Development hell

Development hell, development limbo, or production hell is media industry jargon for a film, video game, television program, screenplay, software application,[1] concept, or idea that remains in development (often moving between different crews, scripts, or studios) for an especially long time before it progresses to production, if it ever does. Projects in development hell are not officially cancelled, but work on them slows down or stops.


Film industry companies often buy the film rights to many popular novels, video games, and comic books, but it may take years for such properties to be successfully brought to the screen, and often with considerable changes to the plot, characters, and general tone. This pre-production process can last for months or years. More often than not, a project trapped in this state for a prolonged period of time will be abandoned by all interested parties or canceled outright. As Hollywood starts ten times as many projects as there are released, many scripts will end up in this limbo state.[2] This happens most often with projects that have multiple interpretations and reflect several points of view.[3][4]


In the case of a film or television screenplay, generally the screenwriter has successfully sold a screenplay to producers or studio executives, but then new executives assigned to the project may raise objections to prior decisions, mandating rewrites and recasting. As directors and actors join the project, further rewrites and recasting may be done, to accommodate the needs of the new talents involved in the project.

It may also be the case that the screenwriters have an issue with the final rights agreement after signing an option, requiring research on the chain of title. The project may be stuck until the situation is resolved and project participants are happy with the full terms.

If a film is in development but never receives the necessary production funds, another studio may execute a turnaround deal and successfully produce the film. An example of this is when Columbia Pictures stopped production of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Universal Pictures then picked up the film and made it a success. If a studio completely abandons a film project, the costs are written off as part of the studio's overhead.[5] Sometimes studios will halt production on a film to ensure that the actors involved will be available for a different project that the studio prefers.

The concept artist and illustrator Sylvain Despretz has suggested that "Development hell doesn't happen with no-name directors. It happens only with famous directors that a studio doesn't dare break up with. And that's how you end up for two years just, you know, polishing a turd. Until, finally, somebody walks away, at great cost."[6]

With video games, slow progress and a lack of funds may lead developers to focus their resources elsewhere. Occasionally, completed portions of a game fail to meet expectations, with developers subsequently choosing to abandon the project rather than start from scratch. The commercial failure of a released game may also result in any prospective sequels being delayed or cancelled.[7]

