departure).
  • Double V Vega, a Quentin Tarantino film that would starred Michael Madsen and John Travolta as brothers Vic and Vincent Vega (from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction respectively), was proposed after the latter film was released, but went unmade due to Tarantino's involvement in other projects (such as Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds), which ultimately left the project unfilmable due to how old the actors have gotten since they originally played the characters.
  • In 2010, Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro announced rival production labels (Raimi at Lionsgate, del Toro at Disney) that would produce horror films for younger audiences. Raimi's label even announced its first project (a remake of the 2007 Swedish sci-fi film The Substitute) but neither label got past talks due to Raimi's busy schedule and Disney cutting its production slate.
  • Apparently someone wanted to remake the odd sci-fi/comedy/satire Big Man Japan, a very unusual choice since it's firmly rooted in Japanese culture (and also contains some kind of jab at the USA in the end). As expected, nothing more than the announcement has ever surfaced.
  • Around 2005 a modern-day remake of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch was announced, to be directed by David Ayer. Years passed without further developments. Then in early 2013 news outlets reported a similar project featuring Will Smith in production.
  • As of October of 2013, it's the sequel to the Evil Dead (2013) remake. Fede Alvarez and co-writer Rodo Sayagues have walked away from the project alleging that it was dead. Which is weird because a few months prior, they claimed work was already started on the sequel, only to completely do a 180. Are they lying or what?
    • A sequel to Army of Darkness and a third crossover film that would bring the original film series to the same world as the remake series has also apparently been scrapped. The Army sequel alone may have been scrapped completely in favor of the Starz TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead instead that premiered in 2015.
  • Sometime in the late 2000s, a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show was announced but it never happened due to protests from the movie's cult followers, who detested the idea that MTV/Disney Channel teen idols would be cast in the lead roles. A live broadcast remake, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, was released in 2016 on Fox, which mostly got a middling reception.
  • A sequel to Dude, Where's My Car? was rumored sometime after the release of the first film, but nothing more was heard afterward.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • A third Scooby-Doo film was planned and green-lit during production of the second film, and Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini signed on to reprise their roles. After the second film performed less than expected (wasn't a flop though, it still made money, just not as much as the studio hoped), Warner Bros. canceled the project. Five years later, two made-for-TV prequels were made with a different cast. There are now talks of a reboot of the series, in addition to a theatrical animated film.
    • Speaking of the prequels, there was supposed to be a third one of those as well, with the entire cast signed on. However, the project has gone nowhere. It might have to do with the negative reception The Curse of the Lake Monster received.
  • In 2000, director Mike Nichols announced he was remaking the British comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, starring Robin Williams (replacing Alec Guinness as the D'Ascoyne family) and Will Smith (in the Dennis Price role as the murderous heir). The project bounced around for several years, but a suitable script was never completed, while the director and stars worked on other projects instead. With both Nichols and Williams now deceased, any chance that the film would ever go into production seems to have vanished.
  • The long-mooted My Fair Lady remake. When first announced in 2008, Columbia Pictures attached Danny Boyle to direct and Emma Thompson write the screenplay, with Daniel Day-Lewis as Henry Higgins and Keira Knightley as Eliza Doolittle. By 2009, Boyle had dropped out of the project, followed by Day-Lewis and Knightley. Then John Madden was announced as director, with Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan starring. Then Madden left the project after Columbia demanded Madden cast Hugh Grant as Higgins instead of Firth. Then, after Firth won Best Actor for The King's Speech in 2011 he was reattached to star... by which time Mulligan was tied up shooting Shame and The Great Gatsby. Finally, in 2012 CBS Films threatened to sue Columbia over rights to Lerner and Loewe's musical. As of fall 2014, the movie still hasn't been made, and it doesn't seem likely anytime soon.
  • There was a Chopping Mall remake announced years ago. But so far nothing has come of it. IMDB says it's still "In Development".
