In the spirit of looking back at the decade that was, we rounded up 33 major theatrical releases that were intended to be released before 2020, but never actually were. Some of these were canceled, some of them fizzled out into nothingness, and some of them are actually still intended to be released. One thing is for certain: reading this article will make you realize just how hard it actually can be to make a movie in Hollywood.
Editor’s Note: This list has been updated with some changes (or lack thereof) in the listed projects as of October 29th, 2020.
Click on any of the below titles to jump straight to a specific movie’s entry, or just keep scrolling to see the full list:
Neill Blomkamp’s Alien
After Prometheus but before Alien: Covenant, there were a brief, wonderful two years where Neill Blomkamp was supposed to direct the next Alien movie. He announced the news in true 2010s fashion: by posting some concept art to his Instagram account with the caption, “Um… So I think it’s officially my next film.”Sadly, the fact Ridley Scott opted to move forward with Alien: Covenant seems to be what killed the project. Later in 2015, Blomkamp revealed (again, on social media) that Alien 5 was “kinda holding” pending Prometheus 2 (aka Alien: Covenant). By 2017, Scott said he did not think the project “will ever see the light.”
At the Mountains of Madness
According to Guillermo del Toro, we have Ridley Scott’s Prometheus to thank for him never making his planned At the Mountains of Madness movie. Del Toro had been working on the adaptation since 2006 when he and Matthew Robbins co-wrote a script, but he could never get a studio to finance it.
Finally, in 2010, James Cameron came on to produce the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation and Tom Cruise was supposed to star. Production was supposed to start in 2011, but Universal wouldn’t greenlight it if it was rated R, like del Toro wanted; the studio wanted it to be rated PG-13.
The icing on the cake was Prometheus, because del Toro felt his version of At the Mountains of Madness was too similar to the Alien movie. At the time, he said his Lovecraft movie would face a long pause. It is still paused to this day. This remains one of the canceled movies we’re still dying to see.
Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5
Avatar set the world on fire back in 2009, breaking all box office records and completely transforming the moviegoing experience by proving 3D could be used effectively as more than just a reason to bump up ticket prices. Unsurprisingly, Fox rushed to get some sequels greenlit… and we’ve been waiting ever since.
James Cameron first started chatting about Avatar 2 back in 2010 with the plan to have it in theaters by 2014, though at the time no deals were signed for the cast to return. That date was delayed, and delayed, and delayed. We got a 2014 shooting start date, before in 2015 there was yet another delay.
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Originally it was just Avatar 2, but then Cameron decided two Avatar sequels would actually film back-to-back. That later bumped up to three filming back-to-back, until finally in 2016 it was decided, seven years after the first movie came out, that there would be four Avatar sequels, and a whole slate of new release dates. (Disney opened an Avatar theme park area in the meantime.)
The movies finally started filming in 2017 and we even got an official cast image of the young stars who undoubtedly have aged quite a bit in the past two years, but earlier this year Avatars 2 through 5 were delayed yet again, this time officially bumping them out of this decade. Will they actually come out in 2021? We hope!
October 2020 Update: Surprise: The planned Avatar sequels got delayed yet again, this time due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. At least Avatar 2 finally wrapped filming in September, three years after it first started shooting. (Avatar 3, supposedly, is almost done filming as well.) We’ve since gotten looks at Edie Falco and Kate Winslet in the upcoming movies, and the Avatar sequels are now set to be released every other year in December from 2022 to 2028.
Bad Boys For Life (Bad Boys 3)
Here’s the good news: Bad Boys for Life is coming out this month. The bad news is it took us so long to get it.
It should be no surprise that buzz around a Bad Boys 3 started soon after Bad Boys came out in 2003. The project didn’t actually get any forward momentum until 2009, when Peter Craig was hired to script the movie. Fast forward to 2014, and then it was David Guggenheim who was trying to crack the story. By 2015, Sony had at least hired Joe Carnahan as a director, and announced Bad Boys 3 would come out on February 17, 2017. (They even announced a sequel and its release date!) As time has proven, that target release date didn’t end up happening.The movie was delayed multiple times, but during this period it got its name: Bad Boys For Life. By March 2017, Carnahan left the project. Later that year it seemed like it was dead for good, as Sony removed it from their release slate.
