Just because you’re a successful Hollywood director doesn’t mean you can make any film you want come to life on the silver screen. Only a few years after the triumph of Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock tried and failed for years to launch a film he called Kaleidoscope, which ultimately had too much sex and violence for studio support. And David Lynch has been trying to make a dystopian follow-up to Eraserhead on and off since 1978.
Stanley Kubrick worked on The Aryan Papers, a Holocaust film, between 1976 and 1995, basing the story on a Louis Begley book called Wartime Lies.
Surrealist master Salvador Dalí was planning a film collaboration with the Marx Brothers in 1937. Called Giraffes on Horseback Salad, Dalí’s absurdist script only appealed to Harpo, and the project was canceled.
David Lynch planned for Ronnie Rocket to be his first film after Eraserhead, but put it on the back burner in favor of projects like The Elephant Man. In the 1980s, he went so far as to assemble a cast, but the studio producing the movie ran out of money before production began. Which is not to say Lynch couldn't pick it up again...
For two years, Guillermo del Toro tried to turn H.P. Lovecraft’s novella At the Mountains of Madness (which he's been obsessed with since childhood) into a film starring Tom Cruise and produced by James Cameron. Unfortunately, major aspects of the high-budget film bore striking resemblances to Prometheus, released during the Lovecraft movie's production in 2012, and after various disagreements about the film’s rating and the budget, the project was scrapped.
All the posters are available for purchase on Reza’s site.
All images courtesy Fernando Reza.