BySteven Brinn, writer at
Covering action movies, horror and assorted other wackiness. Follow me on Twitter: @douchebagbatman
Steven Brinn

Last month, comedy fans got some exciting news when writer-director Jorma Taccone revealed that he was working with Will Forte on the script for MacGruber 2. Not the biggest hit when it was released, MacGruber has grown a dedicated following over the years that appeals to everyone from Christopher Nolan to David Letterman. Like Hot Rod (another Taccome film), it is now considered a cult classic. As great as this news is, there are still tons of movies that have been languishing in development hell.

This is nothing new. Over the years, there have been plenty of films given the green light that are left for dead during production. It has happened to all kinds of filmmakers, from auteurs like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick, to directors that tend to say yes to too many projects like Guillermo del Toro. Sites like IMDb are a wasteland of great ideas that have never made been released. With the delayed Shang Chi still on my mind, here are 5 Great Ideas Stuck in Development Hell.

1. Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead
Evil Dead

First Announced: 2013

In 2013, director Fede Alvarez seemingly did the impossible with his remake of Evil Dead. Not only was it a hit at the box office, but it won over fans of the original. With a post-credit scene teasing Ash, a sequel seemed inevitable. There was even talk of a shared universe combining this reimagining with the original movies. Unfortunately, like the other Evil Dead sequels, aside from the occasional reassurance that it was coming from Alvarez, things have been pretty quiet.

Will It Ever Happen?

While there has been no official word of it going forward, things seem to be looking up. The Evil Dead franchise is hotter than ever thanks to Sam Raimi's stellar TV series Ash vs Evil Dead. With Fede Alvarez back in the spotlight thanks to Don't Breathe being a hit and the upcoming release of an extended version of his Evil Dead, chances seem better than ever. Now really does feel like the best time to get this going. At the very least, Mia could make an appearance on Ash vs Evil Dead.

2. Green Arrow: Escape From Supermax

First Announced: 2008

Despite recent setbacks, DC Comics has a long history of critical success at the box office. Around the time The Dark Knight was released, Warner Brothers announced that David S. Goyer (the writer of Man of Steel and Blade) would be working on a Green Arrow movie. Different from the typical origin story it would have Green Arrow framed for the murder of a government official. Sent to a security prison for supervillains called Supermax, he would have to team with B and C-list villains to escape and clear his name. It's a solid premise that could go a long way in not only introducing Green Arrow, but several villains for potential future movies.

Then nothing. Despite the occasional assurance from Goyer that it was coming, there was little news on the movie. It wasn't until an interview with Den of Geek that we learned what really happened:

"The executive on it was really visionary but the higher-ups, none of whom are at Warner Bros. any more, just thought at the time, you know, we just want to make Batman and Superman movies."

Which makes total sense. The Marvel Cinematic Universe had just begun and nobody could have guessed that characters like a talking raccoon and a sentient plant would be household names. A movie mostly about villains did sound a bit too far fetched at the time. Oh how times have changed.

Will It Ever Happen?

Coincidentally, that change in perception may be why it doesn't happen. As cool as the idea is, it may be too similar to DC's biggest hit yet, Suicide Squad. That said, it could happen on the small screen. The Green Arrow character is already a hit thanks to Arrow and this story could easily be adapted to TV. If Escape From Supermax happens, the small screen may be the best place for it.

3. Sinister Six

First Announced: 2013

Speaking of villains, Sony had some big plans going into Amazing Spider-Man 2. Planning their own movie universe, there were plans for more Spider-Man movies, a Venom movie and even an Aunt May spin-off. By far the most interesting was to be one based on a group of villains called the Sinister Six. Teased during a post-credit scene, it would be about Spider-Man's villains and a story about redemption. They even had Daredevil's Drew Goddard attached to write and direct. Then Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually came out. Underwhelming at the box office, Marvel Studios joined Sony for a joint deal to reboot the franchise once again.

Will It Ever Happen?

After a couple of years of uncertainty there does seem to be a bit of hope. In a recent interview, Sony chair Tom Rothman gave fans a glimmer of hope. Speaking with Collider, he said:

"We're working on a lot of stuff. There's a concerted effort, so I think there will be real news as opposed to speculated news before too long."

So while far from finished, it looks like your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man will have some big battles in his future.

4. Tyrannosaurus Rex

First Announced: 2008

The mid '00s were a busy time for Rob Zombie. With several films under his belt, it looked like Zombie would branch out and do an action movie. Based on The Nail by Steve Niles, Tyrannosaurus Rex was about an ex-pro wrestler taking on a satanic biker gang in underground fights. We even got a few roles cast and some pretty sweet looking concept art on Zombie's MySpace page. Blood, rednecks, blatant admiration for the '70s — it seemed like it would play perfectly into Zombie's strengths.

It seemed ready to go until The Weinstein Company saw the budget. Put on hold, there are rumors that the Weinsteins would only give him the rights to make the movie somewhere else if he directed Halloween 2. When the slasher sequel failed to deliver at the box office, the whole thing was dropped.

Will It Ever Happen?

Things don't look good for this faux-'70s action epic. Despite seemingly getting the rights to the film, it hasn't been talked about since. Instead, Zombie has done other projects like Lords of Salem, 31 and his music. I guess it'll join The Blob remake he was supposed to do in a pile of cinematic "what ifs."

5. Thanksgiving


First Announced: 2007

Coming out of Grindhouse, one of the most talked about aspects of the movie were the fake trailers. While all of them were fun, one of the best was Eli Roth's Thanksgiving. A parody of holiday-themed slashers, it was grimy, gory and featured the gnarliest kill on a trampoline in horror history. Although he announced this as an upcoming project, Roth just kind of disappeared.

Then he stopped directing. Aside from the film within a film (Nation's Pride from Inglorious Basterds), he didn't step behind the camera for five years. He mostly stuck to acting and producing movies like The Man With The Iron Fists and The Last Exorcism. Things were looking pretty bleak for this movie about a psychopathic pilgrim.

Will It Ever Happen?

Roth has made a a bit of a comeback over the past couple of years. Returning to the director's chair, he has released movies The Green Inferno, Knock Knock and is lined up for the upcoming Death Wish remake. Despite this busy schedule, he has kept hope alive for Thanksgiving. In a 2014 interview with ScreenRant, he mentioned working on the script with the crew behind Clown. It may be wishful thinking, but the fact that he is still working on it has to be a good thing.

So You're Saying There's A Chance?

That may be my biggest take away from this, that there is always hope. Sure, movies like Tyrannosaurus Rex may drop by the wayside, but even some long-gestating movies have eventually made it to the screen. It may take 20 years like Mad Max: Fury Road, but if the creator is committed then there is a good chance it will surface somewhere.

Are there any movies in development hell that you want to see made? Let me know in the comments!


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