Hollywood is a slaughterhouse where cool movie ideas go to die. Here are ten films that were tragically cut down before their time, simply because they were just too friggin' awesome.
#10. Peter Jackson's Halo
Fans of the popular video game wept tears of joy when a Halo film was announced in 2005. Other bodily fluids escaped when it was announced that the Lord of the Rings guy (Peter Jackson) was on board to produce and Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) was in talks to direct. But suddenly, in the fall of 2006, both of the studios financing the film bailed out.
Why it didn't get made: The rumored budget offered about 200 million reasons, with a dollar sign in front. To break even, every single person who bought the last Halo game would have to go see the film version seven times. Also, 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.
Sure, somebody will make a Halo movie some day (Twentieth Century Fox re-acquired the rights in June of 2007), but it won't be the beautiful love child of Lord of the Rings and Aliens that fanboys dreamed of the moment the heard "Halo" and "Peter Jackson" in the same sentence. It's more likely come back as a bargain basement $60 million production, most likely with a wrestler in the lead. And no matter how bad it is, the geek crowd will give them a big opening weekend and the studio will make a tidy little profit. Direct-to-DVD sequels will surely follow.
And while we're on the subject: We won't be seeing Peter Jackson's The Hobbit any time soon, either. New Line booted him from the project, their revenge for a lawsuit he brought over some disputed Lord of the Rings profits. Let us grieve for all the great movies that would get made if Hollywood wasn't full of greedy douchebags.
#9. Unbreakable 2
Whether or not you think Unbreakable was a great movie, you almost have to agree it was a great idea for a movie. It's a grown-up superhero film, without the silly costumes or CGI monsters or preposterous plans to take over the world -- Just a taut battle of wills between extraordinary men, both of the roles played by charismatic superstars. But right as the story reaches its crucial apex, where the hero tracks down the evil genius and realizes he must Stop Him at All Costs, the film abruptly ends. Credits.
That there was supposed to be a sequel (in fact, a trilogy, according to Willis) is obvious. What is not obvious is what in the holy hell M. Night Shyamalan was thinking.
Everyone knows the reason superhero sequels are usually better than the original (think X-Men 2, Superman 2, and Spider-Man 2) is because they don't have to devote half their running time to the tedious origin story. The origin story is always boring, with the pre-superhero protagonist stumbling around like an everyday dumbass for an hour. Shyamalan, for reasons science may never unravel, decided to make Unbreakable nothing but the origin story, stretching that part across the entire running time and saving the actual awesome Good vs. Evil super-battle for the next film.
Why it didn't get made: Not enough people went to see the origin story part. Not after the first weekend, anyway, when crowds of moviegoers 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."
And while we're on the subject: Did you know Shyamalan was in talks to direct the first Harry Potter movie back in 2001? Even those of you who don't like the director have to admit that he probably could have made a more interesting first film than Chris Columbus crapped out. Plus, at the end, maybe we would have found out Harry was actually DEAD THE ENTIRE TIME.