Fortunately, the third time proved to be the charm. Another attempt at a sequel, this time directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah was announced in 2018, with both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returning. Finally the bad boys will be back together again on January 17th.
October 2020 Update: And release it did. IGN’s review of Bad Boys for Life calls it “good,” saying, “Bad Boys for Life doesn’t reinvent the wheel but if you like the franchise you’ll likely love this outrageous sequel.”
Beetlejuice 2, Beetlejuice 2, Beetlejuice 2? Sadly, that hasn’t been enough to conjure up the long-awaited sequel to Tim Burton and Michael Keaton’s beloved collaboration. Here’s our chat with Burton about the project from back in 2012:Like so many long-gestating sequels on this list, talk of a “Beetlejuice 2” started soon after Beetlejuice came out in 1988. Though there have been many attempts at scripts over the years — the most infamous being the greenlit-but-not-made Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian movie involving a bio-exorcist vacationing in Hawaii — it wasn’t until 2011 when it seemed the stars were aligned. Warner Bros. hired Seth Grahame-Smith to write and produce the movie as a reboot, not a remake, and as of 2013, Keaton was involved. In 2014, Keaton claimed Burton was involved with the reboot too.
Despite Burton claiming the sequel was “closer than ever” back in 2014, the movie still hasn’t come alive. Originally Grahame-Smith suggested it could start filming by the end of 2015, with Winona Ryder even confirming the sequel was still happening the same year, but the last we heard was it was getting a rewrite by Mike Vukadinovich back in 2017.
So is Beetlejuice 2 officially dead? Probably. Earlier this year, Burton said he “doubts” the sequel will get made.
Bill & Ted Face the Music (Bill & Ted 3)
If you’re excited a third Bill & Ted movie is finally coming out in 2020, then you have Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter to thank, because no one has kept the dream alive over the past decade more than them.
It all started when Reeves mention in 2010 that a script was being written by franchise screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, and in 2011, we learned it was completed. Fast forward to 2012, and Dean Pariscot was hired to direct, but in 2013 the first signs of slowed momentum emerged when Reeves and Winter both mentioned the script needing work.That’s basically where things stood for the bulk of the decade, with the fivesome of Reeves, Winter, Matheson, Solomon and Pariscot working together and tinkering to make Bill & Ted 3 perfect. Fortunately the hard work paid off, as the movie was officially greenlit in May 2018 and began production in March 2019. This truly is a passion project, not a major studio film; it was Reeves and Winter who announced earlier in 2019 that they scored a release date — August 21, 2020 — and a distributor, Orion Pictures. You can check out the first images from Bill & Ted Face the Music.
October 2020 Release: Excellent! Bill & Ted Face the Music was a beacon of light in 2020, finally getting its release from Orion Pictures only a week after its planned debut date, despite the coronavirus outbreak. IGN’s review of Bill & Ted Face the Music calls it “good,” saying, “Bill & Ted Face the Music isn’t quite excellent but it’s sure not bogus either. Party on, dudes!”
Movie Sequels That Took Forever
Black Widow, the movie as it currently exists which will be coming out in 2020, has only been in production since 2019. But the hope for a standalone Black Widow movie has existed much longer, really picking up steam in 2014.
Scarlett Johansson’s butt-kicking Avenger made her debut in 2010’s Iron Man 2, and continued to have a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with subsequent films. But while many of the core Avengers were established in their own solo movies, Natasha Romanoff’s development took place as side-stories in other MCU films like The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Fans began championing for Black Widow to get her own movie, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige even acknowledged he too would like the hero to get her own standalone.Apparently Marvel had been trying to develop a Black Widow movie for years, with people like Guardians of the Galaxy’s Nicole Perlman writing story treatments for it. The Avengers director Joss Whedon also discussed interest in directing the film back in 2016. Because there had been so much talk about a potential Black Widow movie by the time it actually got into pre-production, Johansson reportedly had a big role in crafting what the Black Widow movie we’ll see on May 1, 2020 will be.
