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November 2008.

The state wherein an announced creative project becomes stuck at the preparation stage for years.

The term originates in the film industry, referring to films mired in pre-production without casting or production ever beginning. A common occurrence with book adaptations and other licensed materials, as legal squabbles over rights, Executive Meddling, budgetary problems, and differing artistic visions keep the project from going before the cameras. And even if it does make it to the shooting stage, a Troubled Production can easily derail it and throw it right back here.

Development Hell becomes a sort of self-reinforcing feedback loop over time—as one director gets fed up and quits, the project is assigned to a new director, who orders a new screenplay with a new vision, which results in producers demanding changes, wash, rinse, repeat etc.

Projects in other media can sink into similar cesspits. The Video Game equivalent of this phenomena is Vaporware. Compare What Could Have Been. This can overlap with Schedule Slip when it comes to miniseries or other works that are released in installments but could also be considered parts of a single as yet unfinished work.

For those examples which finally became real, after years, or decades in some cases, look at Saved From Development Hell.

Examples of Development Hell include:

Anime and Manga

  • An anime adaptation of Tonari no 801-chan was originally supposed to be animated by Kyoto Animation, and even had a preliminary website up for it. Then something happened and it fell into limbo. The project was ultimately cancelled, though a 90-second animated OP was created by A-1 Pictures and bundled with Vol.4 of the web manga.
  • Lost Universe: A which had only one season; a second season was due to follow, but because of a financial pitfall occurring through animation studios at the time, it was held off in favor of more Slayers media, and may be still.
  • A stall can be typical of all English manga distributors, especially for less common titles, but the Yaoi distributor Drama Queen seems to have either gone on a dragging hiatus since 2007, or is dead and no one can figure out where it's been buried, so to speak.
  • For a while it looked unlikely that Maikaze will finish the promised second and third episodes of Touhou Musou Kakyou, due to low sales and criticisms over the artwork, but a trailer for the second episode was released at Comiket 79, so there may be hope after all.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: Due to Tokyopop losing the license to the series, only two volumes of the manga version were released, with all further stuck in development hell. Ditto with Shonan Junai Gumi.
    • It's no better in Japan, where after five volumes it just stopped.
  • The Five Killers was supposed to be an original creation from writer/producer Eric Calderon as an animated TV series (12 episodes with a 1 hour finale) done by GONZO. A trailer is unfortunately all that came out due to GONZO's financial situation.
  • An Appleseed television series titled "Appleseed: Genesis" was first announced in 2005 and languished in Development Hell until it was officially canceled in 2008, resulting in several lawsuits. A 2013 series titled "Appleseed XIII" was released instead.
  • After Gundam Seed Destiny ended, it was announced that there would be a movie sequel which would be the Grand Finale for the Cosmic Era timeline. However, the film's head writer Chiaki Morosawa has been battling cancer since Destiny (according to an April 2008 interview with Animage magazine, Morosawa had uterine fibroids and an ovarian cyst, and had a hysterectomy performed), so literally no progress has been made on the film since 2005.
  • Despera's production is currently on hold due to the director Ryutaro Nakamura's health issues.
  • We might have found out what happens after GaoGaiGar FINAL if not for the fact that Project Z ceased to be.
  • After the release of its third movie, the credits listed the release of a third Tenchi Muyo! OAV series. Took about five years and a series that took place a year after it to do so. This is pretty normal for the franchise, because its creator, Masaki Kajishima, is essentially a free agent and always seeks to obtain funding without relinquishing the rights and the creative control, which is quite difficult.
    • And let's not forget the fact that the English release of said 3rd OAV series' 2nd and 3rd volumes languished for a year due to the fact that Funimation screwed up on its contract.
  • The Dream Machine the last film by Satoshi Kon was back on track for a short while but recently financial difficulty has put the film off indefinitely.
  • The Code Geass Gaiden was first mentioned in the 2008 or 2009 time frame, though its official announcement wasn't until early-mid 2010. It was supposed to air in 2011. Its currently January 2012, and the general public has seen: two character designs, some mechs, and a general concept.
  • The planned Spiritual Successor to the Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, Aoki Uru, entered preproduction in 1988, but hasn't been completely abandoned yet. Despite it being shelved indefinitely, Gainax is still wishing to eventually produce it, and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto still releases the concept arts from time to time.
  • Ranma ½ was optioned for a Hollywood big-screen adaptation in 1999 and promptly vanished from the radar.


  • Monica, a French luxury automobile brand, created 22 prototypes and only 8 production cars before work was stopped indefinitely. Read more here. It was a sign of What Could Have Been. Here's a photo.
  • General Motors planned to turn Saturn into Opel of America, with more vehicles added to the product line, when the 2007-2009 global economic crisis struck. The name then disappeared as 2009 ended and 2010 started.
    • The Saturn division itself was first announced and a prototype shown in 1983. It was 1991 by the time you could actually buy one, and the original sedan's wraparound rear window had been stolen internally by Oldsmobile, leading observers to see the Saturn as the "copy".
  • Due in large part (but not entirely) to World War Two, the VW Beetle design was finalized for production in 1938 but the first cars delivered to retail customers weren't until 1947.
  • Fiat has been teasing the return of their Alfa Romeo brand to the United States since about 2003. Aside from a few 8C Competizione supercars being sold to American collectors, nothing has come of it. Now that Fiat owns Chrysler, though, it should happen in 2013 at the earliest...


  • The San Francisco 49ers have been trying to build a stadium for years. Their latest plan had been stalled for several years, and groundbreaking began April 19, 2012.
  • The Ballpark Village shopping/entertainment/apartment complex in downtown St. Louis, designed to revitalize the area. Building began in 2005 with a planned completion date of July 2009. Around 2008, building stopped as financier Bill DeWitt refused to spend any more money on the project (and he is a multi-billionaire who makes a lot of money off of the St. Louis Cardinals, so his penny-pinching is completely inexcusable). Cut to late 2011, and it looks it will never be finished (due to DeWitt's frugality and the state basically neglecting the city and its needs).
  • La Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain has been under construction since 1882.
  • Cologne Cathedral in Germany had the same development hell treatment during the time it was constructed. Construction started during the Middle Ages, halted construction during the 16th century, resumed during the 19th century, and finally completed in 1880. This is fairly common in medieval churches and cathedrals. The grander ones, even in the best case scenario, couldn't be completed in one generation. Under less than ideal conditions, many had construction that dragged on for decades or centuries as they repeatedly ran out of money and had to raise more. As a result, different sections are built according to the architectural styles of different eras, or are asymmetrical because they couldn't afford to build something again on the other side.
    • For another outstanding example, the Milan Cathedral began its construction in 1386 and its final touches were done in 1965.
  • Several shopping malls:
    • Plans for Mall at Bay Plaza in the Bronx were first made in 1997. A J.C. Penney store was built on the site in 1999, but nothing else ever happened until late 2011, when it was announced that the mall (which will also include a Macy's) would break ground in 2012 and open in 2014.
    • Similarly, Mall at Oyster Bay was first planned to open in 1997 in Syosset, New York. Still hasn't even broken ground.
    • Great Mall of Las Vegas in, well, Las Vegas. Proposed in the 2000s as an outdoor mall featuring Macy's, Dillard's, a movie theater and condominiums. The property went into default in 2009.
    • A small outdoor mall in suburban Flint, Michigan called Trillium Circle was first proposed in 2004. Things first hit the skids when an existing grocery store decided to close instead of relocate into the mall. A theater opened on the site in 2006, but the economic decline and poor anchor choices (it would've had a Circuit City, but they went out of business) ground development to a halt, with only a restaurant and bank opening on outparcels. The developers have since sold off the land.
    • Bridges at Mint Hill, a proposed mall in Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally slated for a 2007 opening, it quickly became a Troubled Production due to many factors — declining economy, protection of an endangered species of mussel, and the bankruptcy of the developer (General Growth Properties). Another developer finally bought the property in 2012 and revived the plans.
  • The Sydney Opera House, when it was built between 1959 and 1973. It ended up 10 years behind schedule and 14 times over budget, due to the complexity of the architecture and manufacture of the steel beams. On top of that, the architect, Jorn Utzon, quit in disgust.

Comic Books

  • An animated Elf Quest movie has been "coming soon" since the mid eighties. Though much of the (albeit scarce) pre-production art looks great, it's still never gotten further than that and will likely never be produced.
  • Sasmira: The second album of the series has been expected for 12 years and counting.
  • Kevin Smith's smash Daredevil relaunch got him on a comics kick which turned out to be more than he could handle. His Spider-Man/Black Cat miniseries had a gap of over three years between issues 3 and 4. During that time, most fans had dismissed the remaining issues as vaporware—as they have his Daredevil/Bullseye miniseries, whose only issue to date was published in 2002.
  • The manga-inspired Battle Chasers was meant to be Joe Madureira's magnum opus, spanning several years and hundreds of issues. However, thanks to his obsession with playing video games and, in the early 2000s, pretty much abandoning the industry to draw concept art for start-up game publishers, it petered out at about ten issues, with the final issue having a delay of about 1 1/2 years and ending on gigantic cliffhangers. (And no, not Monika's.) A continuation had been promised, but going on eight years later it still hasn't materialized.
  • Devil's Due Publishing has been putting off publishing Halloween comics, including the third and final issue of The First Death of Laurie Strode and the miniseries The Mark of Thorn (which had at least a dozen covers revealed) over and over again for somewhat vague reasons.
  • Neil Gaiman's introduction to The Sandman: Endless Nights mentions a story called Obsessional that he plotted with the artist of Going Inside. It involves the population of Manhattan joining a procession into the East River.
    • Gaiman also mentioned in interviews that he was planning to do a Batman story illustrated by painter Steve Bisley, which was to be titled "Night Circus". This was in about 1992, and the story is still yet to appear.
  • Despite being created in late 2008, Gemini Storm issue one wasn't released until March 2010. Herbert claims production on issue two is moving along much more quickly.
    • Issue two was released last December and issue three's line art is done. Harrison Wood, the artist, has released half the pencils for issue four on his deviantArt account. Looks like it's been saved.
  • All Star Wonder Woman by Adam Hughes and All Star Batgirl by Geoff Johns and J G Jones. Announced in 2006 but no sign as of the end of 2010.
  • Sam and Max Plunge Through Space was a concept Steve Purcell was working with as a game and a comic, variously. It never got made and beyond fan discussion it probably won't see the light of day.
  • Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk had a 3-year gap between issues #2 and #3.
  • Issue #8 of Marvel Comics' The Twelve, a 12-issue limited series, came out in January 2009. Issue #9 came out over three years later, in February 2012.
  • This has happened in the industry for a while. Camelot 3000, a series from DC Comics in the early 1980s. A 12-issue monthly series, the first issue came out in December 1982 and the last one in April 1985.

