Ten Movies That Will Never Be


In Hollywood-speak, a “pitch” is a short summary of a proposed movie – the idea being to lay out the basic story in a manner that will make the studio want to invest money in making it. For example, the pitch for the classic Back to The Future might’ve gone like this: “A teenaged guy time-travels to the 1950s and meets his parents when they were his age. In a shocking twist, he learns that his presence has changed history so that they never fell in love – a mistake he must repair or risk negating his own existence!” Of course, it doesn’t always go like that; the pitch for the latest Pirates of The Caribbean sequel was probably closer to: “Holy crap, gang! Who’s ready to make another billion dollars without expending a shred of creative effort!? Johnny said yes to another one!”

Anyway, just for kicks, here’s quick ten pitches for movies that – for one reason or another – I feel pretty confident Hollywood won’t be giving the green light any time soon:

“A young man (or woman) of African-American descent living in the segregated South in the early 1960s joins the burgeoning Civil Rights movement, embarking on a life-changing journey during one of the most tumultuous and triumphant periods in recent American history. Amazingly, they do so entirely of their own volition – needing neither the excessive evil of a singular white villain or the enlightened nudging of a white savior/mentor to spur them to action.”

“A portrait of a young gay man making his way through his life and career in the early 21st Century. In a shocking twist, he is not employed in the fashion or music industry, has a best friend who is not a high-strung narcissistic young woman who regards him as a “girlfriend,” has a healthy relationship with his parents, and has many, many conversations involving topics other than body issues, workout regimens, trendy foods, clothes shopping and other things that heterosexual movie writers assume are all that gay people talk about.”

“A poor citizen of a small, war-torn nation rises up to fight against the forces of chaos in the region; hoping to bring some semblance of order for his family, friends and country. He does this without seeking or receiving help from a visiting American hero – in fact, there are no Americans are involved on either side, nor does anyone mention Americans or offer up any strong opinions “for” or “against” America … it is possible that this is due to America not being the center of everyone’s universe.”

“An angry, directionless young man rebels against the stifling conformity of his comfortable upper-middle-class suburban existence by aligning himself with an anarchic/underground art/music/sport culture that includes acts of petty public nuisance. He is arrested and sent to prison where – in a shocking twist – he meets many people who’ve faced actual hardships and lived truly dangerous lives, which shames him into realizing how lucky his spoiled, entitled ass has been the whole time.”

“A brilliant scientist is conducting a radical experiment that brazenly defies societal taboos and moral boundaries. Some say he is a genius … others say he will bring ruin by tampering in God’s Domain! As the minutes count down and results are unveiled … it turns out that the ‘tampering in God’s domain’ folks were 100% wrong! He was right, the experiment was a success and the results will help untold millions of people and make the world a far better place.”

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“An idealistic campaign staffer for a popular Presidential candidate has their idealism shaken to the core when it is discovered that the candidate, while still a sincere proponent of all the causes and policies that led the staffer to join the campaign in the first place, has committed various moral indiscretions that violate the staffer’s personal code of right and wrong. After a dark period of deep, introspective soul searching … the staffer decides to continue supporting the candidate anyway – because this is the real world where a leader’s ‘niceness’ or ‘good intentions’ don’t mean jack squat if they’re going to support wrongheaded policies.”

“Portrait of a man (or woman) of Asian descent living and working in the early 21st century. They have a series of escapades leading to sundry moments of personal growth … none of which involve high-level computer hacking, superhuman mathematics skills, mastery of the martial arts or stereotypically strict, tradition bound parents. Also, his/her skills at speaking English are flawless, naturalistic and do not involved inexplicable lapses into heavily accented hip-hop slang.”

“A wealthy and successful person working at the top of their game in a competitive, glamorous industry approaching middle age is visited by a magical being who offers them the chance to experience how their life would’ve turned out if they’d eschewed professional ambition and instead ‘settled down’ and lived a ‘normal’ middle class life. After a series of adventures involving diaper changes, barbecues, comically obscure automotive repair kerfluffles and quaint small town traditions … they leave the fantasy more sure than ever that that particular life is sooooo not for them, and that not holding it as some kind of wish dream ideal does not mean they are somehow ‘broken’ psychologically.”

“A man of spiritually devout persuasion is critically injured in a terrible car accident. Though he is brought to the hospital in time for doctors to save his life, his injuries are such that he is actually ‘dead’ for several minutes on the operating table, during which time he experiences … nothing. No tunnel, no light, no angles, no dead pals, nothing. In a shocking twist, his newfound sense that the life he has is quite definitely all there is does not turn him into a bitter nihilist, but rather spurs him to become an infinitely better, freer and happier person who’s determined to make the most of whatever time he has.”

“When crooked thieves steal an ancient religious artifact from a primitive rural village, their greatest warrior must travel for the first time to the strange and unfamiliar world of The Big City to retrieve it. He fights many, many elaborate battles and succeeds in locating and defeating the sinister thieves, but ultimately does not bring back The Artifact. Instead, he discovers that in ‘The Big City’ people do not die constantly from common germs and minor injuries as they do in his primitive rural village on account of having access to modern medicine, health-standards and communication. He then sells the damn artifact at a huge profit so as to bring life saving medicine, superior farming equipment, food and a phone/internet connection to his people.”

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you’ve heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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Bob Chipman
Bob Chipman is a critic and author.