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Took them long enough, but it's done.

"What? Did you think I was GONE forever?"
Duke Nukem, Duke Nukem Forever trailer

Development Hell. What some works (and their authors) go through if there's too much of Executive Meddling, lawsuits and so on. The fanbase is waiting more and more impatiently, but nothing gets done.

But sometimes, divine intervention or something similar happens. The movie (or book, or whatever) is released. After many years of promises. Or even decades. (Not Hyperbole)

Please only list examples here which have really, definitely left Development Hell. We only believe it if the book's for sale at shops, and the movie in the theatres. Until then, it doesn't count.

See also The Shelf of Movie Languishment, where it gets done but not released.

Examples of Saved From Development Hell include:

Anime and Manga

  • Though this is a dub rather than a series, Sgt. Frog certainly counts. ADV Films announced their license of the series in early 2006, then went completely silent about it for two years and never released so much as a cast list, let alone a DVD or anything close (all we got were trailers for the show appearing on some of ADV's releases from 2007, and some of the actors mentioning it in commentaries and convention appearances). Then ADV lost the rights to Frog — along with nearly 3 dozen other titles — in July 2008. FUNimation picked up the distribution rights and released a "test episode" on their YouTube channel seeking feedback in late 2008. Response was... less than stellar, so Funimation went back to the drawing board to tweak the scripts and casting. The first batch of episodes was eventually released on DVD in September 2009, and some of the episodes of the final version are up on their video portal. Six months later all of Season 1 (split into two "seasons" due to its length) had been released.
    • The series then went through this again. Funimation had originally announced the acquisition of the first 102 episodes, but stopped halfway through, bringing back unpleasant memories of an earlier series of theirs. It took another year for Funimation to announce 26 more episodes, which were released in quick succession in July and August 2011.
  • Slayers missed out on a direct fourth season in 1998 due to production issues and Megumi Hayashibara having schedule conflicts, and while there were more OVA's, a movie (Slayers Premium) and other media, it took eleven years for a fourth season to finally appear. A fifth then occurred the following year.
  • It took nine years for Keiko Takemiya to get her manga series Kaze to Ki no Uta published, due to the plot focusing on a homosexual relationship and Takemiya's refusal to release the series with any censoring.
  • The Giant Robo OVA, The Day The Earth Stood Still, took ten years to finish. There are seven episodes.
  • One Piece has had a crazy situation with this in America, especially if you're talking uncut episodes. 4Kids got the anime in 2004 ) and it was aired on Toonami severely edited, even by 4Kids standards. 4Kids originally said they would make uncut releases of this and other shows, then that idea suddenly died. Then in 2007 they lost the licence altogether. Then Funimation picked up the show and started putting their version on Toonami... which was cancelled after just 25 episodes (they had dubbed over 40 at the time). They started releasing DVD's uncut from the first episode, but certain actors told fans at cons that it was Funi's worst-performing series (studio reps denied it), leaving doubt as to whether Funimation would even bother releasing the season they aired on Toonami, to say nothing of any episodes after. Time between original licensing of the show and a proper uncut release: over 3 years.
    • It gets crazier once you get to the streaming. The online simulcast was announced and was hacked on the very first night, cancelling the event and leaving Funi and Toei talking for months, leaving fans wondering if they'd ever get caught up to Japan (or keep getting DVD's at all.) Then finally, months later, the simulcast came back and is still going strong.
    • After over a year of no information whatsoever—and a general consensus that they had dropped the show—Funimation announced Season 4 (the first to get no US TV airing at all) for a late-Spring 2012 release.
  • The second season of Haruhi Suzumiya, both in Japan and the USA.
    • Also, the second season finally started airing in the middle of a rerun of the first, with no advertising to speak of, amid official denials from the publisher. It's like they think the fans are masochists, or something.
  • Steamboy was in production for 16 years, which definitely shows in all the Scenery Porn.
  • After two years, Maikaze finally released a trailer for the second episode of their Touhou fanime, which had been rumored to have been scrapped over criticism, both from ZUN, the original creator of the series, and from fans.
  • Shaman King. The series was cancelled at the very last chapters due to low ratings, so it was not ended. Fast Forwards many years later, the author was given the chance to finish it.

Comic Books

  • Ultimate Hulk Versus Wolverine (Issue 3). Originally solicited for April 19th, 2006. Finally released March 2009. Frankly it's amazing Marvel finally remembered.
  • Kevin Smith's "Spider-Man — Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do" mini-series.
  • Gemini Storm was created in 2008, but had massive delays since everyone on the project was new to ongoing comics and weren't used to deadlines, especially the colourist. Finally released in March 2010. And then the second issue was on hold until December 2010. According to the notes though, Wood has stopped inking the pages, which has sped up the process and the new colourists are much more reliable.