Fan Works

  • The Ranma ½ fanfic Hearts of Ice by Krista Perry Fisk. An epic in both size and subject matter, Hearts of Ice first appeared in 1997, and over the next two years, Fisk (then unmarried and writing under her maiden name of Perry) turned out some 25 chapters of exceptionally high-quality story, with the 25th—the penultimate chapter—ending on a heartbreaking Cliff Hanger. And then stopped writing for ten years. She finally completed it in 2009, but not before it gained the nickname "The Great Unfinished Symphony of Ranma Fanfic".

Films -- Animation

  • Gatchaman's CGI film, is officially dead after Astro Boy bombed and Imagi Studios went flat. A 2013 live-action adaptation was made instead.
  • The Movie of Clerks the Animated Series. Originally planned as Clerks: Sell Out, wherein Dante and Randall decide to make a movie about their escapades in the Quick Stop, this got an animation test in 2006 and was supposed to go straight to DVD a little while after Clerks 2. However, according to Kevin Smith, Disney still own the rights to the series and all designs related to it, which essentially negates all possibility of there being a movie any time soon.
  • Teen Titans: Judas Contract was originally meant to be one of the first of the new franchise of DC Animated films. It was supposed to be a recreation of the classic storyline meant to piggyback off the success of the canceled Teen Titans TV series. It was even supposed to maintain all the racier elements of the arc, such as a scene with Terra in Deathstroke's room with a nightgown on and smoking. Unfortunately it kept getting pushed back further and further to let other more popular heroes a chance to shine until eventually it was revealed the project had been cancelled. Not that it wasn't a surprise since that announcement came about several years after the start of the animated movies and they were already adapting Superman and Batman: Public Enemies to the animated screen.
  • The Bone movie. Partially delayed in Jeff Smith's refusal of Nickelodeon's demands of putting pop music in, apparently the rights are now with Warner Brothers.according to the latest news its in early stages of development. Smith doesn't seem very involved as of yet and makes very little comment on the animation/design, saying only that it is dynamic.
  • A sequel/prequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. One was attempted during, but floundered due to many problems at Disney, with Steven Spielberg, problems converting the characters to CGI, and a skyrocketing budget. Attempts to make a sequel anyway continue to be discussed, but Roger Rabbit remains one of the biggest film properties to never be properly capitalized.
  • A CGI Spyro the Dragon movie was announced in late 2007, and posters emerged in early 2009 which slated the film for a Christmas release. While two years is hardly a stretch in Development Hell terms, as of this writing (September '09), virtually nothing is known about the film; there is no official web site, no confirmed release date, and no details about the cast or plot. Rumors persist that development has been postponed indefinitely due to the merger between Activision and Blizzard Entertainment and the subsequent closure of Spyro's parent studio Sierra Online. Word of God has stated that the movie has been officially canceled.
  • Dragon's Lair: The Movie, which is supposed to be animated by Don Bluth himself.
    • Since its 2015 Indiegogo had less-than-stellar funding, and since making an animated movie is extremely expensive, and since the Indiegogo only promised one minute of full animation out of a 10 minute pitch, the chances of it ever getting out of Development Hell is miniscule.
  • The CGI Thundercats film, which was supposed to be made by the art director of Halo.
  • The Samurai Jack Movie. It was supposed to be seeing the light of day... in 2009.
  • The Fairly OddParents also had an animated film in Development Hell for a while. That Other Wiki says the "Wishology" specials may have started out as that movie; a live-action FOP TV movie was eventually released in 2011.
  • The Dream Machine, delayed by the declining health and eventual death of Satoshi Kon. His collaborators planned to finish it, but was announced in August 2011 that production had been halted due to financing issues.
  • Truckers: DreamWorks was supposed to do an adaptation of Terry Pratchett's book with Academy Award winning writer Simon Beaufoy writing the script and a set release date of 2012. The talks of making the film seemed to die down once the script was completed and DreamWorks and Beaufoy have since moved on.
  • Blue Planet, a CGI sci-fi action movie planned by now-defunct Rainbow Studios (later aquired by THQ), with a video-game tie-in. A trailer was released, to widespread acclaim, which showcased the for-the-time high-quality CGI, parodies of Pixar's Toy Story and A Bugs Life characters, and a soundtrack featuring "More Human Than Human" by Rob Zombie. Much of the already-shot footage was recycled for the time-in game, which was eventually released as Deadly Tide.
  • In the late 1990's, Fox and Matt Groening signed a deal to make three films based on The Simpsons. The first film was released in 2007. Since then, absolutely nothing has been heard about the sequels (rumors have had one of the films be based on Itchy and Scratchy).