Notable examples


  • Alien vs. Predator: Alien vs. Predator was first planned shortly after the 1990 release of Predator 2, to be released sometime in 1993. It was halted for more than a decade, with constant actor changes, restarts, and failed promotions of the film until it was finally released in 2004.[8]
  • Akira: Warner Bros. acquired the rights to make live-action American adaptation of the anime film and manga of the same name in 2002, and have made a number of attempts to film it.[9] Directors attached to the project since 2002 have included Stephen Norrington, Ruairí Robinson, the Hughes brothers, George Miller, Christopher Nolan and Jaume Collet-Serra. It was announced in 2019 that filming would be done later that year, in a production produced by Andrew Lazar and Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Taika Waititi.[10]
  • Alita: Battle Angel: James Cameron's live-action adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's manga series Battle Angel Alita was in development hell starting in the early 2000s. The project was finally completed under the direction of Robert Rodriguez, and released in 2019.[11]
  • Atlas Shrugged: Film and later television adaptations of Ayn Rand's novel were in development hell for nearly 40 years[12] before the novel was finally brought to screen in the first part of a trilogy in 2011. Part II appeared in 2012, and Part III was released in September 2014.[13]
  • Atuk: A film adaptation of the novel The Incomparable Atuk. Norman Jewison first purchased the film rights in 1971, and since then there have been several attempts to produce it. One Hollywood legend holds that the project is cursed, because of the premature deaths of various actors who expressed an interest in the lead role: John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy, Phil Hartman and Chris Farley.[14]
  • Bajirao Mastani: The film was conceived in the 1990s and was finally announced in 2003 but was shelved indefinitely due to its ever changing cast. The film was finally revived in 2014 and went immediately in production and was released in December 2015.[15]
  • Batman Unchained: The failure of Batman & Robin in 1997 hindered many attempts to produce a fifth Batman movie until Warner Bros. opted to reboot the series in 2005, resulting in Batman Begins, which met with far greater success.[16]
  • Beetlejuice 2: In 1990, Tim Burton commissioned a sequel to Beetlejuice called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, written by Jonathan Gems.[17] After multiple studio rewrites, in 1997 Gems stated that the film will never be made. In 2011, Warner Bros. hired Seth Grahame-Smith to write and produce a sequel.[18] In 2013, Winona Ryder expressed her interest in the sequel saying, "I'm kind of sworn to secrecy but it sounds like it might be happening. It's 27 years later."[19] In January 2015, writer Grahame-Smith said the script was finished and that he and Burton intended to start filming by the end of the year, and that both Keaton and Ryder would return in their respective roles.[20] In April 2019, Warner Bros. stated the sequel had been shelved.[21]
  • Beverly Hills Cop III: Went through multiple script revisions, including a treatment that had Axel Foley teaming up with a Scotland Yard detective (to be played by Sean Connery), until finally being released.[22][23][24][25]
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music: In 2010, actor Keanu Reeves announced a long-awaited third installment is in the works, although Alex Winter; aware of the announcement; also stated that George Carlin will not reprise his role as one of the characters Rufus and will therefore not be recast.[26][27][28] In August 2013, when asked about a third film, Reeves replied, "There have been a couple of drafts [of a Bill & Ted 3 script] and right now, we're waiting on the writers to come up with another draft. But we're all very excited."[29] In an October 20, 2013 Reddit AMA, Reeves revealed that he has seen the script for Bill & Ted 3, stating, "We are working on trying to get Bill & Ted 3. There's a script and we are trying to put it together."[30] In April 2016, Alex Winter told Forbes that they have a script, a director and a studio and that there had been a plan to film by early 2017.[31] Further developments on Face the Music began in May 2018, with both Reeves and Winter confirmed to return to reprise their roles. On February 6, 2019, Production Weekly listed production on Face the Music as slated to start on March 5 of that year.[32][33] The United States distribution will be handled by MGM under their Orion Pictures label. The international distribution rights are expected to be determined during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, with Bloom Media negotiating these rights.[34][35] The film is scheduled for a release on August 21, 2020.[36]
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, the Pulitzer prize winning novel, has had a motion picture adaptation announced at least seven times, with some of the attempts even making it to a full script being written and most of the major characters of the novel cast, only to always stall and be abandoned.[37][38][39][40][41][42][37][43][44]
  • Dallas Buyers Club: The screenplay was written in September 1992 by Craig Borten. Throughout the 1990s, he wrote 10 different scripts, hoping for it to be picked up. It was unable to secure financial backing, going through three different directors, finally being released in 2013, with Jean-Marc Vallée directing.[45]
  • The Dark Tower: An adaptation of The Dark Tower had been in development since at least 2007.[46] The film was eventually released on August 4, 2017.[47]
  • Deadpool: Deadpool was in development hell for more than 15 years.[48] In May 2000, Artisan Entertainment announced a deal with Marvel Entertainment to coproduce, finance and distribute a film based on American comic books publisher Marvel Comics character Deadpool.[49] In February 2004, New Line Cinema attempted to produce a Deadpool film with writer/director David S. Goyer working on the spin-off and actor Ryan Reynolds in the title role;[50][51] Reynolds himself became interested in the character after finding out that in Cable & Deadpool, Deadpool refers to his own scarred appearance as "Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei".[52][53] By August, Goyer lost interest in favor of other projects.[54] In March 2005, after New Line put Deadpool in turnaround, 20th Century Fox became interested in moving forward on production for the project.[55] Fox considered a Deadpool spin-off early in the development of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which had Reynolds cast in the role,[50] and after the opening weekend success of that film announced that it was lending Deadpool out to writers, with Lauren Shuler Donner acting as a producer.[56] Donner wanted the film to reboot the character of Deadpool, ignoring the version in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and including attributes that the character has in the comics, such as breaking the fourth wall.[57] Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were hired to write the script in January 2010,[58] and Robert Rodriguez was sent an early draft of the screenplay that June.[59] After negotiations with Rodriguez fell through, Adam Berg emerged as a top contender to direct.[60] In April 2011, visual effects specialist Tim Miller was hired as director, making the film his directorial debut.[61] In September 2014, Fox gave the film a release date of February 12, 2016.[62] The film was released on that date to positive reviews[63][64] and became the ninth highest-grossing film of 2016 worldwide,[65] as well as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.[66][67]
  • Death Note: This 2017 neo-noir supernatural teen horror film; loosely based off the Japanese manga and anime of the same names repsectively; was in development since August 2007.[68] The American production company Vertigo Entertainment was originally set to develop the remake, with Charley and Vlas Parlapanides as screenwriters and Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Dan Lin, and Brian Witten as producers.[69] On April 30, 2009, Variety reported that Warner Bros., the distributors for the original Japanese live-action films, had acquired the rights for an American remake, with the original screenwriters and producers still attached.[70] In 2009, Zac Efron responded to rumors that he would be playing the film's lead role by stating that the project was "not on the front burner".[71] On January 13, 2011, it was announced that Shane Black had been hired to direct the film, with the script being written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry.[72] Warner's studios planned to change the background story of Light Yagami into one of vengeance instead of justice and to remove Shinigami from the story. Black opposed this change, and it had not been green-lit.[73] Black confirmed in a 2013 interview with Bleeding Cool that he was still working on the film.[74] In July 2014, it was rumored that Gus Van Sant would replace Black as the film's new director, with Dan Lin, Doug Davison, Roy Lee and Brian Witten producing through Vertigo Entertainment, Witten Pictures and Lin Pictures.[75] The film was eventually directed by Adam Wingard and was distributed by Netflix for an August 2017 with polarizing but mostly negative reviews; from critics and audience alike, especially from fans of the original anime and manga.