  • Alien vs. Predator is probably the most famous case of development hell. It was finally released in 2004 after more than a decade of different scripts, changes to the cast, false starts, orphaned tie-ins, several series of video games and even promotions of the believed-to-be-coming-soon movie.
  • If AVP is the most famous case, Freddy vs. Jason is likely the second most famous, as the film was also famously mired in development hell for years; originally, the studios who owned the two franchises involved with the titular crossover had wanted to make it for years, but could never agree on how to make it (each studio wanted to license out the other's character and do the film their way). When New Line Cinema bought the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise, the film stayed in development hell as New Line went through numerous screenwriters and even more script ideas...until the two men who ended up writing the script for the film threw out every other script that came before them and set a list of rules to follow that respected both parent franchises involved as they wrote their script. The film was finally released in 2003, and ended up making more money than any other film in either of the parent franchises.
    • The story of the film's stay in Development Hell--and the numerous script ideas that came before the final script--is a bonus feature on the movie's DVD.
  • The X-Files: I Want to Believe suffered a similar ordeal, but in a smaller scale and shorter time period.
  • One of the earliest examples of this was Howard Hughes's Hell's Angels, which, due to Hughes's perfectionism and insistence on the latest film technology, took three years and a budget of $3.8 million to create, something unheard of at the time (and equalling somewhere on the order of $225 million in today's money). Two decades later, Hughes would take seven years to complete a similar film, Jet Pilot.
  • The fifth film in the Superman franchise was stuck in pre-production for nearly two decades. The first part of this was mostly the producers wanting to distance themselves from the failure of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, while the later half was due to Executive Meddling driving director after director after director away from the project. Its proposed sequel similarly became mired in development hell, after Superman Returns' lackluster performance at the box office caused a sequel to be put on the back burner, and Bryan Singer abandoned the project to direct Valkyrie instead. When a Superman film finally came back into production, it was as a Continuity Reboot, Man of Steel, with a new cast and director Zack Snyder, producer Christopher Nolan, and writer David Goyer. The latter two were responsible for the successful reboot of the Batman franchise, incidentally... (see below)
  • The failure of Batman and Robin also caused many projects for a fifth Batman movie to not take off (including a full-fledged sequel, an adaptation of Batman: Year One, and a Batman Beyond film) until a new one debuted eight years later.
  • The rights to a live action adaptation of The Lord of the Rings were sold to United Artists shortly before JRR Tolkien's death in 1973; it wasn't until 1994 that Peter Jackson was given approval to begin shooting (by Miramax) and the first film was not released until 2001 (by New Line).
    • More recently, The Hobbit went though quite a development hell as well before finally being green-lit. The film then suffered additional problems involving creative control and the studio's refusal to allow filming to take place in New Zealand like the LOTR films, which caused then-director Guillermo del Toro to leave the project. Fortunately, Peter Jackson managed to retake control of the project and a full trailer has come out confirming the film's release in December 2012.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy was announced in 1982, but filming did not begin until 2003, two years after series creator Douglas Adams died. Adams said of his experience trying to get the film made, "Getting a movie made in Hollywood is like trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it."
    • For several years, the About the Author blurb in Adams books included the line (in the context of discussing the Hitchhiker's series) "A major motion picture is currently in development hell and should be coming out any decade now." This no doubt helped popularize the term.
  • Watchmen and V for Vendetta were both announced as films in the mid-1980s and were mired in development hell well into the 2000s, due to budgetary concerns, the difficulty of finding suitable directors, and Alan Moore's complete unwillingness to participate in adaptations of his graphic novels. V For Vendetta eventually saw release in 2006, and Watchmen was released in 2009. Both these films seem to have come to fruition due mainly to the enormous clout of the Wachowskis and Zack Snyder.
    • Even then, after filming, Watchmen almost didn't get released due to a legal battle between Warner Bros and Fox over who owned the right to distribute the film. Fortunately, both studios managed to settle, delaying the release only by a few months.
  • Quentin Tarantino announced his plans to shoot a WWII movie titled Inglorious Bastards shortly after the 1997 release of Jackie Brown. As of 2007, he was still working on the script, but in late 2008 it began shooting and was released in August 2009.
  • The Speed Racer live action film was first announced in 1992. Four directors later and through many casting, studio, and writer changes, the film was released in May 2008.
  • The 2000 film Supernova (not to be confused with any of the many other films with that title) was in development for 12 years and cost an estimated 60 million dollars. Although the theatrical version runs only 87 minutes (the director's cut is 91), reportedly several hours of completed footage exists, much of it self-contradictory due to changes made to the script during the filming stage. Both Francis Ford Coppola and H R Giger were involved at one point.
  • In a unique example of development hell continuing into post-production, the film Exorcist the Beginning had completed filming and was having some final SFX work done when the studio fired director Paul Schrader and replaced him with Renny Harlin, who recast almost all of the supporting characters, changed the context of the scenes he didn't have reshot, and completely rewrote the film's climax. After Harlin's film bombed, Schrader was allowed to finish his version with a very limited special effects budget, and it received a theatrical release under the title Dominion: A Prequel To The Exorcist, and did a little better critically (due to a limited release, the gross was even shorter).
  • The rumors of a remake/reboot of The Pink Panther were first floated around the turn of the millennium, with everyone from Kevin Spacey to Chris Tucker to Mike Myers reportedly being considered for Inspector Clouseau (Myers was apparently the favorite of the studio, but his asking fee was too high.) It filmed as a reboot in 2004 with Steve Martin, but wasn't released until early 2006, largely due to a studio merger in the interim.
    • There was also some editing done, in order to re-cast it as a family-friendly comedy rather than the more ribald, raunchy film of its original iteration.
  • It was also around this time that the prospect of a new adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory began development in earnest, going through several potential directors (Gary Ross, Martin Scorsese) and a gigantic list of potential Willy Wonkas (Will Smith, Robin Williams, Nicolas Cage, Marilyn Manson etc.) before settling on Tim Burton as director and from there Johnny Depp as Wonka.
  • Peter Sellers read Being There circa 1972 and immediately visualized a film adaptation he could play the lead role of Chance the Gardener in; it didn't come to pass until 1979 (he had to rebuild his box-office clout, for one thing).
  • Martin Scorsese first started trying to get Gangs of New York made in 1978. He finally did it in 2002, and a good deal of his DVD commentary on the film is devoted to explaining the arduous process.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It took a long time before Lucas, Spielberg and Ford agreed on a script — and thus the Trilogy Creep came 19 years after Last Crusade
  • A Cats and Dogs sequel was intended for release in 2005. After some story rewrites, it was finally released in 2010.
  • The film of Richard Matheson's short story Button, Button became the Chinese Democracy of the film world during its nearly four decades in development hell (though it saw a TV adaptation for the 1980s Twilight Zone in the meantime). It would eventually be released in 2010 as The Box.
  • Dead Air, which had been pushed back twice. It eventually got released.
  • A live-action Dragon Ball movie was announced in 2002, but didn't get out until 2009 as Dragon Ball Evolution.
  • For some unknown reason there was a 14-year gap between the fourth St. Trinian's movie (The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery, 1966) and the fifth (The Wildcats of St. Trinian's, 1980). But there's no mystery why there was a 27-year gap between Wildcats and the sixth (St. Trinian's, 2007); Wildcats was reportedly so dire that it's the only one not available on DVD.
  • Carl Sagan wrote the 100-page film script for Contact' in 1985. When it went to Development Hell, he just made a book out of it. The film was finally released in 1997.
  • Whilst its stay in Development Hell was rather short, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children does fit. Announced at TGS 2003, and originally targeted for a summer 2004 release, it ended up appearing in its original form in September 2005. The reason, according to director Tetsuya Nomura, was that the movie was originally meant to only be roughly 40-50 minutes long. However, fan interest skyrocketed as soon as the movie was announced, so the script was rewritten and the movie lengthened to accommodate for fan expectation.
    • Advent Children Complete again deserves a mention: it saw release in April 2009, after being announced at TGS 2006. Square Enix seem to have a habit of announcing things way before they're actually finished.
  • Although it eventually got a 2005 release in the wake of Doom 3, the Doom movie first began its life as a rumor shortly after the runaway success of the first game, and then a flurry of studio developments, press releases and wild fan rumors after Doom 2 proved even more successful. At one point, according to the stories, Terry Gilliam was interested in directing, and Arnold Schwarzenegger would have starred as the space marine, but then it sank back into development hell for another decade.
  • The third Terminator film, helped by the collapse of Carolco, complicating an already complex rights ownership situation.
    • The fourth Terminator film, which also burned in said Development Hell during its production as well. There were seven writers of the script when you include Jonathan Nolan and the two guys who actually did the original script, and the ending was fundamentally altered after test audiences reacted negatively. It shows.
      • And the fifth and sixth proposed Terminator films look headed in the same direction: The Halcyon Company, which owned the rights to the Terminator franchise entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy shortly after the movie screened, and they've been looking to flog off the rights ever since. The highest bidder... the company Halcyon owed money. Who wants to resell the rights. At least the T1/T2 co-writer has ideas for a script if the movies eventually get made.
  • Perhaps the ultimate example of all time: in the '60s, Richard Williams began work on The Thief and the Cobbler, an Arabian nights-esque tale featuring a silent Buster Keaton style protagonist and a big name star in Vincent Price. The film languished in production for decades, with Williams steadfastly refusing to give up on it. In fact, pretty much every job he took in the interim was done purely for the money so he could continue working on his labor of love (which certainly explains the likes of Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure). By the time the film was finally released in a severely compromised form in 1995, the hero had several lines and Price had been dead for two years. Fortunately, there now exists a fan-created version of the film, which uses both footage from the compromised release as well as the animators' own rough animation tests, to better suit the original vision of the story.
    • I see your ultimate example and raise you a Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. In 1939, the film rights for the novel were bought, and production was about to begin when World War II started, throwing everything into a spin. The movie was shelved. They tried again in 1954, but nothing came of it. The movie finally was released in 2008. Nearly seven decades after the movie rights were purchased.
