We always talk about how there’s so little originality in Hollywood, with everything coming out seemingly a sequel, a remake, a reboot, or based on some other existing property.
But there are original ideas floating around Hollywood, and they are ideas that would make for terrific films. The trouble is that, for whatever reason, they can never seem to get past the script stage. Here are some of the best movies you’ll probably never get to see.
The first movie we’ll be talking about is one where, if you read the synopsis, it kind of feels like a fresh new take on the Bill and Ted story.
Only instead of people from the future trying to help the hero, a kid named Bob, succeed in helping to shape a Utopian society 1000 years in the future, they want to kill him to prevent it from ever happening. So really, think Bill and Ted meet Terminator.
The story is actually a comedy in which a kid’s blog somehow becomes the basis for a perfect civilization hundreds of years from now, and aliens decide that they want none of that and that he needs to be killed. MGM actually purchased the script back in 2008, but six years later there’s been no movement. That’s not exactly a great sign.
6Renko Vega and the Jennifer Nine
Now here is a script that, based on the success of a film like Her, could actually gain some momentum going forward. Now that’s not to say that this is a movie about a guy falling in love with artificial intelligence, but instead, it’s the story of a cosmonaut named Renko Vega and his relationship with his sentient ship, the Jennifer Nine.
So you can see at least some of the similarities there, since the heart and soul of the story is still between a man and a machine. The story revolves around Vega and his ship finding themselves in the dangerous position of being the only ones who can save a group of hostages being held by space pirates.
Think Han Solo and the Falcon, if the Falcon could actually talk back to Solo, and you’ve got a little bit of an idea of what we would be getting here. And who wouldn’t pay to see that?
One of the best and potentially most exciting screenplays to have been floated around Hollywood over the past several years is Roundtable, by famed comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan, who currently works on the hit television show Under the Dome and wrote, among other things, the comic series Y: The Last Man.
Well, back in 2008 he sold a script called Roundtable to DreamWorks, with the story revolving around Merlin arriving in the present time and trying to recruit a new group of Knights of the Roundtable to protect the world from evil. The people he recruits are in large part former celebrities and athletes, and nerdy scientist types. Which actually segues nicely into the nex.
And speaking of modern knights, have you ever found it a little funny that there are so many people walking around the United Kingdom with the title of “Sir” before their names? Sir Sean Connery, Sir Ben Kingsley, Sir Mix-a-Lot.
Well, that last one may not be an official title, we’re not entirely sure. Either way, the screenplay Knights takes that concept and asks the question, what would happen if these so-called “knights” were actually called into action to defend their country? It’s an idea that’s so ripe for fantastic comedy it’s almost a wonder it’s never been done before.
The story follows a group of such gentlemen, including a former soccer star, a musician, and an entrepreneur and deals with the idea of these men having to fight for Britain. Assemble an A-list of British thespians and this has gold written all over it.
3The Days Before
One of the highest concept stories on this list is The Days Before, which is one of those scripts that’s been “in development” for so long that we’re just kind of forced to assume it’ll stay there for all eternity.
It’s a science fiction, time travel thriller about a man who possesses a stolen alien device that allows him to travel one day into the past. Did we say alien? Oh, right, this happens after a freaking giant alien invasion of Earth, and it’s up to this man to evade the aliens while jumping back, one day at a time, all the way to when the invasion first happened and try to stop it, saving the human race and the world in the process.
Honestly, this doesn’t feel like just a movie, this thing could be an enormous, epic trilogy. And that makes us even sadder that we’ll almost certainly never see it hit the big screen.
2Clear Winter Noon
Not all movies fail to get made because they’re too off the wall, potentially risqué, or simply too high concept. Some just cannot, for whatever reason, seem to make any headway despite being universally considered some of the best scripts in Hollywood.
One such case is Clear Winter Noon, which tells the story of an aging hitman who is released from prison and, after spending years dwelling on the lives he took, sets out to make it right with the families of his victims.
Who wouldn’t pay to see someone like Clint Eastwood or, going a little more out there, Nick Nolte take on such a grizzled, heartfelt role like this? It feels like some sure thing Oscar bait, but despite making it onto the Hollywood Black List, the film has simply never been able to get developed into a feature film.
1Sherlock Holmes and the Vengeance of Dracula
It seems kind of odd that, in this day and age with a massive Sherlock Holmes movie franchise and two behemoth television shows about the famed detective, that the movie we’re calling the best script you’ll probably never see is all about Holmes.
However, for years now, there’s been a script floating around Hollywood called Sherlock Holmes and the Vengeance of Dracula that appears to be mired in development hell for eternity. The movie, not surprisingly, deals with Holmes taking on Dracula, and ultimately having to team up with his archenemy Moriarty to try to stop him from destroying London.
It was set to be directed by Chris Columbus before Harry Potter came knocking on the director’s door, and after the screenwriter, Michael B. Valle, passed away it appears the brakes have been permanently applied to any forward momentum for the movie.