For every project that actually makes it to theater screens, there’s an incalculable amount that never see the light of day and today we have a batch of projects that have hit various roadblocks. First up, we’ve got news on a project halting that was never actually in the mind of the public. The last few weeks have been a difficult time for Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, as he resigned from Sesame Street due to controversy surrounding certain allegation, but now we’ve got word from Vulture that Warner Bros. was actually planning a feature film featuring the puppeteer, likely launched out of the success of his documentary Being Elmo.
The studio has now dropped the secret project, which would have featured a new character in “a Calvin and Hobbes kind of movie about a kid and his stuffed animal that takes on a life of its own because of the child’s imagination.” The kid character would have even been partially based on the Looney Tunes schoolboy Ralph Phillips, who appeared in a number of shorts. While Clash could perhaps take the project to another studio, chances of getting it made are extremely slim due to his current situation.
In other news of projects hitting a roadblock, albeit for very different reasons, director Jonathan Demme has dropped a project he picked up well over a year ago. Speaking with The Playlist, the helmer said his adaptation of Stephen King‘s epic 900-page book 11/22/63 is “off the table.” Telling the story of a man who travels back in time to prevent JFK’s assassination, Demme admitted “this is a big book, with lots in it.” He added, “I loved certain parts of the book for the film more than Stephen did. We’re friends, and I had a lot of fun working on the script, but we were too apart on what we felt should be in and what should be out of the script.” Not all hope is lost though for a different director, as he said, “I had an option and I let it go. But I hope it’s moving forward, I really want to see that movie.”
Lastly, we’ve got word on another project that has hit a hiccup, as director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intruders, 28 Days Later) has exited Summit’s reboot of Highlander. First attached to the film over a year ago with Ryan Reynolds poised to lead, Deadline reports that Fresnadillo is off the actioner. His exit has to do with “differing views” of the project, but it is reportedly an “amicable” departure. I can’t imagine audiences are necessarily clamoring for an update to the 1986 film following a Scottish swordsman — especially with Reynolds in the lead — but sources indicate Summit is intent on getting it made, so expect news of a replacement soon.
Are you upset these directors have left their respective projects? Would you have liked to see Clash’s WB film?
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