October 2020 Update: Poor Black Widow. Like several other planned-2020-release movies on this list, this Marvel movie was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and still has not been released. It’s been reslated for a May 2021 release, almost a year after its planned debut, making 2020 the first movie without a Marvel Studios film release since 2009.
Marvel’s Black Widow: Every Actor and Character in the Film
The Bride of Frankenstein / Dark Universe
If we’re being frank(enstein), the entire announcement of Universal’s Dark Universe — turning the Universal monster movies into a cinematic universe — is the greatest example of hubris on this list. The 2010s were the era of cinematic universes thanks to Marvel, and Universal came out swinging with a grand plan (and an impressive cast) for a cohesive series of films. Unfortunately for their big plans, the Dark Universe stumbled and crashed immediately out of the gate.
In 2015, the studio announced its vision: a reboot of the classic Universal monster movies that would start with 2017’s The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. But it wasn’t just Cruise who was cast; Universal’s announcement of the Dark Universe came with an official casting announcement — and photo! — of an incredible array of talent: in addition to Cruise, there would be Russell Crowe (whose Dr. Jekyll would be introduced in The Mummy), Javier Bardem (as Frankenstein’s Monster), Johnny Depp (as The Invisible Man) and Sofia Boutella (as the titular Mummy). A second movie in the series, a Bill Condon-directed Bride of Frankenstein movie, was slated for a February 14, 2019 release date.Universal intended The Mummy to be its jumpstart into its own cinematic universe, but it missed the key foundation block of building what is effectively a big budget TV series: make sure people like the first episode. Though The Mummy made $409 million worldwide, that was considered underwhelming; plus, it got a dismal 16 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, and its audience score was also low at 35 percent. Universal then removed Bride of Frankenstein and the rest of its planned Dark Universe movies from its slate.
By 2019, Universal scrapped the Dark Universe plan and its impressive casting, and announced the studio would once again go back to standalone movies. The first of those standalones, The Invisible Man, hits theaters on February 28th.
October 2020 Update: The Invisible Man was a decent hit for Universal, and it is reviving plans for more Universal Monster adaptations. Director Leigh Whannell is the connective tissue keeping them together so far, as he is tapped to direct a Wolfman reboot starring Ryan Gosling.
Disenchanted (Enchanted 2)
Remember Enchanted? The whimsical live-action Disney musical from 2007 starring Amy Adams, James Marsden and Patrick Dempsey? Did you know that there have been talks about a sequel since the beginning of the decade? It’s no surprise that after the success of Enchanted, Disney wanted to get a sequel underway, and Variety ennounced the news that it was in development back in February 2010. At the time, Anne Fletcher was supposed to direct it and Jessie Nelson was writing the screenplay, with the hope it would hit theaters in 2011.Obviously, that did not happen. Basically there has been talk (and some hirings) for the past 10 years, but nothing more than that, and everyone involved seems to know it. In 2014, Fletcher was hired to direct the movie with screenwriters J. David Stem and David N. Weiss attached. Then in 2016, Adam Shankman was in negotiations to direct, with him confirming in 2018 that a script, set 10 years after the original, was just about done and that Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz were going to return to make original songs for the movie.
But don’t hold your breath. The last we heard was from Menken in May 2019, who said the movie still hasn’t gotten a green light, and the script is still being tinkered with. At this point, they’re going to have to make the movie set 20 years after the original.
No young adult movie franchise in the 2010s had quite as sad a conclusion as Divergent. Starring Shailene Woodley, the Divergent series came out of the blockbuster success of Twilight and The Hunger Games, when movie studios were hungry to get their hands on anything that would get kids’ butts in seats. As the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novels of the same name being distributed by Twilight’s Summit Entertainment and Hunger Games’ Lionsgate, Divergent had all the makings of the next great YA franchise.