  • Star Trek has had several unproduced projects, many of which never got past the proposal stage, although there were some movie projects that had significant preproduction work done before being shelved:
    • Star Trek: Planet of the Titans was one of several ideas to revive the live-action franchise in The '70s, but the only one to gain enough traction to move beyond the earliest drafts. Eventually, the project stalled and was ultimately shelved in favor of a new TV series, Star Trek: Phase II, though after extensive pre-production work had been done on the series, it too was shelved in favor of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Two study models of a delta-winged Enterprise created for Planet of the Titans (based on designs by Ken Adam and Ralph McQuarrie) were ultimately used as background ships in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
    • The proposed Starfleet Academy prequel movie (alternately known as Star Trek: The First Adventure and Star Trek: The Academy Years) that Harve Bennett had hoped to make as the sixth film was shelved in favor of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. However, the prevailing feeling around Paramount was that the 25th-anniversary movie should feature the original cast, and there were concerns that recasting the classic characters would've been too great of a risk. The original cast was also not happy about being replaced. Some helped spread the false rumor that the film was to be a spoof in the footsteps of Police Academy In addition, an Academy film would've required all-new sets, costumes, and models, all of which would've been time-consuming to create, while a movie set in the film series' "present" era allowed the reuse of existing assets, making it a lot easier for the film to make the desired December 1991 release date. Bennett would try to sell the project again over the next several years, but Paramount ended up using only the most bare-bones part of the premise - Kirk, Spock, and McCoy meeting at the Academy - in J. J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009).
    • The 4th Star Trek movie has been put on ice after the box office underperformance of Star Trek Beyond. Although Abrams and Paramount were confident in another installment, the financial failure of Beyond and many of Paramount's tentpole films led the studio to focus more on developing smaller budget movies. In 2018, Paramount greenlit both a main sequel directed by S. J. Clarkson and a spin-off directed by Quentin Tarantino. However, to accommodate the smaller budget of the sequel, the cast had their salaries reduced significantly, leading to Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth dropping since they were originally promised lucrative pay raises that were agreed upon prior to Beyond's release. Abrams also vacated his role as producer and creative consultant after signing on to direct The Rise of Skywalker, which lost its original director and undergone massive re-writes following the death of Carrie Fisher. The death of cast member Anton Yelchin (Chekov) also dampened much enthusiasm for future sequels. With no release dates for either film, the cast and crew have moved on to other projects, effectively ending the rebooted Kelvin timeline.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer remake. Warner Bros. purchased the rights to do the film in 2010, and earlier Vertigo Entertainment had expressed interest in doing a reboot film without series creator Joss Whedon to much controversy. It was also announced that the film would likely be a remake of the 1992 film and have nothing to do with the much better-received TV series with Heather Morris and Candice Accola both in talks for the title character, and Kristy Swanson expressing interest in a cameo. Whit Anderson had written a script that was rejected in 2011. That's the last we've heard of the project since.
  • The fourth Dungeons & Dragons movie — Hasbro sued Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema to get the film rights to the series back, upset that Warner did not let the rights lapse after the original film was so loose and out of touch with its source material that it flopped both critically and commercially. The fourth film was thought to have been canceled after the lawsuit was filed, but the three parties eventually settled. The fourth movie is now back in production, with Hasbro serving as a co-producer through Allspark Films and expecting to receive the rights back once Warner is finished with their fourth movie.
  • The Godfather, Part IV. Paramount has long wanted to make another sequel to The Godfather, despite the third film's mixed reception and Francis Ford Coppola's opposition. In the late '90s, Mario Puzo worked on a script patterned on the second film's parallel storylines: a modern-day segment focusing on Vincent Mancini (Andy Garcia) inheriting the Corleone family, and a flashback to the '30s showing Vito consolidating power in the Prohibition era with help from a young Sonny (with Leonardo DiCaprio mooted for the role). Puzo's death in 1999 scuttled the project, though his script was later adapted into Ed Falco's novel The Family Corleone. Paramount won rights to the Godfather franchise from Puzo's estate in a 2012 lawsuit, but there's no indication that a fourth installment's actually going forward.
  • A third Ghostbusters film was stuck in this state for over 25 years. Announcements of Ghostbusters III (which inevitably fell through every time) were so common that they became a joke within the fandom and among film journalists. By the time Harold Ramis died in 2014, taking with him any chance of the film being made with the original cast, the only continuation of the series since 1989 had come in the form of animated, video game, and comic book adaptations. By that point, they had to reboot the franchise in order to get a third Ghostbusters film made at all. And two years after that, Dan Aykroyd started up the rumor mill again... but he was then joined by Jason Reitmannote , who confirmed a new Ghostbusters installment that would serve as a sequel to the first two films and ignore the 2016 reboot. Sony announced a release date of July 10, 2020, shortly after.
