I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially to a crowd full of film geeks like myself. Nevertheless, the truth must be told: these 10 films just aren’t going to happen. Not through lunches or bribes or necromancy or even Rupert Murdoch’s cold electric fist…they just aren’t going to happen. You may think I’m being negative here, but in fact I am not. I’m trying to be as hopeful as I can, seeing as we live in a world where Jurassic Park IV, The Three Stooges, and Dumb and Dumber To are all seemingly on the mend. If those films can finally be made after years of development hell, maybe these films stand a chance. Or maybe, much like Gretchen Weiners herself, and much of Hollywood itself, they’re just trying to make fetch happen.
Some of these movies have been teased, but constantly pushed to the back burner. Even more of these movies are never going to happen thanks to precious installments being pretentious duds that thought they’d get a sequel. But a couple of the entries here simply won’t happen because a studio won’t commit to them for one reason or another. Whatever the reasoning, all of these movies have at least one person asking “when’s that going to happen? If my speculation is any indication, you’ll be lucky if any of the films listed here are a throwaway gag in a Will Smith film. However, this doesn’t mean you’re all without hope, as there are suggestions as to how you yourself can continue the journey and/or at least gain some closure to your favorite properties that just aren’t ever going to hit our screens.
10. Chris Weitz’s The Subtle Knife/The Amber Spyglass
Description: The continuing adventures of Lyra “Silvertongue” Belacqua, whom we last saw on her way to our world via the Northern Lights, followed by an adventure in the City of the Dead, and ultimately leading up to her climactic battle with The Magisterium. Unlike The Lord of the Rings, New Line decided to take the one book at a time approach with Phillip Pullman’s Narnia for Atheists series.
Why It’s Not Happening: Unless you’re a die hard fan of the books, or needed to know what happened next and ran to Wikipedia, you wouldn’t get the gag about the ending you never saw in theaters. Director Chris Weisz edited the last chunk of the film out at the last minute as a last ditch effort to tease the public with the prospect of a sequel. If he’d perhaps left the original cliffhanger ending from the books (where, again, Lyra crosses into our world), he might have had more luck convincing the studio to allow him to proceed. (Or at least had a solo installment that didn’t end so stupidly bland.)
The Last Word?: New Line officially put the films on hold October 2008. Since then, the issue hasn’t been raised, and Chris Weisz went on to ruin/continue (choose your own adventure here, kids) The Twilight Saga with the second installment, “New Moon”.
If You Really Want To See It…: …reboot the series, and do it right this time. The fact that the mortal stakes were removed from this film, particularly with the deleted ending and the survival of children separated from their daemons, is exactly what turned this film into unpalatable rubbish. Also, if New Line is allowed anywhere near this series again, DON’T let them launch another marketing campaign where their teaser solely relies on The Lord of the Rings series to push their next Fantasy trilogy. This isn’t The Shire, so stop treating it like it is.
This article was first posted on January 30, 2013