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Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made? Paperback – February 28, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fascinating and irreverent... thoroughly readable and full of keen insights." - Wall Street Journal

"Belongs on every cinephile’s bookshelf." - Misprinted Pages

"... truly great and frustrating stories." - Slash Film

"An essential read for anyone wanting to gain an insight into the workings of Hollywood movie business." - Bad Haven

"...a fantastically well researched book." - Fandom Post

"Required reading for anyone who calls themselves a movie buff." - Playlist STL

"...dense with information and incredible trivia." - Hollywood Chicago

"If you love movies, this book will give you an aneurysm." - io9

"A great read that deserves the A rating I bestow upon it." - 8 Days A Geek

"Tales From Development Hell is a definite must-read for any film buff, film student, and filmmaker (aspiring or current). But it’s also entertaining for casual readers, and anyone who has ever watched a movie. It’s entertaining and informative, gets you worked up with frustration and excitement ... 5 out of 5." - Nerd Locker

"Tales from Development Hell is super-well-researched and contains the fascinating true stories of, unquestionably, some of the greatest movies that haven't (at time of writing) been made." - Making The Movie

"Will keep you turning the pages with fascination – and at times – high amusement." - Chevron One

"A well-crafted, riveting read for all movie-geeks and fan boys and girls." - Good Girls Gone Geek

"By the last page, you'll be left wanting even more. Amazing." - Comic Book Movie

"Truly a "big budget" book at a low budget price, David Hughes gives movie lovers a lot of bang for their buck as they traverse the many stages of Development Hell." - Cool Ass Cinema

"A well-researched and entertaining read." - LA Times Pop Candy

About the Author

David Hughes has written about film for numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, Empire, GQ, SFX, Fangoria and Cinefantastique. He is the author of Virgin's The Complete Kubrick and The Complete Lynch, and wrote Titan Books' acclaimed The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; Revised & enlarged edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857687239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857687234
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Trying to make a movie in Hollywood is like trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it." - Douglas Adams

We've all heard the rumors before; whether it was the incredulous reaction many of us had to the notion of Nicolas Cage portraying, `The Man of Steel' in Tim Burton's (ill-fated) Superman Lives or the anticipation of finally seeing Neil Gaiman's immensely popular comic book series, The Sandman adapted to the silver screen...only to have nothing materialize and simply disappear into the annals of history.

In this newly expanded edition, author David Hughes just might agree with the assertion that perhaps Dante should have revised his Divine Comedy to include a 10th Level: Development Hell

In Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made?, Hughes recounts the arduous and oft-frustrating movie development process, in which many promising-sounding projects and scripts either never see the light of day or endure years of endless rewrites and a revolving door of actors/actresses, producers, writers and directors - all of whom become continuously attached/detached from a project over time - but not before attempting to place their individual (and usually self-serving) stamp on the project...which, in turn, begins the rewrite process all over again...rinse & repeat.

Hughes did his research and the result it a concise, entertaining and interesting glimpse into how the sausages are made in Hollywood. Each "chapter" is a self-contained anecdote | case study relating to either a project that eventually got made - albeit sometimes over a decade after the original script was submitted - to projects that languished in Development Hell for years and were eventually scraped...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I realize that many of these stories have been around for a while, but this book brings them together in one interesting volume to tell the tales. It is written knowing that after all the effort to bring these movies to the screen they never made it. In almost every case, I found myself upset that these movies never saw the light of day. It also gives some great insight into the process of taking an interesting script or premise and completely losing it in the process, with Actors, Producers, Directors, and studios each taking part in destroying the films. I am actually sad that there wasn't more stories told.

That said, the last chapter is pointless, as the author decides to take an entire chapter and tell the story of his hardships with getting his own projects made. It's dull and adds very little that is worthy of the stories that were told throughout the rest of the book. If it didn't have that last chapter, I feel it would have been a stronger book.

I do recommend this if you are interested in some lost great films, and the process in which they fell apart.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting book that takes a look behind the curtain at the process movies go through before they end up on the screen. The author manages to keep the stories interesting even though they are basically a succession of failed opportunities. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the inner workings of Hollywood, far from the glamour. It also offers quite a few intriguing "what if" scenarios.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. I'd heard of "Development Hell" before, but never knew much about it. The multitude of stories about movies that never got made, or movies that went through sheer hell before they finally were made, were all extremely interesting. There were more than a couple failed movies that I would have loved to see finished! The book gives a great insight into the behind-the-scenes of movie-making without being overly technical or difficult to understand. The book is extremely well-written and comprehensible, and I'm definitely going to seek out more books by this author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you follow movies at all then you know that the rumor mongering that occurs when a hot property makes its way around Hollywood can be more interesting than most of the movies that are actually produced each year. This book offers essays on several projects that either never saw the screen or eventually made it as a product that bears little resemblance to the original idea that generated the excitement to begin with. (For example the Burton Planet of the Apes, The Hot Zone, Crusade etc.) If you love movies and like to dwell on what could have been this book is a fun read. My two main criticisms are one, the Kindle version seems to contain some typos and two, the final chapter is about the author's own unproduced screenplays. If he had led off with this chapter I wouldn't have minded as much but to go from James Cameron and The Fantastic Voyage to the author's inability to get TJ Hooker The Movie made and then to have the book end is a bit of letdown. Also it struck me as odd that the book retained the British English spellings. I realize the author is from the UK but don't publishing companies typically make those revisions for the US version? Thought that was kind of odd. Anyway, worth reading if you enjoy movies. PS: I'm surprised Jon Peters has not been assassinated by a movie nerd yet.
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