Films -- Live Action

  • National Treasure 3's IMDb page listed a release date of "????", which is usually given to films in Development Hell. It has since changed to "(in development)."
    • The last news about the subject was in 2014.
  • The Story of Bonny and Clyde has been delayed for several years . After Hillary Duff who was cast as Bonny became pregnant the producers quickly replaced both leads fearing that with Duff pregnant the film would be delayed further if they waited for her to be available. The With the roles recast the film however has yet to start production. Even Duff has since given birth.
  • Eloise in Paris - A live-action adaptation of the Eloise book of the same name has been in development since late 2007-2008, and was to star Australian child actress Jordana Beatty for the title role alongside Kill Bill actress Uma Thurman. A few years later and yet little, if any, development was announced, and Beatty would obviously be too old to play the title character.
  • Invisible Monsters, based off of a book penned by Chuck Palahniuk (of Fight Club fame), has been in development for forever and a half.
  • Fahrenheit 451. It had a French version successfully released in 1966, but those guys over at Hollywood are still stuck on this.
    • At one point, Frank Darabont was involved and wrote a script. That was in 2005.
  • Terry Pratchett has joked that the road to film for Good Omens has become so long and complicated that even he has stopped paying attention. He relies on fans at conventions and signings to keep him posted on the latest news/rumors. One such rumour was that Robin Williams will play the angel.
  • Dreamworks was going to make a Bromeliad movie. Where'd that go?
  • And a couple of years ago the big news was that Sam Raimi was directing The Wee Free Men from a script by Pamela Pettler (who wrote Tim Burton's Corpse Bride). Since the initial announcement, nothing. Pratchett apparently vetoed a script that "had all the hallmarks of something that had been good, and then the studio had got involved", and now thinks "it probably won't happen."
  • The Man Who Killed Don Quixote by Terry Gilliam turned into Development Hell. Gilliam eventually released a documentary about making the film, but the film itself was never completed. Pre-production resumed in 2009, but as of late 2010, the project appeared to be shelved again due to a collapse of funding.
  • Terry Gilliam was also going to direct an adaptation of Good Omens. A script was completed in 2002, but the project has essentially been in Development Hell ever since. Just about every Gilliam film experiences Development Hell one way or another. Says Eric Idle on Terry Gilliam productions, "Go and see them by all means -- but to be in them, fucking madness!"
  • The unfinished 1938 production of I, Claudius was waylaid by an accident involving its lead actress and by the difficulty that Charles Laughton had in getting into Claudius's role. Only a few scenes from the film were ever publicly released in the 1960s. (The DVD release of the TV version of I, Claudius includes a documentary which features this footage.)
  • The Red Dwarf movie is rather notorious for its stint in Development Hell amongst its fanbase. The filmic style of series VII was considered a dry-run for the then relatively-certain movie production, and the project itself got as far as script readings and prosthetic make-up tests for Robert Llewellyn (the actor who portrays Kryten) in the early '00s. However, the project mysteriously disappeared soon afterwards with very little mention of how production was proceeding or indeed any indication that it was even still alive. Doug Naylor, one of the co-creators of Red Dwarf, cleared up the matter with a statement on the Series VIII DVD, explaining that the movie had run into serious financial difficulties, and Grant Naylor Productions were having problems garnering enough funding from potential investors. With the 3-part special Red Dwarf: Back To Earth airing in April 2009, it is likely that the Red Dwarf movie will never see the light of day, although some may argue that if the specials do well enough it may provide the movie with a second chance.
  • There are rumors of a live-action adaptation of The Last Unicorn, which has reputedly been in Development Hell for many years now. According to Peter S. Beagle at SDCC '06, the makers of this alleged adaptation had a cast list and production art on their site for years before they finally admitted that they hadn't actually contacted the agents of any of the actors on the list. And admitted they may not legally have the rights to do a film anyway.
  • A remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon has been in on-and-off development since at least the early 1980s, when John Landis tried to launch a production helmed by the director of the original movie, Jack Arnold. In 1995, Peter Jackson was given a choice between helming a new Creature movie or doing King Kong. This fan site shows a stream of news and rumors about a remake going back over ten years. Stephen Sommers, Guillermo del Toro, Brett Rattner, and a crossover with Hellboy, of all things, have all been mentioned at one time or another. The latest would-be director is Breck Eisner (director of The Crazies and son of Michael Eisner), but who knows when or if a remake will actually materialize?
  • The film version of Preacher (Comic Book) has been talked about for at least 10 years now. There was a rumor back in the day that it would resurface in 2008—as an HBO series. Nearly two years later, we still have nothing. Rumor has it HBO passed on this, saying it's too dark. Seriously.
    • Given that the comic revolves around a character going on a quest to kill God, it's understandable why people are hesitant to touch the property, it's likely too controversial for any major studio to helm.
  • The live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion movie was originally announced in 2003 by ADV Films and as of 2010 has only finally started production—apparently due to the insane costs of pulling the series off correctly in live-action compared to actual interest in such an endeavor. The collapse of ADV and the general decay of the American anime market didn't help it, either. Who's actually still involved remains up in the air, but the last time they said anything about it, the producer of Appleseed Ex Machina, John Woo, was a producer and they were looking for more. This was in 2008.
    • It is Q2 in the year 2012, and the live-action Evangelion movies are still in development hell. Apparently, the producers got so far as that they needed Gainax to hand over the rights so they could get moving finally. ...that's when things fell apart. When ADV went to buy the rights they had optioned, Gainax backed out, citing certain unfulfilled conditions. The producers lost their window with the studio (at least for the moment), and ADV is now suing Gainax over the rights. This happened Q3 2011, and no word has been heard since. Given both ADV's and Gainax's track record with managing money, this may take a while.
  • The Sandman. Considering that the people interested in filming it were Joel Schumacher and Jon Peters, though, it may be fortunate that this film never got off the ground. One of the proposed scripts is available online. The script Roger Avary and the guys behind Pirates of the Caribbean worked on was a pretty sweet blending of the first two collections and the "Endless gather again for the first time" scene from Season of Mists. But then the script was sent in for rewrites under Jon Peters, and Neil Gaiman called the script not only the worst Sandman script he'd seen, but one of the worst scripts he'd ever seen.
    • The film adaptation of The Sandman spin-off Death: The High Cost Of Living has also been in development hell for several years. IMDB has a release date of 2013 (as of April 2011), but there's not even a production company attached yet.
  • Guillermo del Toro examples:
  • The Dam Busters, a remake of the 1955 classic. Mel Gibson bought the rights in the late 1990s but never made much progress past rumors of filming in west England. Peter Jackson obtained the rights a few years ago and rumor has it that filming had begun in 2009. Then Jackson decided to scrap the film and restart in 3-D.
  • The film Quality of Life, a movie that was supposed to wrap up the storyline of the Canadian series DaVinci's Inquest, about a coroner living in downtown Vancouver who champions rights for heroin junkies and prostitutes. The series ended after eight seasons (with one of those seasons being a spin-off where the lead character becomes the Mayor of Vancouver, emulating the real-life example of coroner Larry Campbell). The film was due to be released in 2006, but has been pushed back continually, to the point that it is on hold indefinitely. Of course, considering that the show was canceled by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during an election, and the film deals with hot-button issues like prostitution and safe-injection sites, perhaps there is more to this situation than meets the eye?
  • There's a lot of Marvel films that appear to have stalled.
  • The Punisher sequel to the 2004 version was in this condition before getting cancelled. In 2007, Thomas Jane, who would have played Jigsaw in the sequel, refused to appear, stating his intent to buff up for the role was not worth a movie he just didn't believe in.
  • Wonder Woman has been in constant hell for years:
    • In 2001, Joel Silver was the producer, asking Todd Alcott to write a script. After blowing through a series of screenwriters in the following years, the project stalled, but appeared to gain traction again in 2005 when Joss Whedon was placed in charge of directing and scripting the film. After nearly two years of no progress on a draft, Whedon left the project on bad terms and it stalled yet again. A spec script was purchased as Whedon departed to ensure the rights didn't revert back, but yet another script was commissioned in 2008.
    • David E. Kelley wrote a treatment for a Wonder Woman TV series. It was rejected by NBC, but after seeing the strong initial ratings for Kelley's Harry's Law show, they changed their mind. A pilot directed by McG was produced... and rejected by NBC in May 2011. After seeing the leaked scripts for the project, some Wonder Woman fans consider this a good thing.
    • The movie project might not be quite dead yet. Nicolas Winding Refn (yes, that guy) has expressed interest in directing, and Christina Hendricks is being considered for the lead (of course). However, the earliest production start date couldn't have started until mid 2012, since Refn was making Only God Forgives.
    • In DC's mad scramble to catch up the the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's finally been made and heading for the screen (at the end of 2016).
  • The Battle Royale American adaptation. In June 2006, producers Neil Mortiz and Roy Lee announced that they had the greenlight to go ahead with the movie, which would, indeed, retain the "high schoolers killing each other" theme, and that New Line Cinema had given a tentative release date of 2008. Aside from the Virginia Tech Massacre making New Line nervous about the themes, they still haven't acquired the rights to make the film in the first place and apparently don't wish to try.
  • The Castlevania Movie seemed to have been this one for some years, and still is, thanks to the Writers Strike.
    • Castlevania might actually be one of the rare cases in which Development Hell is a good thing. Originally, the script was referred to as a sort of "Dracula Begins" and did away completely with the Vampire Killer. Instead, Simon had a BFS) and everything that makes Castlevania what it is in favor of basically a retelling of Dracula. The current director signed onto the project because of the Vampire Killer and how the hero can be just as "dangerous and sexy" as the villain. The movie poster revealed in 2009 shows Simon holding a katana as well as the Vampire Killer looking upon Dracula's castle in a similar picture to what is usually used as box art for the games.
    • This may be underway with James Wan attached as director (in 2012). But it looks like it won't be anytime soon...
  • There is a rumor that there would be a Fatal Frame movie, but it seems we're in for a long wait.
  • The Dionaea House, a story told virally over the internet from 2004 to 2006, abruptly stops on several cliffhangers at different points in time, apparently because Warner Bros. purchased rights for a film adaptation. According to eBay's film listing [dead link], it was supposed to come out in 2007. IMDB once had a listing for a 2010 release (under the name The Residents for some reason), but even that has fallen down the Memory Hole.
    • According to the creator it's dead for now. Whether or not the door is still open for it to be made remains to be seen.
  • Hack Slash, which is apparently coming along... just at an insanely slow pace (more here). And now they are planning on making some kind of animated feature.
  • J. Michael Straczynski still wants a Babylon 5 made-for-cinema movie someday. There was a project to produce one in 2004, but it was aborted in 2005. It would have been called "The Memory of Shadows" and involved Galen and an Earth Force intelligence officer tracking down an intergalactic conspiracy that used Shadow technology.
  • Meg, which was supposed to have arrived in 2005.
  • The American adaptation of Infection
  • Tulia, which is about an attorney who works on behalf of a group of local black men who are wrongly convicted of their involvement in a drug ring. Likely the source material has derailed this project.
  • Similarly, Pinkville, which is about the My Lai Massacre.
  • At one point there was talk of a Dead Rising movie.
  • The Sin City sequels. "A Dame to Kill For" was released in 2014, and now, we have to wait for the others...
  • Since Superman Returns was mentioned, everyone was signed to a sequel to that, but it got postponed over and over again (the middling box office returns helped Warner not prioritize its production), and was eventually cancelled and replaced with a reboot.
  • The Bad Seed remake.
  • Halloween 9 seemed to have stalled. Once producer Mustapha Akkad died, the 9th film appeared to have died with him. Ironically, the remake of the first film got fast-tracked once he died. That means the fate of John Tate and Molly Cartwell (Michelle Williams), who were Put on a Bus at the end of H20 ("Drive down to the Beckers") will probably never be resolved.
    • A bit of trivia. There was actually a contest sponsored by Dimension Films at one point that would award one lucky fan with a bit of screen time in this movie. Needless to say, a winner was apparently announced. Said winner was shown on the 30th anniversary documentary, including showing the announcement of her winning. She was an extra in the remake.
  • The Spawn movie sequel.
    • For awhile, there was talk of a sequel; Michael Jai White even expressed interest in reprising his role, but as of now(2011), all plans for a sequel seem to have all but faded.
  • Hey Paul Reubens, when are you going to make those new Pee-wee Herman movies? At last report, two sequels were being written back-to-back but Herman's stage show has stalled production of said movies.
  • The Gears of War film has hit Many road blocks. New Line has slashed the film's budget and is trimming back the epic plot elements, requiring a new script to be written. Also, Len Wiseman has apparently decided not to direct the film.
  • Onimusha, due to the death of Heath Ledger.
  • The sequel to Dog Soldiers, which was possibly derailed because of Gender Flip.
  • Rendezvous With Rama: Now dead since Morgan Freeman (the rights holder) doesn't want to do it now.
  • A few years ago there were competing development projects about Hannibal Barca. One with Denzel Washington, another with Vin Diesel. Either one could have been interesting. But so far, nothing.
  • The Sky Is Falling, which is said to be the greatest screenplay never filmed.
  • Similarly, Brian Flemming's Danielle
  • Ripley's Believe it or Not!
  • The IMAX special Godzilla: 3D to the Max has no signs of life, beyond a 2009 release date, mostly because the people behind the film have yet to garner any money to actually produce it.
  • Hunter: The Reckoning. Rumor has it the project entered Development Hell because Uwe Boll bought the film rights to the video game; when White Wolf found out just who was going to be adapting one of their properties for cinema, they basically told him, "Don't you fucking dare."
  • Mortal Kombat: Devastation, derailed by Hurricane Katrina. The studio had been set up in New Orleans.
  • The ongoing tale of the film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces. First of all, the book was only published years after its author's suicide when his mother found a handwritten manuscript. Attempts were made to make a movie starring John Belushi in 1983, but then Belushi died. Then there was going to be one with John Candy in 1994, but then Candy also died. And then one with Chris Farley in 1997, but then,...well...yeah. Yet another attempt with Will Ferrell seemed to be going well, and had even accrued other big names like Lily Tomlin and Mos Def. Then Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the film's setting.
    • At one point, John Waters was being considered to direct an adaptation. Waters himself wrote that it was the one and only time he seriously considered making a film not based on one of his own scripts. Oh, what might have been...
      • Speaking about Waters, he had planned to direct a family-oriented Christmas comedy called Fruitcake about a gay teenager finding acceptance during the holidays for a 2007 release. The film never got made due to financial troubles at production company Capitol Films (unlike Waters' newer projects, this did not have studio backing) and seems to have been locked up due to that company's bankruptcy. Waters hasn't directed since then (but has done many acting roles and live appearances).
  • The remake of Hellraiser. Mostly due to the fact that The Weinsteins keep rejecting the ideas of every writer and director that has ever been attached to the project. They are making another sequel now...
  • The re-release of Let It Be, the infamous Beatles documentary. Sources say it hardly will be released while Paul and Ringo are still alive.
  • Opus: The Last Christmas, which is dead according to Berkeley Breathed.
  • Similarly, a Get Fuzzy movie has been long rumored.
  • And a Dilbert movie has been too.
  • The Magic 7. This December 2009, it finally comes out.
    • Or not. The project was in development since the 1990s. Two voice actors have died during the wait.
  • What the hell is up with Stephen King's Cell movie? Similarly The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
  • A remake of A Clockwork Orange was originally announced in development, but due to the death of Heath Ledger (who had expressed great interest in playing Alex before the project was announced), it is unlikely that production will continue.
  • The Movie of Arrested Development.
    • It was scheduled to shoot this (2012) summer, but apparently, they had other plans, as Netflix published a fifth season on its service in 2013. A sixth one will come out in 2016.
  • Case 39, The film has been completed as far back as 2007, but it stayed in limbo until it finally got a US release in October 2010.
  • The American live-action adaptation of Wicked City.
  • Hellsing. A while back, there was a trailer, but nothing more has been even whispered about it. Technically, it was a concept trailer, used to pitch the idea to studios to get them interested in the project. The girl playing Seras in the trailer was a hired model. However, the company developing the film pulled the trailer from their site and Youtube, indicating things may have not gone in favour of the project.
  • The rights to make a Metroid movie were sold to two unnamed producers in 2003, who then sold them to John Woo in 2005, with a 2006 release date. Since then, not a word on so much as possible casting has been released, and no one's sure if John Woo even still has the rights or not. Although if you want to cause a bit of trouble with the fans, suggest that Uwe Boll obtained the rights and watch what happens.
  • Rumors of a Devil May Cry movie being in production/already existing have been floating around since the release of the third game. Fan movies exist, but that seems to be where the trail ends.
  • Since at least the early 1990s, Roger Daltrey of The Who has been attempting to put a biopic of his late bandmate Keith Moon on the big screen. Robert Downey Jr. was once considered for the lead role before, in Daltrey's words, he read the script and did everything in it. Currently, IMDB lists Mike Myers as playing the title role in "Untitled Keith Moon Project."
  • In 1994 there were talks of a film adaptation of the musical Into the Woods, where Robin Williams would have played The Baker. Sadly, it never came to pass.
    • Instead, a different adaptation was released in 2014.
  • An entire section of this page can go to planned video game movies, among other things, Rainbow Six (based off part 3) with John Woo as director, Perfect Dark was announced in 2001 (later changed to a TV series but still no word), Crazy Taxi back in 2000, and of all things a LIVE-ACTION Pac-Man movie was announced in 2003.
    • American McGee's Alice. There were even rumors of Tim Burton directing, probably just because the game appears heavily inspired by his works. A Burton-directed Alice movie has been eventually released for real, but it has nothing to do with the videogame.
