Thursday, July 16, 2015

Documentaries about movies that were never made

Earlier this year, I wrote about the recent trend of documentaries about movies that were never made.
They include “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” “Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau” and “The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?”
Film fans are fascinated about big movie projects with big directors and stars that fell apart for whatever reason.
“Jodorowsky’s Dune” was released on home video last July.
“The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?” was released on DVD earlier this month. It’s a documentary about director Tim Burton’s ill-fated attempt to make a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage in the 1990s.
The DVD for “Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau” comes out on July 28.
Since I published that first article on the subject, two other examples have come to my attention.

Miller’s Justice League Mortal

Recently there were a number of articles posted online about “Mad Max” director George Miller’s failed attempt to make a Justice League movie. With “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” coming out next March, film geeks are curious as to how another director would have handled the same comic-book superheroes.
A group of filmmakers hopes to do a documentary on the failed project called “Miller’s Justice League Mortal,” Entertainment Weekly reported in May. EW later posted concept art from the film.
Australia-based Inside Film last month said director Ryan Unicomb is making progress on the documentary but still needs to get approval from Warner Bros. and other parties.

The Sweatbox

The 2002 documentary “The Sweatbox” documents the making of a Walt Disney animated musical called “Kingdom of the Sun,” which eventually morphed into “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000).
Grammy Award-winning singer Sting was hired to write songs for a dramatic sweeping musical. But after poor test screenings, the songs were scrapped, the director left the project, and the film was reworked into a light-hearted buddy comedy.
“The Sweatbox” was given some limited theatrical screenings in 2002, but Disney has mothballed it since because it presents some executives in an unflattering light.
Disney owns the rights to the documentary and has not released it on home video or DVD, according to Wikipedia.

Photos: Posters for “The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?” and “The Sweatbox.”

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