Sadly great movies never get made. For what reasons we’ll never know but here’s three potentially legendary movies that may never see the light of day.
The 2004 book by Gregory David Roberts is the true story of an Aussie junkie who escapes maximum security prison in Adelaide and flees to India. The 600 or so pages go very quickly. Gregory David Roberts does the party scene, finds a few vendettas, infiltrates Bollywood and the local mafia and finds himself a squat in the Mumbai slums. You have to keep reminding yourself it’s not a novel. The only reason this isn’t a movie is it could easily be 10 hours long! But the book is so enthralling and so rich in detail, I feel like I’ve already seen the movie in my head. So why hasn’t Hollywood followed suit and made a movie out of it?
Movie rights were bought in 2004 by Warner Brothers. To move things along, Johnny Depp put his weight behind the project. As late as 2013 Aussie Joel Edgerton was being courted by Depp to play the lead role. Roberts has been pushing the script and calling himself a Hollywood scriptwriter for several years now. An Indian director Mira Nair was selected in 2007. Fleetingly the movie looked to be equally Hollywood and Bollywood blockbuster
IMDB has Shantaram listed as ‘in development’ for several years now. It’s been on hiatus so long, Roberts has written a sequel. Allegedly Warner Brothers still own the rights to the script/movie, but don’t hold your breath for it coming out any time soon.
Keith Moon movie
Moon is the master of destruction. As a drummer in The Who he was so frenetic and bombastic, he was more like the lead guitarist. Even in the company of his peers like Hendrix and John Bohnam, he was an absolute nutter. A working title ‘See Me Feel Me: Keith Moon Naked for Your Pleasure’ promised to be one hell of a great biopic. No one has trashed more hotels, popped more pills, drank more, crashed more cars or simply had more good times than Moon the loon. Little surprise his bandmates from The Who still want to immortalise him in a movie. Given there’s so much subject matter in the 900 page manifest ‘Dear Boy, the life of Keith Moon‘, there must be enough for two movies. Sadly the ‘untitled Keith Moon project’ has been kicking around on IMDB since at least 2008.
Mike Myers was allegedly set to play Moon. While his comedy and energy are perfect, it would be perfect but awkward considered Moon died at 32. Then Jason Schwartzman’s name kept coming up, who admitted to being a big Moon fan as a teenager.
Well there is some hope. According to Rolling Stone as of 2013 the movie is ‘in production’. Well they had a production company but not a screen writer! The Who are still on their ‘last tour’ and the movie doesn’t look any closer to being released. It would seem that Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are a bit too precious about their bandmate’s memory. So it’s possible despite their imminent retirement, the movie may never come together.
Freddie Mercury movie
This may be something that just went crazy viral, but Sasha Baron Cohen was to play Freedie Mercury. I couldn’t think of a more perfect paring. Cohen’s over the top chutzpah is a perfect match for rock’s campest bad boy. Sadly Billboard Magazine cites that the whole thing was a giant piss take by Queen’s manager Jim Birch. You also can’t help but think that perhaps Brian May and the original band mates are a little bit too precious leaving Mercury’s memory unmolested. Whether or not Cohen’s involved, the project has been kicking around for at least 7 years. If ever there was a person they should give carte blanche to, it’s Sacha Baron Cohen. Freddie deserves something more than a sanitised salute and should be remembered for exactly who he was.
Honestly I’m not sure who’s more trepidatious, the band members of the deceased/authors or the studio money spinners. Meanwhile there’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 being made as we speak. Kill me now.