      • A sequel is now in the works. Let's see how long the development period will be on that one.
  • A Spider-Man movie only came out in 2002 because of the filming rights going through various hands during 20 years — Cannon Pictures, which almost produced a low-budget movie like Superman IV; Carolco, which even considered a screenplay by James Cameron, but was stopped by continued financial and legal problems; and MGM, which traded the rights with Columbia for the rights to Casino Royale, which was separate to the rest of James Bond, after Columbia announced plans on a rival 007 franchise.
  • Boondock Saints: All Saints Day. The original came out in 1999, and by 2002 had finally received backing for a sequel. Planned for release in 2005, the film didn't come out until 2009, ten years after the original.
  • The American Godzilla movie was first suggested waaaaay back in the 1970s. Of course, due to things like budget, rejected scripts and the like, it wasn't until 1998 that the movie was finally released.
  • The film adaptation of the Whiteout comic book is finally getting released after having been announced nearly 10 years ago.
  • A Footloose remake was first announced in 2007, with Kenny Ortega as the director and Zac Efron as Ren. Both dropped out in 2009, the former due to disagreements with Paramount over the budget and the latter due to Efron not wanting to be typecast in musicals. Then Efron's replacement, Chase Crawford, backed out due to scheduling conflicts. It finally got to theaters in October 2011.
  • It took over a decade for The A-Team film to be made, and the movie went through 11 scripts. In the first script, the team members were supposed to be veterans of the First Iraq War!
  • AI: the story that inspired it was published in 1969, Stanley Kubrick begun thinking about adapting it in the early 70's (complete with bringing the author to adapt), brought in Steven Spielberg to the project in 1985, and many false-start announcements appeared through the 90's. Then he died in 1999, Spielberg assumed control of the project, and the film finally took off.
  • Since A.I. was mentioned, two films Spielberg considered directing at the time: Minority Report (announced as early as 1998 — postponed twice, first by A.I., then by Tom Cruise's M:I:2) and Memoirs of a Geisha (eventually released in 2005, but only produced by Spielberg).
  • In 1988, Fox got interested in making a new Planet of the Apes with Adam Rifkin (who would later write Mousehunt and Small Soldiers, among others). New executives made the project crash. Peter Jackson, Oliver Stone, Chris Columbus, Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron were involved with the movie in the following years. It only took off after William Broyles, Jr. (Apollo 13, later Cast Away) wrote a script in 1999, which attracted Tim Burton, and led to the film released in 2001.
  • Inception went through a stint in development hell that was actually self-imposed; Christopher Nolan saw the film as his personal opus and spent ten years revising the script until he was sure it was the absolute best he could make it, and everything in the complicated story made sense.
    • He was also waiting until he had enough clout in Hollywood to get the budget he wanted. After the success of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, he was essentially given a blank check to do what he wanted.
  • One of the strangest cases of development hell occurred with the film Phone Booth. Writer Larry Cohen began work on the project in the 1960's as a project for Alfred Hitchcock. After Hitchcock died, the screenplay was shelved until Joel Schumacher read the screenplay and shot the film on a low budget for two weeks in 2000 (with a then-unknown Colin Farrell and Ron Eldard as the villain). After seeing a rough cut of the film, Fox shelved the project and re-shot Eldard's scenes with Kiefer Sutherland. While the film was on the shelf, Cohen reworked parts of the Phone Booth screenplay, updated the technology and sold Cellular to New Line Cinema (which was released in 2004). Eventually, Fox scheduled Phone Booth for November 15th, 2002, only to delay it after the Beltway Sniper shootings occurred. Finally, the film was rescheduled for April 4th, 2003 and managed to be a hit at the box office.
  • This happened to the 2002 Peter Pan. The original plans were made by producer Lucy Fisher who acquired the rights in 1980.
  • The Warrior's Way was meant to come out early 2008... almost 3 years later it finally found itself in cinemas.
  • The Tintin film, which has a story very close to Indiana Jones: Steven Spielberg met the comic after Raiders of the Lost Ark was compared to the series, tried to make a movie but became dissatisfied and did The Last Crusade instead, and finally started motion capture (with Peter Jackson's assistance) after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was finished.
  • Trick R Treat went through post-production hell. Which was supposed to have been released in 2007, But was eventually released in October of 2009 on DVD. Some saw this as a punishment to Bryan Singer from Warner Bros. who was disappointed with Superman Returns.
  • James Cameron wrote the script for Avatar in 1994, and planned for a 1999 release. It took ten years for technology to advance to the point where he could convincingly and reasonably depict another planet with CGI. He succeeded.
  • James Bond has two main examples: Goldeneye (which emerged from the failed third Timothy Dalton film) and the upcoming Skyfall (EON started to arrange things. Then MGM got into financial problems, and it was kept on hold until the studio solved them). On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a minor case: it was first announced as a successor to Goldfinger (Thunderball came instead due to lawsuits and such), then after Thunderball (but the winter locations made producers prioritize You Only Live Twice).
  • The film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. There were two failed attempts in The Seventies to turn it into a Miniseries — the first one fell through when Ayn Rand wasn't able to secure final script approval, while the second one had a finished script (with Rand's approval) and was gearing up for production at NBC, but that too was halted after Fred Silverman came to power at the network. Rand started work on her own script, but she died with only a third of it finished. The film rights switched hands multiple times in the ensuing decades, and at one point such stars as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe were all attached. All of their deals, however, fell through, and the current rights-holders rushed through an independently-financed production in order to prevent the film rights from reverting to the Rand estate. The result, released in 2011 as Atlas Shrugged: Part I, was critically thrashed and went largely ignored even by the conservatives and libertarians that its marketing aggressively courted.
  • Superbad was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in the mid-'90s, as a way to prove that they could write a movie script. Years later, after working with Judd Apatow on the short-lived TV series Undeclared, they pitched the script to him. Originally, Seth Rogen was to play the role of Seth, and he recorded a script reading of the lines back in '02. During the early and mid-2000s, they could not find a company who wanted to distribute the film. The script also went through a few revisions, the whole idea of Seth and Evan going to separate colleges, and the emotional friendship stuff was added in a later revision. Anyway, after the success of Talladega Nights, Apatow and Rogen pitched the script to Columbia, and they accepted it. But by this time, Rogen looked too old to play the role of Seth, so they had Jonah Hill take the role.
  • The film version of the Dave Barry novel Big Trouble had been filmed, had a star-studded cast and was looking to be a big box-office hit...and then September 11 happened a week before the film was to be released. Being a comedy about a plane hijacking with a subplot about two teenagers playing a large-scale tag game called "Killer", the movie was shelved indefinitely. It finally appeared in theaters with little promotion in April 2002. Despite decent reviews, it failed spectacularly at the box office.
  • Woody Allen wrote the screenplay of Whatever Works in the 1970s, with Zero Mostel in mind for the main role. After Mostel died in 1977, Allen shelved the project for more then thirty years. The film was eventually released in 2009, starring Larry David.
  • Hounddog by D. Kampmeier. The script was originally written in the nineties, but the project hasn't found financing until 2005. When production started in summer 2006, it was overshadowed by accusations of sexual exploitation of the child actors involved. The film was shown at the Sundance Festival in early 2007, booed and basically sent back into Development Hell. It was finally ready in 2009, but was almost completely pulled from distribution at the last moment (only having 22 screens at most). It is available on DVD since fall 2010.
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil was supposed to be released in January 2010. And... nothing.The creator himself wasn't sure when it was going to be released, if ever. It finally came out in April 2011.
  • Two MGM films, Cabin In The Woods and the Red Dawn remake were announced in 2009, both films ended up delayed for several years as a result of MGM's financial problems(they were also forced to cancel their plans to convert "Cabin" into 3-D, though most people consider that a good thing) Red Dawn also had problems securing a distributor due to it's rather "touchy" subject matter with the Chinese invading America, so MGM had to change the villains to North Koreans in post production in order to get a distributor. "Cabin" now has a release date of April 2012 and Red Dawn has finally found a distributor and is also set to come out in 2012.
  • Tri-Star purchased the rights to make a film of the book One For The Money back in 1999, but nothing came out of it. Lionsgate picked up the distribution rights in early 2010, and the movie was finally made and released in January 2012.
  • George Lucas began development on Red Tails in 1988 but could not get any studio to produce the film (due to studios being uneasy on an adventure film with a mostly black cast). Finally, he decided finance the film himself and had most of it filmed between 2009 and 2010. Then the film entered post-production hell due to the many scenes of visual effects, the difficulty in finding a distributor and the film's director being unavailable for reshoots (due to his work on the show Treme). The film was finally released in 2012.
  • The rights remake of the 1976 movie Sparkle were bought by Whitney Houston's production company in the mid 90's, and Aaliyah was intended to be cast as the lead. However, after Aaliyah's death in a plane crash in 2001, the film was not produced. In 2011, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the producers of Jumping the Broom, took on Sparkle as their next project and filming ended in November 2011. The movie has a set release date of August 17, 2012.
  • John Carter of Mars, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom stories, was mired in Development Hell since 1931, as almost every major studio in Hollywood tried and failed in putting a film together. At various points in the 2000s, Robert Rodriguez, Kerry Conran, John Favreau, and Brad Bird had been attached to direct the project. In 2006, Disney acquired the rights after Paramount's attempt at filming it failed, Paramount having acquired the rights from Touchstone (a Disney company) in 2002. Actual filming began in January 2010, with plans for a 2012 release, and it was released in March of 2012 — just in time for the 100th anniversary of the first published John Carter story. The Mockbuster version by The Asylum actually came out a full three years before the official adaptation did.
  • James Clavell's Tai-Pan and James A. Michener's Caravans had their film rights bought up by MGM, with the 1967 promotional short "Lionpower from MGM" announcing both as future projects. But MGM was falling apart and ultimately both books reached the screen through other means. Caravans arrived in 1978 via Universal, and Tai-Pan in 1986 through De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.
  • Sin City 2, which was supposed to be released in 2008 is finally in production.
  • A film adaptation of the Les Misérables musical has been discussed for many years. It's finally slated for a December 2012 release.


