Top 6: Movies We’ll Never Be Able To See

Posted in Top 6 at 4:59 am by Sam

We’ve got something a little different for Episode 21’s Top 6 list, because it’s about movies you can’t see and will never be able to see.

Movies that were never made count. There are plenty of situations where a movie was in the process of being made and, for some reason, was never completed. There is always a chance that a movie with a troubled production might finally come together. But we’re talking about specific incarnations of a film that will absolutely never exist.

Lost films also count — movies that were made but subsequently lost or destroyed, and no known copies are likely to exist. Of course, there’s always a chance that a lost film will be recovered, but we’re (unfortunately) pretty sure about the ones we’ve chosen for our lists.

What movies do you want to see that you’ll never be able to?

As always, we recommend listening to the episode before reading further.

  1. The full cut of Greed (1924)
  2. The original cut of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
  3. Terry Gilliam’s Watchmen
  4. A version of AI (2001) made before Stanley Kubrick’s death
  5. Quentin Tarantino’s Vega Brothers
  6. Steven Spielberg’s James Bond film
  1. The completed Queen Kelly (1929)
  2. Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon biopic
  3. The lost film London After Midnight (1927)
  4. The Property of a Lady (1991)
  5. James Cameron’s Spider-Man
  6. The completed I, Claudius (1937)


  1. wintermute (157) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 9:14 am

    In no particular order:

    Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
    I thought about Watchmen - it would make a great movie, and Gilliam would be one of the few people who could make it - but have you actually seen the script? It turns out that I’m very happy it didn’t get made and someone else can have a bash at it. But then, Alan Moore stories have a habit of being butchered (V for Vendetta is the only partial exception), so maybe it should stay unfilmed. But anyway Don Quixote looked like being a great story - perhaps so good the Gods didn’t want it made. They had to contend with injury, illness, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, plagues of locusts… See Lost in La Mancha for the full story.

    The original script of Alien 3, where they invade Earth
    “No, that’s going to cost actual money. Let’s come up with something we can film in an abandoned factory instead.”

    James Cameron’s StarCraft
    It was going to be Aliens on crack, but for some reason the studio turned down a movie based on a computer strategy game.

    Disney’s A Princess of Mars
    This was going to be their first animated feature, and it’s interesting to wonder where Disney might have gone, if they’d been building off this instead of Snow White. But even on its own merits, I’d have loved to see who they treated this.

    Tarantino’s Vega Brothers
    What Stephen said.

    Orson Welles’ Batman
    How could this fail to be the awesomest film of all time? Unfortunately, it never even occurred to him, and he went on to make The Stranger instead. But just look how it might have gone down. If only it wasn’t a hoax

  2. wintermute (157) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Oh, and as for Moore, his attitude to film adaptations used to be “I’ve made my art, so if they want to give me money, I don’t care what they do with it”.

    After getting accused of writing League as some kind of industry shill so that the studio wouldn’t need to buy another script that looks a lot more like the final film than League did, he refused to sell those rights he owned to production companies.

    Those stories where he owns complete rights (mostly those published by ABC, but also Skizz and The Ballad of Halo Jones), will never be filmed. Those where the rights are spilt between the creators and the publisher, he’s relinquished all film rights, allowing others to sell it, but having nothing to do with it himself. He refused all money from Constantine and V for Vendetta, even going as far as insisting that his name not appear on the films, for example.

    The film rights for Watchmen are currently owned by Warner Bros. (and even if they hadn’t already been sold, Dave Gibbons would effectively own full rights, and has expressed a desire to see it filmed).

    It’s currently back in pre-production, with Zach Snyder (of Frank Miller’s 300) slated to direct. It’s supposed to appear in 2008, but I’m not holding my breath. Maybe it’ll be good, but somehow I doubt it, given the history of Moore adaptations…

  3. WarpNacelle (48) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    I so hope I’m wrong, but it appears we may have to add Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” to the list :(

  4. jaime (13) said,

    February 21, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I thinked that you would say about The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, because I`m Chilean and that book is one of the bests in Spanish (Don Quixote).
    I also think that Dune from Jodorowsky would be interesting because of Dali being the Emperor.
    I also remember a movie that David Lynch wanted to make but he never got the money, he can still make it but he hasn`t: Ronnie Rocket, sounded very strange.

  5. SplishFish (29) said,

    February 26, 2007 at 11:32 am

    These are more of a *probably* never see, but here goes:

    Film adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series: A set of books more un-filmable than Lord of the Rings. One of the biggest production issues is that one of the characters is 11 years old. Even if all movies are filmed at once it will still take several years and an 11-yr-old will change too much because the story itself takes place within a year (about). It would also be a nightmare just adapting the story because King includes Dark Tower material in several other books. How much of Insomnia or Desperation do you include?

    Star Wars sequels 7-9: George Lucas says he’s never going to make the continuing stories. But then again he said that he’d never release the original theatrical cuts on DVD. I’m not sure that I’d want them made anyway after my disappointment with the prequels.

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