    • The BioShock (series) movie project has taken this road because of budgetary concerns, still unresolved as of summer 2010, also due to Gore Verbinski not wanting to compromise the atmosphere for a lighter rating. This also led to the higher ups deciding to film the movie overseas, forcing Verbinski to step down as director due to his attachment to other projects at home. While he may remain as a producer, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) will replace him as director. In an early 2011 interview, Verbinski implied that the project was dead, in part due to difficulty finding anyone willing to finance it as an R-rated picture (and Verbinski's lack of interest in watering down the material for a PG-13.)
    • Fresnadillo has also left the project
    • The Suffering is currently slated for a 2012 release. Given that the only available info on the project is from 2005-7, it doesn't seem likely.
    • Halo The Movie. Mostly due to creative control than budgetary constraints/disputes. The resulting collapse of the initial project turned into District 9. Microsoft has currently stated the project is on hold, most likely as they're focused on Halo: Reach.
      • Steven Spielberg is attempting to revive the Halo film, but is instead focusing on the novelizations like Fall of Reach in order to avoid legal issues with Universal.
      • This Wired article provides an in depth view of the drama, and points out that the film's failure to materialize is likely due to Microsoft's inexperience in dealing with Hollywood politics.
    • A Monkey Island film was in production for some time and got canceled. Much of the script was reworked for Pirates of the Carribean. So the first high-quality theme park movie adaptation could have been the first high-quality video game movie adaptation.
  • Apparently, there were plans for a Warrior Cats movie, but they were dropped when it was considered a gamble in light of the economic recession, due to the appropriateness of the content of what is ostensibly a children's series. The film's status has been downgraded from "definitely going to happen", to "not even under consideration".
  • The sequel for The Incredible Hulk has fallen into this territory. While some actors are under contract or willing to return for the sequel, Norton himself is not and it is unclear if he will reprise his role. Leterrier has gone back and forth on the decision, but has stated that he's open to directing the sequel, but it's predicted that said sequel won't be coming out until at least 2012 and after the much anticipated Avengers film. Even that film is moving very slowly.
  • The rumors about a Xena: Warrior Princess movie have been circling around since the series ended in 2001. It has been discussed many times by series creator Rob Tapert, who kept saying it was stuck because of legal issues at Universal. Looks like it will never get made, though.
  • The Dragonriders of Pern has been in development hell since probably the 80's. At one time there was a TV series that was in production, but it was basically In Name Only so it never went forward (most people see this as a good thing). A movie was supposed to be released last year (2009), but the date has been pushed back to 2011.
  • The Brazilian Job, sequel to the 2003 remake of The Italian Job has been in the works since 2004 but was never finished due to the inability for the studio to agree on a finalized script. There have been rumors that a script was being considered in 2009, but nothing final. The project is currnetly still listed as being in development, but there's not even a projected year of release, so don't expect it anytime soon.
    • There's also rumors that one of the scripts for this film ended up becoming Fast Five, which is plausible, given that the plot for the Brazilian Job sounds almost identical to that film.
  • The planned Justice League film (in a serious case of What Could Have Been) petered out after a year in development. In 2007, pre-production got underway, with many major names attached to star in the film (including Adam Brody as The Flash, Common as Green Lantern John Stewart, and Michael Gough as Alfred [reprising his role from the 90's Batman franchise]). Numerous problems happened during pre-production (the film's costume designer passed away, a Hollywood writer's strike derailed the script development and there were rumors that director George Miller [Mad Max] had been canned from the project). Finally, the film was delayed less than a month before it began shooting. It is now indefinitely on hold.
  • A third Fletch movie has been in the works since 1997, with Kevin Smith once attached to direct and Ben Affleck and even Zach Braff for the title role. This Entertainment Weekly article has all the sordid details.
  • Tongue of Fury, the sequel to Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, was announced since the end of the first film in 2002. However, no word of it has ever surfaced. Word of God states that Steve Oedekerk is still sifting through a huge library of Hong Kong martial arts films to find the right scenes to lift. There were also rumors of a possible 2010 release.
  • The Elfstones of Shannara and Magic Kingdom for Sale -- SOLD! movies. Yes, there are plans. One version of the proposed script for the latter would have given Ben a son and daughter, but Terry Brooks nixed that because their characters weren't developed enough.
  • The third James Bond film starring Timothy Dalton, eventually titled The Property of a Lady—MGM was going through many turmoils, and eventually Dalton's contract expired. Then Pierce Brosnan was hired, and the rest is history (the 6-year gap between Licence to Kill and GoldenEye remains the largest of the series).
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension has two of these: The sequel film Buckaroo Banzai vs. the World Crime League, which stalled out despite enthusiastic responses from the original cast; and an animated spinoff TV series on Fox, Buckaroo Banzai: Ancient Secrets and New Mysteries. At this point, they can both be considered dead. The DVD release of the original move was this for about a decade, due to a complicated rights issue that was not resolved until the death of the license holder.
  • Diane Duane wrote a screenplay for the first book of the Young Wizards series and reported that it was in very early development stages on the Young Wizards website back in 2007. As of 2010, there has been no progress whatsoever towards a finished movie.
  • The live action Voltron film. Due to rights issues between the American rights holders (they own the names) and the Japanese rights holders (they own the likenesses).
    • This seems to have been settled and there were rumors that Paramount and Relativity would team up on an adaptation back in Spring 2011 but nothing has been heard since.
  • Even after the under performance of the first Reign of Fire film, actors from the film still indicated that their still might be a sequel in the works.
  • The third Alien vs. Predator film.
  • A fifth Indiana Jones movie is much rumored by Spielberg, Lucas, Ford and La Beouf. Considering that the fourth film was in Development Hell for nineteen years, it's hard to say if anything will come of the fifth film.
  • There's been talk going around about filming The Wheel of Time's first installment, The Eye Of The World since the turn of the century, but absolutely nothing has come of it. Probably because nobody likes the implications of filming the first in a series of 14.
  • Something called Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and written by Tina Fey, was supposed to come out around 2007 or 2008. It's still listed as an upcoming project on both Cohen and Fey's IMDb pages.
  • The Rifts movie. Jerry Bruckheimer picked up the right in 2004, and has been renewing the option every year, but doesn't seem to have done anything with it yet. Though, considering how other Rifts spin-offs (like the CCG and the N-Gage video game) went, this may not be a bad thing.
  • A Biopic of silent film comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle has been in this state for about three decades. Like the aforementioned A Confederacy of Dunces, it had John Belushi, John Candy and Chris Farley lined up to star in it shortly before their respective deaths. No word has come out of it since.
  • This is the current and probably permanent location of the proposed film of the television series Blake's 7 since Paul Darrow (the actor who played Avon) resigned from the project due to "artistic differences".
  • The Snoop Dogg movie Black Ice has been on and off in development for the latter part of the decade. Snoop said in a recent interview that scheduling and communication issues have caused the delays, but insists that it'll see the light of day.
  • A Biopic about Baron Gustaf Mannerheim, Marshal of Finland during World War II, was announced in 2000, with Finnish director Renny Harlin attached. The filming has been postponed many times due to budgetary issues. Harlin finally pulled out in May 2011, but it is unclear whether the project will go on without him.
  • A remake of The Incredible Shrinking Man has been in the works since 2001, with Eddie Murphy's name often attached. It's still apparently in pre-production.
  • In 1992 it was announced that John Hughes had signed a development deal with Warner Brothers [dead link] to write and produce a live-action Peanuts movie. Nothing more was heard of the project after that.
    • A 2015 animated adaptation came out instead.
  • There has also been a lot of talk about the musical version of Wicked being made into a movie. It appears to be just that: talk. Oh sure, it's said to be officially confirmed, but only recently have they began looking for a cast, at least three years after the confirmation of it...
  • The Brazilian movie Chatô started filming in 1998. It spent a lot of money, led his director to get sued, but no one even knows if it will ever come out!
  • Red Sonja, specially since the Conan the Barbarian 2011 tanked at the box office.
  • The remake of The Entity.
  • The adaptation of Sister Souljah's urban fiction novel The Coldest Winter Ever. The adaptation was rumored as far back as 01 or 02. But nothing ever came of it. Then in 05 Jada Pinkett-Smith tried to get it off the ground as a producer but it fell through.
  • The remake of The Wiz, which was rumored to star Aaliyah and R&B singer Ginuwine. This was back in 1999-2000. But the idea seemed to stall even before Aaliyah's untimely death.
  • The new adaptation of The Crow. Nobody could agree on a script. Stephen Norrington eventually left the project. Then a lawsuit between Harvey Weinstein and Relativity Media threatened the project again. Relativity won the suit and F. Javier Gutiérrez was named as director in January 2012.
  • The Minds of Billy Milligan, the story of a (actual) man with multiple personalities, was adapted into a screenplay called The Crowded Room by Todd Graff in something like the late 1970s. Dozens of actors, producers and directors including James Cameron (who wrote a second screenplay) and Steven Soderburgh have signed onto the project and quit.
  • The remake of Barbarella has been stuck here for a while. Back in 2008, Universal was gearing it up with Robert Rodriguez as the director. Rose McGowan was to take the role of Barbarella, but Universal freaked out over the high budget and they didn't think McGowan was right for the role. Rodriguez was not willing to make any changes, so he shopped the remake to other studios. Further problems came when his backers wanted Barbarella to be aimed for the German audience. Rodriguez didn't like that plan, so he finally gave up in May 2009. Recently, it was announced that Robert Luketic was to take over the director's chair, but production didn't really get off the ground. Now that the film's proposed producer, Dino De Laurentiis, has died, the remake now seems really unlikely.
    • Though there were rumors that Anne Hathaway was attached to the remake.
  • There is little news of the American adaptation of Death Note which was said to be released in 2011 (with a rumor around that the protagonist would be played by Zac Efron). A director had just been announced, so it might be a year or two before production starts.
  • The Julia Roberts / Ryan Reynolds film Fireflies in the Garden has been mired in post-production hell since being finished in early 2008 due to mixed early word, the film's original distributor (the same one as the aforementioned All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) going under, and legal issues involving the film rights. It's also notable that Roberts was even doing the talk show rounds promoting the film's forthcoming 2008. It has been released internationally though.
  • The IMDB has had a listing for a forthcoming live-action version of Kiki's Delivery Service since at least 2005. We can only hope the situation remains unchanged indefinitely.
  • The Stargate Atlantis film Extinction has been put on hold indefinitely. This is due to the cancellation of Stargate Universe and SyFy's waning interest in the franchise.
  • Wanted was supposed to get a sequel, yet everyone involved in it got so busy (the director with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the protagonist with X-Men: First Class) that the producer has since said the movie "will not happen any time soon if at all."
  • The film adaptation of Green Day's rock opera American Idiot has been in development since 2005. Several scripts have been written, and Tom Hanks has expressed interest in producing the film, but nothing definitive has yet been announced. When asked if the movie was truth, lie, or mystery, drummer Tre Cool responded that it was "a true mystery".
    • A 2010 Broadway musical was made instead.
  • There is something of a cottage industry based around rumors about live-action adaptations of anime films:
    • The live-action Cowboy Bebop film was announced sometime between 2005-2007, but nothing has come of it since. Keanu Reeves (who is supposed to playing the lead character, Spike Spiegel) has given conflicting statements about his involvement in it.
    • The Akira live-action film is quickly becoming this, with more and more prospective producers passing on the project.
    • There was talk around 2008-9 of a live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell, possibly produced or directed by Steven Spielberg, but he seems to have passed on it in favour of other projects.
  • The Great Khan, Sergei Bodrov's follow-up to the 2007 Mongol.
  • The Skins movie. It was supposed to be released in summer 2011, but as of the last report they're having difficulty even just figuring out which characters are going to be in it. While it was originally supposed to focus just on tying up Generation 2's loose ends, they also were trying to shoehorn in a few characters from Generation 1, and then with the new third generation things became even more complicated. Especially with some fan speculation that the upcoming sixth series may be the show's last, and the film may end up being the wrap-up to the whole franchise. Maybe now that the US remake has been cancelled Bryan Elsley will be free to focus on the film again and we'll start getting some answers.
  • Fans of The X-Files are hoping that a third movie will wrap up loose threads of the plot.
  • A few years ago, Tom Hanks expressed interest in making and starring in film adaptations of Arthur C. Clarke's 2061 and 3001, although nothing has been heard of this since.
  • A sequel to New Jack City has been in development since 1991, when it was announced to begin filming for a Christmas 1992 release. Since then, the project has been off-and-on in development. Most recently, there were plans to make it straight-to-DVD but not much is known yet.
  • Revenge of the Nerds: Fanboys director Kyle Newman was given the greenlight to direct a remake back in 2007, unfortunately the studio kept cutting the budget, and the only college in Georgia that would let them film was an all girls school, as the other colleges had previously had bad experiences with film crews. The studios also kept on making demands for things as trivial as the main characters wardrobe, then after the all girls school found out that the film was more "risque" then the crew had let on, they were kicked out and had no money left to finish the movie, so the studio pulled the plug on the remake and nothing has been heard ever since.
  • A live-action film of Transmetropolitan has been been in the early proposal/planning stages for over a decade now; spearheaded by long-time fan Patrick Stewart, who is the fan-favorite to play Spider Jerusalem. At one point, an animated version was proposed, with Steward voicing Jerusalem. Ellis and Robertson have indicated that they would like Tim Roth to play the title role; but as of this time, no production has started on any adaptation.
  • It's possible the fourth The Chronicles of Narnia film is in this, as the contract of production company Walden Media with the C.S. Lewis estate has expired.
  • Around 2003, Robert Zemeckis was planning to remake the William Castle film Macabre for Dark Castle Entertainment (a company he co-founded with Joel Silver) at some point in between the productions of The Polar Express and Beowulf. After Zemeckis got heavily into motion capture, he abandoned the project and eventually left Dark Castle to start Imagemovers Digital. Nothing has been heard about the project since.
  • A Battle Angel film with director James Cameron. On again off again with rumors as far back as the early 2000s including supposed casting calls for a lithe girl who could move like a cat ... then nothing. Then he said he was waiting for the technology to catch up to his vision. Then Avatar. Is he even working on it still? Who knows.
  • The Clue remake, first announced in 2006. At first it was announced as a straight remake of the 1985 comedy, then it wasn't, then Gore Verbinski joined the project, then it was a straight remake again. The Wikipedia page for the 1985 film currently lists a release date of 2013.
  • This ESPN the Magazine article gives an inside account of the process of getting stuck in Development Hell—specifically, David Fleming's attempt to get Breaker Boys, his book on the 1925 Pottsville Maroons, an early NFL team that had its championship revoked after bitter lobbying from richer rival team owners, onto the big screen. Fleming sees this as a larger failure than most—because the movie isn't getting made, the NFL won't be forced to admit its mistake and restore the stolen championship.
    • Ultimately, the project was sunk by the failure of Leatherheads, which studios believed signified there was no money to be made in a movie about football in the 1920s. As the article mentions, Leatherheads was itself stuck in development hell until George Clooney stepped into the picture. Fleming's ESPN colleague Rick Reilly wrote the original screenplay in 1991... and it hit theaters in 2008. It's a point of contention between Fleming and Reilly as to who got the worse deal.
  • A Robotech live action film was announced in 2008 by Harmony Gold and Warner Bros. A certain Tobey Maguire was said to be producing it. Also heavily hyped was the announcement that Lawrence Kasdan (yes the same one who wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Bodyguard) had written a script. Things were looking up until the fans were informed that Mr. Kasdan's script was handed over to Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (writers of Smallville and Herbie Fully Loaded) for a rewrite. The script was then handed to another writer named Tom Rob Smith for yet another rewrite. Just given the questionable sanity involved in not just going with a script by a lauded screenwriter (let alone entrusting it to a two mediocre writers and then one nobody to "rewrite") Robotech fans are no longer optimistic that this film will be worth seeing if it is ever made.
  • At one point Paul Greengrass was going to make a biopic about Martin Luther King's march to Selma Alabama.
    • Selma, a film made by a different crew, was released in 2014.
  • Witchblade was in development not too long ago.
  • A 2012 adaptation of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath has been in the works since at least 2010; if not sooner. It's been pushed back repeatedly and IMDB has very little information that hasn't changed much in all this time. The only screen adaptation of the novel that's been released was back in the 1970s and the few people who've actually seen it will usually tell you that it's terrible, so maybe it's a good thing this will probably never be released.
  • Jumanji 2, which would have involved the Jumanji board, after being spotted in the ocean, uncovered by two girls from France, building on a scene at the end of the film. It was scrapped when Chris Van Allsburg wrote Zathura as a sequel to the book that inspired the movie, with the intent of making The Movie based on the book (which ironically is more of a Spiritual Successor).
  • The Wesley Snipes western Gallowwalker was shot in 2006, with reshoots done in 2009, but as of 2012 remains unreleased (partially due to Snipes's legal issues, which previously led to delays in the reshoots).
  • The film rights to The Borribles have been bought several times since the first book came out in the late 1970s—and in fact as of the late 2010s are currently in play. But no project has ever gotten past the simple proposal stage.

