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10 Highly Anticipated Movies that Were Never Made

6. Christopher Nolan’s Howard Hughes Movie

Christopher Nolan was all set to direct a movie about the life of the eccentric tycoon Howard Hughes and had considered Jim Carrey for the role, only to permanently shelve the project after Scorcese’s movie, The Aviator, based on Howard Hughes’ life came to be.

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan attends Cannes film festival (Image to the left), Howard Hughes. Image credits: Shutterstock, Acme newspictures via Wikimedia

Several people from Hollywood have wanted to bring eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes’ life on screen, from the likes of Warren Beatty and Ed Norton. However, in the early 2000s, Christopher Nolan himself was very passionate about making a movie about Howard Hughes. He picked Jim Carrey for the titular role, also claiming that “Jim Carrey was born to play this role.”

Jim Carrey himself was very interested in this project too, and despite his reputation as a comedian with a very flexible face, he has shown us over the years that he can play some very serious characters. However, by the time these plans were being made, it was too late as Martin Scorcese had already made the Howard Hughes biopic,

The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Nolan lost interest in this project as making this movie despite Scorcese’s movie, would be subject to several comparisons and would clearly be biased to the audience. (source)


7. Darren Aronofsky’s Batman: Year One

“Batman: Year One” is one of the most iconic Batman comic books to this date, and a movie about the same was to be made by Darren Aronofsky. Interestingly, Joaquin Phoenix was to play Batman in this movie which would have been cool because he recently played Joker in the eponymous movie.

Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky (Image to the left), Batman. Image credits: Shutterstock

After the terrible reception of Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies, the studio wanted to reboot the franchise and entrusted Darren Aronofsky to redeem Batman’s character.

While initially wanting to adapt the iconic comic book “The Dark Knight Returns,” with Clint Eastwood playing an old Batman, they soon narrowed down on “Batman: Year One” as the inspiration for the script. However, this version of Batman wasn’t very friendly at that time.

Interestingly, this movie would be greatly received if it were pitched today. Aronofsky intended to significantly change the origin story of Batman, where Bruce Wayne would actually lose all of his fortune after his parents’ death and would grow up in the streets of Gotham and train through his passion in several fields of study like chemistry and martial arts rather than go abroad to learn them.

Also, his identity as Batman would come from a ring he inherited from his father with the initials “TW” (Thomas Wayne) which would mark the people he punched in the shape of a bat symbol.

This movie would have been a very interesting one also because Aronofsky’s singular choice to play this version of Batman was Joaquin Phoenix who would go on to play the Joker in a very similar origin story of a man brought up in the streets of Gotham City. (source)


8. Quentin Tarantino’s Killer Crow

Quentin Tarantino has had some interesting projects in his mind, but with Killer Crow, he would be revisiting the timeline of World War II. Based on his masterpiece, Inglourious Bastards, this movie would be about a group of African American soldiers who went MIA.

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino attends the Venice Film Festival(Image to the left), Image credits: Shutterstock, devianart

Quentin Tarantino’s recent work has mostly been centered around plots with historical revenge fantasies. The first of this unofficial trilogy, Inglourious Bastards, consists of two storylines. One is that of Lt. Aldo Raine played by Brad Pitt and his comrades who intend to kill the entire Nazi Party. the other is Shoshanna Dreyfus, played by French actress Melanie Laurent, who is also on a revenge path to kill the man who killed her family.

However, if things would go differently, Tarantino had in mind a third narrative which would be called Killer Crow and would be about a group of African-American soldiers who were on a revenge path against some White army officials who ill-treated them in the army. There was also an eventual meeting of Aldo’s Apaches and the Killer Crows at the end of the movie.

Since he couldn’t incorporate it in the movie, there were also plans of running it as a separate spin-off movie. However, things didn’t work out, and Tarantino went to make an entirely different movie about Black emancipation, Django Unchained. Therefore, Killer Crow remained an interesting movie that was never made. (source)

9. George Miller’s Justice League: Mortal

Known for Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller is quite capable of making action movies in an epic fashion. So, it would have been great for him to direct the Justice League movie which would launch the DC cinematic universe back in 2009. This movie had an ensemble cast and would probably do great.

George Miller
George Miller (Image to the left), Justice League. Image credits: Shutterstock, imgur

There have been so many incarnations of the Justice League in the comic books, but it is a surprise that no decent portrayal of this superhero group ever made it to the big screen.

However, the studio wanted to change that, and around the time Nolan’s Batman Begins and Brandon Routh’s reincarnation as Superman in Superman Returns, George Miller of Mad Max fame was recruited to direct a separate Justice League movie with an entirely different cast and storyline.

With DJ Cotrona as Superman, Armie Hammer as Batman, Adam Brody as The Flash, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Anton Yelchin as Kid Flash, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter, and Common as Green Lantern, this movie would have been a very different take on superhero team-ups at that time. Jay Baruchel and Teresa Palmer were also cast as Maxwell Lord and Talia Al Ghul, the villains of the movie.

The plot would interestingly center around some aspects borrowed from different comics, like the Babel protocol of Batman in JLA: Tower of Babel, where he stores data to neutralize and kill any Justice League member should they cause harm, and the storyline in which the Flash sacrifices himself to save the world just like the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” comic books.

However, this movie never got made and the studio eventually rebooted all of it with Man of Steel to establish the DCEU. (source)


10. Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2

This movie would be an interesting rendition of Russel Crowe’s Gladiator since he dies at the end of the first movie. However, the plan was to make a sequel where he returns and then engages in battle on several historical fronts like the World Wars and in Vietnam which would be very different from its original tone.

Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott (Image to the left), Gladiator 2. Image credits: Shutterstock, hypebeast

Ridley Scott had considered the idea of a sequel to his critically acclaimed Gladiator starring Russel Crowe long back. While there were several interesting script ideas that were considered, the one by Nick Cave, the Australian singer and screenwriter, certainly takes the cake.

His plan was to bring back the dead character of Crowe’s Maximus through an explanation of resurrection and would follow the trope of him fighting his lover’s son, Lucius.

Furthermore, there were also plans for Maximus to travel through history taking part in several battles like the World Wars and the Vietnam War. This was certainly an interesting idea considering how it is similar to the flashback scene from X-Men Origins: Wolverine where both Wolverine and his brother Sabretooth live through and fight in the Civil War and in the World Wars.

However intriguing this rendition may seem, it was dropped due to the lack of a proper structure and its obvious departure from the tone of the original movie. Also, there are recent rumors that while Scott may end up making a sequel to Gladiator, it will most likely happen without the involvement of Russel Crowe. (source)

Also read: 12 Actors You Know by Face but Not by Name


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