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25 Huge Movies Disney Just Cancelled

The Sims Movie
As was somewhat widely expected, Disney have just pulled the trigger and killed off a whole host of movie projects they inherited from Fox when the big money merger went through. According to Variety, the company has taken measures to counteract the $170 million operating loss they just reported - partly on the back of Dark Phoenix's disastrous release.
Fox entire operating income generated $180 million in the same period, which Disney have confirmed was well below expectations when they made the acquisition. Considering Disney have a stranglehold on the box office, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that their competitors didn't fare so well, but here we are.
They haven't cancelled everything: James Cameron's Avatar sequels are safe and anything tangibly in production - like 2020's Death On The Nile - are too. On top of that, it's likely that Rick Famuyiwa's Children of Blood and Bone adaptation, which was JUST announced as a LucasFilm project, is also still coming.
But considering there were something like 270-280 movies in various stages of development and pre-development (including just being considered for development, apparently), there are some pretty major casualties...

25. Mega Man

mega man the wily wars mega drive
It's an absolute tragedy that the Mega Man games are no longer as widely heralded as the classics they are, but there's no denying the series' importance in gaming history. And the character has transcended the games as a cultural icon, so it wasn't a huge surprise when a movie project for Capcom and Fox was announced in October 2018.
All we knew about it was that it was to be written and directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the duo behind the original Catfish movie and Nerve and they had big plans for making it a grand action movie that would stay true to the games. Not any more, clearly.

24. Ben Affleck's Monopoly Crime Movie

Monopoly Mcdonalds
While a lot of the movies that just got binned were the inevitable video games, prequels, reboots and remakes, Disney's cancellation spree also means we won't be getting the potential adaptation by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon of the 2001 Monopoly McDonalds crime conspiracy.
It might have been easy to dismiss the story from the combination of Monopoly and McDonalds, but it was genuinely compelling, having been published by Jeff Maysh in The Daily Beast. It would have told the story of how ex-cop Jerome Paul Jacobson rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game in 2001, allegedly working with organised crime to steal millions of dollars and ensure nobody won the game's biggest prizes.

23. Magic The Gathering

Magic The Gathering
Wizards Of The Coast
To be fair, this shouldn't exactly be new news, because the Magic adaptation appears to have been rescued even before we all became aware that it was potentially cancelled. The original plan was for a live-action movie from Fox adapting the worldwide game phenomenon, but that's not how it's going forward now.
Instead, as announced very recently, The Russos are teaming up with Netflix for an animated show based around the show for the streaming platform. The Avengers: Infinity War directors are long term fans, so it's all good news, but you can't help but think that Disney are missing a bit of a trick not adapting it themselves for a Disney+ series.
Whatever the thinking, it's a shame we won't be getting a live action movie.

22. The Three Misfortunes Of Geppetto

Pinocchio Geppetto
This one probably wouldn't have been a potential major blockbuster in the same terms as a video game, but live-action Disney-related movies are always going to catch a fair bit of interest. And that might also be partly why Disney won't be going ahead with this Pinocchio prequel.
The company already has a live-action adaptation of the puppet classic coming (with Tom Hanks under consideration for Geppetto), and would have had little space for something as confusing to that movie as a prequel following the toymaker as he endures hardships in order to be with his true love.
It was to be directed by Seth Gordon and Shawn Levy, so presumably would have been a comedy too, which is just odd, but in a way that makes you a little sad it's now not possible.

21. And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None
While lots of people will have lost potential work in this cull, the worst part of this whole thing is that Shawn Levy appears to have lost something like 10 projects in one fell swoop. Well, the worst thing FOR him.
The Stranger Things director is way more than "just" the guy who made Night At The Museum and there were some seriously interesting titles in there. One of the most interesting was this Agatha Christie adaptation - clearly inspired by the same board meeting that birthed Kenneth Branagh's Murder On The Orient Express - which would have seen a group of strangers go to an isolated island where they discover they share a dark secret.
It's the same story that inspired M Night Shyamalan's Devil and while we've all seen murder mysteries before, this one's a bitter one to lose.

20. 40 Thieves

Shawn Levy Comic Con Skidmore
Another of the movies that was apparently set for Shawn Levy's plate but now sent to the Fox elephant graveyard is this tale of a gropup of thieves who attempt to steal back their treasure from a lonely woodsman. As the title no doubt gives away, it would have been a retelling of the classic tale of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” conceived as a mix of adventure and comedy.
This one had been kicking around since at least 2014, when Variety announced Levy's attachment and production apparently got as far as Evan Peters, Liam Hemsworth and Dan Stevens all testing for the lead role. So we can assume they've dodged another big white-washing controversy with this one at the very least.

