Here at io9, we report on a lot of projects when they’re first announced. Oftem, however, there’s a long stretch between the initial news and the project’s actual release. Sometimes, it’s long enough for you to completely forget about them; sometimes, it’s long enough that Hollywood probably forgot about them. Let’s check in on some projects that haven’t heard much from for awhile.
It’s been almost exactly a year since Netflix’s 10-episode adaptation of Richard Morgan’s cyberpunk classic was announced, and the network jammed full speed ahead, casting Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad) as lead character Takeshi Kovacs and hiring Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones) to direct the first episode. Though no premiere date has been announced (and new cast members were being added as late as November), the series is set to debut sometime in 2017.
In June, it was revealed that Common would star in a Black Samurai TV series—based on the Marc Olden books and the subsequent 1977 Jim Kelly film. The show would style the character as “a black Jason Bourne,” and RZA was set to produce. As awesome as all that sounds, there’s been nary a peep since.
Last July, we learned that Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) had been tapped to adapt Isaac Asimov’s 1953 scifi detective tale. (In 1964, it was adapted into a BBC TV special, but precious little of that version remains.) Goldsman is no stranger to classic scifi—his writing resume also includes I, Robot and I Am Legend. But there’s been no update since, and his producing and writing docket includes titles like The Dark Tower and multiple future entries in the unending Transformers series. Seriously, there’s no telling when he’ll get to this project, or if he’s even still involved—Goldsman was the third writer Fox hired to tackle The Caves of Steel. That’s a good sign, at least, that the studio is committed to bringing it to the big screen, with or without him.
Also last July, we wondered if an adaptation of Chronicles of Amber—the 10-part Roger Zelazny scifi/fantasy series that’s long been a personal favorite of, and influence on, George R.R. Martin—would be the next Game of Thrones. The project is backed by Skybound Entertainment, a company co-run by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead). So far, there’s been no update on the Skydance site since the initial announcement—but given the scope of the material, and the fact that Kirkman’s Skybound partner, David Alpert, called the series “one of my main inspirations for working in film and television,” there’s no way they’re gonna rush into this.
Hulu’s six-part scifi anthology, which we thought sounded like “an internet-themed Twilight Zone homage” when it was announced in June, further piqued our interest when actors we liked (for the most part) kept signing on: Patton Oswalt, Megan Mullally, Tom Noonan, Joel McHale, Lea Michele, and more. No airdate yet, but another big Hulu offering, The Handmaid’s Tale, announced in December that it’s airing in April. So if everything’s on schedule, the network will probably reveal a 2017 date with some months to spare.
According to Imdb, Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev (he made the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) has finished shooting, and the film has a September 29, 2017 release date. Though the movie appears to be a fairly faithful remake—with Ellen Page, Diego Luna, and others playing death-obsessed med students—it’s made more interesting by the fact that Kiefer Sutherland will return as Nelson, the character from the original film who had the most difficult time handling his back-from-the-beyond experiences.
Since there’s absolutely no way the Friday the 13th series was going to reach 12 films—which it did in 2009—and stop, a 13th installment has been inevitable, and in the works, for awhile. However, 2017 appears to be the year we really will return to Crystal Lake, with Breck Eisner’s film, heavily rumored to be a Jason Voorhees origin story, slated for the auspicious release date of Friday, October 13. According to the most recent word from the producers, the film is set to shoot in the spring.
In May 2015, we got wind of a new adaptation of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s comic series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, previously made into a 2003 movie that nobody liked and a 2013 TV show that failed to launch. There’s been no update since—perhaps mercifully. Pick up the comics instead.
It’s apparently still up to the pilot gods for this proposed TNT show, based on the Swedish vampire novel that’s already inspired a Swedish film and an American remake. Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf), one of the show’s exec producers, wrote the script, and TV vet Euros Lyn (Torchwood, Doctor Who, Broadchurch, Daredevil) directed. The most recent news on this project appears to be from October, when Kristoffer Joner (The Revenent) joined the cast as the protector of young (or, young-looking, rather) vampire Eli (newcomer Kristine Froseth).
As a side note, Davis’ other 2016 big TV adaptation announcement—War of the Worlds, for MTV—has even less to report. There’s an Imdb entry for the pilot, but no cast or crew other than Davis’ Teen Wolf comrade Andy Cochrane are listed.
An adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s supernatural comic series very nearly made it to the airwaves in 2011, but didn’t end up advancing past the pilot stage. In June, Hill gave an interview in which he revealed that he was working on a fresh script for a new pilot, and that he was “optimistic” about its chances. Also encouraging: Hill’s novella Snapshot 1988 was picked up for a big-screen adaptation in September, before it was even published. As his Hollywood clout rises, he may have more leverage for his other projects..
Confirmed in April and updated with a director in May, Spike TV’s adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novella—which was previously adapted into a feature film—is moving full speed ahead. It began production on its 10 episodes in Nova Scotia in July, and is slated to air on Spike this year, date TBD. Check out the imdb page for the full cast; TV fans will spot some familiar faces, including Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Atlanta, The Wire) and Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, American Horror Story).
Neill Blomkamp’s long-rumored Aliens sequel has got to be one of Hollywood’s most oft-discussed scifi prospects—with no less than Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron offering encouraging words. However, it’s not like the Alien series is languishing untapped, with godfather Ridley Scott’s Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant, coming out soon. If Covenant is a hit, that could help Blomkamp (since Alien fever will be recharged), or hurt him just the same; if the film leaves room for a sequel, audiences may well want a Covenant follow-up, not something ahead in the timeline that changes the series as we know it. Will this movie ever get made? Don’t give up... but don’t hold your breath, either.
