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10 Big Movies That Were Cancelled This Year (And Why) –

 

 

It’s no longer enough to simply look to the short-term in the movie business. Studios need to plant their flags early, stake out dates, and plan out sequels, remakes, reboots, and various other releases way into the future.

That can work in the favour of building sustained hype, but it can also mean there’s a lot of time for things to go awry. The industry is constantly shifting, and plans change with it. A director who is hot one minute can be not the next, an actor can go from hero to zero, and a movie could unexpectedly bomb at the box-office, blowing up those franchise or shared universe plans in the process.

For a variety of reasons these movies, despite big names and lots of money, are no longer happening.

10. The Raid 3

Sony Pictures Classics

Gareth Evans delivered two of the finest action movies of the decade with The Raid 1 & 2, but four years on and, sadly, the trilogy isn’t going to be reaching completion anytime soon.

It was initially reported that The Raid 3 would take place before 2, with Evans saying he hoped to film it in 2018 after a break from martial arts movies. Well, he’s had that break – making period horror Apostle for Netflix – but that has only moved him further away from The Raid. While doing the press rounds for Apostle, Evans explained to Cinema Blend why the movie was no longer happening:

“At one point it was on my radar. I had a full idea. I know what the storyline would have been. But I think enough time has passed now that I think I’m not likely to go back and revisit it. We had a lot of fun making those films, and I think we came to a nice, sort of natural conclusion with [The Raid 2]. And I think sometimes you can have a little bit too much of a good thing.”

He added to Slash Film: “The Raid 1 and 2 were incredible for me, but I just didn’t want to be doing The Raids all the time… It didn’t really appeal to me to jump back into that world again.”

9. Silver & Black

Marvel Comics

As part of Sony’s plans for the Spider-less Spiderverse, it was announced back in 2017 that Silver Sable and Black Cat were going to team-up for a big screen outing, titled Silver & Black and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Originally slated to hit cinemas in February 2019, it was pulled from Sony’s release schedule in June, with Prince-Bythewood unhappy with the script, and eventually it was announced back in August that the film had been canned completely.

It’s not all bad news though, as Sony are instead planning on solo films for both characters (as per Variety), with Black Cat set to arrive first, although it remains to be seen whether either of them will actually get a release, with Prince-Bythewood expected to depart and no one else yet brought in to write or direct.

8. The Crow Remake

Miramax

A remake of the Brandon Lee cult classic has been in various stages of development over the last 10 years, but things really got moving in 2016, when Jason Momoa signed on to star with Corin Hardy set to direct. A year later, Sony had agreed to distribute the movie, after some production issues, and the involvement of Hardy and Momoa was in doubt.

Such doubts were confirmed earlier this year, when the pair both departed the project. It was revealed that Sony’s distribution deal hadn’t actually closed, there were financial and creative differences, with Hardy then taking to Instagram to say he’d come so close to making it happen, but ultimately had to walk away, implying he wasn’t able to make the film he and Momoa wanted. With no director, no star, and no distributor, The Crow remake is dead once more.

7. The Silver Chair

20th Century Fox

Despite initially being a decent hit, The Chronicles of Narnia franchise saw diminishing returns across its three movies, leading to plans to completely reboot things, starting with The Silver Chair, the, er, four or sixth (depending on which order you go on) book in the series…

Regardless of logic, plans pressed ahead with veteran filmmaker Joe Johnston signed on to direct last year, with The Silver Chair picking up decades after Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Narnia time, but only a year later in England, with Eustace Scrubb returning (but Will Poulter unlikely to).

All of this has now been upended, though, by Netflix. It was announced this year that the streaming giant have purchased the rights to C.S Lewis’ series, with plans to make films and TV shows based on the works, which means The Silver Chair is going to have to take a backseat.

6. Transformers 6

Paramount

Although it is one of the most commercially successful film franchises of all time, with two entries somehow making over $1bn, Paramount are pivoting away from the mainline Transformers series.

The fifth and most recent entry, The Last Knight, made just $605m at the box-office, just over half of what Age of Extinction brought in, which contributed to the sense of weariness around the franchise, with Michael Bay promising it’d be his last. It might be the last overall too, with Paramount pulling Transformers 6 from its schedule this year.