  • As IMDB's trivia page for the film and a few other sites report, Columbia purchased the rights for a remake of Swedish comedy film Kopps, about a small town's police force, shortly after the film came out. Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Production was supposedly involved. But the film came out in 2003 and nothing more was heard about the remake since then.
  • A fourth Austin Powers film was announced in 2005 but so far, nothing has come of it yet. Two cinematic failures starring Mike Myers haven't helped, and the April 2018 passing of cast member Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) makes this even less likely, yet as of late 2018, Myers still insists it's coming. Someday.
  • The third Bill & Ted film; Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves have talked about since the early 2010s, a script has been written, and Dean Parisot of Galaxy Quest has been attached as the director. However, rights and funding issues have kept it in Development Hell for a good long while. Fortunately, as of May 8th, 2018, it was officially announced to be in pre-production, with the title Bill and Ted Face The Music with an official plot synopsis.
  • The re-reboot of Friday the 13th appears to be dead. The film already had a turbulent time trying to get off the ground, which is detailed at length in this article, but the biggest blow came in February 2017 when Paramount not only stripped its October 13th release date, but halted production indefinitely as well. Legal and rights issues surrounding the franchise are not helping matters. The film died for good when the franchise rights reverted back to New Line Cinema in 2018.
  • A remake of I Know What You Did Last Summer was confirmed by Sony Pictures in 2014 with Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard writing the script, with the film being "high priority" and being set for a 2017 release. Nothing else was said until 2016 when Flanagan mentioned in a podcast interview that the film will be more of a reboot, not borrowing the story from the 1997 film or it's 1974 source novel by Lois Duncan, and that it would carry a $15-$20 million budget. Nothing has been whispered since.
  • Shortly after 28 Weeks Later was released, Danny Boyle indicated plans for a third installment, Twenty Eight Months Later, was in the works. Unfortunately, copyright issues mean it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.
  • A sequel to the 2014 RoboCop reboot was planned, only to be shelved for several years due to the reboot flopping massively in the United States. Den of Geek reported in 2015 that Sony was still intent on making the sequel, but several years later it was reported that the sequel was dead, as the rights to the RoboCop franchise reverted back to MGM. A second reboot, said to take place after the first film and thus rendering the original sequels non-canon, was announced simultaneously with District 9's Neill Blomkamp attached to direct.
  • A live-action reboot of Inspector Gadget was announced in May 2015, with the planned film said not to share any ties to the 1999 film or its sequel. This is the only thing that's been heard about the project thus far.
  • The second sequel to Prometheus (after Alien: Covenant) is on ice after Covenant failed to impress at the box office. That hasn't stopped Ridley Scott from talking about it, but with Disney taking over 20th Century Fox, even Scott isn't sure if the sequel will ever get off the ground.
  • The Host came out in 2006 and was the highest-grossing Korean film ever at the time, so naturally, there were soon talks of a sequel and a remake. The sequel (or maybe a prequel) was supposed to be released in Summer 2012 as a 3D movie and apparently was about authorities denying the existence of the monster. The American remake was announced in 2008 with Gore Verbinski as producer and had a planned release date of 2011. Nothing more has been heard about either of them. On top of that, even the video game based on the film became vaporware as well.
  • In 2012, a sequel to Twins titled Triplets was revealed to be in development, and the plot would revolve around Julius and Vincent finding out about their long lost brother, whom Eddie Murphy would play. No further news has been made about the film since.

     Western Animation Adaptations 
  • A live-action film based on The Jetsons has been in development hell for a very long time. Paramount purchased the rights to do one in 1985 but sold them to Universal Studios a few years later. The result was the animated film, Jetsons: The Movie. A live-action film was later discussed in 1995, but nothing happened. In 2001, Rob Minkoff was attached to direct a live-action Jetsons film, but in 2003, it was announced that its script was being reworked and Adam Shankman in talks to direct. In 2004, the script went through another rewrite with Sam Harper, and Shankman still attached to direct. It once again fizzled but was resurrected again in 2006 with Adam F. Goldberg now attached to write the screenplay and Robert Rodriguez entering negotiations with Universal to direct a CGI film for a 2009 release, but the project stalled. In 2012, Kanye West, of all people, was rumored to be involved in a Jetsons film project in some way, though this was later confirmed to just be a preliminary idea. The film rights are now in Warner Bros.' hands. In 2015, they announced that they planned on producing another animated Jetsons film with Matt Lieberman of SourceFed writing the script. Unfortunately, no live-action film is known to be in development at the moment.