19. Toymageddon

small soldiers
Here's something you didn't know you wanted until after you'd learned you weren't getting it: there was supposed to be a kind of Small Soldiers reboot movie courtesy of Justin Lin. Way back in 2014, Fox bought the rights to Toymageddon, which was to be a live-action family adventure movie channelling Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters in which a toy factory runs amok.
Some enterprising commenters are suggesting the movie was supposed to be a full Small Soldiers reboot, though that original film came out from Universal, so it would be a strange one. Perhaps it's just more likely that it was to be very similar. It's not like Small Soldiers was the first and only movie to do that sort of idea. It's just a shame that it offers so much promise for what this COULD have been.
Because Small Soldiers is legitimately brilliant.

18. The Heat 2

The Heat
20th Century Fox
Though it was notable for having one of the single worst photoshop fail posters ever, The Heat was a genuine comedy delight thanks to the odd couple chemistry of Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock (in full Lethal Weapon spirit), a good story and an excellent supporting cast including the likes of Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport and Bill Burr.
There was talk of a sequel a few years ago and it was apparently on Fox's slate before Disney threw all of these movies in a burlap sack into the river. Back in 2017, Paul Feig revealed that a sequel had actually been written and would riff on The Silence Of The Lambs, meshing horror and comedy, but Sandra Bullock nixed the idea. The spoilsport.
Since then, it's obviously just kicked around waiting for a revival, given that it made Fox a lot of money for its $40m budget.

17. Figment

Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia Mac
The It's Always Sunny... team haven't done nearly enough away from the show, but Rob McElhenney had at least two directing projects attached to his name not that long ago that might have changed that. First was the Minecraft movie, which he dropped out of in 2018 and then there was Figment.
The film would have been his feature directorial and screenwriting debut and would have been a family action flick following "an imaginative boy and his family are thrown for a loop when their greatest fears come to life" according to Deadline.
It doesn't really sound like something you'd expect from an It's Always Sunny alumnus, but the pitch sounds good and it's a shame all the same.

16. Commando

Commando tree
20th Century Fox
The status of some of the movies supposedly on Fox's "active" slate is probably up for debate, but the studio has apparently been juggling a Commando reboot since way back in 2010 at least when David Ayer was hired to make a “less brawny" reimagining. He subsequently dropped out four years later without a pick of activity achieved.
The idea of anyone trying to remake an Arnie classic from that period sounds like foolishness, to be honest, because Commando is so tightly wound into that period of action movies that trying it now would be like trying to run a black and white minstrel show. Well, not as extreme but you get the point.
The only way it could ever have worked is if it was done as a tongue-in-cheek pastiche with John Cena.

15. The Case Against 8

The Case Against 8
Having already inspired an award-winning HBO documentary of the same name, the story of the court case to overturn California's same-sex marriage ban was supposed to get the feature treatment thanks to writer/director Marielle Heller.
Given that she made Can You Ever Forgive Me and is pretty much guaranteed more awards attention with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood later this year, her take on that important story could have been phenomenal.
The original documentary told the story of the legal fight to stop Proposition 8, centring on attorneys Ted Olsen and David Boies, who put aside political differences to defend the couples who took Prop 8 to court in this landmark civil rights battle. At least there's a documentary that you absolutely need to see, but the loss of the film is a tragedy.

14. Understand

Ted Chiang Villarrubia
Back in 2014, Fox saw the future and realised that Ted Chiang and Eric Heisserer would be big business in the sci-fi world in the next few years. The former had written Arrival, which the latter adapted for the big screen as well as writing Bird Box to major streaming success.
The pair would have combined once more for Understand, which Chiang originally wrote as a short story about a comatose man who wakes and grows increasingly intelligent after taking a life-saving experimental drug. The story ends up as a clash of two supermen created by the drug who clash on how they ought to use their powers, which sounds perfect for this comic book obsessed world. Shawn Levy and Dan Levine were in line to produce, but now not so much.

