Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The "Never Got Made" File #24 - #30: The Cannon Group collection

If I had a dime for every project that Cannon announced that didn't get made, I'd be a very rich man. Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were definitely enthusiastic about making movies and nowhere was this more evident than their "throw it at the wall and see what sells" approach to announcing projects. Below is just a small sampling of projects they promoted in Variety but never actually got made or morphed into something far different. For a larger sampling, check out this list of unrealized Cannon fodder.


Okay, I'm cheating a little bit here because Albert Pyun did eventually make this for Cannon and it was released in 1990. But this was announced in the mid-80s with Michael Winner attached to direct with a screenplay by James R. Silke (REVENGE OF THE NINJA; NINJA III). One can only imagine.

File #25 - #27: Chuck Norris flicks

"We got Chuck under contract? Let's attach him to every action picture we make!" Yeah, Norris' heyday was for the Go-Go boys so it shouldn't surprise anyone that his name was attached to quite a few projects. AMERICAN NINJA was eventually made by Sam Firstenberg with Michael Dudikoff. NIGHT HUNTER, which was to be the return of INVASION U.S.A.'s Matt Hunter, was made by Sam Firstenberg with Michael Dudikoff as AVENGING FORCE. And the amazingly titled TOUGH KICK never got made. I guess Firstenberg and Dudikoff had better things to do?

File #28 - #30: Albert Pyun exploitation

Following THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER (1982), director Albert Pyun provided Cannon with a handful of professional looking low budget sci-fi tinged features. Professional looking and low budget? Let's sign that workhorse up! Toward the end of his tenure, Pyun was attached to seemingly EVERY Cannon project including their long gestating SPIDER-MAN adaptation. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE PART 2 and SUPERMAN V never got made. And DELTA FORCE II ended up getting made with Chuck Norris pulling a Dudikoff on Michael Dudikoff and replacing his replacement. Oh, my head!

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