Welcome back, or if this is your first time checking out my weekly blog: welcome. Last week I talked about the best movies never made and this week I’ll be doing that very same thing again. My first draft of last week’s blog was incredibly long and so I could either post a very long blog or split it in two and post over two weeks allowing myself to be lazy and not have to do any work this week apart from a little bit of editing. I chose option 2. So with my confession out of the way let’s get on with ‘Best Movies Never Made Part 2’.
There is no doubting that David Lynch is the king of the surreal, whether it be the dream-like Mulholland Drive or the psycho-sexual thriller Blue Velvet. However his oddest project, Ronnie Rocket, has never been made and after hearing about it I can’t tell if that is a good thing or not. Be prepared for the weirdest synopsis you have ever heard. The film follows a detective who is seeking a mysterious second dimension aided by his ability to stand on one leg. While on his quest he is being stalked by ‘the Donut Men’ who have the power to wield electricity. Meanwhile a teenage dwarf rock star, called Ronnie Rocket, plugs himself into the electricity supply which gives him the power to produce awesome music or he can use this power to destroy. Dwarf actor Michael J Anderson was considered for the title role and was later cast in Lynch’s quirky TV cult show Twin Peaks. It was to be Lynch’s next film after Eraserhead but the financiers went bust and Lynch moved on to other projects such as The Elephant Man. The script is still hanging around and however unlikely it may seem it’s possible that Lynch could one day get Ronnie Rocket into production. He is bringing back Twin Peaks next year after all.
The 1970’s and 1980’s were when Sci-fi flourished as a genre on-screen. Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien, The Terminator, Predator, Blade Runner, the list goes on and on and on. During this time period Clair Noto was writing what may have been a Sci-fi classic that would fit perfectly within that list. The only reason it isn’t: it never got made. Her unmade film, The Tourist, was to be set in New York and follow a 30-something female who was secretly one of a group of exiled aliens trying to get back to their home planet. The film was to be moody, atmospheric and to have unexpected sexual overtones like a cross between the Ridley Scott masterpieces Alien and Blade Runner. The late, great H.R Giger created some designs for the aliens which were declined by the producers for being too unsettling and sexualised although they should of known that was what the designs were going to be like when they hired Giger, this is the man who created the Xenomorph after all. The film was set to go ahead but Noto’s renowned difficult nature got her kicked off her own project and the film was placed firmly in development hell until the film’s ideas were plundered for other projects such as Men in Black.
Orson Welles’ first screenplay was an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s bleak psychological horror masterpiece Heart of Darkness but, yep you guessed it, it never got made. Welles also wanted to direct and star in the adaptation which was to be made up completely of 165 long panning shots of Captain Marlow’s point of view on his journey through the jungles of Africa. Welles’ anxiety of creating sub-par films is well known and that is one of the reasons the script never got put on film. Studio heads also didn’t want to commit to the film because the budget was reportedly huge and they thought the film was seen as an allegory for fascism.
Alfred Hitchcock didn’t want to just make great films, he wanted to shock audiences and push the boundaries of cinema. That was to be the plan with what was to be Hitchcock’s most shocking film: Kaleidoscope. The film was to be the spiritual successor to Psycho and focus on a necrophiliac serial killer in New York who lures women to their death. He approached Robert Bloch, who was the author of the original Psycho novel, to write the screenplay but he passed on the idea and soon Hitch settled on Benn Levy who he had worked with before. Test footage was shot but the film must have really been disturbing because both Hitchcock and the studio lost their nerve and the film was shelved permanently. Some small elements were later used for one of his later films ‘Frenzy’.
The next and final film we’ll take a look at may just be the weirdest pitch for a film sequel ever. It may not have been a good film but it’s a film I would love to see. Okay scratch that, it would most definitely not be a good film unless in the so-bad-it’s-good kind of way. It is Nick Cave’s version of Gladiator 2. That’s right, the Australian musician from ‘Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ wrote a sequel to Gladiator called ‘Christ Killer’. The story would involve Maximus being reincarnated as an immortal warrior who would work for the gods. His first task would be to kill Jesus because the gods were jealous of his popularity. The majority of the film would show just about every conflict ever, from ancient times to Vietnam. Nick Cave organised a meet-up with Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott and pitched his idea, the film was shelved immediately because Crowe frankly said “don’t like it mate”. A sequel is still in the works but thankfully has absolutely nothing to do with Cave’s script. He soon went back to making bad music.
As always thanks for reading. Are there any films that should be on this list but aren’t? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @ kylebrrtt. Feedback is always appreciated.
Don’t forget to like and subscribe, like the Out of Lives Facebook page and check out the other great blogs available on this website. Although, in just one day last week, I found out that our very own Lee Chesnalavage finds Pulp Fiction unoriginal, Reservoir Dogs boring, Steven Spielberg over-rated and has not been able to sit through any Indiana Jones film apart from the fourth one. So just keep that in mind when checking out his blog. See ya next week!