  • Jonny Quest is another Hanna-Barbera property with a live action film stuck in development hell for decades. It was first announced in the early 90s when Turner began seriously pushing a revival of the franchise. Richard Donner expressed interest in directing, with production beginning in 1995 and filming scheduled for 1996, but it never happened. The project was revived in 2006 with Zac Efron attached to star as Jonny Quest and Dwayne Johnson attached to star as Race Bannon, but once again, the project fizzled. In 2016, Robert Rodriguez became the next name to be attached to direct a live-action Jonny Quest film, and Chris McKay (director of The LEGO Batman Movie) was attached in 2018, but time will tell on if it actually goes into production.
  • A Johnny Bravo movie was confirmed to be in development from Warner Bros. as a star vehicle for Dwayne Johnson. That was back in 2002, and nothing has been heard since.

     Other 
  • The Story of Bonnie and Clyde has been delayed for several years. After Hilary Duff, who was cast as Bonnie, became pregnant, the producers quickly replaced both leads fearing that the film would be delayed further if they waited for Duff to be available. That was back in 2011, and the film has yet to enter production. Given the December 2013 release of the A&E miniseries, Bonnie and Clyde, starring Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch (which may or may not have ever been connected to the Hilary Duff remake), a feature film remake seem unlikely anytime soon.
    • Films about the Outlaw Couple tend to attract this. An independent project on the pair attempted to get off the ground during The '90s, and even got as far as having footage shot for it, but was unable to secure enough funding to complete the film. There were whispers of another attempt at a film around The New '10s, but nothing has come of it so far.
  • Guillermo del Toro examples:
  • Tulia is about an attorney who works on behalf of a group of local black men who are wrongly convicted of their involvement in a drug ring. Likely the politically-charged nature of the story, based on an actual event, has derailed this project.
  • Similarly, Pinkville, which is about the My Lai Massacre.
  • A few years ago there were competing development projects about Hannibal Barca. One with Denzel Washington, another with Vin Diesel. Either one could have been interesting. But so far, nothing.
  • The Sky Is Falling has a reputation as one of the greatest screenplays never filmed. Drew McWeeney wrote about this script from The '90s in an August 2013 Hitfix.com article about films that never made it: Two priests Go Mad from the Revelation of God's nonexistence and become Ax-Crazy, and now the challenge for the authorities is to both stop their rampage and keep the physical proof of this revelation from becoming known to the rest of the world, lest further mayhem ensues. It's little to no wonder New Line Cinema didn't go through with it.
  • Similarly, Brian Flemming's Danielle.
  • The re-release of Let It Be. Contrary to popular belief, neither Paul McCartney nor Ringo Starr have tried to block its re-release, nor are they opposed to the idea of it being re-released — in fact, McCartney WANTS it to be, and has openly wondered why it hasn't been. The reluctance seems to instead lie with Apple Corps, as McCartney has stated he's brought it up several times to the board, only for them to nix the idea each time for one reason or another.
  • Since at least the early 1990s, Roger Daltrey of The Who has been attempting to put a biopic of his late Crazy Awesome drummer bandmate Keith Moon on the big screen. Robert Downey Jr. was once considered for the lead role before, in Daltrey's words, he read the script and did everything in it. Mike Myers was teased all throughout the 2000s to be playing the man himself, but after its intended release day in 2007 passed, nothing has come of it. Currently, IMDB lists the film as "Untitled Keith Moon Project", with Mike Myers still attached to the title role.
  • The Dionaea House, a story told virally over the internet from 2004 to 2006, abruptly stops on several cliffhangers at different points in time, apparently because Warner Bros. purchased rights for a film adaptation. According to eBay's film listing, it was supposed to come out in 2007. IMDB once had a listing for a 2010 release (under the name The Residents for some reason), but even that has fallen down the Memory Hole.
    • According to the creator it's dead for now. Whether or not the door is still open for it to be made remains to be seen.
