Development Hell

Development Hell

The

movie industry is a funny, frustrating thing. Ideas that seem like sure-thing blockbusters sometimes get trapped in a never-ending cycle of business hold-ups, creative disagreements and budget woes. After a particular project has been stalled for several years, it's considered functionally dead, though the contracts and spoken agreem ents to put them on the big screen are still floating around. Such films are known to be "stuck in development hell", an absurd limbo of infinite broken promises. The only thing keeping them alive are whispers in the fan community and devilishly ironclad legal work. Here are a few of most famous damned films.

  Preacher and Sandman

Most movies trapped in development hell are adaptations. This is no coincidence, either. The logistics of the legal hoops of buying rights, distributing creative control and attaching production crews for years at a time are staggering. It's especially difficult when the property being adapted is controversial or part of a niche market. In the case of Garth Ennis's Preacher comics, both are true. The ultra-violent tale of a hard-living priest named Jesse has been kicked around as a screenplay since the series ended a decade ago. The comic's audience is quickly leaving the target demographic for action movies and the story's blatant disregard for religious traditionalism is still a magnet for controversy. As for Neil Gaiman's popular comic Sandman, it hasn't seen a single day of filming mostly because Gaiman has never really been happy with any of the screenplays. In either case, don't expect to see these popular funnies on screen any time soon. You might be able to console yourself with Death and Me, the supposedly in-production adaption of Sandman spinoff Death: The High Cost of Living.

 

The Arrested Development Movie

Mitch Hurwitz got a mix of great and awful luck with his landmark sitcom Arrested Development. His cast was one of the most impressive in TV history and his writers were geniuses. Too bad the Fox executives who determined its time slots and marketing weren't as enamored with it as the fervent fanbase. After three increasingly shorter seasons and much dismay from critics, AD got canceled and has since been the poster child for the tragically mishandled TV show. There have been rumors of a reunion in movie form ever since the last episode aired, though a few of the key players have been less than enthusiastic about reprising their roles. Since most of the principles have either returned to or since garnered newly busy schedules, Arrested Development: The Movie probably won't ever become a reality. Luckily, if the right folks change their minds, Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat still look like teenagers.

 

Ghostbusters 3

Every once in a while a rumor (usually on the Internet) suggests that a second sequel to the comedy classic Ghostbusters is on the horizon. Star and co-writer Bill Murray has always been quick to dismiss these claims. Though Ghostbusters II was a moderate success, there's no question that it pales in comparison to the original. Critics tend to echo this sentiment and it's highly unlikely that a revival will ever hit theaters. At least one of the original cast has retired from showbusiness and those who aren't actively opposed to a new film seem, at best, indifferent. These days if there's something strange in your neighborhood, you'll have to look up a new number to call.