[Editor’s note: The following list was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated accordingly.]
Christopher Nolan has directed one of the most beloved film trilogies in history (see “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight,” and “The Dark Knight Rises”) and has brought to life many of Hollywood’s most original visions, but what if his most prized script never got to see the big screen? Enter Nolan’s Howard Hughes biopic, which could have been a reality had Nolan not gotten swept up in Batman and Martin Scorsese not proceeded with his own Hughes movie with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Now, of course, Nolan is moving on to realize the life and work of another pioneer onscreen with next year’s “Oppenheimer.”
Nolan’s unmade Howard Hughes movie is no isolated occurrence, as the majority of auteurs working in Hollywood have at least one passion project that has slipped through the cracks over the course of their careers.
If you’re busybodies like Ridley Scott and Guillermo del Toro, you have more unmade projects than one can count with two hands. The history of unmade movies is expansive (Kubrick’s “Napoleon,” for instance), and just one look at a list of best films never made is enough to realize how many potential masterpieces are sitting on the back burner indefinitely.
Just recently, Luca Guadanigno revealed that a number of his planned projects, including a miniseries version of “Brideshead Revisited” and a big-screen musical adaptation of Bob Dylan’s album “Blood on the Tracks,” were all scrapped.
Check out some of IndieWire’s most desired unmade movies in the list below.