  • The third book in the Inheritance Cycle took around three years to finish. Then Christopher Paolini said the book was too long so he split it in two and still took more time before releasing it. In the acknowledgments for Brisingr, he thanked one person in particular for "giving me a much needed kick-in-the-pants early on" and mentions that without which, he would probably still be working on the book.
  • It took Ricardo Pinto eight years to write the third book in The Stone Dance of the Chameleon trilogy. His British publisher picked up the book and reprinted the older two books, his American publisher did neither.
  • ...And Ladies of the Club took Helen Santmyer fifty years to write.
  • George R. R. Martin's esteemed series A Song of Ice and Fire did this with its fifth book. While writing the fourth novel in the series, Martin realized that the manuscript had gotten literally too large to publish, so the decision was made to split it in half. The fourth novel was published in 2005 as A Feast For Crows, with the fifth, A Dance With Dragons, listed in its afterward as a 2006 release, since so much of it had (theoretically) already been written. It was actually completed in April 2011, and was rushed to store shelves in three months.
    • Incidentally, by "too large to publish" we mean that if GRRM had not split the story, he'd be handing us a book with 1600 pages in it. Before the lengthy House indexes in the back.
    • Even better, his original plans were for Book 2 (now called A Clash of Kings) to be entitled A Dance with Dragons, and first editions of Game have it listed as the sequel. In other words, we've been waiting for some book, any book, called "A Dance with Dragons" for well over a decade.
    • Martin's decreased writing pace has also raised concerns because the series is being adapted for television as Game of Thrones. At current plans[1], the series' final season will air in 2018. While GRRM believes Dance was his Darkest Hour and the final two books will be easier to produce, he has admitted concern over getting Book 7 (A Dream of Spring) out on time, which isn't precisely easing the fandom's mind.
    • Fortunately for the fans, GRRM did reveal several major plot points to the producers of the show in case he got "hit by a truck".
  • Margaret Mitchell spent nearly ten years writing Gone with the Wind, and she had previously written several other hundred plus page stories which never made it to publication.
  • An arguable example: Mark Danielewski spent ten years working on House of Leaves.

