As willing as Hollywood can be to throw big bucks at any sort of adaptation or fun idea, there are plenty of others that wind up on the cutting room floor. It's even more tragic when these movies actually make it to the pre-production stage only to be cut short before any footage is shot.
Sometimes, those loose ideas and drawings find their way onto the internet for us to dream about. In the case of fever dreams like an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation or that BioShock movie you've always wanted, Imgur photos of concept drawings might are sometimes all that we have.
Guillermo del Toro's much-hyped adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story was a troubled production from the start. del Toro and Matthew Robbins wrote a screenplay and initially wanted Tom Cruise in the lead, but Universal Studios was gunning for James McAvoy. This, combined with del Toro's insistence on an R rating, brought the whole production to a screeching hault in 2011.
del Toro had a grand vision for a grungy primordial feel with big-budget polish for the Antarctica-set monster story, as his extremely detailed concept drawings prove.
Let's get this out of the way: A live-action American remake of Akira is probably a bad idea. Warner Bros. purchased the film rights for the influential manga in 2002, and everyone from Zac Efron and Robert Pattinson to Andrew Garfield, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Chris Evans had a script tossed at their heads.
While the project has been in limbo since 2011, some incredibly detailed concept art was unearthed in 2014 by artist Ruairi Robinson. Whitewashing one of manga's most iconic stories might be a horrible idea, but I'll take some of these sketches to hang on my wall, please.
You know that colorful and kinda gritty Power Rangers reboot that's coming to theaters in less than a month? It was originally gonna be much much grittier. Concept artist Alex Ruiz and an unnamed director approached the reboot by not only adding a dallop of gritty realism with the washed out color palette and army soldiers, but redesigning both the MegaZord and the Rangers' helmets with face visors and having them do battle with a monster that looks like it stumbled over from Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim.
Lionsgate eventually went in the more traditional direction we're seeing in the movie coming next month, but can you imagine what this transparent MegaZord would've looked like in motion?
Vincenzo Natali proved he knew his way disturbing sci-fi with Splice, but did you know that he almost made a Predator movie? Natali pitched the idea to 20th Century Fox with an emphasis on impressionistic concept art over story, since there was no script to go along with it (The log line read "Predators hunt humans on their planet.").
Fox passed on Natali's pitch but eventually came around when Robert Rodriguez's years-old Predators script resurfaced, leading to the 2010 film starring Adrien Brody (he'd also coincidentally starred in Natali's Splice).
The fishbowl society of Bioshock always felt built to find its way to the screen, and Gore Verbinski tried to bring it to life back in 2009. A hefty price tag and his refusal to back down from an R rating convinced Universal to shut it down. "It's a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the price tag is high," Verbinski told ComingSoon.net. "We just didn't have any takers on an R-Rated movie with that price tag." I have a hunch that Verbinski directed that energy toward last week's A Cure For Wellness.
Either way, the concept art has up hyped to revisit Rapture all over again.
Jurassic World was a fun return to the one theme park no one should ever make in real life, but can you imagine any ways it could be weirder? When it was still called Jurassic Park 4, an original draft of the screenplay featured a plot revolving around human/dinosaur hybrids with mounted rocket launchers. That sounds cool on paper, but director Colin Trevorrow couldn't wrap his head around what the movie was trying to be. Ain't It Cool News described the script as "A Dirty Dozen-style mercenary team of hyper-smary dinosaurs in body armour killing drug dealers and rescuing kidnapped children." Really.
Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly eventually retooled this idea to focus on the semi-domesticated raptors we got in Jurassic World. Because would you really trust any of these dinosaurs with your children?