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Movies no one in Hollywood wanted to make

It happens all of the time: a really cool movie concept is announced, but never seems to appear in theaters. While movie premiere dates usually shift around a bit as they draw near, there are also more unusual instances in which a movie's schedule shifts by years, or even decades, languishing in creative purgatory. Here are some movies that were stuck in that development hell.

Superman Lives (1993-2006)

Originally titled Superman Reborn, this film was going to introduce DC Comics' nigh-invincible, Superman-murdering baddie, Doomsday. Scripting continued endlessly, with one version including a scene in which Superman battled a giant spider directly from the producer's fevered, oblivious imagination. Tim Burton briefly signed on to direct after his success with Batman, but seemed to flee after seeing Nic Cage lube himself up and slither into a Superman suit with sculpted abs. Thirteen years after planning began, the retitled Superman Returns was released.

The Postman (1987-1997)

Based on a sci-fi novel by author and astrophysicist David Brin, the script of The Postman changed so often and significantly that the final screenwriters had to open the original book again to make sure their script had any similarity at all to the source material. Star Kevin Costner was ultimately responsible for hiring his own scriptwriter to rescue the project, and, reportedly, Brin actually enjoyed the movie despite the departure from his own work. The film was released to critical disappointment after a decade in development, with Costner getting nominations for both best and worst actor.

Foodfight! (2002-2012)

If you've never heard of Foodfight!, you're probably living your life right. Even with a cast of A-list celebrities voicing the animated feature (Charlie Sheen, Christopher Lloyd, Wayne Brady, Eva Longoria), Foodfight! is a legendary disaster. Work on the film was hit hard before it could even truly begin, when hard drives containing early assets for the film were reported as stolen in early 2003. Animation began again in 2004, with production company Threshold Entertainment seeking to emulate Pixar by bringing dozens of brand-name grocery items to life à la Toy Story. Animation technology changed halfway through production in an attempt to keep up with modern filmmaking techniques, and the resulting eight-year mess was deemed unsuitable for theaters, going directly to home video. Nonsensical, impenetrable, and inexplicably sexual, it is one of the worst cartoons ever created.

Dallas Buyers Club (1992-2013)

Craig Borten began interviewing subjects for his Dallas Buyers Club script in 1992, and re-wrote his screenplay at least ten times. He shopped the movie around to different studios, none of whom wanted to produce the film, because, it seems, Hollywood had room for one only movie per decade about AIDS, and Philadelphia had just been released. At various times, both Woody Harrelson and Ryan Gosling were slated to star, but in 2013, under the superstar power of the Mighty McConaughey, the film was finally completed and released to an enthusiastic audience, earning over $55 million and Academy Award wins for both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.

Akira (2002-?)

Based on Japan's successful manga series and animated film of the same name, the live-action adaption of Akira has been in various stages of production since 2002, when Warner Bros. purchased the rights. Casting rumors have swirled for years, with George Takei weighing in at one point by saying that only the casting of Asian actors would be morally acceptable. Budget scrutiny on the effects-heavy feature halted progress at least once, and other directors simply decided to quit directing entirely. As of 2015, Warner Bros. has rebooted the project, but time will tell.

Alien Vs. Predator (1990-2004)

Based on a 1989 comic book which imagined an epic battle between the two terrifying space monsters, AvP was scheduled for a 1993 release. During its 14-year struggle to hit the screen, parts of Ridley Scott's original script became 2012's Prometheus, and AvP was significantly delayed as the studio focused on other Alien films. When the film was eventually released, most critics saw it as a ridiculous attempt to cash in on multiple film franchises, and Sigourney Weaver remarked that she was glad her character was already dead.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2001-2015)

The fourth film in the Mad Max franchise, Fury Road took a 14-year detour before it was produced. The film's first roadblock occurred in 2001 when director George Miller shifted focus to film Happy Feet,with Miller wanting to make something less serious after the events of September 11, 2001. By 2003, the film was given a budget of $100 million but never materialized, with Mel Gibson leaving the project permanently. At one point, the film was developed as an animated feature, but eventually returned to its roots, with filming beginning in earnest in 2012. By 2015, the film was released to critical accolades.

Fantastic Four (2009-2015)

After multiple terrible adaptations for the big screen, another Fantastic Four adaptation was treated like cinematic poison from start to finish. With a reboot initially planned by 20th Century Fox in 2009, the film faced five years of script rewrites, with concerned comic nerds nagging during the entire process. With the bleak history of Jessica Alba's Fantastic Four still a fresh wound in everyone's psyche, the 2015 reboot was doomed from the moment it was conceived, and was no better off with Miles Teller, a certified Awful Human Being, attached. Even the film's director has distanced himself from the flop.