Cult horror fans shrieked with delight when a new Puppet Master movie, written by Bone Tomahawk’s S. Craig Zahler, was announced last May. And the news is still good, because Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is still on track. Swedish horror-directing duo Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund appear to now be at the helm, and presumably the tagline “World War III Begins On Your Toy Shelf” is still in play. Still no word on a cast or release date yet.
We were so pumped for the TV adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson’s legendary scifi trilogy, we were even willing to put aside our doubts about the network backing the project (Spike, home of shows like Lip Sync Battle). Besides the strength of the source material, the potential show had great producers, including J. Michael Straczynski (Marvel Comics, Babylon 5) and Vince Gerardis (Game of Thrones). But earlier this year, Red Mars’ showrunner suddenly departed, citing “creative differences,” and momentum on the show, which was originally intended for a January 2017 debut, screeched to a halt. The most recent Red Mars update is nearly a year old, when an unnamed source told Variety that “the project is not being scrapped and that it remains a high priority for Spike as the network continues its renewed push into scripted programming.” Yay?
The most recent big-screen take on the Prince of Thieves, in 2010, came from Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe—and nobody remembers it. Still, the Robin Hood story still carries powerful allure, as evidenced by the multiple projects supposedly in development. The strongest legs belong to the Lionsgate version, described as a gritty reboot (argh) of the classic tale, with Taran Egerton in the title role, Jamie Foxx as Little John, and—in a bit of casting that looks like sheer genius in the wake of Rogue One—Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The film, now titled simply Robin Hood (initial reports had it as Robin Hood: Origins), has a release date of March 23, 2018.
It’s very unlikely that other contenders—Disney’s family-friendly “revisionist take with a Pirates of the Caribbean tone,” Nottingham and Hood; Sony’s Mission: Impossible/Fast and Furious spin on the tale; and a Warner Bros. version from Aquaman writer Will Beall—will beat that release date, especially since none of the three appear to have moved beyond the development stage. But the Sherwood Forest land-grab stands to get way crazier if the Lionsgate version is a hit.
The Splash remake got a lot of buzz when it was first announced because of the flipped-script idea to cast Tatum as the merman, and his 22 Jump Street co-star Jillian Bell as his human boo. Even Tom Hanks loved the idea. Presumably, it’s still a go... but so far, no director or writer or any new news has come out since August. This is probably because Tatum is insanely busy—his “in development” slate also includes that standalone Gambit movie (which after some vacillation is apparently still on, at least on paper, as of last week), as well as the rumored Men in Black/21 Jump Street crossover, MIB 23. (We’re holding out hope for that one, no matter what Jonah Hill says.) He also has the Kingsman sequel, starring roles in new films from J.C. Chandor and Steven Soderbergh, and an R-rated musical comedy co-starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If he ever gets a moment to spare, maybe then he’ll schedule time for his fin fitting.
Jules Verne’s scifi adventure novel was first published back in 1870, but it’s been adapted several times since then. It enjoyed a particularly hot streak last year. Director Bryan Singer teased his plans to make a 20,000 Leagues movie in late 2015, and confirmed the passion project in early 2016. Though the film has a 2017 release noted on Imdb, that seems highly doubtful, especially since Singer’s directorial focus has shifted to the Rami Malek-starring Freddy Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. The other proposed 20,000 Leagues movie that surfaced last year was from Disney—the studio that made the classic 1954 adaptation—with the tentative title Captain Nemo, and with James Mangold (Logan) possibly directing. With both of these Verne projects apparently on hold for now, there’s no telling which version will make it to shore first, if at any of them do.
Here’s another project that sure sounded intriguing but apparently hasn’t budged since we first learned of it back in August. The film version of Nathan Edmondson’s Image Comics spy-fi graphic novel, to be re-titled Jake Ellis, had emerging director Josh Mond set to direct. Mond has another project on his schedule right now—producing a new Janis Joplin biopic, to star Michelle Williams—and there’s no mention of any directorial work in the pipeline on his Imdb page.
We’ve been hearing about a sequel to Marc Forster’s uneven (but financially successful) 2013 adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie tale for a few years. But shifting writers and directors (including, briefly, rising star J.A. Bayona, who ultimately opted for the Jurassic World sequel instead) have set the potential film on a wavering course. Last we heard, Brad Pitt was hoping his old pal David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) would want the gig. So far, no official word on that front, but the original raked in so much dough that presumably even without Fincher, the project will lumber forward—especially if Pitt is still game to star.
Fans of Bryan K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Vertigo comic series have been waiting patiently for years to see if an adaptation would actually make it to the screen—big or small. Late in 2016 came a glimmer of hope, with the announcement of a showrunner for FX’s adaptation, American Gods co-creator Michael Green, who’d also pen the script with Vaughan. This was good news.
But Green—whose writing resume also includes Logan, Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049, and the currently-filming Murder on the Orient Express—seems like a rather busy guy; American Gods doesn’t even hit Starz until April. So while it seems the right behind-the-scenes team for Y: The Last Man is finally in place, the wait for the actual series will likely continue for awhile, a fact (sorta) confirmed earlier in January, when FX exec Nick Grad said the network anticipates getting a script in the next few months.