  • Foodfight!: In 2004, the CGI film Foodfight was announced. Described as "Toy Story in a supermarket", the film promised to bring together over 80 famous advertising characters with voice talent including Charlie Sheen, Christopher Lloyd, Eva Longoria, Hilary and Haylie Duff, and Wayne Brady. Director Lawrence Kasanoff expected it to be a commercial hit and merchandise for the movie appeared on store shelves before the film had a release date. However, the film ran into many problems.[76] In late 2002/early 2003, Kasanoff reported that hard drives containing unfinished assets from the film had been stolen in what he called an act of "industrial espionage". After several years, a trailer[77] was finally shown at AHM in 2011, a company bought the DVD distribution rights for the film in Europe,[78] and a quiet video-on-demand American release came in 2012.
  • ID Forever Part I and II: The sequels to Independence Day were in development hell from 1997 until 2009, when director Roland Emmerich announced the pre-production of the films, which were planned to be shot back-to-back.[79] However, ID Forever Part I was renamed to Independence Day: Resurgence for its release on June 24, 2016.[80]
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: In 1995, George Miller re-acquired the rights to future Mad Max films from Warner Bros.[81] The idea for a fourth instalment occurred to Miller in August 1998 when he was walking in an intersection in Los Angeles.[82] About a year later, while travelling from Los Angeles to Australia, the idea coalesced. Miller conceived a story where "violent marauders were fighting, not for oil or for material goods, but for human beings."[82] The film was set to shoot in 2001 through 20th Century Fox, but was postponed because of the September 11 attacks that same year.[83] "The American dollar collapsed against the Australian dollar, and our budget ballooned", Miller said, adding that he "had to move on to Happy Feet because there was a small window when that was ready". Mel Gibson, who starred in the original three previous films, would not return to his role as the lead character. Miller ended up re-casting the role because of controversies surrounding Gibson and because he wanted Max to remain at a younger age, as the "same contemporary warrior".[82] Miller announced in 2003 that a script had been written for a fourth film, and that pre-production was in the early stages.[84] The project was given the green light to begin filming in the Australian desert in May 2003 with a budget of US$100 million, but the location was ruined by rainfall. Mad Max 4 entered then a hiatus in light of security concerns related to its Namibian shoot because of tightened travel and shipping restrictions at the onset of the Iraq War.[85][86] The film was released on May 15, 2015.
  • The Man Who Killed Don Quixote: A loose adaptation of the Don Quixote tale co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Production originally started in 1998, but during the shooting in 2000, a significant number of difficulties such as set and equipment destroyed by flooding, the departure of the film's lead due to illness, problems obtaining insurance for the production, and other financial difficulties, led to a sudden suspension of the production and its subsequent cancellation. Part of the development hell is shown in documentary Lost in La Mancha. Gilliam made several additional attempts to revive the project[87][88][89][90][91] until filming finally completed in 2017 and the finished film was released the following year.
  • The Postman: Author David Brin described the ten-year effort to get his novel produced as a film. Production began in 1987, but the final film was not released until 1997. In the process, the screenplay went through so many revisions that the shooting script only loosely resembled the book, and later writers "borrowed" elements from the book to improve the film. The film was a box-office bomb and was negatively reviewed.[92]
  • Speed Racer: A live-action Speed Racer film was in the works since 1992 when Warner Bros. opted the rights to make a film version of it in co-junction with Silver Pictures.[93] In October 1994, singer Henry Rollins was offered the role of Racer X.[94] In June 1995, Johnny Depp was cast into the lead role for Speed Racer, with production slated to begin the coming October,[95] In September 2000, Warner Bros. and producer Lauren Shuler Donner hired writer-director Hype Williams to take the helm of the project.[96] In June 2004, Vince Vaughn spearheaded a revival of the project by presenting a take for the film that would develop the characters more strongly. Vaughn was cast as Racer X and was also attached to the project as an executive producer. With production never becoming active, Vaughn was eventually detached from the project.[97] However, The Wachowskis were brought on board by the studio to write and direct the film on October 2006. The film was released on May 9, 2008. Although critics gave it mixed reviews and was a box office bomb; it was received positively by fans.
  • Superman Lives: The name given to a project begun by producer Jon Peters in 1993 as Superman Reborn. The proposed film would have followed the comic story line known as The Death of Superman. Jonathan Lemkin was hired to write the initial script, but Peters brought on a series of additional screenwriters to overhaul the script, including Gregory Poirier in 1995 and Kevin Smith in 1996. Director Tim Burton became attached to the film, with Nicolas Cage cast as the Man of Steel, and several more screenwriters were brought on board for several more rewrites. Burton backed out in late 1998 citing differences with producer Peters and the studios, opting instead to direct Sleepy Hollow. Additional writers and directors were attached to the project at various times over the next few years. Peters' project went through several more permutations before evolving into Superman Returns, released in 2006, 13 years after initial development began.[98][99] The film's journey through development hell was later explored by a documentary on the topic, The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?, released in 2015.[100]
  • Venom: Development for a live action film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name first began in 1997 when David S. Goyer wrote a screenplay for a ‘Venom’ film for New Line Cinema. But it never got off the ground, but then it would later be revived by Sony Pictures following Venom’s first appeareance in Spider-Man 3 in 2007, it would go through several stages of development for over a decade before being released in October 2018 directed by Ruben Fleischer.
  • Watchmen: The 2009 film based on the Alan Moore graphic novel from DC Comics had undergone much various production problems; such as penning the script from four different studios and directors and attatching different screenwriters for the project; thus halted the adaptation's development through twenty years. That was until 2006, when Zack Snyder, fresh out of production of then soon to be released 300, was hired as director for the film. It was eventually released on March 6, 2009 with mixed reactions from critics and was a moderate success worldwide at the box office; but received more acclaim from fans giving more of a cult following over the years.
  • Wild Wild West: The 1999 film based on the 1960s television series The Wild Wild West had its production start when Warner Bros. acquired the film rights to the TV series in 1992, in which Richard Donner was hired to direct from a screenplay by Shane Black that would have starred Mel Gibson as Jim West (Donner coincidentally directed three episodes of the original series). However, Donner and Gibson left the project to work on a film adaptation of Maverick in 1994. After Tom Cruise departed from the project (after being cast to star in Gibson's absence) to star in Mission: Impossible (1996), Will Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld collaborated to begin production on Wild Wild West in 1997; the film was eventually released on June 30, 1999 as a major critical and commercial failure.
  • The Works: A planned computer animated film developed sporadically at the New York Institute of Technology between 1979 and 1986. Had it been released, it would have been the first computer animated film, predating Toy Story (1995). Due to limited technology at the time as well as financial reasons and lack of interest, only 10 minutes of the film were completed.[101]
  • The X-Files: I Want to Believe: The second film based upon the popular American television show The X-Files began pre-production planning in 2001 and was announced for release in 2003 to follow the show's ninth season, but languished in development until it was finally produced for its release in the summer of 2008, six years after the original television series had ended.[102][103]