  • Something called Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and written by Tina Fey, was supposed to come out around 2007 or 2008. It's still listed as an upcoming project on both Cohen and Fey's IMDb pages.
  • The Rifts movie. Jerry Bruckheimer picked up the right in 2004, and has been renewing the option every year, but doesn't seem to have done anything with it yet. Though, considering how other Rifts spin-offs (like the CCG and the N-Gage video game) went, this may not be a bad thing.
  • A biopic of silent film comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle has been in this state for about three decades. Like the aforementioned A Confederacy of Dunces, it had John Belushi, John Candy, and Chris Farley lined up to star in it shortly before their respective deaths. No word has come out of it since.
  • The Snoop Dogg movie Black Ice has been on and off in development for the latter part of the decade. Snoop said in an interview that scheduling and communication issues have caused the delays, but insists that it'll see the light of day.
  • A biopic about Baron Gustaf Mannerheim, Marshal of Finland during World War II, was announced in 2000, with Finnish director Renny Harlin attached. The filming has been postponed many times due to budgetary issues. Harlin finally pulled out in May 2011, but it is unclear whether the project will go on without him.
  • The Minds of Billy Milligan, the story of an (actual) man with multiple personalities, was adapted into a screenplay called The Crowded Room by Todd Graff in something like the late 1970s. Dozens of actors, producers, and directors including James Cameron (who wrote a second screenplay) and Steven Soderbergh have signed onto the project and quit.
  • The film adaptation of Green Day's rock opera American Idiot has been in development since 2005. Several scripts have been written, and Tom Hanks has expressed interest in producing the film, but nothing definitive has yet been announced. When asked if the movie was a truth, lie, or mystery, drummer Tre Cool responded that it was "a true mystery".
  • This ESPN the Magazine article gives an inside account of the process of getting stuck in Development Hell. David Fleming's tried for years to get his novel Breaker Boys, about an early NFL team whose championship was revoked after bitter lobbying by richer rival team owners, onto the big screen. Fleming sees this as a larger failure than most — because the movie isn't getting made, the NFL won't be forced to admit its mistake and restore the stolen championship.
    • Ultimately, the project was sunk by the failure of Leatherheads, which studios believed signified there was no money to be made in a movie about football in the 1920s. As the article mentions, Leatherheads was itself stuck in development hell until George Clooney stepped into the picture. Fleming's ESPN colleague Rick Reilly wrote the original screenplay in 1991... and it hit theaters in 2008. It's a point of contention between Fleming and Reilly as to who got the worse deal.
  • Michael Jackson-related examples:
  • 20th Century Fox optioned William Monahan's script Tripoli in 2001, depicting the Barbary Pirate Wars. After Monahan's 2006 Oscar win for The Departed its production was announced, putatively directed by Ridley Scott and featuring Russell Crowe, Keanu Reeves, and Ben Kingsley. Despite periodic claims of future release dates, it still hasn't been made.
  • In 2007, a film version of The Mayor of Castro Street, a biography of Harvey Milk, was announced. This was derailed by the successful release of Milk the following year.
  • In 2006 it was announced that Martin Scorsese would direct an adaptation of Edmund Morris's biography The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, written by Nicholas Meyer and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Roosevelt. Ever since it's been on hiatus, with little evidence that the project ever developed beyond the idea stage. Scorsese put Rise on hold for other projects, before ultimately dropping out as director. Scorsese has said that he's interested in producing the film if someone else would direct, but as of yet, no one's taken him up on the offer.
  • After proving to be a dynamic duo in the film classics Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, Hollywood big-shots Robert Redford and Paul Newman tried for years to do another film that would feature them together. Hope for that third movie died along with Newman in 2008.
  • Universal announced a live-action LEGO Hero Factory movie project back in 2012, and despite the other major LEGO-inspired film becoming a huge success, it hasn't been discussed any further. With the toy line being canceled in response to the 2015 return of its much more famous predecessor, it is doubtful that it will ever be made.
  • A live-action film based on the Monster High franchise was announced around 2010 and was allegedly going to come out in 2012. With no information about the movie has been released (as well as the franchise-spawning a series of successful DTV movies and TV specials), it was most likely cancelled.
    • A new animated musical film called Boo York, Boo York is coming out in 2015. The unreleased film was supposed to be a musical so Boo York, Boo York might be an attempt to salvage it—or is a jab at it.