Live Action TV

  • The Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica was announced in 2007, in July 2008 it was picked up as a 2-hour pilot and in December of that year finally chosen to become a series. It wasn't until April 2009 that the pilot was released as a DVD and the series itself aired in January 2010.
  • Doctor Who since its initial cancellation. In 1989, the show was cancelled pending a revamp...which was attempted in 1996, but rights issues and low US ratings of a TV movie (it was co-produced by Fox) pushed it right back into development hell until 2005.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager was shopped around from network to network for about ten years before getting picked up by ABC Family in 2008.
  • Saban had been trying to get a network to pick up an Americanized version of Super Sentai for years, but no one had faith in the idea. He finally got his lucky break as the then president of Fox Kids had previously had tried to do the same thing before but failed. Thus Power Rangers was created, and the rest is history.
  • More specifically a DVD release of a classic TV show: The DVD box set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. lingered in Development Hell for years due, among other reasons, to these factors:
    1. There were legal issues surrounding the 3rd-season episode "The Pieces of Fate Affair", scripted by Harlan Ellison, who, in true Ellison fashion, had filled the script with Take Thats at numerous thinly disguised people. (This episode was notorious for many years as being one of the few episodes of the show that almost never got shown in syndication.)
    2. It was very difficult to find top-quality masters of many of the first-season episodes; for quite some time, in fact, it was feared that they had been lost.
    3. There were disputes over who was entitled to release the show on DVD.
    • Eventually, however, the arguments and legal disputes were settled, masters were found, and Warner Brothers, which owns the copyright on the series, finally put the DVD boxset of the series out, first as a limited release through Time-Life Video in late 2007, and then under its own imprint the following year. It all ended happily; the boxset was received with delight by fans and, for the most part, highly positive reviews by critics.
  • The US version of Top Gear went through three different pilots before finally being picked up. It's now in its third season.


