A multitude of interesting films miss out on getting made every year for a variety of reasons, but there are some that stand out from the rest because the thought of “what if” is simply too fascinating to dismiss. But in many cases, the studios’ decisions to pass on a project can’t be entirely criticized — some of the following projects are flat out bizarre and could just as easily be a financial disaster as a hit. Still, it would be amazing to see any of the following seven projects realized even if they sound pretty crazy. Here are seven of the greatest movies never made.
1. Dune — Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Often hailed as one of the greatest missed opportunities in film history, the story of the near-miss of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s adaptation of Dune was recently chronicled in the acclaimed documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. The acclaimed director pursued the film throughout the 1970s and assembled a dream team of creative forces that would later go on to make some of the most influential films of the era. The team included: H.R. Giger, who would later create the iconic designs of Ridley Scott’s Alien; Jean Giraud (Moebius), who provided storyboards and designs and was later involved with Alien, Tron, and The Fifth Element, among others; and Dan O’Bannon, who was set to head the film’s special effects and later moved on to Alien after Dune lost its financing.
To call Jodorowsky’s Dune an insane project almost seems like an understatement. Aside from the key creative forces already mentioned, Jodorowsky was also planning to collaborate with actors Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, David Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Alain Delon, Hervé Villechaize, and Mick Jagger. If all of this wasn’t enough, the soundtrack was also set to be provided by Pink Floyd at the height of the band’s powers.
But in all honesty, it’s a film that probably seems way more incredible to think about than to actually see onscreen. Financiers would later seem to come to the same conclusion amid reports that a Jodorowsky’s Dune film could run ten or more hours long and pulled the plug on the filmmaking team, leading the key creative figures to move to other projects. The film would ultimately end up in the hands of a young David Lynch and subsequently became a critical and financial failure, although the film has notably achieved cult classic status in recent years.