  • Chinese Democracy: Rock band Guns N' Roses began work on this album in the late 1990s. In the time between its conception and release, nearly the entire lineup of the band had changed numerous times. It was once dubbed by The New York Times "The Most Expensive Album Never Made".[104] Recorded in fourteen separate studios with reported production costs of $13 million, Chinese Democracy was eventually released in November 2008.[105]
  • Detox: A studio album by American hip hop recording artist Dr. Dre, slated to be his swan song album, was originally slated for release between 2011 and 2012 due to be released through Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. Production for Detox began in 2000, but has been delayed several times as Dr. Dre wanted to concentrate on producing for artists that were on his Aftermath record label. Work for the upcoming album dates back to 2001,[106] where its first version was called "the most advanced rap album ever," by producer Scott Storch.[107] Even at the beginning of Detox's production, it was announced that it would be Dr. Dre's final studio album,[107] which has been confirmed at different points throughout the album's ten-year production process.[108] Because Dr. Dre had stated he was tired of rapping about marijuana use and stereotypical gangster lifestyle, he planned to make Detox a hip-hop musical telling the story of a professional hitman and his family, with an intended summer 2003 release date.[106] Initially announced in 2000 after the release of Dr. Dre's previous album 2001 (1999), Detox has gone through many renditions during its 11-year production period, failing to have a confirmed release date, due to Dr. Dre believing the project "wasn't good enough". However the album spawned two official singles, "Kush" and "I Need a Doctor". In January 2004, co-producer Scott Storch listed guest appearances such as 50 Cent, Eminem, Game, and Snoop Dogg. Keri Hilson told Rap-Up that she had recorded material for the album but was unsure if the tracks would make the final cut.[109] J. Cole stated that he recorded with Dre but refused to explain.[110] The album's production was eventually cancelled on August 1, 2015, with Dr. Dre instead releasing a brand-new album, Compton, inspired by the concurrent production of the film Straight Outta Compton, a week later on August 7.
  • The Smile Sessions: Archival recordings of the Beach Boys unfinished album Smile took nearly 45 years to compile for a dedicated release. Numerous complications contributed to its excessively protracted delay, including bandleader Brian Wilson's irrational fear of the album. Brother and bandmate Carl Wilson compared the album's structuring to editing a film, as compiler Alan Boyd explains, "I think he was right about that. The kind of editing that the project required seemed more like the process of putting a film together than a pop record."[111]

