Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


TALES FROM DEVELOPMENT HELL: The Greatest Movies Never Made? David Hughes. Titan; 2011.

Hughes' interesting book looks at how and why some movies, which seem like good bets or even certainties, never make it out of the development stage for one reason or another. Hughes writes about this process with a sense of humor and an understanding of the frustrating process of actually making a full-fledged movie come into being despite a number of pitfalls, including changes in executives, actors bowing out, script problems, lawsuits (and that old favorite of too many cooks spoil the broth), and so on. Some of these films were actually made [after years of delays] by other people, including remakes of Planet of the Apes (terrible) and Total Recall (acceptable), but others never saw the light of day: the remake of Fantastic Voyage; The Hot Zone; The Sandman. Hughes also looks at intriguing alternate versions of existing movies-that-never-were, such as another version of Batman and others. While one could argue that the efforts to mount a remake of Total Recall  are much ado about nothing, Tales from Development Hell is of interest to readers who want to go behind the scenes and discover why some movies get made and others don't.

Verdict: Interesting book on Hollywood behind-the-scenes. ***.


angelman66 said...

Fascinating! Right up my alley...can't wait to read.
Bill, thank you so much for bringing to my attention--so happy you also include film-relevant books on your wonderful blog!

William said...

Thanks, Chris, for the kind words. And for your terrific blog as well!

My original intention with this blog was to do not just film and book reviews, but also write-ups on various actors and aspects of the film industry, but I hardly have enough time to watch the movies themselves let alone write about them. But who knows ..?