Laser Time – Development Hell


On this Laser Time, we’re discussing the movies, music, games, and other works of art that took far too long to come out, and in some cases never even did!


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13 thoughts on “Laser Time – Development Hell

  1. Antista was very difficult to follow this episode. He was always cutting his sentences and repeating what he just said. I loved the subject but I would bet a writen form would be easier to diggest than the mess it was on audio.

  2. How the hell did you guys miss Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”?

    It has been in development hell for SEVENTEEN YEARS, starting in *1998*.

    It even had its own documentary about the failed production!

    BTW, the best Spider-Man theme is the 1967 cartoon theme.

    If you want to read more about the Marvel movie troubles, read “Marvel Comics – The Untold Story” by Sean Howe.

    It’s a fascinating read and gives information about Marvel’s movie history.

  3. If you want to read more about movies stuck in development hell, I highly recommend “Tales from Development Hell” by David Hughes. It covers Spider-man, Superman Lives, an earlier Batman V Superman concept, and the fifth Batman film that would eventually become Batman Begins.

    I know Mystery Science Theater 3000 might not count as stuck in development hell, but I always through the idea of a return was possible and then Shout! Factory and Joel just revived it quickly through their business deal last year.

    I really enjoyed this episode. I don’t fault Chris for discussing Flight of the Navigator (again), but it seemed like it took up a lot of time at the start.

  4. I add to the ugh count to Avatar as a commentary suggestion. Someone take Chris’s decision stick away.

  5. The LaserTime Disney Sea video has been stuck in development hell for quite a while. It’s been “COMING SOON!” for almost two years now.

  6. On the comics front, Batman Europa was stuck in development hell for about 10 years or so. If I recall correctly, it was announced in 2005, to be a mini-series written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee, but after a few months it disappeared from solicits. In 2010, it showed up again with a cover announcement and some more plot details, with DC committing to having it released within months. Finally, in 2015 it showed up again, this time Jim Lee was only committed to doing issue one and the covers. It came out, and I barely heard anyone discussing it and reviews were so-so from what I saw.

    I’d say the fault falls on both Miller and Lee, both of them have been responsible for delays on other projects and both blamed the unfinished All Star Batman & Robin on their work ethic.

  7. We still have fucking 3d because of Avatar so theres that shit, especially when all the best showtimes are 3d or outnumber 2d showings. fuck you Avatar.
    You wanna know why Avatar was a success
    new 3d tech gimmick
    banking off shitty december which at the time studios still hadnt figured out people like to go to the movies when at home for holidays
    Advertising out the ass, out the ass!!! I was home watching tv before it came out, i was excited for Guy Ritchies Sherlock Holmes and every fucking commercial break, every single one had an advert for Avatar coming out every fucking one i still have memories of that night.
    I hate Avatar!!! Pocahontas ripoff fucking overrated bullsushi.

  8. Oh there just isn’t a contract for an Avatar Park at Disney world. It is like 90% built.

    It will be both open before and bigger than the expanded Star Wars portion of Hollywood Studios.

    I was there just 6 months ago and already you could see the cliffs of Pandora from the parking lot. It will be the biggest attractions at Animal Kindom.

    It boggles my mind that so much money has been spent on Avatar when the sequels are not successful yet. What exactly happens if it bombs? It will be the absolute worst failure in entertainment history.

  9. Development hell isn’t quite as common in music, but there have been some pretty severe cases.

    My Bloody Valentine, the Scottish indie-rock legends, put out the record “Loveless” in 1991, and didn’t put out another album for 22 years.
    They apparently recorded several potential follow-ups in the decades between but scrapped them all.

    The Avalanches, the Australian sound collage geniuses, put out their first album in 2000 and only released their second last month, after years of claiming in interviews that they were “almost” done recording.
    D’Angelo also took about 14 years making his “Black Messiah” LP.
    At least with these artists, unlike Guns ‘n’ Roses, their records were worth the wait.

    1. Yes, forgot about mbv! And I’d say the album they ended up releasing turned out pretty good.

      When the guys were talking about Nintendo, I kept yelling Mother 3/Earthbound 64. In total, development lasted about 12 years and spanned from the SNES, to the N64, 64DD and then finally of course the GBA. I find it interesting because it’s one of the only games I’ve ever heard about where the transition to final hardware ended up being a step back, technologically speaking. Usually games are held for newer, more powerful systems, not the other way around. But the team wasn’t comfortable making a agme with 3D polygons, and Iwata himself even regretted pushing for Mother 3 on the 64.

  10. Three I would have mentioned:

    1. The Thief and the Cobbler, an amazing animated film with what is currently a somewhat unhappy ending as the rights are in a strange place and the best way to watch the film is a very messy fan-made edit.

    2. Happytime Murders, an R-rated muppets noir film directed by Jim Henson’s son. Right now, it’s looking like it may not actually be dead and that Jamie Foxx could be the non-muppet star.

    3. Mad Max: Fury Road, potentially the longest development hell with the most payoff. George Miller’s story of cancelling production multiple times (once because of 9/11) is fascinating and it is an absolute miracle that we ended up with such a masterpiece.

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