Video games

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines: First announced in 2001, Aliens: Colonial Marines spent over 12 years in development hell. The original game which was announced in 2001 to be in development by Check Six Games, was cancelled. The video game rights for the Alien franchise were sold in December 2006 to Sega.[112] Gearbox Software subsequently announced that it would take over development of Colonial Marines, intending it to be a direct follow-up to Aliens.[113] The game would spend another 7 years in development, during which Gearbox's resources were also being consumed by other projects, such as Duke Nukem Forever, as well as its own franchise Borderlands, resulting in much of the game's development being outsourced to other studios. The game was released in 2013, where it was criticized for having various bugs and gameplay issues, low-quality graphics, as well as a lack of consistent continuity with the Alien film franchise. Further controversy emerged when it was found that Gearbox and Sega had presented demos of the game at conventions that had a noticeably higher graphics quality than the final product.[114][115][116][117][118]
  • Banjo-Pilot: One of the first Game Boy Advance (GBA) games announced,[119] Rare's Banjo-Pilot had a tumultuous development period.[120] Rare and Nintendo announced the game at E3 2001 under the title Diddy Kong Pilot.[121] At this point, it was the sequel to Rare's Diddy Kong Racing, featured characters from Donkey Kong and Mario, and could be controlled by tilting the GBA.[122] It was originally scheduled to be released in early 2002,[123] but a number of problems arose, such as Nintendo being unhappy with the game and company politics making progress impossible.[124] When Microsoft acquired Rare in September 2002, Rare lost the rights to Nintendo characters and was forced to replace them with characters from their Banjo series.[122] Banjo-Pilot was finally released in 2005, after a development period of nearly five years.[125]
  • Beyond Good and Evil 2: An upcoming sequel to the 2003 video game, Beyond Good and Evil. The original was released in 2003, was critically praised and gained a cult following, but was considered a commercial failure. Its director said in a May 2008 interview with the French magazine that a Beyond Good & Evil sequel had been in pre-production for a year, but was yet to be approved by Ubisoft.[126] Ubisoft officially announced a sequel in 2016.[127][128][129] Ubisoft showed the first new trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 during their E3 2017 conference and it was announced as a prequel to the first game.[130]
  • Diablo III: Development began in 2000 by Blizzard North, and continued until the studio closed in 2005.[131] An entirely new development began in 2006, and the game was released in 2012.
  • Duke Nukem Forever: The sequel to the 1996 game Duke Nukem 3D, Duke Nukem Forever, was in development hell for 14 years: from 1997[132] to its release date in 2011. The long development time was caused by numerous factors, including a switch from the Quake II engine to the Unreal Engine,[132] having a relatively small development staff by modern standards (3D Realms' co-owners George Broussard and Scott Miller infamously maintained that the game would be released "when it's done"), conflicts between 3D Realms and its publisher, Take-Two Interactive, over how it had been handling the constant delays, and the eventual bankruptcy of 3D Realms.[133][134][135] In 2009, the rights to the Duke Nukem franchise were sold to Gearbox Software, who eventually completed the game and released it in 2011.[136][137][138][139] The game was ultimately a critical disappointment, with most of the criticism directed towards the game's clunky controls, long loading times, offensive humor, and overall aged and dated design.[140][141][142]
  • Final Fantasy XV: Originally titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII, it was announced in 2006 as a spinoff of Final Fantasy XIII exclusively for PlayStation 3. Following a long period with little news on the game, it was re-announced as the next mainline installment of the series on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One which underwent large changes in direction such as making the game a self-contained story and replacing the main heroine.[143][144] The game was released worldwide on November 29, 2016, more than 10 years after it was initially announced, but even so the story was incomplete and was mended through episodic DLC.[145][146][147]
  • The Last Guardian: The Last Guardian was announced in 2007 to be in development at Team Ico.[148] A short trailer released in 2007 shows a young boy who befriends a giant bird/cat-like creature. Creative conflicts between the developers and the publisher Sony, caused the game to remain in development hell, particularly after project lead Fumito Ueda left Sony but remained active in the game's development. Further, the development delay caused Sony to switch the target platform from the aging PlayStation 3 to the newer PlayStation 4, further extending the time to rework the game's engine. Sony assured fans that the game was still in development over the next six years, but were sparse on further details, until June 2015 when the game was formally re-introduced as a PlayStation 4 title which was released in December 2016.[149]
  • Mother 3: A sequel to the 1994 Mother 2 (released as EarthBound in 1995 in North America). The game was initially intended to be released on the Super Famicom like its predecessor,[150] before shifting focus to the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive. Following the failure of the Disk Drive, the game was shifted to the standard Nintendo 64,[151] before the development team's inexperience with 3D-oriented video game creation and a large series of delays led to the game being quietly cancelled in 2000. Eventually, assets from the cancelled project were later collected and converted to a 2D format, and the project restarted development on the Game Boy Advance. Nine years after its conception, Mother 3 was finally released on the Game Boy Advance in 2006, but only in Japan.
  • Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord: Bannerlord is a sequel to the 2010 game Mount and Blade: Warband.[152] It was first announced in 2012 but TaleWorlds Entertainment has yet to schedule a release date despite constant updates and development.[153] The game has developed a cult following and its release or lack thereof has become the subject of numerous memes and blog posts.
  • Owlboy: This game was formally announced in 2008 with a short gameplay trailer. The game was showcased five years later at the PAX 2013 video game industry conference.[154] with an expected release date of 2013. At PAX 2016, it was announced that the game would be released on November 1, 2016.[155][156]