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It wasn’t, though. The first movie in a four-movie series came out in 2014; the second, in 2015; the third, in 2016. In the spirit of the final Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games movies, the final Divergent novel, Allegiant, was split into two movies: Allegiant and Ascendent. But Ascendent never got made. As each consecutive Divergent movie made less money at the global box office, they also got increasingly worse reviews. Despite a planned 2017 release date, the final movie was scrapped due to Allegiant’s poor performance.
Instead, the plan was to conclude the story as a TV movie. That way, it could set up a spinoff TV series and keep the franchise alive. But when the TV movie plan was confirmed, Woodley backed out of the project entirely, meaning it just never happened. The TV spinoff plan fizzled out too, with intended network, Starz, citing a lack of interest from pretty much everyone involved as of 2018.
The 2010s seemed like they would be the era where video game adaptations as films really came together, though looking back it’s clear that the Movies That Were Promised — like Michael Fassbender’s Assassin’s Creed and Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider — didn’t break the video game curse. Consider the continual delays for an adaptation of Ubisoft’s The Division game to be a victim of that, though this project isn’t dead yet.News of The Division movie came first in 2016, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain attached to star. By 2017, Stephen Gaghan had joined as director, but he left in 2018 and was replaced by David Leitch. Flash forward to E3 2019, and Ubisoft announced that Wheel of Time’s Rafe Judkins would be writing the movie.
Interestingly, this is the only long-gestating title on this list to get swooped by Netflix: the streaming giant purchased the distribution rights to the movie, though it still doesn’t have a production start date or projected release date.
Gender-swapped remakes and sequels were a popular trend in the 2010s, with everything from 2016’s Ghostbusters to 2018’s Ocean’s Eight coming as a result of it. One that seems like it will never see the light of day is The ExpendaBelles, an all-female spinoff of The Expendables franchise.
Millennium Films announced plans to make the movie back in 2012, with actors from Sigourney Weaver to Milla Jovovich being courted for the project. By 2014, Robert Luketic was hired to direct the movie with production expected to start in 2015, and it even got an official synopsis, which you can read below. Nothing has come of the movie since, so we think it’s safe to call this one dead.
“When America’s Navy SEALs are wiped out trying to penetrate the island lair of a deadly despot who has captured one of the world’s top nuclear scientists, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as the right man for the job and that this is a mission so impossible that only women can handle it. The only way in: some of the world’s deadliest female operatives must pose as high-class call-girls shipped in by private plane to satisfy a dictator – and instead save the scientist and the day.”
The Flash, Man of Steel 2, Justice League 2 and Most of the DCEU
The 2010s was the decade of cinematic universes after Marvel kicked them off with proof that audiences will watch separate series of movies that come together in one cohesive shared universe. Unsurprisingly, long-time rival DC decided to jumpstart their own cinematic universe, and it hasn’t worked out quite as well for them.
The plan was simple: copy Marvel’s winning formula by making a bunch of individual movies based on DC’s most beloved superheroes — Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman — and have them all come together in a shared Justice League movie. DC wanted to rush to the Avengers pay off though, and went straight from a Superman origin story in 2013’s Man of Steel right into Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which not only introduced the titular Batman but also teased all of the Justice League heroes for a team-up movie the following year.
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But the DC films were critically divisive and, worse yet for the fate of the “DCEU,” didn’t unify audiences enough to cause Warner Bros. to stick to their plan of a sprawling and quickly growing cinematic universe. Though Wonder Woman was a success, Justice League was not, and Aquaman ended up having a dramatically more playful tone than the previous Zack Snyder-led titles. Shazam! all but ignored the fact there was a cinematic universe (and instead poked fun at it), and The Flash solo movie has stalled out with multiple directors and several failed attempts to jumpstart the movie. (It’s still technically in the works and, according to Ezra Miller, “absolutely confirmed,” so we’ll see.)
With the critical, financial and consumer success of Joker, Warner Bros. likely will be a lot more flexible with their DC films coming out in the 2020s, especially since The Batman is supposedly set in its own timeline as well and both James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey are intentionally ignoring the events of the previous movies.
