Those two little words tempt and torment movie fans year after year because they can mean a multitude of things. The director, producer or studio is thinking about making this movie. There may be no script, no director, no star, no funding… but they’re thinking about it. Or the script might be “in development” which means either a writer or (worse still) a team of writers are hard at work on a script. Or the various “above the line” people(director, producer, writer) are shopping around a script trying to get funding to make the movie. Or finally the movie is in actual pre-production where actors are auditioned, schedules are created, and the creative people(make-up, art director, costumes, etc.) are hired. Only once the film is under way can this switch to “In Production.” Anytime up to then the plug can be pulled and the funding switched to another project.
Well, here are some movies “in development” that have caught my eye. They are presented in no particular order.
Ridley Scott Projects In Development:
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Yes, another remake/reimagining, but if you’ve seen the 1954 Disney version with Kirk Douglass you can see the potential. Great acting by Kirk Douglass and James Mason(as Captain Nemo) carry the film. With great special effects, who knows what the final product will look like.
- The Forever War. Based on a Hugo and Nebula Award winning book of the same name by Joe Haldeman, this has previously been made into a graphic novel which points to the visual possibilities of this title. With Ridley Scott’s previous deft work with the psychological trauma of both space and war(in Alien and Black Hawk Down respectively) this could be a great film.
- Untitled Blade Runner Project. Ok, science fiction nerds (and some movie buffs) love Blade Runner. It’s difficult to explain why because the film has numerous faults, but even more numerous elements which fascinate. This film shouldn’t work, but it just does. Hopefully this sequel(?) will capture the wonder of its predecessor, with the addition of amazing special effects.
Steven Speilberg Projects in development:
- Robopocalypse. Plot: Humanity creates the first fully sentient AI(artificial intelligence) and it “escapes” captivity. It decides to save all life on Earth… by wiping out humanity. Battle ensues. So despite an awkward title, this has possibilities.
- Indiana Jones 5. Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m hopeless. I still hold out hope that Steven Speilberg can put it together again and recapture the old magic of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It probably won’t happen, but that’s what makes this project so tantalizing.
George Lucas Projects in development:
- Star Wars: Underworld. I’m of the opinion that the fewer Star Wars movies/tv shows that George Lucas directs the better. He’s a big picture and concept guy, not a dialogue and acting guy. So that’s what makes this live-action hour-long television show so promising as George is the executive producer. This one is on hold until computer and filmmaking technology brings the costs down.
Other Projects in development:
- Captain America 2. Despite the hype and the promising first half hour of Captain America: the First Avenger, this film was a sad disappointment. Following the success of Dark Knight and Iron Man, you’d think that Hollywood would have learned its lesson. The audience wants superhero movies on the realistic end of the spectrum not the cartoony end. Hopefully, this fault is rectified in the sequel for Captain America.
- X-Men First Class sequel. Potentially set in the 1960s or 1970s… just imagine the variety of cold war/space race elements that could be included.
- Grace of Monaco. I’m a fan of old movies. So when I discovered Grace Kelly, I was understandably a big fan. Then I found out she gave up Hollywood for the Prince of Monaco. Boo. Well, it’s about time for Grace to get her own big-time biopic.
- Lone Wolf and Cub. Based on a long running comic/graphic novel series from Japan, this film could be amazing! I love samurai films(see The Seven Samurai, Sword of Doom, Yojimbo, Sanjuro if you have not). The comic is well written, thoughtful, yet quite violent at times(suiting the subject matter).
- Lady of Blood and Fury. The plot blurb I could find on this says: “Revolves around a heroic Lady Macbeth.” That has possibilities.
- Untitled Jack Ryan Project. “Chris Pine will play Jack Ryan in a contemporized original story that focuses on Ryan before he joined the CIA.” Harrison Ford did an excellent job as Jack Ryan before nuclear weapons and Ben Afleck took a squat over the franchise. Perhaps a re-boot is just what this needs.
- The Muppets Sequel. What can I say, I’m a fan. I grew up at just the right time to see the original Muppet Show when it was on TV, so each movie has a bit of nostalgia thrown in as well.
- Justice Leauge: Mortal. “The story focused on the original incarnation of the Justice League of America: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter.” I cannot find out if this will be animated or live-action… I just hope they don’t mess it up.
- Perry Mason. “Set in the rough-and-tumble world of early 1930s L.A., the story follows irrepressible defense attorney Perry Mason, as well as features his secretary, Della Street, private investigator Paul Drake and his longtime courtroom nemesis, Hamilton Burger.” This was also a long-running TV show, so the potential for success is there.
- The War Magician. Based on real events! I love history! “A patriotic British stage magician volunteers his illusionist abilities to help battle the Nazis. After proving his potential value to skeptical commanders, he and a few cohorts are sent to North Africa, where British troops are being pounded by Gen.
- Akira. This sounds like an Americanization of the classic Japanese graphic novel/movie Akira. “Set in “New Manhattan,” a city rebuilt by Japanese money, a bike gang leader must rescue his younger brother from his involvement in Akira, a secret government project. While doing so, the biker must battle with anti-government activists, shady politicians and reckless scientists.”
- The Devil in the White City. “The story focuses on the lives of two men who turned the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair into their playground. One man, Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, in a short period of time was forced to overcome immense obst” This was first a well-researched book.
- Starship Troopers. Hold on. Didn’t they do this already? Yes, and no. The movie of the same name bore little resemblense to the source novel (of the same name) by Robert Heinlein. “Corps of dedicated young men and women soldiers fight side-by-side in the ultimate intergalactic war… the battle to save humankind.”
- Iron Man 3. I hope it is more like the first movie than the second.
- Robocop. Hold on. Didn’t they do this already? Yep. “A fatally wounded cop returns to the police force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.” Apparently it’s up for an August 2013 release.
- The White Mouse. “During World War II, Australian Nancy Wake, nicknamed “The White Mouse,” works with the French Resistance to save downed Allied airmen in France and later becomes Australia’s most decorated servicewoman.” I’m in.
- Neuromancer. From the “about bloody time” file… “The futuristic, cyberpunk tale of ace computer hacker Case, whose brain is disabled by the authorities so he can no longer hack. While living in Japan, he is approached by a stranger to go on a mission to the space station Freeside to regain his hacking powers.”
- The Wolverine. “Set in Japan, Wolverine trains in the way of the samurai in a bid to control his primal urges, during which time he falls in love with Mariko Yashida, heir to a Yakuza family.” Maybe decent.