See also


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  4. ^ "Books Into Movies: Part 2," Warren, Patricia Nell. Lambda Book Report. Washington: April 2000.Vol.8, Iss. 9; pg. 9. (Best selling novel The Front Runner has spent over 25 years in development hell)
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  27. ^ "'Bill and Ted 3' Movie Sequel Confirmed | Gather". Archived from the original on 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
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A Star Is Born (2018 film)

A Star Is Born is a 2018 American musical romantic drama film produced and directed by Bradley Cooper (in his directorial debut) and written by Eric Roth, Cooper and Will Fetters. A remake of the 1937 film of the same name, it stars Cooper, Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle, Andrew Dice Clay, and Sam Elliott, and follows a hard-drinking musician (Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with a young singer (Gaga). It marks the third remake of the original 1937 film, after the 1954 musical and the 1976 musical.

Talks of a remake of A Star Is Born began in 2011, with Clint Eastwood attached to direct and Beyoncé set to star. The film was in development hell for several years with various actors approached to co-star, including Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, and Tom Cruise. In March 2016, Cooper signed on to star and direct, and Lady Gaga joined the cast in August 2016. Principal photography began at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2017.

A Star Is Born premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018, by Warner Bros. The film has grossed over $434 million worldwide and received critical acclaim, with praise for Cooper, Gaga, and Elliott's performances and Cooper's direction, as well as the screenplay, cinematography and music. It was chosen by both the National Board of Review and American Film Institute as one of the Top 10 Films of 2018. The film received numerous accolades, including eight nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, among them Best Picture, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Gaga) and Best Supporting Actor (Elliott), along with a win for Best Original Song ("Shallow"). It also earned five nominations at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, winning Best Original Song for "Shallow".

Alien Resurrection (video game)

Alien Resurrection is a first-person shooter video game based on the 1997 film of the same name. It was originally intended to coincide with the film's release, but was mired in development hell for several years, finally being completed and released in 2000. The game was developed by Argonaut Games and published by Fox Interactive exclusively for the PlayStation.

Castlevania (TV series)

Castlevania is an American adult animated web television series based on the 1989 video game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse and some elements from Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (2005) by Konami. The series follows Trevor Belmont, who defends the nation of Wallachia from Dracula and his minions.

The series was originally planned as a film, developed by producer Kevin Kolde and his company Project 51 Productions. Kolde had a contract for a script with writer Warren Ellis in 2007; the project entered development hell until about 2015, when it was picked up by streaming service Netflix. Powerhouse Animation Studios joined the team and production commenced. Its art style is heavily influenced by Japanese anime and Ayami Kojima's artwork in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, with the production team including staff members who worked in the Japanese anime industry.The series premiered on Netflix on July 7, 2017, and was renewed for an expanded second season of eight episodes on the same day; the second season premiered on October 26, 2018. A ten-episode third season has been greenlit by Netflix.

