With countless sequels, remakes, reboots and mash-ups filling up our cinemas, it is no surprise that some audiences feel that something just a little more original could have stood in their place and contributed to the collection of films which we consider to be ‘classics’.
A world in which there was no Godfather, Casablanca, or Psycho does not bare thinking about, and leads us to the frustrating question: What if some of the greatest films ever made, have never actually been made?
So we’ve asked that question, and here’s a list of films we think should be up for consideration!
The Vega Brothers
Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs saw two of cinemas coolest and sadistic characters ever; Vic and Vincent Vega. Both however end up being shot repeatedly, destroying any chance of them returning for sequel any time soon. However rumours grew of a premise in which Michael Madson and John Travolta would end up playing their characters respective twins, out for what we can only imagine would be true Tarantino-style revenge.
Here is what Madsen and Tarantino had to say:
“Well, [Tarantino] called me and said, ‘You know, I’ve figured out a way to do it. It can’t be a prequel because you and John don’t look the same. It wouldn’t make sense as a sequel because you’re both dead.’ And he gave me an idea that would be really outrageous – that John and I would be the twin brothers of Vic and Vincent. We come from Amsterdam to LA to avenge the deaths of our brothers. I think that’s pretty interesting. For me, I’d love to do it.”
Dark Blood (1993)
River Phoenix was all set to be the next Hollywood heart-throb, but chose to go against the grain by signing on to star in George Sluizer’s British Indie flick about a couple who stumble upon a strange young man (Phoenix) near a nuclear test site. However Phoenix was tragically killed a few weeks into shooting by a fatal overdose of cocaine and heroin, at the age of just 23 and filming was stopped. With the film only 80 per cent finished, with Phoenix featuring in most of the missing scenes, Sluizer put the film away. Then, nineteen years later Sluizer was compelled to finish the film after a near-death experience so he added a voiceover to fill in the blanks. He is still trying to get general release.
Here’s one of River’s scenes:
The Lord of the Rings starring the Beatles
It’s hard to imagine a Middle-Earth that didn’t come from Peter Jackson’s interpretations of J. R. R. Tolkein’s books, but for a short while, the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, pined after the rights to the books so they could star in their own film version. The sixties were nothing short of experimental ideas so let’s not get ahead of ourselves in condemning this ridiculous premise. The Beatles’ were, at the time the precipice of forward thinking in popular culture with some of their songs and films including a vast assortment of concepts. So is it really too much to imagine that they could have pulled this off? Especially with their favourite director Richard Lester proving his worth with the action adventure film The Three Musketeers (1974) which starred Lord of the Rings’ Christopher Lee (Saruman) as the sword wielding antagonist Rochefort. Lester had so much footage for the film that he split it into two which sounds remarkably similar to Jackson’s The Hobbit!
Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon
Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest filmmakers, not just of a generation but in the history of cinema. His films are so great in fact, that a film he never actually made is considered great! His sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey showed his innovative use of special effects and his eye for a spectacle, so it is no stretch to the imagination that he could have created an epic biopic of the French leader. But ever the perfectionist, Kubrick shelved the project due to budgeting limitations. However last month, Spielberg, who brought Kubrick’s A.I. to life in 2001, has recently revealed he has penned a miniseries based on Kubrick’s vision.
You can download and read a copy of Napoleon by Kubrick here
Christopher Nolan’s Howard Hughes Biopic
Nolan is known for his complex narratives; usually told backwards, out of order or simultaneously, but his Howard Hughes project is the one that is yet to be told at all. The film would focus on the latter stages of Hughes’ life dealing with his O.C.D and his isolation. With Jim Carey in mind as the reclusive, long-nailed billionaire engineer and film producer, Nolan had the script completed back in 2004 and dubbed it “the best script I have written”. However Martin Scorsese threw a spanner in the works, when he released his biopic starring Leonardo Di Caprio, forcing Nolan to put the script into limbo. However Nolan has recently reported that he will never make the project, which will leave fans everywhere imagining the greatness of what Christopher Nolan considers to be his best work. However for the meantime our thirsts for a Nolan movie rumour can be quenched with the prospect of him doing the new Bond film!
Will Christopher Nolan’s next project be a Bond film? Take a look at what it could look like!
Dune, directed by Jodorowsky
Cult Chilean film director Alejandro Jodorowsky was all set to produce a $9 million independent version of Frank Herbert’s famous Dune book (a bonkers version of which does, thankfully, exist). Member’s of Jodorowsky’s team included Pink Floyd (soundtrack), Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger (screenwriter and production designer(?) – later to combine on Alien). The cast included Orson Welles, David Carradine and Charlotte Rampling, as well as Mick Jagger and Salvador Dali (yes, the painter). Alas, everything fell apart when the huge nature of the project overtook the budget.
However, some sort of phoenix is now rising from the ashes – a documentary ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ is set to play at Cannes this year. Here’s the trailer:
So there we have it our top six best movies never made! There’s no doubt that these films would have had a considerable level of anticipation and some serious qualities to make these films live up to the hype! Sadly for most of them they are merely what-ifs and where-fores freezing them in time as some of the greatest films never made!