MovieBob Thanksgiving 10 Movies Were Thankful Were Never Made

first_img MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target It’s the time of year when people think back on all the things they’re thankful for. But have you ever thought about giving thanks for things you don’t have? Or things that didn’t happen? For example: Sure, there are a lot of bad movies out there — but many, many more almost happened but (thankfully!) never made it to the finish line.Here are 10 movies we’re thankful never hit the big screen.Jack Black’s Green LanternIf you’ve never looked at The Green Lantern‘s power-set and thought “Green… brings anything he imagines into being… this is just like The Mask!” (as in, the Jim Carrey movie) you clearly aren’t Warner Bros. studio executive material. The first live-action Green Lantern script, commissioned from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog creator Robert Smigel as a vehicle for pre-School of Rock Jack Black, traded Hal Jordan for a pudgy Gen-X slacker whose “fearlessness” was based on winning Fear Factor-style reality shows and who used the Power Ring to do comedic things like trapping villains in giant condoms, creating energy-construct strippers to entertain him, and generally participate in running gags about how Green Lantern’s powers, weaknesses, and mythos are “stupid;” leading to a final punchline where he saves the day by creating an energy-construct green Superman to do his job for him. At one point, it was going to end with a Ghostbusters/”Mr. Stayt Puft”-inspired climax featuring Legion assuming the form of a giant Pikachu (because he’s yellow, you see.)AtukThe main reason to be thankful that this unfilmed adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s 1963 book isn’t made is that it’s a bad, dated idea for a comedy; a “fish out of water” gagfest built around the humor of a “funny fat guy” white comedian doing an ethnic-caricature of an Eskimo lost in New York. But there’s a darker reason to leave Atuk buried in the past: It’s cursed! An infamous item of Hollywood legend, the script at one point passed through the hands of every popular “larger framed” comedy star working — and everyone who signed for the role (including Jon Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy and Chris Farley) is said to have died unexpectedly shortly after. That’s a creepy coincidence.Superman Reborn (“Magic Baby” Version)You’ve probably heard tales of several famous unmade Superman movies, from Kevin Smith’s “giant spider” Superman Lives! script to J.J. Abrams’ bizarre “Flyby” and maybe even the alternate-version Superman 3 where Robert Vaughn and Richard Pryor’s characters were originally meant to be Brainiac and Mr. Myxzptlk — but Warner Bros. has canceled a lot more Superman projects than that: One pitch, from 1993, was one of many projects set up under the heading “Superman Reborn” and would’ve used the title quite literally — before being killed by Doomsday, Superman uses Kryptonian science-magic to transfer his life-essence to Lois Lane… causing her to immaculately conceive and give birth to a rapidly-aging Superman reincarnation who must be kept safe until he reaches adulthood/full-power, and can battle the film’s various villains. Presumably not a Mother’s Day release.Cheech & Chong Meet JasonBack in the 40s, Universal Pictures had one of their biggest smash hits by crossing the stars and characters of its comedy and horror franchises in “Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein.” In the early 1980s, during a period when Paramount was distributing both the Friday the 13th series and had stoner comedy pioneers Cheech & Chong still under contract for another few features, an idea was floated to try a modern version of the same premise: Have the doped-up duo sign on as camp counselors at Crystal Lake and let Jason Voorhees chase them around the woods. The pitch never got past discussion phase, but that’s still closer than horror fans probably would have preferred.Man-WitchIt certainly says something that Jack Black’s name appears several times on this, mostly that it took Hollywood forever to figure out what to do with his unusual comedic voice — and that he was resilient enough to stick it out until they did. Man-Witch was an original screenplay from Old School and Hangover writer/director Todd Philips pitched as a parody of Harry Potter and would’ve seen Black attending a Witch School as a long-prophecized, rarely-born “male witch.” However, because his existence had gone undetected until adulthood, much of the comedy was meant to come from Black being a grown man attending a school for (and otherwise exclusively populated by) young girls and dealing with the “attention” of teachers, moms, and other Witches who had been awaiting his overdue arrival. Along with Green Lantern, it was one of many Warner Bros. projects Black turned down in the late-2000s when he turned his attentions to more ambitious productions.Marvel’s Dazzler: The MovieBelieve it or not, Marvel Comics’ disco-powered 70s X-Men-tagalong Alison “The Dazzler” Blair was originally created as part of a bizarrely ambitious plan to launch a live-action movie with Casablanca records. The film, which would have been preceded by concert tour an album release by a model/actress/singer under contract to Casablanca performing “as” Dazzler, would have seen