13. Hitman 2(?)

Hitman Blood Money
IO Interactive
Hey, who here enjoyed the Hitman movie starring Timothy Olyphant? Anyone? No, didn't think so. How about 2015's Hitman: Agent 47 starring Rupert Friend? No? Thought not.
Still, the game franchise and the titular assassin had enough fans that Fox still wanted to try and make another fist of a successful adaptation. Whether this would have been a sequel to Agent 47 or a reboot or the suggested TV series from the creator of John Wick remains to be seen, but it's apparently one of the projects that has now hit the skids.
Interestingly, James Gunn once pitched to make an R-Rated sequel to the 2007 dud and was shot down. So Fox deserved how badly the sequel ended up being.

12. Echo

George Clooney Catch 22
Another intriguing sci-fi project that's now no more here thanks to Disney. Echo would have been an adaptation of Christopher MacBride’s science-fiction thriller, which Variety linked George Clooney to as director back in 2018. The story follows a drone specialist who has a psychological crisis after suspecting that his lover is not who she appears to be and wondering whether she has been replaced.
Sounds your typical paranoid sci-fi thriller and seeing Clooney directing anything is always a bonus, particularly after the success of his Catch-22 miniseries. He hasn't done sci-fi as a director yet, but he has just been announced for Netflix's Good Morning, Midnight based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s novel, so it wouldn't have been entirely unprecedented.
Sadly, it looks like Fox's loss is Netflix's gain again.

11. Last Man

David Ayer
David Ayer has a rather patchy history with movies about squads of people, given the wild difference between Suicide Squad and the excellent and horribly underrated Fury, and it appears he was in line to wade into those waters again.
Last Man would have followed a squad of young American soldiers stationed on a distant planet who encounter an alien attack. It's been with Fox for a decade now, since they bought Ayer's pitch for a reported (and astronomical) seven figure fee but very little has happened on that front since.
Given the title and the overlap in concepts with Fury, perhaps Ayer just decided to focus his energy on exploring what it's like to be the last man alive in a war in a different way. Nevertheless, Last Man was never officially cancelled until Disney's cull.

10. Play-Doh

Play Doh
As well as allegedly destroying everyone's childhoods by daring to suggest that women could be Ghostbusters (suck it up, crybabies), Paul Feig was attached to make a live-action Play-Doh movie for Fox. The only reason this is even remotely of interest is because how the hell do you make a Play-Doh movie and why would you hire Paul Feig to make it?
Naturally, it's tempting to accuse Hollywood as having completely run out of ideas, but it's not like the plundering of Hasbro's rights hasn't already inspired some pretty great movies in the LEGO franchise (even if one of them has now also been cancelled). So maybe there was something there.
Feig seemed enthusiastic when he talked about it in 2015, calling it a hilarious Claymation adventure. And you do get the sense that Hasbro will plough ahead finding another way to adapt the toy into a movie, because that's very much their big agenda at the minute.

9. Departures

Lost Plane Crash
Hey everyone, did you like Lost? Drew Goddard probably did, because it made him lots of money and got him lots of other jobs. Including, for a while, a sound-a-like movie called Departures for Fox, which would have focused on a plane crash, which leaves the surviving passengers wondering if they were drawn together for a reason.
To be fair to Goddard, the novel the film was to be based on only came out in 2014, so maybe writer AG Riddle was inspired by Goddard's own writing on Lost? Either way, the director dropped out some time after he was attached to it in 2015 over scheduling conflicts.
The book was self-published but became an online sensation that then earned Riddle a huge fee.

8. Steelskin

Andy Serkis Jungle Book
Warner Bros.
Right at the tail-end of 2015, newly crowned Venom 2 director Andy Serkis revealed that one of his next big projects was going to be another of those Reimagined Fairytale stories that studios went wild for for a little while there. This one would be a reimagining of Rumplestiltskin called Steelskin, which Serkis would produce, direct and star in.
In typical oddball fashion, Steelskin would have been an action-intensive take on the tale of the tricksy imp who helps a woman spin straw into gold in exchange for her first-born child. And because she doesn't respect the art of the deal, she tries to renege on it so Rumplestiltskin being a solid bro gives her three days to guess his name to get out of the deal.
How you turn that into an action film is anyone's guess, but the very idea of Serkis doing it was way more exciting than Disney seem to have believed.

7. The Boogyeman

Stephen King The Boogeyman
If the Pet Sematary remake had done as well as Andy Muschietti's It remake did (and as well as the sequel is destined to), it's hard to imagine that Disney would have been so happy to can a Stephen King adaptation, but they obviously don't see The Boogeyman as enough of a draw to warrant continued attention.
This one also had an added selling point to it, in that the talent involved from the outset should have made it even more interesting. As recently as 2018, A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods announced that they would be adapting the story, and given how well that film went down, you'd have thought Disney might give them some slack to try with King's short story. No dice, sadly.

6. Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon
Studio Canal
Before Taika Waititi was attached to make Thor 4 and everyone got all excited about the God Of Thunder's new lease of life in the MCU again, the hotly-rated director was also attached to two huge remakes in the shape of Akira and the only recently announced animated take on Flash Gordon.
It was only revealed in June that he was attached to the project, but then Comic Con came around and made him a lot busier, so perhaps the studio knew then that Flash Gordon wouldn't be moving forward?
This is one of those projects that's been mentioned repeatedly over the years thanks to the cult appeal of the original movie, so there will be lots of upset fans, but that's just the way financial disappointment works these days.

5. The Argonauts

Jason And The Argonauts
Columbia Pictures
For a while there, it looked like we were going to have to get upset at another disrespectful remake of a Ray Harryhausen classic because Fox set Zak Penn (Ready Player One) away on writing a remake with a "cool" simplified title. Quite how they would ever have captured the stop motion magic of the skeleton attack remains to be seen, but we can at least be thankful nobody got a chance to try and besmirch the legacy.
That news came as far back as 2008 and there has actually been another Argonauts remake talked about far more recently (as Paramount were linked with a project in 2015), but this one was still counted as one of Fox's projects by the list of in-development titles, so it's an interesting one to consider.
Would there have been more of an appetite for Greek mythology-inspired films after the comparative failures of the Titans movies and Percy Jackson? Who knows but there was certainly potential.

4. Z

Gael Garcia Bernal Zorro
As well as the much-talked-about upcoming adaptation of Zorro Versus Django Unchained comic book story that Quentin Tarantino is working on with Jerrod Carmichael, there had been a Zorro reboot in the works under the title Z. Again, movie studios love stripping titles back and this was just the logical extreme.
The most recent announcement on the reboot, which Jonas Cuaron was to direct, said that Kiersey Clemons would star in it opposite Gael Garcia Bernal with the big twist on the original being that she would be playing the titular character "Zee"
1998's The Mask of Zorro introduced the idea of the Zorro name being passed on to new generations and it looks like this would have gone a similar way if it hadn't been killed off.

3. Assassin's Creed 2

Assassins Creed Michael Fassbender
20th Century Fox
While Michael Fassbender apparently knew exactly why the first Assassin's Creed movie - which was supposed to kick off an entire series channelling the popularity of Ubisoft's mega gaming series - failed (so do we, it was rubbish), the failure didn't seem to dampen Fox's enthusiasm to make another.
Or at least to consider one. The sequel was, somewhat foolishly, announced before the first film was released - and thus before it was able to bomb, and unsurprisingly, there's been very little movement on that front since. Likewise, a possible Assassin's Creed anime that was mentioned around 2016 has also dried up.
It's a shame we didn't get to see how someone might have tried to fix how broken the adaptation series was, but maybe we should take it as a win that we aren't getting another potentially disappointing video game movie?

2. The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

league of extraordinary gentlemen
20th Century Fox
Ever since Sean Connery ended his career on the spectacular downnote of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen - on the back of a tumultuous production that saw him clash badly with director Stephen Norrington in public - there have been whispers of a reboot of the franchise.
After all, the comics were great and the story - essentially an Expendables of fictional heroes and anti-heroes - has huge potential for adaptation. That's why a reboot was spirited into being in 2015 by Fox and producer John Davis, who subsequently revealed that it would be a female-centric story. Which makes the title a little confusing, but no matter.
It's now as over as Connery's career. Until someone revives it in the future and flirts with disappointing us all over again, that is.

1. The Sims

The Sims Death.jpg
Did you really need a Sims movie in your life? Probably not, when you think about it. But then again, did you ever think that you'd be enthralled by playing the game in the first place? Or of watching shows like Big Brother that channel the same sort of entertainment factor?
Probably not either, but we live in a world of vanity and obscene fascination with the banalities of other people's lives (if we didn't, Mark Zuckerberg wouldn't be at all wealthy) and Fox saw the potential WAY back in 2007 to make a film.
When it was announced, Scary Movie 3 writer Brian Lynch was attached to write, which wasn't the worst call because that movie is legitimately funny. But now the project has gone to the big video game movie graveyard in the sky along with Mega Man, Assassin's Creed 2, and the new Hitman. Shame.
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