1. Halo (Peter Jackson)
How come it didn’t get made: The rumored budget offered about two hundred million reasons, with a dollar sign on it. To break even, every single person who bought the last Halo game would have to go see the film version 7 times. Besides, Microsoft’s deal included demands that Gates & Co. have creative control over the project. If you don’t see why that would be a problem, then you’ve apparently never heard of Microsoft.
How come it didn’t get made: Not enough folks went to watch the origin story part. Not after the 1st weekend, anyhow, when crowds of motion-picture fans sat blinking as the lights came up, thinking someone had stolen the last reel. The Sixth Sense-esque word-of-mouth producers had been banking on turned out to be literally one word: “Ass.
3. Rendezvous with Rama (David Fincher)
How come it didn’t get made: Money. If you want to make a Rama movie you’ll need 9 digits just to get a seat at the table (remember, Fincher is the guy who needed a $90 million budget to make a movie about two guys fighting in their basement).
4. Megalopolis (Francis Ford Coppola)
How come it didn’t get made: overly ambitious, besides expensive, perhaps too much to undertake for an aging, talent-atrophying Coppola. They did some takes in New York at some points, but were put on hold by 9/11; then the film’s distributor went broke. It just seems like one of those cursed projects.
5. Fartman (Howard Stern)
How come it didn’t get made: The studio wanted it PG-13, which ran somewhat against Howard’s vision for the film. And so instead we got 1997′s autobiographic Private Parts, a pedestrian, friendly movie which mostly existed to prove to the world what a nice guy Howard is.
6. Crusade (Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven)
How come it didn’t get made: The studio, Carolco, wanted to make a high-budget pirate movie first. The outcome was Cutthroat Island, the biggest financial bomb in Hollywood history. In the meantime, Verhoeven went off to direct Showgirls, one of the worst films in Hollywood history. The Cutthroat Island losses then forced Carolco into bankruptcy. Arnie went on to become governor of California, where his first act was to rope off the whole scene and declare it an official disaster area.
7. A Confederacy of Dunces (Will Ferrell)
How come it didn’t get made: Will Ferrell has stated it’s the film everybody in Hollywood desires to make, but no one wants to finance. They’re right to have doubts. Anyone who saw the Hitchhiker’s movie knows how hard it is to translate a funny novel to the big screen. Too much of the comedy lies in the language, in pages of narration that won’t be in the film. Whenever it’s time to write the checks for Dunces, somebody always gets cold feet.