  • Chinese Democracy until 2008. It's now finally been released after 14 years in development, prompting the long-standing joke that China itself would become democratic before Chinese Democracy was released.
  • Massive Attack's next album. For a while at the end of 2006 it had a confirmed release date, which was spring 2007, but it did not come out. Since then, it has no release date at all, the band even dropped the title, Weather Underground. As of now (January 2010) we still don't know when will it come out and what will the title of the album be. They released an EP recently though.
    • It was released in February 2010, and the title is Heligoland.
  • The worst case ever is Smile, which was supposed to be a Beach Boys album back in 1967. Band leader Brian Wilson re-recorded and released it 37 years later, in 2004. What truly makes this sad is the reason it never came out: Brian Wilson suffered a Creator Breakdown of epic proportions and allegedly deleted the original masters before sinking into a fog of mental illness for years.
  • Shortly after releasing Tommy, The Who began working on an epic followup to be entitled Lifehouse, which would have been accompanied by a film and a series of experimental concerts involving using the vital statistics of audience members to produce synthesizer tracks. The project fell apart and most of the songs were released on the Who's Next and Who Are You albums. Pete Townshend ultimately released Lifehouse in 2000 as a six-disc solo album and a radio play for the BBC, and the synthesizer concept found its way onto the web in 2007.
    • The album that became The Who's Endless Wire was announced in 1999 and hit the shelves in 2006, its release having been delayed by touring, Townshend's putting the finishing touches on Lifehouse, and the death of John Entwistle. Two "preview" tracks were released on a compilation album in 2003 — neither made it onto the final album.
  • Flavor Flav's solo album, "Lifestyles of the Rich And Flavor", had been touted (mostly by Flav himself) since the mid-90s. It finally saw release (sort of) as "Flavor Flav" in 2006. Most rap fans are completely unaware of the album's existence.
  • A similar tale relates to Big Boi's solo debut, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. He originally released a single with Andre 3000 to promote it in 2008... then the label got involved. Unlike Lil Jon, though, Big Boi was able to take his previously recorded material to another company and get the album a 2010 release: fans agree it was worth the wait.
  • Slightly odd example as it didn't involve newly recorded material: Neil Young's Archives self-curated best-of compilation. First discussed in the late 1980s, and announced several times since. There were rumours that Young had convinced himself that actually releasing them would send him into a terminal writer's block. First massive installment finally came out in 2009.
  • Although Meat Loaf has been fairly prolific over his nearly 40 year career, the Bat Out of Hell series of albums are notorious for their stints in Development Hell. The first, released in 1977, is still considered one of the greatest albums of all time. Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell wasn't released until 1992, however, due to ongoing conflicts between Meat Loaf and songwriter/producer Jim Steinman. And finally, after an almost as long gap, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose was released in 2006, which ran into problems including Meat Loaf and Steinman fighting over who owns the rights to the title "Bat Out of Hell" (they were ultimately awarded to Meat Loaf) and only half of the tracks being written by Steinman, and those tracks not being original works, but rather recycled from his work with other musicians and solo projects. When asked to comment on his relationship with Steinman, Meat Loaf once said "Jim and I love each other. We're best friends. It's just our managers and lawyers that can't stand each other, and they're the ones that keep starting all this shit."
  • After 1997's Medazzaland, Duran Duran began work in earnest on their next album. In the meantime, Blondie reunited and Nick Rhodes and Warren Cuccurullo were assigned the task of writing some songs for their upcoming album. These songs were never used for some reason and the Blondie reunion album, 1999's No Exit, included only Blondie's songs. Nick and Warren decided to use them for the upcoming Duran Duran album instead. Another complicating factor was the fact that EMI (Duran Duran's record company) dropped them from the label and the band had to find a new record company. Finally in 2000, Pop Trash, whose title is taken from one of the album's songs that were originally written for Blondie ("Pop Trash Movie"), was released on Disney-owned Hollywood Records.
  • Simple Minds' Our Secrets Are The Same was recorded and intended for release in 1999. However it wasn't released that year because of a number of record company mergers, followed by their record company deciding they couldn't do anything with it and releasing the band from their contract in 2000. However, during this time an unmastered promo CD-R arrived in the hands of a Spanish radio host who proceeded to play all the tracks from the album over a few weeks. Fans recorded these and these recordings were subsequently bootlegged. Because of the bootlegs, an attempt to release the album in early 2003 fell through as it was considered unmarketable on its own. Eventually it was released officially as the last disc of the box set Silver Box in late 2003.
  • Ohgr (Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy)'s Welt album was originally recorded in 1995, but got stuck in legal limbo until 2001.
  • Paul Pena recorded his second album New Train in 1973, but it got caught in a tug-of-war between his management and his label and never got released. Oddly enough, Pena still made a fair amount of money from the project when Steve Miller had a huge hit covering one of the album's songs, "Jet Airliner". (Longtime Miller associate Ben Sidran produced the album and gave Miller a copy of the tapes). After 27 years a deal was finally worked out and New Train was released in 2000.
  • Mission of Burma released the EP Signals, Calls and Marches in 1981 and the studio album Vs. in 1982. Then singer Roger Miller lost his hearing. Sophomore effort ONoffON appeared in 2004.
  • Chicago's Stone of Sisyphus was originally slated to be Chicago XXII in 1994, but Reprise rejected the album. They responded by leaving the label and making a big band-styled album as their 22nd. Stone would eventually be released in 2008 as Chicago XXXII on another label (Rhino) mostly intact.
  • Daniel Amos finished recording their third album Horrendous Disc in 1978. Many factors--two record label changes, mistakes in the initial pressing of the album, and some other behind-the-scenes shenanigans that, to this day, no one really understands--conspired to delay its release. It didn't hit shelves until 1981... one week before Daniel Amos' fourth album came out.
  • Dystopia had released two full-length albums (Human = Garbage and The Aftermath) based off tracks from various splits they did with other bands, but their first full album with new material had been in the working process for many years. Tracks were recorded in 2004, but due to label issues they didn't get released at the time. It wasn't until 2008, nine years after The Aftermath and several years after the band broke up, that Dystopia was finally released.
  • Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark's 11th studio album was announced in late 2002 and finally released, after several release dates were announced and retracted, in late 2010, under the title "History of Modern." Since Paul Humphreys rejoined the band during that time, a whole new album was recorded with him, and only one of the songs was retained (in rerecorded form). So technically the album that was announced in 2002 is still unreleased.
  • The Beatles on iTunes. It was supposed to happen at the end of 2008, but it just fell through. Trying to compensate the fact that Apple Corps. (the Fab Four's recording company) can't make a deal with Apple, Inc. (the iTunes computer company), the former made a limited release of the entire discography on MP3. It finally happened in November 2010, a year after a deal had supposedly finally been made.
  • Peter Gabriel was working on the album Up for about 7 years — he started working on it in 1995, it was supposed to be "near completion" in 1998, and yet it took four more years to finally see release. Then there's the debut album by the side project Big Blue Ball, which was in production for eighteen years.
  • Nelly's album Brass Knuckles, which was intended to be released in 2006, spent two years in delays due to having a large number of producers having different ideas on how to produce the record. The final album, with many guests and credited writers and producers, was released in 2008 to negative reviews and very weak sales (selling only 1/24th of what Nelly's previous album, the double album "Sweat/Suit" sold). Nelly hasn't recovered from its failure.
  • Hysteria by Def Leppard. Production for the followup to 1983's Pyromania was to begin in 1984, but their producer Mutt Lange was busy producing the Cars' Heartbeat City album, so Leppard worked with Jim Steinman, the composer of Meat Loaf's classic albums. Unfortunately, the band and/or their record label did not know that Steinman was not a producer, and his method of producing was far looser than Lange's style. On top of that, on New Year's Eve 1985, their drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident, and was determined to learn how to play the drums using his one attached arm and his feet. Leppard supported Allen and tried to boost Rick Allen's confidence (and their own) with a number of comeback concerts in 1986, where they constructed an electronic drum kit for Allen to play. They reconvened with Mutt Lange in '86, and were subject to his usual meticulous taskmaster production style, finally releasing Hysteria in late 1987.
  • Limp Bizkit's The Unquestionable Truth (Part 2). The first one came out in 2005, and the band went on hiatus shortly after its release. They reunited later, and released Gold Cobra in 2011, then announced that The Unquestionable Truth 2 was not cancelled and would be released in 2012.
  • Recording for Yes's Big Generator album began in 1985, with Trevor Horn producing. Due to Creative Differences between Horn and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist/co-writer Trevor Rabin, work resumed on the album with Rabin as producer until its release in 1987.
  • The Big Star tribute album Big Star, Small World was completed and scheduled for a Spring of 1998 release by Ignition Records. Ignition went under before it could be released though, and the compilation didn't see the light of day until 2006, when Koch Records bought the rights. As a result, the album ended up an Unintentional Period Piece of sorts: Most of the contributing artists were at their height of popularity in the mid-nineties, and three bands who appeared on the album were long broken up when it came out [2], while two others had managed to break up and reunite [3] during the eight year interim. At the time one of the big draws was to be a new song from Big Star themselves, but the song in question, "Hot Thing", showed up on the compilation Big Star Story to generally lackluster reception.
    • Big Star's album Third/Sister Lovers was released three years after they broke up.
  • Lupe Fiasco's third album, Lasers, was shelved in 2008 by his label because they thought it wasn't "pop" enough. A combination of Lupe caving to pressure and rewriting some songs (something he has said will forever taint his own opinion of the album) and general fan outrage led to the album finally being released in 2011.


