7 Potential Blockbusters Cancelled by Ridiculous Mistakes

Posted 10/17/2016 515 0

Sometimes it happens, something will go so wrong on a movie in production that filmmakers just call the whole thing off, all because of some dumb thing that somebody did.

 

1. Justice League: Mortal

Before the current fashion of shared comic superhero universes resulting in all-star team-ups (The Avengers, Batman v Superman), D.C. Comics and Warner Bros. could've been first out of the gate with Justice League: Mortal. In production in 2007 and planned for Year in 2009, George Miller of Mad Max: Fury Road was signed on to direct, sets had been built, and the Stars had been cast, fitted for costumes, and were even rehearsing. Among them: Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Adam Brody as The Flash, Common as Green Lantern, and Jay Baruchel as villain Maxwell Lord.

The movie was budgeted at a whopping $200 million, which was supposed to be offset by shooting in Australia, which offered major tax incentives to film productions at the time. But, because getting executives to plan ahead with a $200 million budget is difficult, some tax cuts were denied to Justice League. Lawmakers intended the provision to help smaller, independent movies, not Hollywood blockbusters, so Justice League resolved to film somewhere else. But that never happened because the script needed work and the time allotted for that ran right up against the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike. By the time the strike was over and the script could be completed, many of the Stars were no longer contractually obligated to stay with the film, and they moved on. You'd think that they would have taken steps to keep the Stars around even through the strike. At the very least, they could have just recast the whole thing.

 

2. Inhumans

 

Originally slated for a November 2, 2018 Year, the supposed movie was moved to a July 12, 2019 showing date. However, when it was announced that "Indiana Jones 5" will hit the theaters just a week after the new showing date of "Inhumans," many thought that there was a possibility that the latter will get bumped off again, and they were right. However, this time, the movie has not only been pushed down for a later showing date; it has been totally removed from the lineup of the Marvel movies to be shown over the years.

Spider-Man could be to blame. The Spider-Man movies were made by Sony without Marvel’s involvement, but following a landmark agreement between the film studios, the web slinging star can now appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that includes Iron Man, the Hulk, and Captain America. As a result, Marvel appear to be shifting priorities, with lesser-known heroes the Inhumans becoming the obvious casualty.

 

3. Pyongyang

 

The shockwaves from the Sony hack have finally reached Hollywood’s development community, as New Regency has pulled the plug on its Steve Carell movie “Pyongyang,” which Gore Verbinski had been prepping for a March start date in 2014, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap. Based on the graphic novel by Guy Delisle, “Pyongyang” is a paranoid thriller about a Westerner’s experiences working in North Korea for a year. According to Deadline, insiders from the studio explained to the website, "it just makes no sense to move forward." This all apparently began internally, with the folks at Fox saying that they wouldn't be distributing the film.

Here is the statement by Verbinski, who launched the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and most recently directed The Lone Ranger and the Oscar winning Rango:

Re: Pyongyang

Getting the facts straight:

Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down.

 My thoughts:

I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.

Gore Verbinski

 

4. Two Sequels to Terminator: Salvation

 

In 2009, Terminator: Salvation, the first entry in the Skynet saga since 2003's Rise of the Machines, earned $125 million at the domestic box office and $246 million internationally, thanks in part to the star power of Christian Bale as time-traveling, robot-killing, humanity-saving John Connor. A sequel was a foregone conclusion — filmmakers were planning on creating a whole new trilogy of Terminator movies. Or they were, until producer The Halcyon Company went bankrupt, partially because it couldn't pay debts owed to a hedge fund called Pacificor. The true idiocy here is whatever complicated financing agreement Halcyon got itself into where $371 million in box office receipts couldn't cover the $39 million owed to Pacificor. Halcyon executives tried to salvage what they could by selling off the rights to Halcyon's properties, particularly Terminator.

It valued those at $70 million, a number so high that at first the only major bid was made by Avengers director and cult TV mastermind Joss Whedon. His offer: $10,000. (He said the bid was serious because he "loved the mythology" and the TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but also that the offer was so low because he was "being a dumbass." For example, he promised he'd give Christian Bale a "throat lozenge" for him to play John Connor again. Later on, Lionsgate put in a bid of $15 million, which Halcyon rejected for being too low (not Whedon low, but still low). Several Hollywood companies then got involved in a bidding war, with the eventual winner being a company called, you guessed it, Pacificor at a price of $29.5 million. (They were behind 2015's mildly successful Terminator: Genisys.)

 

5. Newt

 

Go on Google and look up "Newt Pixar". You can see that there is a lot of concept art, which just goes to show you that Pixar was really planning on making this cancelled movie come to life. The plot? "What happens when the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet are forced together by science to save the species, and they can't stand each other? That's the problem facing Newt and Brooke, heroes of "Newt". So, what went wrong? The concept art looked great and the story line was solid, so solid that Blue Sky Studios was working on a movie with the same plot, "Rio."

Could Disney have competed with "Rio"? Most likely. However, when director Pete Docter came in to take over the project, the film was quite literally flipped “Inside Out”.

Docter heard the pitch for "Newt" and countered the idea with another movie idea, a film about how our emotions work and control how we act. The film was "Inside Out," and Pixar loved the idea. They immediately scrapped "Newt" and gave Docter the thumbs up for "Inside Out."

 

6. Midnight Rider

Director Randall Miller, his crew and actor William Hurt, who was to star as Allman, were shooting on a railroad bridge spanning the Altamaha River when a train came upon them at 55 mph. The train crashed through a bed set on the tracks as a prop and struck and killed 28-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones, whose family is from West Columbia, South Carolina. Others were injured either by the train or flying debris. Miller was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing and was sentenced to two years in prison and eight years of probation. No other scenes for the movie were ever shot.

 

7. Star Trek: Planet of the Titans

Star Trek was canceled after three seasons in 1969, but its popularity exploded in syndicated reruns. Creator Gene Roddenberry was in discussions with Paramount as early as 1972 about a movie, and after a movie called Star Trek: The God Thing fell apart in pre-production (the plot involved the Enterprise crew squaring off against God, who was determined to destroy Earth), they got started planning a brand new Star Trek screenplay called Planet of the Titans. Roddenberry had looked at a number of story ideas and treatments and decided on one by screenwriters Chris Bryant and Alan Scott in which the Enterprise investigates the disappearance of another ship, which leads to the disappearance of Captain Kirk and then the discovery of a planet that's home to the Titans of ancient Greek mythology. It was set to begin filming in 1977 with a budget of $10 million.

 

But then, just before filming was set to start, Paramount president Barry Diller called the whole thing off. Why? He thought the script was too pretentious and not very good. But according to the movie's hired director, Philip Kaufman, it was because another science fiction epic with "Star" in its title was Yeard in 1977: Star Wars. Reportedly, executives didn't think there were enough sci-fi fans out there to support two big space movies in the same year. Good job, guys, way to really understand the industry.

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