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The Greatest Sci-fi Movies Never Made (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 26. Oktober 2001

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David Hughes' wonderfully readable The Greatest Sci-fi Movies Never Made is not only a fascinating insight into the machinations of the Hollywood production factory, but a true testament to Sci-fi's enduring popularity as a film genre among mainstream audiences. It's amazing how long many of these movies languished in "development hell" and even more amazing how long the people involved hung on, despite the fact that quite often it was perfectly obvious that the project was on its last legs. Movie buffs and Internet users will be familiar with a lot of the tales here which have now practically passed into Hollywood folklore. Using combinations of new interviews and press clippings, quotes and statements Hughes pieces together the development behind some truly major motion pictures which all fell foul of budget constraints, studio nerves or extensive rewrites. And he unearths some real gems about movies that came tantalisingly close to the big screen, only to fail at the last hurdle. There's James Cameron's take on Spider Man (now being filmed by Sam Raimi) that was caught up in years of wrangling over who owned the rights; the live action version of Thunderbirds which would have seen Lady Penelope taking on the villainous Hood in a fist fight and Steven Spielberg's SF horror Night Skies which eventually transformed into ET with a slightly more cuddly alien as its star. Superhero fans will delight in reading about the cheapo version of the Fantastic Four, shot in just under a month, as well as Batman director Tim Burton' s attempts to get Superman to fly again in the ill-fated Superman Lives. There's also contributions from Alien designer HR Giger and Harry Knowles, who runs the Aint-It-Cool movie news Web site, and several pages of rare illustrations from aborted SF movies. This is by far the most well-written and absorbing account of Hollywood's broken dreams and it's truly heartbreaking to read about some of the fantastic films that were so close to becoming reality. Hughes writes with energy and enthusiasm, resulting in a book that movie buffs and Sci-fi fans cannot afford to miss. --Jonathan Weir


" An essential purchase ... read it and weep." - Empire

"Wonderful... Every sci-fi fan should own this" - Sci-fi-online.com

"An essential chronicle of broken promises" - Hotdog
"These are films I wish I could have seen ... Hughes's research is solid ... it's sobering stuff." 'Moriarty', Ain't It Cool News

"Every so often a book comes along that demands to be read at one or two sittings at the most... miss this one at your peril." - Starlog

"In-depth blow-by-blow analysis ... this has it all ... a must-read" - IGN Filmforce -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Nice read. Not so much for everybody, but a must read for all sci-fi and film fans. Not complicated, so you can enjoy it as a non-native-speaker.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten)

Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen 20 Rezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Powerful volume can help steer a critic towards thinking in terms of what might have been instead of what actually is... 12. August 2015
Von Leslie Karen Rigsbey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Author David Hughes understands the history of Western cinema as being a story of corruption, greed, misinformation, illiteracy, and dashed hopes, and he serves up a tremendous hodgepodge of brutal and uncompromising tales about the fractured nature of creativity in terms of the movie business itself. Most poignant are perhaps the fate of Bester's "The Stars My Destination" (what happened to the wealthy guy that wrote the first optioned screenplay adaptation?) translation (his contemporary, A. E. Van Vogt, at least had some vindication in that "...Space Beagle" infected so much of the "Alien" movie's script, but Bester's influence did not fare so well); the aborted Richard Stanley film "Island of Doctor Moreau"--if you have not yet seen the new film "Lost Soul" about the making of this misguided picture, then do yourself a favor and pick up the new 3-disc Blu_Ray (Stanley's vision would have been like no one else's, but that's precisely the problem and worthy of investigation on its own); and certainly the abysmal fate of William Malone's script "Death Star", which ended up as the much more fragmented hit-and-miss picture "Supernova" (2000). I do wish that more would have been included--the original Van Damme-version of 1987's "Predator" (which seems to be a film concept that was overhauled at the eleventh hour), the movie "Passenger" that was sold but apparently never made (and written by Jon Spaihts, who later worked on 2012's unfortunate "Prometheus"), and especially "Brave New World," which is not a book that would be easy to adapt but I'm sure had come up for movie option several times throughout the years. And of course there are numerous other cases which I have not even mentioned, but maybe all of this would have to fill a second (and perhaps even third) volume. Bottom line is that if you are a critic of Hollywood--if you are one who believes that the resulting meal is not always the one that the original chefs intended--then you definitely need to read Hughes. The reviews here on Amazon are not overly hyped. Hughes really does know his stuff, and the research is fascinating. I was particularly struck by the tragic stories behind the "Thunderbirds" movie, and especially the bumpy ride that "I Am Legend" took through Hollywood circles. The Will Smith movie is no classic, but there are many memorable scenes in there--read this book and you'll discover that much of the groundwork for that particular version was already laid long before the final writers and director came on board (tell me you wouldn't like to see Ridley Scott's version!). This really is a fascinating and detailed read! Still, I do wish so much more was here because I know there are numerous other cases out there awaiting rediscovery by historians and film fans alike. A+
P.S. After reading the section about the unfilmable "Outer Limits" attempt, I wanted to add that two of Harlan Ellison's stories--"Demon with a Glass Hand" and "Mefisto in Onyx"--have also been rumored to be in a bidding war for upcoming Hollywood movie adaptations. I read somewhere that Samuel L. Jackson was on board for the latter film, but I have heard no word further about it (actually, there is also a rumor that Denzel Washington's movie "Fallen" was an unauthorized version of this story, but Ellison didn't bring a suit against anyone, and the source material's basis is not explicit...even so, I can see the comparisons). Perhaps due to Ellison's contentious nature (the man thinks that he is a better writer than he is, but he's still fun to hear from), Hollywood has remained reticent in giving the green light to these potentially great science fiction films based upon two pieces of Harlan's fiction (and "Soldier", as you may already know, was adapted into Cameron's film "The Terminator"). Heck, I bet that a separate book could house the story of what happened to "Demon..." on its trip through development hell. Just think of how many horrific tales there are about great science fiction tales that never made it (scripts by John Varley, Jim and John Thomas, Ellison, Heinlein, Cronenberg, etc.). And if you are interested in furthering your knowledge about B-movie and thriller film productions, pick up any Blu-Ray by Scream Factory. These newly restored releases give you your money's (and your movie's) worth!
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The great version has still never been written 23. Mai 2009
Von Robert J. Karol - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
First, I should say this book does a good job of tracing the torturous path to production these films followed. Hughes has a very pleasant style and the book never turns into a hatchet job against the producers, actors or directors named.