    • The live-action film seemed to be back on track, as Universal recurited Ari Sandel (The Duff) to direct and set it for an October 2016 release. However, with DreamWorks jumping ship from Disney to Universal that year, its release date was snubbed in favor of DreamWorks' The Girl on the Train. No new release date has been announced since then.
  • A biopic about Mary Shelley titled Mary Shelly's Monster staring Sophie Turner fell to this in this state. Between no new casting information coming up about the film since its August 2014, the production falling to Schedule Slip (it was supposed to begin in Fall of 2014 but was delayed to January 2015, but still failed to start)
  • The Chronicles of Rick Roll, a fantasy comedy starring various internet celebrities such as Tay Zonday, Numa Numa Guy, David After Dentist and Chad Vader among many others (though ironically, not Rick Astley of Rickroll fame), was announced back in 2013 and was expected to be released in 2014. Very little of the film's plot and development has ever come up and it ended up getting delayed repeatedly. (Plus, with the speed at which Internet memes move, the whole movie would've likely never held up in the long term and become an Unintentional Period Piece at best.)
  • A Blue Man Group movie entitled Mind Blast, in which the original performers enter a creatively congested person to help them express themselves, was announced in 2011, and that was the last time anyone heard about it.
  • The Candy Land movie. It was initially announced by both Hasbro and Universal in 2009, but they soon dropped it in favor of Battleship. The rights were later picked up by Sony, who then attached Adam Sandler as star. However, a lawsuit over ownership of the characters for the game kept it from getting greenlit, and then came Sandler's point-blank demands that Sony carve out $200 million for the projectnote , which Sony bluntly refused. Eventually, Hasbro got tired of waiting for Sony to sort itself out and decided to reboot the project from scratch, this time at Warner Bros. (With Sandler staying on) Time will only tell when the project will be green-lit this time.
  • There are several movies about Harry Houdini, that were planned but never made:
    • In 1932 RKO Pictures considered making a biopic, with Paul Muni in the lead. For legal reasons Houdini's name could not be used, so Harry Houdini became Harry Pinetti. Titled Now You See It the first screenplay was written by Fulton Oursler, who knew Houdini personally. Oursler's screenplay followed Houdini's life very loosely and invented many fictional episodes. Then Kubec Glasmon was brought in to write a new screenplay. The project was then shelved, but in 1936 the Pinetti name resurfaced in treatment for a movie called Man of Magic, which had nothing to do with Houdini. That movie was also never made.
    • In the mid-30s Houdini's widow, Bess Houdini, approached Columbia Pictures about a Houdini biopic, however, the studio's president, Harry Cohn, rejected it, claiming, that Houdini's life was not dramatic enough. Then Mrs. Houdini approached Paramount, which in 1936 announced Houdini the Great, with a screenplay by Frank O’Connor and Dore Schary as producer. Schary later commissioned another screenplay by Pierre Collings. Paramount however eventually dropped the project and in 1944 Schary offered it to David O. Selznick. Selznick wanted Alfred Hitchcock to direct it and Cary Grant or Joseph Cotten to star in it, but the Master of Suspense rejected it. Then William Dieterle was attached to the project as director and Garry Moore as Houdini, but the project soon died out.
    • Producer Ray Stark tried to make his own Houdini biopic for many years. In 1969 he announced a stage musical about the King of Handcuffs under the title Hocus Pocus. By 1974 this turned into a movie called The Magic Man: The Story of Houdini, with James Bridges as director and James Caan as Houdini. However, the movie went through several screenwriters, as Stark was unsatisfied with them. At one point Stark wanted to turn the movie into a time travel fantasy. Then in the early-90s Stark managed to sign on Robert Zemeckis as director, with Universal and Columbia co-producing the movie. However there was still no script, so in 1992 Zemeckis dropped out. By 1997 Stark managed to get a screenplay written by Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson and Paul Verhoeven signed on as a director, but he soon left the project. Up until his death in 2004, Ray Stark claimed, that he was in talks with Ang Lee to direct and Tom Cruise to star in his Houdini biopic, but the project went to the grave with him.
    • In 1988 a movie called Harry's Back! was announced, which would have starred Tony Curtis as a man turning up in present-day New York and claiming to be Houdini. The movie was never made. Similarly announced, but never made was The Dead of Night, which would have paired Houdini with Aleister Crowley. The project never went beyond an ad in a 1990 issue of Variety.