the heroine transported to a post-apocalyptic future New York along with Spider-Man and The Avengers to thwart a war between super-powered incarnations of KISS and The Village People (as themselves) serving as the foot-soldiers of rival warrior queens played by Cher and Donna Summer; with Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, and other big-name comedy stars sought for supporting roles before the production fell apart between 1979 and 1980.SprocketsMike Myers revived the art of turning short-form Saturday Night Live sketches into smash-hit feature comedies with Wayne’s World, far and away his most popular recurring routine. So it makes sense studios would want to try and make that lightning strike again with another 1990s Myers/SNL fixture: Sprockets was a send-up of West German variety/talk shows centered on Myers as a preening black-turtleneck clad caricature named Dieter, and its movie spin-off (set to be Myer’s follow-up after his big comeback in Austin Powers) would’ve seen him voyaging to America to seek his kidnapped pet monkey for fish-out-of-water hijinks with then-newcomer Will Ferrell as his American cousin. But midway into pre-production, Myers decided that the one-joke character just wasn’t funny enough for a whole movie and backed out — leading to a hefty production-cost lawsuit by two of the studios involved which (according to Hollywood gossip legend) he may or may not have ended up having to make The Cat In The Hat to settle.Darren Aronofsky’s Batman: Year OneBefore Christopher Nolan took over the Batman property and delivered Batman Begins, loosely borrowing elements from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, Miller himself and Requiem For a Dream director Darren Aronofsky collaborated on the screenplay for a planned film under the “Year One” title that would’ve been the darkest Batman movie ever — gritty, ultra-realistic, and R-rated. But it also would’ve been the most extreme reworking of the mythology ever: In this version, Bruce Wayne becomes an amnesiac, feral orphan unaware of his true identity following his parents murder; and is raised by an African-American mechanic named “Big Al.” He becomes an urban vigilante embroiled in a crime-conspiracy involving the search for “the lost Wayne Heir,” builds a costume and weapons from garbage, fights gangsters and corrupt cops, meets “Catwoman” as a dominatrix sex-worker, and adopt the “bat-man” identity based on the bat-shaped bruises his mysterious signet ring (“TW” for “Thomas Wayne”) leaves on those he punches out. Warner Bros. ultimately passed on the project.Gladiator 2 (Nick Cave Version)Ridley Scott was reportedly readying a follow-up to his Oscar-winning Gladiator, which would be another swords-and-sandals epic featuring a now grown-up incarnation of Lucius (Connie Nielsen’s young son from the original) as the main character, given that Russel Crowe’s Maximus died in the first one. However, back circa-2002, Scott and Crowe were approached with offers of a major payday if they could deliver a sequel where Maximus did appear… and Crowe asked his friend musician/writer/director Nick Cave to take a pass on a screenplay “sorting out” the issue. Cave’s big idea: Take things supernatural. His script had Maximus meeting the “dying” Greco-Roman gods (Jupiter, Bacchus, etc) on The Other Side and being conscripted to save them by thwarting the rise of Christianity back on Earth. Instead, Maximus ends up fighting on the side of persecuted early Christians along with his (surprise!) actually still-alive now-adult son and Djimon Honsou’s Jubal against a turned-evil Lucius. In an utterly bonkers finale, Maximus is “punished with immortality” by The Old Gods, and a closing montage would’ve shown him fighting in The Crusades, World War II, Vietnam, and other time periods before a final pullback to the present-day revealing “Maximus” in a suit and tie apparently serving as the United States Secretary of Defense.Night SkiesHere’s one not to be thankful for because it would have been “bad,” but because of what we got instead. Night Skies was set up as Steven Spielberg’s pseudo-sequel to Close Encounters of The Third Kind, based around the less “pleasant” aspects of UFO/alien-encounter stories and centered on a family in an isolated farmhouse who find themselves under siege by aliens who mutilate their livestock and terrorize them with telekinetic mischief that they initially mistake for a haunting. The film got well into pre-production, but by the time it was ready to shoot Spielberg was feeling creatively exhausted and thought it would be a step backward after Raiders of The Lost Ark. On the advice of his friend, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, he opted to scrap the film in favor of a new project based on the only part he felt was working: a subplot about a lone “good” alien befriending the family’s autistic son. That, of course, became E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, one of Spielberg’s most beloved films — while other aspects of the screenplay either became or worked their way into other Spielberg-produced classics of the period, including Poltergeist (the haunting sequences) and the mischief-causing creatures of Gremlins.More MovieBob on Reviews: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldMovieBob Reviews: ‘Overlord’MovieBob Reviews: ‘Suspiria’last_img