So will we ever get that Flash movie starring Ezra Miller (who claims this movie is “absolutely confirmed”), Man of Steel sequel with Henry Cavill, Deadshot, Cyborg, Deathstroke, Gotham City Sirens and, of course, Justice League 2? Who the heck knows, but hey, at least Wonder Woman 1984 is coming out in 2020, and 13 other DC movies in the pipeline for the next decade.
October 2020 Update: Not only did Wonder Woman 1984 get delayed by the coronavirus and still isn’t getting released, but most of DC’s slate got moved backward due to pandemic-related delays. But perhaps most surprising to happen this year is that one unexpected film and creator is back in the mix: Zack Snyder, who finally got the greenlight (from HBO Max) to finish his Snyder Cut of Justice League, which is now going to be a four-part limited series released on the streaming service.
For Channing Tatum, Gambit is the role that got away. Despite all of us talking about a Tatum-starring Gambit movie for over a decade, this is one project that is definitely never going to happen.
It all started when Tatum was supposed to play the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but ended up having to pass in order to shoot G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Still, Fox executives loved the idea of Tatum as the character, with the idea to spin him off in a standalone movie like Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. As of 2014, longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner and Tatum were working on a standalone movie (he was supposed to be introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse). The movie even got a release date — October 7, 2016 — and snagged Rupert Wyatt as a director in 2015.By that point, the Apocalypse cameo was scrapped, and Fox was intent on making Tatum’s Gambit their Next Big Thing — especially with Hugh Jackman close to retiring as Wolverine. That massive commitment was enough to make Tatum want to drop out, but stay on he did. Unfortunately, Wyatt left over budget cuts following the poor reception of Fantastic Four, and Fox quickly replaced him with Doug Liman to try to keep that 2016 release date. Parties involved determined Gambit needed a rewrite, and that delay ultimately lost the movie Liman.
Cut to 2017, when — after a new rewrite — Gore Verbinski joined the project as director. The movie was given a February 14, 2019 release date, and shooting was supposed to start in March 2018. But by January 2018, Verbinski was the latest director back out (due to scheduling issues and creative differences) and the movie — though director-less — had its release date bumped to June 7, 2019.
Needless to say, things haven’t looked better since. Fox ended up removing Gambit from its production schedule in 2018, though there continued to be attempts at new rewrites and trying to find a new director. Tatum even considered directing the movie. But once Disney acquired Fox, the Gambit movie was “evaluated” and eventually formally canceled.
Fox Movie and TV Show Properties Headed to Disney
A fourth American Grudge movie was first announced back in 2011, with the intention that it would reboot the popular horror series after The Grudge 3 went straight-to-video. The plan at the time was the movie would come out in either 2013 or 2014, but a screenwriter — Jeff Buhler — wasn’t even hired until March 2014. Nothing much came of that endeavor until director Nicolas Pesce was hired in July 2017, and he went back and rewrote Buhler’s script. In 2019, the release date was pushed again to 2020. If you’ve been waiting the past decade for this movie to come out, you don’t have to wait much longer, as the movie finally comes out this Friday, on January 3rd.
October 2020 Update: It happened! The Grudge came out. And… it was kind of terrible. IGN’s review of The Grudge gave the film a 4, or “Bad,” rating, saying, “This lifeless reboot of The Grudge shows that it’s sometimes best to let dead things (and franchises) stay dead.”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t had many missteps over the course of its run, but it certainly had one with Inhumans. Marvel had been reportedly trying to make an Inhumans movie since 2011, and on October 2014, Kevin Feige announced Inhumans as part of its massive Phase 3 announcement. It was to be the second-to-last movie in Phase 3, with a release date of November 2, 2018.
At the time, Joe Robert Cole was supposed to write the script and Vin Diesel was going to star as Black Bolt. After Sony and Marvel struck a deal to make a Spider-Man movie, Inhumans’ release date was bumped back to July 12, 2019. Here’s what we speculated about the movie at the time:But then things took a turn. Cole left the movie in October 2015 and in April 2016, Marvel took Inhumans off its 2019 release calendar. Instead, Marvel opted to make Inhumans as a TV series in a first-of-its-kind deal where IMAX would release and co-produce it. On paper, this all sounded great, but in execution, the final product of Marvel’s Inhumans was absymal. (Don’t believe me? Read IGN’s review.) The first two episodes were released in theaters in a limited run that had a small box office take, and ABC officially canceled the show in May 2018.