  • A Milli Vanilli biopic has been in this state for years.
  • In 1960, Robert F. Kennedy published a nonfiction book called The Enemy Within about his role in the Senate's investigation of organized crime and labor corruption. After his brother became President and RFK became Attorney General, he hoped to adapt it into a film, approaching producer Jerry Wald. Wald commissioned Budd Schulberg, screenwriter of the similarly-themed On the Waterfront to write a screenplay, which he did in 1962 in close collaboration with Kennedy; Waterfront director Elia Kazan was attached to direct, and there were even talks with Paul Newman to play Kennedy himself. Just as production seemed ready to start, Wald died of a heart attack, Kazan fell out with Schulberg over changes to the script, and the project fell into limbo. While several studios considered producing it afterward, threats from the Teamsters and other unions which Kennedy's book depicted in less-than-flattering terms, made producers reluctant to film it, while Kennedy's own interest in the project eventually waned. As late as 1969, the year after Kennedy's assassination, there were still rumors of a production by Columbia Pictures, but nothing ever came of them.
  • Hasbro has attempted multiple times since The '90s to give Stretch Armstrong his own movie. Proposals varied wildly, from a When You Coming Home, Dad? comedy to a Darker and Edgier action tentpole. Actors considered include Danny DeVito, Jackie Chan, and Taylor Lautner. Lautner even received an animatic demonstrating how his stretching powers could apply to a set piece. Hasbro ultimately had more luck adapting Stretch Armstrong for the small screen; Netflix gave him his own cartoon in 2017, starring Scott Menville.
  • Gray State was to be a dystopian action film about a Second American Revolution against a One World Order, largely rooted in the conservative/libertarian fears and conspiracy theories of its creator, David Crowley. Unfortunately, given Crowley's double murder-suicide of his family, the film will likely never see the light of day. The only thing to come from it has been a Werner Herzog-produced documentary, titled A Gray State, about Crowley and what drove him over the edge.
  • As hinted above, just about every Terry Gilliam film experiences Development Hell one way or another. Says Eric Idle on Terry Gilliam productions, "Go and see them by all means — but to be in them, fucking madness!"
    • Following the success of The Fisher King, Gilliam and Richard LaGravenese worked on a script called The Defective Detective, which centered on a cop getting trapped in a child's fantasy world. Nicolas Cage was considered to play the lead, but Paramount didn't give the project the go-ahead. While Gilliam still has plans to make the film and hinted at it for years, it's currently on the back burner.
    • Gilliam has toyed with making Theseus and The Minotaur ever since The '70s, though it is still stuck in script phase.
    • Gilliam also wanted to direct an adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities with Mel Gibson, but Gibson dropping out and budget disputes prevented this from happening.
  • There have been several attempts to adapt Barbie as a live-action movie. The earliest effort was in 1986 when The Cannon Group (yes, really) planned to produce such a film, but was scrapped following Masters of the Universe's poor reception. Nearly 30 years later, Sony announced plans to adapt Barbie on the silver screen, with Amy Schumer in talks to play the title role, but left and was replaced by Anne Hathaway. Diablo Cody was set to write before leaving due to scheduling conflicts with Tully. After she dropped out, Sony put the film for a 2020 release, only for the film to be canceled when Mattel decided to set up its own movie unit and Sony's option for the franchise expired. Warner Bros. is now in talks to produce the movie, though it's unclear if anything from the Sony project will be retained.
  • A film based off Christian the lion was announced in 2008 by Sony Pictures, with Neal Moritz producing. After trudging along for about five years, it got a writer and director before the Sony hack shook up Sony management, with newly-installed motion picture group chairman Tom Rothman deciding not to move forward with it. It was shelved indefinitely when Moritz jumped ship to Paramount a couple of years later due to continued conflict with Rothman, and with both the writer and director having moved on, no progress has been made.
  • Fox acquired the film rights to both Magic: The Gathering and Play-Doh from Hasbro in 2014. Since then, no other word has come out from either project, and both projects appear to be shelved in the aftermath of Fox's acquisiton by Disney.
    • The former film appears to be dead, as Netflix announced an anime Magic: The Gathering series in June 2019 that will be helmed by The Russo Brothers. The latter film is still in limbo.
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