Films -- Puppets

  • The Jim Henson Company has been planning a Fraggle Rock movie and The Dark Crystal sequel for quite some time. Every now and then, they'll announce The Dark Crystal sequel, but no progress appears to have been made. This was parodied by Robot Chicken, which joked that the primary reason it's not going forward is that today's kids don't want to watch an all-puppet film.
    • As with Good Omens above, a Dark Crystal prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, will air on Netflix in summer 2019.
  • The idea for a Muppet movie known as The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made was originally floated in 1985. It's presumably about Gonzo directing a Muppet movie and he blows half the budget on the opening titles, resulting in the movie progressively getting shittier and shittier to the point where a shot of the same street corner is used for every city in the world. The title card was revealed in September 2009, but it was subsequently set aside in favor of The Muppets.


  • MRE pizza is considered the holy grail of food preservation and the single most requested dish. It's also pretty much every food preservation problem (Bread, acidity, combining very distinct items into a single package) combined into one so development has lasted over a decade. In 2015 it was projected to be finished by 2017, and it was with lab made examples being successful. Unfortunately additional issues with mass production introduced a serious issue: While edible its entire shelf life, toward the end of its life it turns a hideous brown color no one will eat even though it is still edible. After being shelved indefinitely, it was discovered rosemary extract would solve the color issue and it was released in late summer 2018 to generally positive response from troops.