David Lynch's unrealized projects

The following is a list of unproduced David Lynch projects in roughly chronological order. During his long career, American film director David Lynch has worked on a number of projects which never progressed beyond the pre-production stage under his direction. Some of these projects fell into development hell or were officially cancelled.

Gemini Man (film)

Gemini Man is an upcoming 2019 American science fiction action thriller film directed by Ang Lee and written by David Benioff, Billy Ray, and Darren Lemke. The film stars Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong, and follows an aging hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself.

Originally conceived in 1997, the film went through development hell for nearly 20 years. Several directors, including Tony Scott, Curtis Hanson and Joe Carnahan, were all attached at some point and numerous actors, including Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, and Sean Connery, were set to star. In 2016, Skydance Media purchased the rights to the screenplay (which had been through several rewrites) from Walt Disney Pictures, and in October 2017 Ang Lee signed on to direct. Filming took place from February through May 2018.

Gemini Man is scheduled to be released in the United States on October 11, 2019 by Paramount Pictures.

Jason X

Jason X is a 2001 American science fiction slasher film produced and directed by James Isaac. It is the tenth installment in the Friday the 13th film series and stars Kane Hodder in his fourth and final film appearance as the undead mass murderer Jason Voorhees. It also introduces his futuristic counterpart, Uber Jason.

The film was conceived by Todd Farmer, and was the only pitch that he gave to the studio, having suggested sending Jason into space as a means to advance the film series, while a crossover film Freddy vs. Jason was still in development hell.

Jole Jongole

Jole Jongole is a 2018 Bengali-language Indian science fiction thriller film directed by Nitish Roy, who was the production designer for the Hollywood horror film Crocodile 2: Death Swamp.

The film stars Mithun Chakraborty as a 'mad' scientist who wants to bring back prehistoric creatures, perished millions of years ago from the earth as he is trying to expand the brain of crocodiles. Jackie Shroff stars as the antagonist who wants to take control of dangerous crocodiles for his own park.

A few scenes of the film were shot in Prayag Film City in West Midnapore, and shooting was completed by early 2012, but got stuck in development hell and was finally released on 6 January 2018.

Kennedy Miller Mitchell

Kennedy Miller Mitchell (before 2009 known as Kennedy Miller) is an Australian film, television and video game production house in Potts Point, Sydney, that has been producing television and film since 1978. It is responsible for some of Australia's most well known and successful films, including the four Mad Max films, the two Babe films, and the two Happy Feet films.

Kennedy Miller Mitchell is one of Australia's oldest existing film production companies, and the internationally most successful.

Many of the films are directed by the co-founder, George Miller, though he sometimes takes an organisational role and prefers to use someone else to direct, as with Babe, which was directed by Chris Noonan.The company's most recent project was the fourth Mad Max film, titled Mad Max: Fury Road. After being "in development hell for 25 years", the film was released to critical acclaim on 15 May 2015.

Mallika Yunis

Mallika Yunis is an Indian writer who writes novels in Malayalam language. She is probably best known for her 1981 novel Upasana which won her the Maman Mappila literary award in 1982. The novel was made into a critically acclaimed film, titled Ente Upasana, by noted director Bharathan. The 2012 film Karpoora Deepam is also based on her novel. The film, which commenced production in 1998 was in a development hell for 14 years.


Mixmag is a British electronic dance and clubbing magazine, published in London, England. Launched in 1982, the magazine covers dance events, and reviews music and club nights.

Passengers (2016 film)

Passengers is a 2016 American science fiction romance film directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Jon Spaihts. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as Aurora Lane and Jim Preston, respectively, with Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne in supporting roles. The plot depicts two people who are awakened ninety years too early from an induced hibernation on a spaceship, transporting thousands of passengers, travelling to a distant colony planet.

The film was originally written in 2007 by Spaihts but was kept in development hell, with multiple actors attached over the years. In December 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment picked up the film's rights, with Tyldum attached to direct. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence were cast as the two leads in February 2015. The film was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures, Start Motion Pictures, Original Film, LStar Capital, Wanda Pictures and Company Films. Principal photography took place at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Atlanta, Georgia from September 2015 to February 2016.

Passengers premiered at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on December 14, 2016 and was released theatrically in the United States on December 21, 2016, in 2D and RealD 3D by Columbia Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Lawrence and Pratt's performances, as well as the musical score, visual style and production values, though it was criticized for its plot and characters. It grossed $303 million worldwide, becoming the third-biggest original live-action U.S. release of 2016. The film received two nominations for Best Original Score and Best Production Design at the 89th Academy Awards.

Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction media franchise consisting of films, books, television series, comics, and other media about a world in which humans and intelligent apes clash for control. The franchise is based on French author Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel La Planète des singes, translated into English as Planet of the Apes or Monkey Planet. Its 1968 film adaptation, Planet of the Apes, was a critical and commercial hit, initiating a series of sequels, tie-ins, and derivative works. Arthur P. Jacobs produced the first five Apes films through APJAC Productions for distributor 20th Century Fox; since his death in 1973, Fox has controlled the franchise.

Four sequels followed the original film from 1970 to 1973: Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. They did not approach the critical acclaim of the original, but were commercially successful, spawning two television series in 1974 and 1975. Plans for a film remake stalled in "development hell" for over ten years before Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes was released in 2001. A reboot film series commenced in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which was followed by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014 and War for the Planet of the Apes in 2017. The films have grossed a total of over US$2 billion worldwide, against a combined budget of $567.5 million. Along with further narratives in various media, franchise tie-ins include video games, toys and planned theme park rides.

Planet of the Apes has received particular attention among film critics for its treatment of racial issues. Cinema and cultural analysts have also explored its Cold War and animal rights themes. The series has influenced subsequent films, media and art, as well as popular culture and political discourse.

Radioland Murders

Radioland Murders is a 1994 comedy mystery film directed by Mel Smith and co-written and produced by George Lucas. Radioland Murders is set in the 1939 atmosphere of old-time radio and pays homage to the screwball comedy films of the 1930s. The film tells the story of writer Roger Henderson trying to settle relationship issues with his wife while dealing with a whodunit murder mystery in a radio station. The film stars an ensemble cast, including Brian Benben, Mary Stuart Masterson, Scott Michael Campbell, Michael Lerner and Ned Beatty. Radioland Murders also features numerous small roles and cameo appearances, including Michael McKean, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Lloyd, George Burns (in his final film appearance), Billy Barty and Rosemary Clooney.

George Lucas began development for the film in the 1970s, originally attached as director for Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz's script. Universal Pictures commenced pre-production and both Steve Martin and Cindy Williams had already been approached for the two leads before Radioland Murders languished in development hell for over 20 years. In 1993, Lucas told Universal that advances in computer-generated imagery from Industrial Light & Magic (owned by Lucasfilm), particularly in digital mattes, would help bring Radioland Murders in for a relatively low budget of about $10 million, which eventually rose to $15 million. Mel Smith was hired to direct and filming lasted from October to December 1993. Radioland Murders was released on October 21, 1994, to negative reviews from critics and bombed at the box office, only grossing $1.37 million in US totals.

Ridley Scott's unrealized projects

The following is a list of unproduced Ridley Scott projects in roughly chronological order. During his long career, English film director and producer Ridley Scott has worked on a number of projects which never progressed beyond the pre-production stage under his direction. Some of these projects, fell in development hell or are officially canceled.

Spike Lee's unrealized projects

The following is a list of unproduced Spike Lee projects in roughly chronological order. During his long career, English film director and producer Spike Lee has worked on a number of projects which never progressed beyond the pre-production stage under his direction. Some of these projects, fell in development hell or are officially canceled.

The Dirt (film)

The Dirt is a 2019 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Jeff Tremaine from a screenplay by Rich Wilkes, about glam metal band Mötley Crüe. The film stars Douglas Booth, Colson Baker, Daniel Webber, and Iwan Rheon.

Talks of a Mötley Crüe biopic began as early as 2006, when Paramount Pictures and MTV Films purchased the rights to the book The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band by the band and Neil Strauss. However the project then languished in development hell for over a decade, going through numerous directors and cast members before Netflix purchased the rights in March 2017. Filming began around New Orleans in February 2018.

The Dirt was released digitally on Netflix on March 22, 2019. It received generally unfavorable reviews from critics, who said the film would please fans but that it hesitated "in handling the more troubling aspects of the band's history."

The Meg

The Meg is a 2018 science fiction action film directed by Jon Turteltaub with a screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, loosely based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten. The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, and Cliff Curtis. The film follows a group of scientists who encounter a 75-foot-long (23 m) megalodon shark while on a rescue mission at the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Walt Disney Studios originally purchased the film rights to the book in the 1990s, but after several years in development hell, the rights landed at Warner Bros. The movie was eventually greenlit in 2015. Turteltaub and much of the cast joined by September 2016, and filming began the following month in New Zealand and ended in Sanya, China, in January 2017.

A Chinese-American co-production, The Meg was released in both countries on August 10, 2018, in RealD 3D. It grossed over $530 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, with some describing it as an entertaining movie and others calling it "neither good enough nor bad enough" to be fun.


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