Book Review “Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made?”

Author: David Hughes
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Updated Expanded Edition
Release Date: February 28, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

In the past few months I have found myself becoming a very big fan of author’s David Hughes. His last book “The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made” is similar to this one but focuses in one genre. “Tales From Development Hell” is backed by amazing research and just proves that Hughes knows his films. When I first started to get into movies very deeply I always wanted “Jaws 5” to be made during the 90’s and I would constantly see the words show up development hell…and 20+ years still no “Jaws 5”. It is truly a writers, directors and stars worst nightmare where the scripts are written, actors hired and sets designed…but no production.

This newly updated and expanded edition includes two new chapters that are worth the purchase alone. The previously last chapter “The Incredible Shrinking Film” is expanded focusing in-depth on James Cameron’s then-planned remake of “Fantastic Voyage” and his journey.  The new final chapter which was added is called ” Tales from the Script”.  Since Hughes is an screenwriter himself he knows what it is like to go through development hell with a script.  In the chapter he focuses on his own Hollywood struggles and projects in limbo.  It is a very great chapter and is a breath of fresh air for all aspiring screenwriters.

I seem too learn something new with each of Hughes’ books.  In this one, I discovered that The Beatles were once in talks to star in “The Lord of the Rings”…The Beatles?! Also Clint Eastwood was once talked about starring in a planned “Batman” film.  Those two alone are impressive enough for me (and boy am I happy they never got made). Along with Hughes’ amazing research he also does a great job with getting interesting exclusive interviews with the writers and directors involved with some of these lost projects.  It is a true must for all movie buffs.

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