Inhumans may be gone, but it’s not forgotten. On the day of the MCU Inhumans’ intended theatrical release, fans took to social media to joke about what might have been.
Every Character Confirmed for Marvel’s Inhumans TV Series
The Last of Us
Naughty Dog’s 2013 critical hit, The Last of Us, made such a splash upon its release that there should be no surprise it only took a year for a Hollywood studio, in this case Screen Gems, to try to get a film adaptation off the ground. The movie was supposed to be written by Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann and produced by Sam Raimi, and Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams was supposed to play the lead role of Ellie. But by 2016, The Last of Us movie entered development hell, according to Druckmann and Raimi, and the project remains there to this day. Fortunately, The Last of Us Part II is still happening, and is slated for a May 29, 2020 release.
October 2020 Update: You can cross The Last of Us movie off this list, because apparently this film adaptation is no longer happening. Fortunately a Last of Us adaptation is still in the works; the planned movie is going to be replaced by HBO’s upcoming TV series adaptation of the popular game, which is coming from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin.
Live Die Repeat and Repeat (Edge of Tomorrow 2)
Edge of Tomorrow — or Live Die Repeat, depending on who you ask — became a fan-favorite after it hit theaters in 2014, even if it couldn’t settle on a name. The adaptation of All You Need Is Kill starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt was successful enough that director Doug Liman came on board to direct a sequel in April 2016, with Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse attached to write it. In 2017, he revealed the name would be “Live Die Repeat and Repeat.” Liman has on board as director over the years since, but many screenwriters have come and go: after Shrapnel and Waterhouse, Jez Butterworth took a stab at rewriting the script, and in 2019, Matthew Robinson also rewrote it. Fortunately Liman confirmed in October that the script was complete, and both Blunt and Cruise are expected to reprise their roles… whenever they can find the time in their very busy schedules to actually make the darn thing.
MIB 23 (Men in Black/21 Jump Street Crossover)
No, it wasn’t a fever dream: there really was a brief period in the 2010s where the Men in Black and Jump Street franchises were going to crossover. The idea was to have Jump Street stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum join the Men in Black to investigate aliens, and the project was called MIB 23. It seemed to start moving forward in 2016, with The Muppets’ James Bobin in talks to direct. But by 2019, producer Walter Parkes admitted defeat: “We gave it a shot. It turned out to be an impossible match-up.”
The New Mutants
Unlike many titles on this list, Fox’s The New Mutants movie wasn’t a case of a troubled pre-production, but a troubled post-productions involving reshoots and an industry-changing corporate merger.
All was going to plan for this offshoot of Fox’s core X-Men series; like Logan and Deadpool, The New Mutants was an attempt to show a different side of the X-Men world Fox owned with a different flavor than what the main series offered. The Fault in Our Stars’ Josh Boone joined the project in 2015, the movie — starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams — filmed in 2017. A trailer dropped that year in anticipation of the planned April 13, 2018 release date and then the movie… never came out.First The New Mutants release date was delayed to avoid coming out around Deadpool 2, then it moved again to make space for Dark Phoenix. During the interim period, the cast went back and shot reportedly extensive reshoots. Hilariously, Williams was just as confused as the rest of us about when the movie would see the light of day, saying, “Who knows when the f**k that’s gonna come out. Hopefully this interview will make everyone hurry up a little bit!”
While all this was happening, Disney was in the process of acquiring Fox, which seemed to be another major factor in putting The New Mutants on ice; if Dark Phoenix wound the main X-Men movies to a close, The New Mutants was offering something different, and it’s still not quite clear how Disney plans for these Fox movies to exist alongside their established and incredibly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. Currently The New Mutants is planned to come out in theaters on April 3, 2020, and Boone says we’ll finally see a new trailer in January.