  • Andrew Lloyd Webber announced plans for a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera in the late 1990s; Love Never Dies didn't open until 2010.
  • Work on a sequel to Annie, called Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge started in 1989. After two name changes, several rewrites, and going through three different actresses for Annie, it opened off-Broadway as Annie Warbucks in 1993.
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark may be the ultimate theater example. After being batted around since 2007, was finally supposed to open in February 2010. As of November 2010, it has had precisely one preview (in which the technical difficulties that had caused the production to be so delayed in the first place still occurred and delayed the performance by over thirty minutes at one point).
    • It has an announced opening on March 2011, which the producers said was "the final postponement". Nobody bought it, and was postponed for summer. Considering how the first reviews went those extra months better upgrade the show...
    • The show finally opened in June 2011, after some major rewriting of the story.
  • The Broadway revival of Godspell was scheduled to open at the end of 2008; it lost a producer and thus didn't open until the fall of 2011.

Theme Parks

Video Games

  • Duke Nukem Forever (Time in Hell: 14 years), arguably the most infamous case of Development Hell in Video Games, and prior to release (in a world more aware of video games) one of the most infamous cases of Development Hell altogether. First announced in 1997 and released in 2011.
  • L.A. Noire. It was released in 2011 after a seven year haitus. One of the reasons behind the delay was because they were trying to master the new technology of facial reading to make the characters look as realistic as possible.
  • Limbo of the Lost. Given the quality of the game, you could argue that this "game" was not saved from hell and it would have been much better if it had never been released. Nevertheless, Limbo of the Lost has the second place as the most delayed game ever, perhaps taking the place of Duke Nukem Forever since the game took at least 13 years to be finished. A demo of the first version of the game was released in 1995 (for the Amiga), while the game was finally released in 2008.
  • Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth, originally announced in 1999 and set for release in 2001, until the original publishers went under. Luckily, after seeing the success of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on the Xbox and PC, Bethesda picked up the publishing rights, so long as they made an Xbox version — which tacked on another 6 months. By the time it finally came out (fittingly in October) in 2005, it would become the LAST marquee title released for the Xbox, where it promptly languished with sub-standard sales. After which, the developers Headfirst Interactive were subsequently shuttered and their other two titles planned as sequels; Beyond The Mountains of Madness and Sanity's End, which would form a trilogy were forgotten. Don't worry about them They made a little game you might have heard of.
  • In the Groove 3 was in this until recently, thanks to Konami's lawsuit.
  • Mother 3 was originally planned for release on the Nintendo 64's 64DD peripheral. Unfortunately, the 64DD didn't turn out so well and it was scrapped. It was then later put on the Game Boy Advance and was one of the last titles for the system. There was no official English translation. American and European fans were not happy, though at least the English fan translation is complete so Anglophones in North America and Europe can play it in their native language (as well as any non-native speakers fluent enough to read this page).
    • Not just Anglophones--versions of the patch are available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch, and even Malay.
  • 3D Realms' game Prey began development in 1995, and was finally released in 2006 after they farmed out development to another team. The release of Prey served to give fans hope that 3D Realms' other long-awaited title, Duke Nukem Forever, would eventually find its way out of Development Hell as well (which it did, as mentioned above).
  • Alan Wake, first announced way back in 2004, finally released Spring 2010.
    • The PC version took two years longer, only finally seeing light in 2012. This was due to Microsoft's meddling of paying off Remedy to make it X Box exclusive. They needed to wait for MS' contract to expire.
  • The Red Star was rescued by XS Games after Acclaim went under and released in May 2007.
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.
  • Heart of Darkness took 6 years to develop, and had its release date reported over and over for 4 years, before finally being released in 1998. In France, its Development Hell was so well known the game was sarcastically nicknamed "L'Arlésienne des Jeux Vidéo" by the French video game press.
  • Repton: The Lost Realms. Originally titled Repton 4, the game was written in 1988, too close to Repton Infinity for publication. Abandoned, then rediscovered in 2008, by which time the game's home platform (the BBC Micro) was extinct and the source code lost, meaning the entire game had to be reprogrammed from scratch. Even that didn't stop a dedicated team designing additional levels and graphics via emulators, eventually getting the game ready for its release on 6 November 2010.
  • Kirby Air Ride, in development since 1995 for the Nintendo 64, shelved a few years later and surprisingly resurfaced in 2003 on the Game Cube.
  • Roughly half of the plots and quest lines from the canceled Interplay Fallout project Van Buren made their way into Fallout: New Vegas after being stuck in limbo for about 15 years.
  • Nights Journey of Dreams was in development hell ever since the 1996 release of the original NiGHTS Into Dreams and was originally going to be for the Sega Saturn using a tilt sensor in the Analog Pad under the working title Air Nights. It was ported to Dreamcast development then shelved. It eventually escaped hell in 2007 as the Wii title we see today.
  • Team Fortress 2 was announced in 1999 as "Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms", but the final product didn't show up until 2007. Also, the game went through many changes during this time. For example, the early incarnation of the game featured a realistic artstyle like TF1 and a more serious tone, while the final product features a cartoonish artstyle and a more comical tone.
  • Shira Oka Second Chances is a stat-driven Dating Sim inspired by the Tokimeki Memorial series, but written originally in English. Development began around 2005. A demo was released to the public in summer 2010. The full retail game was released on Impulse Driven on December 10 2010.
  • Too Human.
  • Kameo: Elements of Power was originally announced as a launch title for the Gamecube. It later came out as a launch title for the Xbox 360, four years after it was supposed to come out (having a cancelled Xbox development on its way).
    • Perfect Dark Zero had the same fate.
    • And Banjo-Threeie (now Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts).
  • The games that eventually became Pokémon Red and Blue were initially announced in an early form in 1990, and didn't come out until 1996.
  • Gran Turismo 5 was revealed on E3 2005. In 2008, a demo version, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue was released and sold well. In 2009, the full version was announced, and got a release date for February 2010... which was then delayed to November 2010 due to technical issues.
  • Game Modifications are known for often imploding on themselves spectacularly, but every so often, one will come out after a long development period. One such game was The Nameless Mod, a modification for Deus Ex that was in development for 7 years before being released.
  • Psychonauts was originally going to be a horror-like platformer published by Microsoft, and was going to be an Xbox-exclusive. A trailer was shown at E3 (and can be found on the discs of Blinx the Time Sweeper and Voodoo Vince) in 2002, and the game was originally set for a 2003 release. But later into development, Double Fine decided to change the game's mood from scary to funny, and Microsoft refused to publish the game because of this, so the game was delayed as Double Fine scrambled around to find a publisher, until they found Majesco in '04. The game was then announced for PC and Play Station 2 as well as Xbox, and was finally released in '05.
    • Brutal Legend had a similar story. Originally, Vivendi Universal was publishing it, but once they merged with Sierra (didn't they merge with Sierra? Correct me if I'm wrong), Double Fine was left out in the cold, and again, they had to scramble around for a publisher. They found EA, but then Activision--being the complete idiots they are--apparently thought the game was supposed to be a music game and was going to outsell the next Guitar Hero game, so Activision and EA fought for quite some time. EA won the battle, and so the game was finally released in 2009.
  • Dragon Quest VII entered development in 1996 for the 64DD, but switched to the Sony Playstation in 1997. It was not released until 2000, and its release in 2001 basically let it get Overshadowed by Awesome considering that the Xbox and Playstation2 were already out and the Gamecube was just around the corner. Not to mention,it got complained because it looked dated, and still does seem quite dated translationwise with the engrish-y names for some things.
  • Final Fantasy XIII got into development hell right after its initial trailer, reasons varied from an under-developed Crystal Tools engine to late play testing.
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl began development in October 2005, but was delayed several times (to much frustration from fans) until it was released in early 2008.
    • Kid Icarus Uprising went through several delays too. It was announced in 2010 as a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS, but when its launch neared, it was delayed until the summer of 2011, then it was delayed until November 2011, then delayed until spring 2012, which was when it was finally released. Though the last instalment, Kid Icarus Of Myths And Monsters, was released in 1991, making a 21 year wait for a third game in the series.
  • The newest addition to the Golden Sun series arrived in late 2010, having been anticipated since 2003 at the latest.
  • I-Mockery's Roger Barr had the idea for a giant NES fangame starring Abobo back in 2002. The project came to a halt, but in 2006 new developers came to the rescue and thus Abobos Big Adventure was born. It was finally released as a Flash-based game in January 2012, ten years after the initial drafts.
  • Solatorobo spent ten years in development, thanks to Namco Bandai insisting that Cyber Connect 2 continually tighten and tweak the world and gameplay due to Tail Concerto's low sales and their reluctance to back a Spiritual Sequel to such a game. The result, however, is one of the most beautiful for the DS.
  • Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. Hothead Games canned the series after Episode 2 (released in fall 2008) because it didn't sell as good as the first episode, so it seemed that the story was never going to be finished. But now, the series has been picked up by a new developer, and the next episode is set for a summer 2012 release. And the Fandom Rejoiced.
  • Resident Evil 4 officially began development for the Game Cube in 2001 (not counting an earlier false start which eventually evolved into Devil May Cry instead). After the first trailer shown at the end of 2002 shortly after the release of Resident Evil 0. The game originally had Hiroshi Shibata attached as director and after three rejected builds (including one with paranormal elements), Shinji Mikami took over the directorial duties from Shibata and ended up working on the final version of Resident Evil 4 that was released in 2005.
  • Max Payne 3, being released a whole nine years after its predecessor, was announced multiple years before its release and delayed multiple times as well.