  • Donald Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming was started in 1962 (which may as well be the Bronze Age as far as computer programming is concerned) and not all the volumes are out yet. Initially not helped by Knuth deciding to create a typesetting system from scratch since he was not satisfied by what was available.
  • Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole collaborated on a six-issue Star Wars Expanded Universe comic for the X Wing Series which bridged over into Zahn's Thrawn books. It's called The Reenlistment Of Baron Fel. But the X Wing Series comics were canceled abruptly. So Zahn and Stackpole worked on the script and turned it into a four-chapter novella, something that they've done before. And Del Ray did not buy this script. Both versions are languishing on their hard drives, and it's been something like ten years since the X Wing Series was going.
    • It's particularly frustrating when you see that in 2005 someone came out with a three-issue X Wing Series comic, Rogue Leader, which had nothing to do with Stackpole and is generally considered inferior due to Off-Model art, rampant decompression, and a basically pointless storyline, without even any good character interaction, that could be summed up in two sentences: "The Empire will fight even without an Emperor, and some of its people are Complete Monsters. Luke Skywalker leaves Rogue Squadron to do Jedi things."
  • Wherefore The Book of Dust? We've had a sequel novella and a prequel novella, and they are nice but?
  • Stephanie Meyer put off writing Midnight Sun because an unfinished copy was leaked. She said in 2008 that if she can go two years without hearing anyone mention it, she may begin work on it again once "everyone's forgotten about it", but that clearly did not happen.
    • She also has talked about working or planning to work on a story from Renesmee's point of view, a story from Leah's point of view, a mermaid story, a ghost story, and a time travel story. There's no sign of any of these.
  • A Dance with Dragons has been in the queue in the A Song of Ice and Fire series in one form or another for nearly a decade. It was originally going to be one massive book, but it eventually surpasses a reasonable publication size so author George R. R. Martin decided to split it into two books based on certain Point Of View characters and plotlines. The "A" half of the novel (the characters Martin had finished at the time) became A Feast for Crows, while the "B" half of the novel became A Dance with Dragons (a title bestowed on then revoked from a few ASoIaF books now). This occurred in 2005. Martin claimed that he was more-or-less finished with Dance at the time Feast went to print and there is a post-script at the end of Feast where Martin promised the book would be out the next year (which would have been 2006). It's been over five years since that time and it's still nowhere near finished. In the intervening years, a rabid Hatedom has sprung up in response to the seemingly inexplicable delay.
    • On March 3, 2011, GRRM announced a publication date of July 12. Given that he'd promised not to mention anymore release dates until he was near finished, it can be assumed that the book is almost ready. Whether is is, once again, wishful thinking remains to be seen however.
  • They did get someone to finish the late lamented Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.
  • Another book example is the Harlan Ellison-edited anthology The Last Dangerous Visions. It was originally announced for 1973 and had not yet been completed as of Ellison's death in 2018; the fate of the project remains unknown as of mid-2019.
    • There's even a (short) book about this fiasco, The Book on the Edge of Forever, by author Christopher Priest (most famous for The Prestige). When you consider that TLDV was slated to include stories by long-dead authors such as Frank Herbert, Alfred Bester, and Cordwainer Smith (who died in 1966!!), this is the very pinnacle of development hell.
      • Cordwainer Smith's story, "Himself in Anachron" was published in a collection, The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith Ellison was not happy, but eventually some sort of settlement was made.
  • Diane Duane has been somewhat notorious among her fans for this. In her Young Wizards series, there was a eight year gap between the release of A Wizard Abroad and The Wizard's Dilemma, and a five year gap between Wizards at War and A Wizard of Mars, which was released in April 2010 after getting pushed back by its publishers about six times. Finally, there is the The Tale of Five series which has lain unfinished for nearly eighteen years now, with the last part, The Door into Starlight having gone unfinished since 1992, but she promises she is still working on it.
  • David Gerrold's fans have been waiting for the fifth War Against the Chtorr novel (A Method For Madness) since at least 1994.
    • Currently scheduled for 2011. And there's two more books after it.
  • "The Scarlet Gospels" by Clive Barker.
  • Quite a few by Neil Gaiman. In the world of Neverwhere, The Seven Sisters and How the Marquis Got His Coat Back. In the world of Stardust, American Gods, and Anansi Boys, Wall (the prologue has been published) and a story about Tristran going to Hell in a hot air balloon.
  • The Captal's Tower, third book in Melanie Rawn's Exiles Trilogy is still nowhere to be seen 13 years after the release of the second book.
  • The Hellgate Series by David Weber and Linda Evans. Whether because the authors are no longer communicating or because Weber's realized he can make much more money churning out 'Honor Harrington' books, it's been four years since the second book ended on a cliffhanger and there's no sign from the publisher or the authors that a third book will ever come out.
    • It's not the only series that David Weber is holding up either. Fans of his Prince Roger collaboration with John Ringo have had nothing since 2005, with very little to indicate that anything is actually being worked on.
  • There were rumors for years about a sequel to The Princess Bride called Buttercup's Baby. In some editions of The Princess Bride, this sequel was mentioned in the epilogue and was "having trouble getting published due to legal problems with S. Morgenstern's estate". An address was also listed that readers could write to for information. This was of course, completely fictional since S. Morgenstern is an alias made up by the REAL author, William Goldman. Still, people who wrote in got a sample chapter (which was simply published in later editions). In 2007, Goldman stated he actually wanted to write it, but was having trouble coming up with ideas. Nothing has been heard since.
  • Orson Scott Card and Kathryn H. Kidd's 'Rasputin,' a sequel to 1994's 'Lovelock' and the second in 'The Mayflower Trilogy.' Still listed as a work in progress on Card's website.
  • Universercus, the promised third book in Gillian Rubenstein's Galax-Arena trilogy, is yet to be more than breifly mentioned at the end of Terra Farma (which was published in 2001). Even though the auther has published books since then and left the plot gaping open!
  • For the Warrior Cats series, they announced in Feb 2010 that there would be some sort of online multiplayer game, possibly a MMORPG, based on the books. They made a big deal about it, randomly selecting survey-takers to be beta testers in March 2010. They said that beta testing would take place in the summer of that year, that they'd make regular posts on the official forum to keep fans updated about the progress of the game, and that the game itself would be out by the end of 2010. It's 2012 now. Beta testers haven't gotten a single message after the one informing them that they're a tester, and there haven't been any posts on the official forum from the gamemakers. The only signs that they're apparently still working on it is that HarperCollins Catalogs keeps listing "Online Game" under the Marketing/Publicity tab for each new book, and fans have asked the authors about it (the answer: "it's still being worked on").
  • The Repossession Mambo (which was adapted as the film Repo Men) was written in 1996 but did not find a publisher until 2008. However, the manuscript had been circulating in Hollywood for some time and the film was greenlighted a few years before the book was published. The film also suffered through post-production hell as Universal shelved it for two years.
  • The third book in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence series, The Republic of Thieves, has been repeatedly announced as forthcoming...and as repeatedly postponed.

Live Action TV

  • The Blakes Seven re-imagining had an announcement of script ordering in mid-2007 and nothing since. In 2010, Britain's Sky1 channel announced that a series would not be commissioned.
  • K9 was first announced in 1997. It subsequently premiered in the UK in 2009, airing its full season in Scandinavia in 2010.
  • The Disney Channel series JONAS, suffered from this. The original plan was to launch the vehicle for The Jonas Brothers with the band serving as a front for a group of secret agents (think a Kim Possible meets Hannah Montana hybrid) with the name standing for "Junior Operatives Networking As Spies). For whatever reasoning, that didn't fly, resulting in Retool after Retool, ultimately culminating in a standard, run of the mill sitcom (albeit sans Laugh Track). Then after a botched launch on Saturdays where iCarly cleaned its clock, it went through yet another retool after the first season, and with the Jonas Brothers fading among teenagers, turned into an unexpectedly depressing soapish dramedy in the second season, renamed, JONAS LA, (yes, it's in ALLCAPS). JONAS LA was canceled, because of predictably low ratings.
  • The team behind Human Giant announced that MTV had allowed them a third season. Unfortunately, they couldn't film much because Aziz was busy on Parks and Recreation. Since then nothing has been said.
  • The Sci-Fi Channel announced in 2002 that they would produce a Quantum Leap television movie featuring Sam's daughter as a new leaper. A proposed release date of 2004 was given, and the movie's writer even gave a QL fansite an interview about the plot, but ultimately nothing ever came of it.
  • A few years ago, a planned live-action Star Wars TV series was announced, but since then there hasn't been much news about it. Reportedly, it will be a Darker and Edgier episode-based show that focuses on the minor characters of the series rather than the main storyline, and will take place between Episodes III and IV.
    • It seemed to pick up a bit after the CGI The Clone Wars started doing well, but has been put on hold because they couldn't figure out how to do Star Wars on a TV show budget. The title has been announced to be Star Wars: Underworld.
  • ER's Pilot script was written in 1974 but the show wasn't filmed until 1994.
  • Adapting Super Sentai over to Power Rangers was a very difficult task. There are reports that Haim Saban had been planning to adapt Bioman, which was made 8 years before the first seasons to be adapted Zyuranger.
  • Entertainment Weekly reported in 2010 that a Remake of The Wild Wild West (the series, not the movie) was being developed by Ron Moore and Naren Shankar for CBS; exactly nothing else about the project has been announced since then.
  • A spinoff from Buffy the Vampire Slayer focusing on Giles to be called Ripper was on the drawing board for years once the original show ended in 2003. Safe to say it's never going to happen...
  • No fewer than ten pilots were made between 1996 and 2010 for a revival of the Pyramid game show franchise. Even with a successful revival from 2002 to 2004, the pilots just kept coming in the subsequent years.


  • The Blue Nile are the kings of this trope. They spent five years in between the first and the second album, seven years between the second and the third, and eight years between the third and the fourth. Very little Executive Meddling is involved in the production; it's all because the band takes this long to produce these songs on purpose and it shows.
  • Limp Bizkit's The Unquestionable Truth (Part 2)
    • It's been scrapped, and is now being replaced with entirely new material, with the album being titled Gold Cobra.
  • Poe's third album.
  • The career of Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy fame: "We are working on an album, inter alia, but the matter of single releases is currently on hold..." and has been for thirteen years.
  • Dr. Dre's third solo album, Detox. It is been in talks for most of the aughties, though the current state of hip hop makes the prospect much less exciting than when Chronic 2001 came out. Dr. Dre has been promising Detox since 2000. Between the list of artists Dre said would be on the album and the lame acts he's signed to Aftermath over the years (acts who, according to many critics, already took up far too much of 2001) it's obvious what the holdup is: the man's become a perfectionist and can't decide who to work with.
    • The only two artists he's been able to work with consistently are 50 Cent and Eminem, it seems unlikely that Detox will ever come out.