October 2020 Update: Well, The New Mutants didn’t make its April release due to COVID-19, but it did finally come out in 2020! Its April release was rescheduled to August 28th, 2020, and it was one of the few movies this year that actually hit its theatrical debut (especially since Disney didn’t have the option of simply putting The New Mutants on Disney+ instead). After all that wait, The New Mutants ended up being just fine: IGN’s review of The New Mutants succinctly sums it up by saying “this X-Men spin-off New Mutants didn’t deserve to be shelved for so long.”
All the Marvel Characters Disney Will Get From Fox
No Time to Die (Bond 25)
After Spectre came out in 2015 — only three years after Skyfall’s release — few would have believed we would still be waiting for Bond 25 by 2020. Though development for the next Daniel Craig 007 movie started in 2016, the movie didn’t land its (first) director until February 2018: Danny Boyle snagged the honor, with the movie slated for a November 8, 2019 release date.Production was supposed to start in December 2018 with a script based on an original idea by Boyle, but he left the project months before that start date, in August, due to creative differences. The production was able to find a new director relatively quickly, and Cary Joji Fukunaga stepped in to helm the project in September 2018. The script got an updated pass from Casino Royale’s Neal Purvis and Paul Haggis (with Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge providing a pass as well, if you needed a more ringing endorsement) and the movie started filming finally on December 3, 2018 and wrapped on October 26th. No Time to Die is finally coming out in April.
October 2020 Update: But wait! It didn’t. No Time To Die justalmostfinally got released in April… before its planned debut got sidelined by the coronavirus as theaters shutdown worldwide in March. Original projections hopefully estimated that the pandemic would subside by the fall, and the Bond movie was redated for November. Unsurprisingly, given the way the pandemic rates spiked over 2020, the film has been delayed yet again, this time to April 2, 2021. MGM apparently even considered releasing the movie to streaming to skip theaters altogether, but attached a hefty $600 million price tag for a service to pick up the film.
The Next James Bonds Who Never Played 007
Portal and Half-Life
In 2013, J.J. Abrams and Gabe Newell made the hugely exciting announcement at DICE that they would be partnering on games and movies going forward. As part of it, the duo said they were going to try to make film adaptations of Valve’s popular games Portal and Half-Life.
We heard nothing about these prospective projects for years, until in 2016 Abrams confirmed both movies are still in development with writers. Our interest was piqued yet again, and shortly after Abrams told IGN we should expect a Portal announcement “fairly soon.” We’re still waiting.
Every Video Game Movie in Development (Almost)
Hollywood has been trying to get a Red Sonja remake off the ground for over a decade, starting in 2008 when Robert Rodriguez announced he was working on a movie starring his then-partner Rose McGowan that would come out in 2009. They even released a teaser poster at San Diego Comic-Con.
Want a trip down memory lane? Watch them talk about the movie back at SDCC 2008:By 2009, their version was scrapped and those posters were collector’s items, and the project has been cursed since. In 2010, Simon West was attached to direct, but it didn’t make much forward momentum. In 2015, Christopher Cosmos was hired to write it, and then Ashley Miller got the writing gig in 2017. Red Sonja got another director, Bryan Singer, in October 2018, but as the cycle turned 10 years ago, by February 2019 the move was officially off Millennium Films’ slate and Singer was no longer involved.
Will the next decade prove any more fruitful for the Red Sonja movie? Maybe: Transparent’s Jill Soloway signed on to write and direct the movie back in June 2019.
Space Jam 2
Technically Space Jam 2 has been over two decades in the making. Hollywood (and fans) has been talking about a sequel to the beloved Michael Jordan-starring 1996 movie since it came out, but this time it’s actually happening. Supposedly.
Warner Bros. currently has Space Jam 2 slated for a July 16, 2021 release date, but they’ve been trying to get this movie made since 2014. The studio announced the sequel would star LeBron James, but it’s been slow-moving since. Justin Lin joined as director in 2016, but later left the project in 2018. Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler joining as a producer for the film gave it a big boost of forward momentum later that year, with Terence Nance hired to direct. The movie actually started filming on June 25, 2019… but then Nance left the project less than a month later, on July 16th, over creative differences. (Malcolm D. Lee replaced him.)In this case, the movie has completed filming, so that 2021 release date is likely going to happen. It only took us 25 years to get to it.