Web Original

  • The Masked Girl took a year to air the first part.
  • Homestar Runner (in-universe) had Dangeresque 3 finally released in movie form! Out of universe (AKA our world), Dangeresque 3 was finally released- in point-n'-click video game form.
  • Bite Me — The Gamer's Zombie Apocalypse Series, a web original from machinima who went into hell after the first season, uploaded on 2010, and was saved almost 2 years later with the second season.

Western Animation

  • The french animated film The King and the Mockingbird, which started production in 1948, and wasn't finished until 1980.
  • The Spaceballs Animated Adaptation.
  • Delgo. Development was begun in 1999 by Marc Adler, who wanted to make a big-budget, computer-animated film independent of titans like Disney and Dreamworks. Marc and his small animation studio, Fathom Studios, spent $40 million making the film, cast the likes of Burt Reynolds, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Val Kilmer, and took so long to finish it that by the time it was released, one of the actors had been dead for three years. When they couldn't get any major studio interested in the film, Fathom instead had a distributor-for-hire give the film a wide release, which it received on December 12, 2008. It is now famous for having the worst opening weekend of any wide-release film ever. That the film itself is a Cliché Storm of epic proportions certainly didn't help.
  • The Astro Boy movie was rumored for the longest time before finally getting made, with one version being a live action/CGI mix directed by Genndy Tartovsky.
  • Destino, the unlikely collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali, was first conceived back in 1946, but didn't reach screens until 57 years later. The home video release also counts; a Walt Disney Treasures set was announced for 2008 but dropped, the short and a making-of documentary eventually appearing as extras on the Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 Blu-ray release in 2010.
  • The show Ni Hao, Kai-Lan was originally announced for Spring 2007, but didn't materialize until February 2008, though the characters from the show were featured for months in the now-defunct Nick Jr. Magazine.
  • Getting Daria on official DVD was Development Hell for many years. To the point where fans all but gave up on seeing an official DVD at all. It was finally Saved From Development Hell. Sort of. There is the small issue of damn near the entire original soundtrack being ripped away and replaced by generic musical scores or silence, but MTV figures the fans will take what they can get. And for the most part, that's true.
  • An Animated Adaptation of the Hungarian play The Tragedy Of Man had its script written way back in 1983. Production began in '88. The finished film was released in late 2011.
  1. Weiss and Benioff are trying to get two seasons for A Storm of Swords, and the chronology of the Feast for Crows/Dance with Dragons conglomerate precludes them being squashed into one season
  2. Afghan Whigs, Whiskeytown, and Idle Wilds
  3. Gin Blossoms and The Posies