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In the mid to late Nineties, a young, brash director was approached by a major studio to direct a re imagined version of an uber popular character that was recently maligned and exhausted as a movie franchise. This new version was going to be a radical departure of what anyone had ever seen and the director was on board with the changes. The Director? Darren Aronofsky. The character? Batman. The movie? Batman: Year One. This is but one of the more fascinating stories from the belly of unmade Hollywood movies featured in the current tome “The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See”. Of course, this film was never made, but some of the radical changes and hires would have blown any Batman fan off the grid. Based on the comic book of the same name, Bruce Wayne would not have been a rich heir to a fortune but a maligned young youth wandering the streets of Gotham after his parents are murdered, taken in by a neighborhood mechanic. Aronofsky wanted to hire Clint Eastwood to play Bruce Wayne/Batman and wanted to shoot the film in Tokyo. Frank Miller, the man behind the original comic book series, was hired to write the movie based off his comic book work.

“The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See” has a ton of fascinating movies that eventually would never be made. Spanning from the 20’s era of Hollywood (A Princess Of Mars) to the present (Black Hole), this book covers a whole array of movie genre’s and powerful producers, actors and directors, whose visions were sometimes to outlandish, bold or daring for movie studios to accept. There was Star Trek: Planet Of The Titans. This would go down as the first rendition of Star Trek coming to the big screen before “Star Trek: The Movie” was ever made. It involved the crew of the Star Trek Enterprise reuniting in a new retrofitted Enterprise  to do battle with a renegade space ship that believes it was GOD. The story was written by Gene Rodenberry, the creator of Star Trek. Movie scripts like this are fascinating to see from the early stages of creation. Ironically, this film is one of the few that was a precursor to the starting of the Star Trek movie franchise. Many others never saw the light of day, obviously, and many never jump started movie franchises they were meant to create ( Ronnie Rocket, Nostromo, Crusade). Ironically, or maybe not, one director/producer that is featured in several decades of unmade movies is Orson Wells. For those who don’t know who Orson Wells is, he is most famous for the radio hoax rendition of War Of The Worlds he orated in the 1930’s that brought the nation to a near panic as it thought it was being invaded by aliens. He is also the director of what many deem as the greatest movie ever made “Citizen Cane”. For as many hits and master pieces as Wells had in his movie career, he also had a large amount of never finished or realized films. His unfinished works are littered through out the book…Don Quixote, The Other side of The Wind, The Cradle Will Rock and Its All True to name a few. Just goes to show you, at the end of the day, the studio had the say. That may not be the case so much with all of the alternative ways to finance films these days, but it is fun to see how so many were never made, and the various reasons why. Everything from out of control budgets, (Crusades featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger), un filmable book renditions (Nostromo) and outlandish ideas (Ronnie Rocket). You’ll also read about the more famous “Over The Top” films like Superman Lives and Dune. All in all, if you have a knack for movie trivia and knowledge, “The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See” is definitely the book for you. Fun, witty, and all around fascinating.

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