October 2020 Update: In a year of dashed movie dreams, Space Jam 2 still stays strong as a movie that may actually get its planned release date in 2021. In May, we learned Space Jam 2 would officially be called “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” and in August we got a look at LeBron James in his Tune Squad jersey. A New Legacy is still slated for a July 16, 2021 release date.
Star Trek 4
Paramount seems pretty dead set that a fourth Star Trek movie in the rebooted film series will come out; it’s just unclear in what form. After the release of Star Trek Beyond, the initial plan was that a Star Trek 4 would bring back Chris Hemsworth as Kirk’s father. (If you remember, Hemsworth briefly appeared at the beginning of 2009’s Star Trek, before his big break as Thor in the MCU.) J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay were announced as the movie’s writers in 2016, and in 2018, S.J. Clarkson was set to direct. But Beyond didn’t perform well at the box office and as a result, negotiations between Paramount and Chrises Pine and Hemsworth fell through; in January 2019, it was revealed Paramount had canceled Star Trek 4.
But wait! There is hope yet! In November, Noah Hawley reportedly entered talks to write and direct Star Trek 4, with the main cast all signed on to return and J.J. Abrams serving as producer.
This isn’t the only Star Trek movie in the works, though. Quentin Tarantino has been in in talks to direct an R-rated Star Trek movie since 2017, this one written by Mark L. Smith. He finished the screenplay in June, but frankly, we’ll believe a Tarantino-directed Star Trek movie when we see it.
October 2020 Update: Well, hope is dashed again, as Paramount shelved Hawley’s Star Trek movie in August. We did get some hints of what may have been, though; the proposed Star Trek 4 would have introduced a new crew of characters.
The two people keeping the hope for a sequel to 1988’s Twins alive are the titular twins themselves: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. In 2012, Universal started developing a sequel, called Triplets, that would reunite the two leads and pair them with Eddie Murphy as their long-lost brother. Ivan Reitman was attached to produce the movie, with Josh Gad and Ryan Dixon co-writing a treatment and Dixon writing the script. The movie was later put on hold, but all hope is not lost. The last we heard from Schwarzenegger was in 2018, when he said the Triplets script was finished and Murphy is officially attached, though DeVito claimed in 2019 that there still was no script: “We’re looking. We’re figuring it out.”
Technically the Uncharted movie has been on hold for more than a decade; producer Avi Arad announced in 2009 that he was working on getting a film adaptation off the ground. The film has been stalled out ever since, with a number of directors and stars coming and going. There’s been a lot of baton-passing on the directing side, from David O. Russell to Neil Burger to Seth Gordon to Shawn Levy to Dan Trachtenberg and most recently to Travis Knight — who, only days before this feature was set to publish, also left the movie because its production conflicts with Holland’s Spider-Man commitments.For Russell’s version of the movie, Mark Wahlberg was attached to star, but over the years left the project; more recently, Tom Holland was tapped to play a young Nathan Drake, and interestingly Wahlberg is now in final talks to co-star as Nathan Drake’s friend Sully. As of June, the Uncharted movie is set for a December 18, 2020 release date, but considering production hasn’t started yet and it’s directorless yet again, we’d bet that that date is definitely going to be delayed again.
October 2020 update: While Uncharted was delayed (to July 2021) as expected, it has finally finished filming! While Venom director Ruben Fleischer came on to direct in March, the movie’s production — like so many others this year — was shut down due to the coronavirus. The movie restarted in July with stars Holland and Mark Wahlberg (who is only signed on for one movie), and finally concluded filming on October 29th, 2020. While it remains to be seen if Uncharted sticks to its 2021 release date, at least we have actually seen Tom Holland as Nathan Drake… and seemingly seen Mark Wahlberg’s Sully mustache as well.
The Strange History of the Uncharted Movie
Which of these movies do you wish came out? Let us know in the comments below!
Terri Schwartz is Editor-in-Chief of Entertainment at IGN. Talk to her on Twitter at @Terri_Schwartz.