Eminem(from a song released in 2004): "Don't worry 'bout that Detox album, it's comin'! We gon' make Dre do it!"

    • The album had two well-received promo singles in 2011; the second, "I Need a Doctor", hit the top 5 and has been nominated for a Grammy. So of course we get announcements that a) neither song will be on the album if it's ever finished, and b) Dre's going on a hiatus from music altogether.
  • Anthony Rapp released a single solo album, Look Around, in 2000. After that, he claimed he was giving up solo work in favor of promoting his alternative/indie rock band Albinokid, and has promised they'll release an album since 2005. Several track listings have appeared on his Myspace, and he's mentioned songs he plans to include at the band's live performances, but the album hasn't appeared four years later. In fact, from lack of information on the band, it seems that they broke up.
  • Wintersun's next album, Time, is taking forever to be released, supposedly due to problems with the recording equipment. It slowly became a punchline akin to Duke Nukem Forever, although the band has performed new material (including a new 10-minute song) live. As of 2012, the band has said it's almost finished and has a release date, so expect to see this entry moved to Saved From Development Hell soon.
  • E Nomine's next album. It was stated that it would be out by 2008 but as of September 2009 there has been no news of any band activity.
  • MF DOOM's Swift & Changeable still hasn't seen the light of day after being announced a few years ago. (That's not even counting the countless records that got shelved by an uncaring or hostile label, like Large Professor's The LP, KMD's Black Bastards or Jay Dee/J Dilla's Pay Jay, all of which have since either leaked or been reissued six or so years after being recorded.)
  • The Black Star follow-up album.
  • Nicole Scherzinger's solo debut was to come out in 2008. However, work with the Pussycat Dolls and lousy single choices doomed it, and she's creating new material for an album that will allegedly out in 2011.
  • One of the most inexplicable is probably Lil Jon's Crunk Rock, which began production in 2006 (anybody remember "Snap Yo Fingers"?) as a grandiose rock-rap crossover album. One label change, four years and an entirely new set of material later, it finally came out... and nobody cared.
  • Lykathea Aflame's/Lykathé's unnamed album (despite claims that it was at least 90% finished. News has also surfaced that drummer Tomás Corn has been forced to quit playing due to foot problems, leaving the album's fate up in the air).
  • Anthrax's Worship Music has been languishing for a good while, mostly due to the band's recent inability to keep a vocalist for more than a couple of years; since their last album they've had John Bush, then Joey Belladonna, then Dan Nelson, John Bush again, Joey Belladonna again...should be Dan Nelson's turn again next.
  • Indie band Havalina announced their sixth album, Pacific, in 2004. The recording got delayed because the bassist wanted to add the percussion of a library cart being hit, and it took months for him to arrange to record this (the library wouldn't let him borrow the cart). Then the bassist left, and Matt Wignall found a new bassist, renamed the band to Matt Death & The New Intellectuals, rerecorded two songs, and tweaked the track list of the album (renamed to Death on the Pacific). Matt Wignall has said that the album is finished, and that he plans to release it as a free download. That was back in 2008...
  • Tapeworm. The super-band was headed by Trent Reznor as a side-project to Nine Inch Nails. Lineup was made of musicians from A Perfect Circle and others bands in the same "music genre"... Nothing resulted. Except a song that A Perfect Circle played live once and used in their last album (The song being "Passive"). More info here.
  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's Uni5:The World's Enemy album. It went through a frustrating amount of delays and pushbacks. Originally scheduled for a 09 release but was perpetually pushed back to May 2010.
  • The music industry is notorious when it comes to shelving or stalling albums by female pop artists. Unfortunately, female pop artists have the least creative control. Usually they have to fight over artistic direction and their own public image and style, thus sending their albums to development hell territory.
    • This is especially true for female Pop, R&B, and Rap artists, Adina Howard being among the most known examples. Her '97-'98 Fantasy Island record was shelved because she wanted to do more than just sexually explicit songs. It was eventually bootlegged and released to the streets. Funnily, the album was still rather overtly sexual, leading people to wonder just how much sexier her label wanted the album to be.
    • Female rap group Da 5 Footaz Lifetime album never saw the light of day either, despite press kits being available. Their album was suppose to have been released as far back as '96. It has since been released underground via bootleg.
    • Charli Baltimore's record is in perpetual Development Hell.
    • Jojo's got her third album stuck in so much development hell she sued her record company and then proceeded to delay it to the "right time". She ended up releasing a mix-tape ("Can't Take That Away From Me") because she does want to give her fans things and cares. All I Want Is Everything (the third album mentioned) was later retitled as "Jumping Trains" and is now expected to be released on June 16, 2012.
  • Skinny Puppy's Handover album was planned to be released in 2009, but it fell into limbo when their label, SPV, went bankrupt. Now scheduled for a November 2011 release.
  • Nas' collab with DJ Premier, announced back in 2006, hasn't had any other info released since, but supposedly it's still being worked on.
  • Country Music artist Jo Dee Messina was supposed to have released an album titled Unmistakable in 2008. After two chart singles (one of which was withdrawn because Messina apparently didn't like it), the album finally got pushed back further and further. By 2010, it was announced that it had mushroomed into a trilogy of albums, the first of which (Unmistakable: Love) was released in April 2010 with little fanfare. The other two were be released in November to even less fanfare and no singles.
  • LeAnn Rimes' cover album Lady & Gentlemen. First announced in 2009; first single stalled at the bottom of the charts. The announced release date has come and gone. LeAnn tweeted that the album would see release later in 2010 with a bonus re-recording of her debut single "Blue". A non-cover single dropped in 2011 but fell out of the 40 in the blink of an eye. Finally in mid-2011, another new single has cracked the charts (also not a cover) and the album has an announced release date of September 2011, come hell or high water. Incidentally, Rimes and Messina are on the same label (Curb Records, a longtime house of Executive Meddling).
  • And a more extreme example from Curb is Amy Dalley, who put out seven singles between 2003 and 2007, but despite getting as high as #23, none were deemed successful enough for an album launch.
  • Deltron 3030's (Del the Funky Homosapien, Kid Koala and Dan the Automator, all contributors to the Gorillaz) second album was announced around 2006. We're still waiting. Considering they put out a compilation in less than a month, we're waiting too long.
  • LaToya Jackson's Startin' Over began its production on November 2001, has had some singles released, but has no date for hitting shelves yet.
  • The Kovenant's Aria Galactica has been in limbo since 2003. Sort of the Duke Nukem Forever of music.
  • Guns N' Roses' album Chinese Democracy finally came out after fifteen years in Development Hell. Reactions ranged from positive to middling. And yes, it's Banned in China.
  • The follow up to Australian plunderphonics collective The Avalanches' debut album Since I Left You has been in development hell for nearly a decade. Every so often, a member of the band claims its done and they're just clearing the samples (this being important, since they're a plunderphonics group that means almost all of their music is samples), but then nothing in heard for a few years. The latest estimation is late 2011/early 2012.
  • My Vitriol are another famous example. Their 2001 debut Finelines faced no success in the US due to Executive Meddling which caused exhausting touring that put them into a 4-year hiatus. Then they got back together and started recording and then scrapped an album's worth of material (except four tracks that appeared on an EP) after lukewarm fan reception. Since then the follow-up has left fans waiting over 10 years. The band has had no word on when or if the album will ever be completed.
  • Lindsay Lohan's third album Spirit In The Dark was first announced back in 2008, the single "Bossy" was released and was very succesful on the dance charts, but production was halted as Lindsay had decided it wasn't feasible for her to work on both her acting and singing career at the same time, numerous release dates were announced but nothing ultimately came of them due to Lindsay's own inability to decide when to work on the album, though several tracks have been leaked on to the internet over the years. It's unknown just how far along in production "Spirit" is, the album getting released depends on Lindsay getting around to finishing it, when that'll ever happen is anybody's guess.
  • Delta Goodrem's fourth album has been in development since 2008. Her third album spent four years in development (04-07), both times are self inflicted "breaks" of sorts.
  • Christina Aguilera usually takes four years between albums.
  • The Veronicas recording company pushed back their third album 3 times now.
  • After the release of The Beach Boys critically acclaimed Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson immediately went to work on Smile, an album that he planned to be his magnum opus. Public interest in the album quickly rose with the preview single "Good Vibrations" in the fall of 1966, but Wilson's good fortune quickly took a turn for the worse due to a combination of a drug induced breakdown and his band-mates unenthusiastic response to the project. By May 1967, Wilson shelved the project, more or less ending his role as the main creative force in the group. Meanwhile, the album would remain untouched for the next 37 years before Wilson decided to give it another shot. Smile was finally released as a solo album in 2004, with surprisingly positive reviews. In 2011, Capital Records released The Smile Sessions, which includes a reconstructed version of the album using The Beach Boys' original recordings.
  • Forest For The Trees' debut (and only) album took four years to be completed, due to Karl Stephenson having a nervous breakdown. The interesting thing is how much the final result seemed like a more world-music-influenced Odelay; Stephenson, who produced and co-wrote several songs on Beck's Mellow Gold including "Loser", had actually started working on this material when Beck was still a relative unknown, so who knows how the album might have been received had it come out a few years before Odelay...
  • Leona Lewis has had her album Glassheart pushed back by a year (Originally due Nov' 11 now due Nov 12) by her recording company. Her first two albums "Spririt" and "Echo" didn't have this problem.
  • Vanessa Amorosi has dealt with recording company issues and getting someone behind her work twice. First with her Somewhere In The Real World album, which had trouble getting destributed and her album V which ran into production issues and had to be edited to become right with her recording company, after already having a single out.
  • The line-up of Van Halen which featured Gary Cherone of Extreme imploded after the critical and commercial failure of their sole studio album, Van Halen 3. Eddie Van Halen would go through drug and alcohol addictions, survive tongue cancer (he apparently still smokes cigarettes) and a divorce to longtime wife Valerie Bertinelli. A reunion tour in 2004 with Sammy Hagar followed, on the heels of a two-disc anthology with two new "Van Hagar" recordings (similar to the failed reunion in 1996 with David Lee Roth for Greatest Hits Album Best Of Vol. 1, but the Roth reunion never happened), but Eddie's re-emerging alcoholism led to poor performances and Sammy's second departure, this time taking founding bassist Michael Anthony with him to form Chickenfoot. Eddie would sober up, rehire David Lee Roth, and begin a world tour with Eddie's son Wolfgang replacing Anthony. A Different Kind Of Truth, Van Halen's first new album in fifteen years, and its first with Roth since 1984, would be released to commercial and critical success in 2012.

