The 55 Strangest, Greatest Films Never Made (Chosen by John Green)

The Lord of the Rings starring the Beatles?

The Little Prince, adapted by Orson Welles?

Batman vs. Dwight D. Eisenhower? 

These are movies I’d pay to see! The first two made Mental Floss’ list of 55 Unfortunately Unfinished Films, a roll call of movies that got hung up in production or pre-production, never making it to the screen. As far as Batman battling the 34th president goes, that one’s mere wishful thinking, delivered as a typically off-the-cuff remark from list presenter, author John Green.

Moving at a speed that will be familiar to fans of his Crash Course series, Green races through a tempting menu of trivia and misfortune, obsession and obscurity.

Superheroes figure prominently, as do musicians. The Clash in Gangs of New YorkThe Sex Pistols in Who Killed Bambi? (The screenplay of which is available online, courtesy of its author, Roger Ebert.)

Death turns out to be another big plug-puller here. The untimely if not entirely surprising early exits of John Belushi, John Candy, and Chris Farley led to the “curse” of A Confederacy of Dunces.

As for Don Quixote, both Terry Gilliam and the aforementioned Mr. Welles have tilted at that windmill only to find out their dream was impossible, if not unfilmable.

Related Content:

Orson Welles Explains Why Ignorance Was the Genius Behind Citizen Kane

Martin Scorsese Brings “Lost” Hitchcock Film to Screen in Short Faux Documentary

Jean-Paul Sartre Writes a Script for John Huston’s Film on Freud (1958)

Ayun Halliday would love to see John Green undertake a Crash Course Cinema series. Follow her @AyunHalliday


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  1. Martin Rouge says . . . | September 21, 2013 / 5:53 pm

    My personal pick for “make this damn movie” would be Jodorowsky’s Dune, followed by a possibly modernized Megalopolis.

  2. Anne says . . . | October 4, 2013 / 12:36 am

    it should be entitled Films that were Never Made because Someone Died

  3. Ell says . . . | October 4, 2013 / 12:37 am

    Nice.

  4. Ellaine says . . . | October 4, 2013 / 12:37 am

    Great!

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