However, this book is not essential or even that necessary. While it is hardly Hughes' fault that many of the movies or properties covered in this book have been filmed in the last few years (even if not in the forms he covered in his book), he does have a problem making the material interesting. For every tidbit about the Star Trek cast intriguing against producers or the ridiculous problems besetting Island of Dr. Moreau, there are twenty vague quotes from producers about why they asked for a new draft or a synopsis of minor changes from draft to draft.

And though it is commendable that Hughes tries to avoid playing favorites, he rarely makes any judgements or states his opinion. Most of the time, he is fine with just setting down the quotes and differing opinions of different parties without sifting through them or analyzing them. Many times, the book degenerates into a case of "he said/ she said". Given Hughes' experience with the industry, shouldn't he be able to offer some sort of opinion?

And the closer to the present that Hughes gets, the more he and his sources pull punches, playing coy about the identities of misbehaving screenwriters and producers. I understand that the parties involved want to protect their careers, but then why write this book? At points, the book has all the bite of a movie magazine puff piece. For the comic book properties especially, comic book websites and magazines (including Wizard) have frequently covered the territory in more depth and in more interesting ways.

H.R. Giger's foreword, which discusses the difficulties collaborating with film-makers a continent away and his disappointment with the way his designs are handled, presents a better idea of the compromises and problems of the creative process and the ways it personally effects the parties involved than most of the book. And he does it without any cattiness or bile.

So, if you really want to know more about the specific movies covered in this book, you might enjoy it. But the book is nowhere as definitive or exciting as it pretends to be.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 11. April 2015
Von rapern - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
makes you want to hit people with large sticks
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A little outdated but still interesting 11. November 2009
Von Johnny - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Well, 12 out of the 19 movies covered have since been made! The book still allows an interesting, and in some cases facinating, peek behind the curtain to learn how these films were developed. The chapter on Star Trek sequels feels a bit out of place as it ventures way beyond the one version that could have been and explores in great detail how all the other TEN films got greenlit. Also a lot of the information in the book stems from other books and magazines. But it's still a good compilation and a worthy read for all who are interested in how Hollywood works.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Such a great book, film lovers and sci-fi fans will love it! 18. Februar 2013
Von Mark FilmFan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is a really fascinating look at sci-fi projects that never made it to the big screen, some of which will leave readers wishing they could've seen the final results in live-action. The book really packs a lot of stories and inside info into the chapters, includes great concept artwork for some projects, and is written with a nice brisk pace that doesn't feel rushed but doesn't linger in unimportant details, either. If you are a fan of cinema, a sci-fi fan, or just generally like interesting reading about art and pop culture, you'll enjoy this book. My copy was reasonably priced and shipped on time, and was in new condition. I'm very happy with it, bought additional books from the author in fact, and would recommend it.
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