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40,000: Since updates to rulebooks and models for different armies are largely based on player demand, and player demand is in turn based on the availability of up to date rulebooks and models, some teams spend years in development hell. This was exemplified by the Dark Eldar who went over a decade without an updated codex while the much more popular space marines received seven. They were mercifully Saved From Development Hell with an excellent new codex and model range, but others haven't fared so well.
Games Workshop recently started work on updating older books, which thankfully will see a resurgence of the forgotten armies. However the Sisters of Battle are notable in that while they're not as old as the Dark Eldar, they might very well have to wait quite a bit longer given that they're getting a Magazine Codex (which usually means development on them has halted and they're just getting lip service in the meantime). Even more notable is that the army is so old, they're the only ones who still require you to use metal models for the entire army (every army, even the Necrons and Dark Eldar, had plastics for troops. Sisters are not so lucky).
    • With the release of the Necrons during the halloween of 2011, the Sisters of Battle is now literally the oldest range, having not received a new model in the longest time.
  • Gary Gygax had always wanted to release a version of his iconic "Castle Greyhawk", the location that pretty much launched Dungeons & Dragons while at TSR. Due to his busy schedule as the head of TSR, and his writing duties on a myriad of other modules, he never was able to complete or even start the module. (His being sent to Los Angeles to develop the D&D cartoon series didn't help either). In 1982, the module had been advertised in Dragon Magazine, but as of 1986, when Gygax left the company due to "Creative Differences", no module had been published. In '87, TSR did a wild and mostly unfunny parody version of the Castle that bore no resemblance to Gygax's design. It was seen by many gamers as little more than a parting shot against Gygax, and the module has been pretty solidly rejected by players and pretty much disowned by TSR and Wizards of the Coast, leading to a second try at the module which was much more warmly received.
    • Still, that wasn't Gygax's castle, one that wouldn't see print until 2008, when "Castle Zagyg" was published by Troll Lord Games. Sadly that one went straight back into development hell after Gary died shortly after the first installment was released and the deal Troll Lord games had with Gygax fell apart when his wife took control of the company. Nobody's sure what exactly happened, all people know is that in 2008, Gygax Games was going to find a way to publish the rest of the castle. It is now 2012, and as of this writing, the Gygax Games website has been ofline since at least 2009, still promising "something good in the works."
  • d20 Spectaculars was a Superhero add-on to d20Modern that was supposed to be published by Wizards of the Coast in 2006, but it never materialized (possibly because Mutants and Masterminds already had rules for d20 supers and did it very well). Possibly because that's when they started work on 4th edition.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition was supposed to be released alongside a series of software tools. The most notable was a "virtual game table" allowing people to play live D&D online, complete with 3D models of characters and monsters. But all that was postponed and the game came out without any of the promised tools. A Rules Compendium was later released, then a Character Builder (still in beta). A year later, and still no sign of the virtual game table. Probably because there's plenty of free software online that does the same thing.
    • The virtual tabletop is now a reality and is currently in beta. But Wizards still has other parts of the D&D software suite in Development Hell, like a long promised Encounter builder.
  • GURPS: Girl Genius may be headed in this direction, due to an edition change since the Foglios wrote most of the content.
  • Also from GURPS, the third edition had a Middle Ages I (which dealt with England) and there was supposed to have been a Middle Ages II (for the continent) which never materialized.
  • Capcom World Tournament was delayed for a while, then put on hiatus, due to issues with Living Room Games being unable to guarantee a profit through traditional distribution and being unable to risk alienating retailers with distribution methods that would be more likely to turn a profit, like electronic-only format or Publish On Demand. It's still not officially "canceled", despite their decision allowing the license to lapse and their not being able to release it now if they wanted to. This particular bit of vaporware essentially killed the company, too.
    • There was some talk of releasing it with the Capcom elements removed, but Living Room Games folded due to the financial loss incurred by not actually releasing the game before this could happen. Many RPG fans are disappointed, as by all accounts, it was one of the best and most novel applications of the d20 system ever.
  • Mekton is pretty much the (barely-) living definition of Development Hell for Tabletop RPGs. Plans for a new edition, using R Talsorian Games' then-new Fuzion system were announced in the late 1990s. This version, Mekton Double Zeta stalled very quickly, and very little was heard from it. RTG then sold Mekton to Atomic Rocket Games with the intent of either producing a new edition or alternatelively putting Mekton Zeta back into production. Instead, ARG sat on the licence and did nothing with the IP before selling it back to RTG, while retaining a limited licence to produce supplements and Sourcebook material (As of 2010, they have only produced a few short PDF products). At some point after that, the Fuzion version was dropped with devleopment of any new edition being effectively cancelled. In 2009, Mike Pondsmith, the game's original creator, returned to the company and announced a new version, Mekton ZERO was in development; owever, as yet, no details of the new edition have emerged and there has been no activity from RTG beyond random posts on the Mekton mailing list from Pondsmith, and even those have ceased.
    • In the 1990s, RTG licenced Mekton to a Japanese company to produce a Gundam RPG. In about 2000, RTG then licenced this RPG with the intent of releasing an English translation in the West. Since then, there has been no news on the progress of the translation, despite being 'in progress' for nearly a decade.
    • Mekton Zeta itself was subjected to a lot of development hell. The first sourcebook for the edition was out over a year before the rulebook was released. The mecha in it were constructed with a hybrid of Mekton II and Zetarules and contained a number of substantial differences to the construction rules from either. By the time that Zeta was released, the rules had been further revised, leaving the book effectively obsolete and unsupported.


  • Richard O'Brien has, for years, planned on making a sequel to the Rocky Horror Show. So far, however, nothing beyond a few rumors and some scrapped script ideas. All that's known about the yet-to-be-made sequel is that it would've involved Frank N Furter coming back to life.
    • The first "leaked" script, Revenge of the Old Queen, began making the rounds in the late '90s, though it reads more like a glorified Fanfic. Last year, O'Brien announced that he had finally begun writing the playbook for a true sequel, entitled Rocky Horror: The Second Cumming. See the Discussion page for a more detailed version.
    • There is the movie sequel Shock Treatment, though manyrefuse to accept it
  • The severe postponing of the Belgian production of Tanz der Vampire. This may be due to the severe fiasco that was Dance of the Vampires, the disastrous Broadway adaptation. (In short: The producer had it rewritten into a spoofy comedy, thinking that would play better to Americans, and then allowed lead actor Michael Crawford more control over the show than songwriter Jim Steinman.)
  • Jim Steinman has been trying to get a Bat Out of Hell musical off the ground pretty much since the album was released, even stating in interviews it's a concept album that he imagines being adapted to the stage. But after the complete mess that was Dance of the Vampires, Steinman was all but blackballed from Broadway. He still claims he'll make the Bat Out of Hell musical a reality one day, though, even though he face yet another setback in 2006 when Meat Loaf successfully sued for the rights to the title.
  • Vanities: The Musical was planned to be staged on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre in 2009, but due to the recession, this was "postponed indefinitely", and thus its New York debut was relegated to a short run at the off-Broadway Second Stage Theatre.
  • A musical version of The Man Who Fell to Earth, which would have been closer to the original novel than its 1976 film adaptation, was announced for Broadway at the turn of 2000, and had a dedicated website with song demos and costume designs. The project never got further than a few more demos. Curiously, there were unrelated plans for a new film adaptation of the book for 2009, but that project never made it further than an IMDb page. Both projects may have suffered for the fact that the story has a huge Downer Ending.
  • The Broadway version of Love Never Dies was set to open Fall 2010, but it was pushed back first to Spring 2011 and then indefinitely.
  • Satria Heroes Kai was announced back in 2019 by Reino Barack (the creator of the Satria Garuda series). After his marriage with Indonesian pop singer Syahrini in 2019, the entire series was ultimately shelved or possibly scrapped by Reino.

Theme Parks

  • EPCOT has had plans to add more countries to the World Showcase for decades now. Among plans include a Mt. Fuji themed roller coaster in the Japan area, which eventually led to Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdom.

Transportation Infrastructure

  • London rail infrastructure has the Crossrail lines: the Crossrail 1 "Elizabeth line" (which had been planned by TFL and (pre-privatization) British Rail since 1989, and was supposed to finally open in December 2018, but keeps getting delayed) and the Crossrail 2 "Chelsea-Hackney line" (which, according to TFL's original plans, was supposed to be built as a London Underground line after the Victoria and Jubilee lines were completed in the 70s, but is still in development hell today).

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The three Code Lyoko OVAs. Reports conflict as to whether they were finally cancelled, but evidence points to their cancellation. In a similar vein, the live-action series, which was announced as "in discussion" a year ago and has not been heard from since, is probably in danger of becoming this. Actually, some recent PDFs found on Moonscoop's website suggest that they are in the late planning stage/early filming stage. Of course, who knows about release dates...
  • Nelvana holds the rights to the Little Critter characters and at least a couple of scripts were written around 2000, but nothing further has been heard since and it is assumed development was dropped.
  • Hasbro had planned two DVD releases based on the character TJ Bearytales and even released a music video featuring this character on a My Little Pony DVD. The DVDs were slated for release in either late 2007 or early 2008, but neither ever materialized.
  • This webpage has information on five series that qualify, they include Spin-Off(s) of both Rugrats and Hey Arnold!, a clone of Teachers Pet, a Animesque series like Avatar: The Last Airbender and a series that was supposed to be based off of a comic book. another page (on the same website) has information on a show that was originally aired as a 15-minute short in 2002. But no more information has surfaced on it.
  • An animated series based on the comic book series The 99 was announced to be one of the launch programs on The Hub, no word about the series has been heard since its announcement in March 2010
  • A DTV animated movie based on Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, with character designs by James Jean and a script by Warren Ellis, was announced in 2007, but no further developments has been made.
  • Robotech Shadow Rising is the proposed sequel to Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. Its fate is reportedly tied up with the schedule for the proposed live action movie on which no progress is known to have been made since its announcement in 2008.

This page will be finished, any year now. What do you mean, it's "outdated"?