Fighting relentlessly to get movies made is usually a challenge left for untested and aspiring filmmakers. They’re the ones who usually have to beg executives, producers and agents to give their project a shot. But it’s not always the case. Even the most renowned of filmmakers struggle to get their movies financed and put into production, even if they have an A-list actor attached to star. Even an award winning filmmaker such as Paul Thomas Anderson has to fight with executives endlessly to get his movies made. His debut, Hard Eight, was never released properly, the Oscar winning There Will Be Blood was only made because Daniel Day-Lewis was starring and his latest feature, The Master went through years of development hell until Megan Ellison and her billions financed the movie at the last second.
Filmmakers always have their dream project. For Martin Scorsese, it was Gangs of New York, which he spent thirty years working on, but despite the tumultuous production of that movie, he was one of the lucky ones. Legendary directors, some of who are included on this list have been forced to abandon and move on from some of their favourite and most personal projects. It’s something of a joy being a film fan and getting to speculate on movies that might have been – there have been endless discussions about Kubrick’s Napoleon and Aronofsky’s take on Batman – though all of it is obviously speculative and subjective and these movies could have easily have been huge bombs.
The list is also in no significant order as it’s impossible to rank movies that have not been made.
This article was first posted on March 15, 2013