After the poor box-office performance, alongside negative reviews, the future instead lies with spin-off Bumblebee, which is aiming to be a different kind of movie; more character-driven, with an emotional throughline and smaller, more personal tale. That’s a good move in theory, but it’s also tracking for the lowest-opening in the entire franchise, making future films even less likely.

5. City Of Lies

Global Road Entertainment

Had things gone to plan, then City of Lies – previously known as LAbyrinth – would’ve already been released by now. The film stars – or would’ve starred – Johnny Depp as LAPD Detective Russell Poole, who investigates the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.

Originally slated for a September 2018 release, the film was only pulled in August due to an ongoing lawsuit between Depp and the movie’s location manager, which then led to answer lawsuit, this time by Bank Leumi, for unpaid guarantees due to the release being shelved. With twin lawsuits, not to mention a constant swirl of controversy around Depp, there’s no release date scheduled, and it doesn’t look like seeing the light of day anytime soon.

4. Mad Max Sequels

Warner Bros.

George Miller stunned us all with the explosive return of Mad Max back in 2015, and was discussing plans for a sequel almost immediately. Miller supposedly had ideas for two movies, with one tentatively called Mad Max: The Wasteland, and another likely to be a spin-off centred on Charlize Theron’s Furiosa.

However, a lawsuit between Miller’s production company and Warner Bros led to a delay in production – the former is suing for unpaid earnings, the latter has accused them of breaking a contract by delivering a two-hour, R-rated movie rather than the 100-minute, PG-13 one agreed upon.

Things have taken a further hit, with Miller officially putting the sequels on hold as he instead turns his attention to working on Three Thousand Years of Longing, which will star Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba. Given Miller has directed just four movies in the last 20 years, Max Max is now cast out to the development wasteland.

3. Boba Fett: A Star Wars Story

Disney

Lucasfilm have unofficially been trying to make a Boba Fett movie happen for years. It’s widely believed it was a Boba Fett – or at least a bounty hunter movie that would feature him – spin-off was the anthology movie Josh Trank was working on before he was fired, while earlier this year it was seemingly back in development, with Logan’s James Mangold attached to write and direct.

However, Solo’s relative box-office failure cast doubts over the future of Star Wars Stories, and it was then reported last month that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had confirmed the Fett movie was dead.

Solo’s performance knocked it off the sail barge, and Jon Favreau’s in-development The Mandalorian is what then sent it tumbling into the Sarlacc, with Lucasfilm and Disney instead putting their gunslinging focus on the TV series.

2. All These DC Movies

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros plans for the DCEU – or Worlds of DC, as they tried to rebrand it to – have been in a state of flux for sometime, with plans changing with each new setback, and that’s meant a number of films have been scrapped this year.

Man of Steel 2, which Christopher McQuarrie was showing interest in directing only earlier this year, has been indefinitely shuffled off the slate as WB have no plans for Superman for the foreseeable future, even if Henry Cavill hasn’t officially left the role, with a Supergirl movie put into development instead.

Flashpoint is another victim, with word coming early in the year that initial plans for the storyline had been scrapped to instead make it a proper Flash solo movie – and it’d be hard to due Flashpoint without Ben Affleck and Cavill – but that itself has hit a snag, with production delayed until late-2019 due to Ezra Miller’s Fantastic Beasts commitments.

Then there’s Deathstroke, which was reportedly going to be directed by Gareth Evans (though he was never officially attached) and star Joe Manganiello. That, however, was part of the initial plans for the DCEU under Zack Snyder, with Justice League setting up the Legion of Doom and Deathstroke set to appear in Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie, which is, of course, now Matt Reeves’ movie and likely won’t feature Affleck at all.

At this point we know we’re getting Aquaman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman 2 in the shared universe, but everything else is either scrapped, in question, or under a different umbrella.

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

disney

With Avengers 4 marking the end of Phase 3 and the MCU as we know it, Guardians of the Galaxy should’ve been in prime position to help launch Phase 4; with a 2020 release date, it was expected to setup the next 10-20 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And then James Gunn’s tweets surfaced.

With tweets making jokes about paedophilia, rape, AIDS, and a number of other ‘don’t go there’ subjects, Gunn was swiftly fired by Disney. Whether you agree with that decision or not, the fact of the matter is that Gunn is gone – although his script will still be used if the movie happens – and the movie is now in disarray. Dave Bautista doesn’t want to do it, and with such problems Kevin Feige has confirmed the film is now “on hold”, and unlikely to be revived for another few years yet.

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