Dear Hollywood: 5 Films in Development We Actually Want to See

Sometimes reading news about Hollywood's development slate is almost as depressing as the front-page stories about the economy. Between a Ouija Board movie, McG's 300-style Christopher Columbus film and last week's news ambush about a Flip-cam movie and a Rubiks Cube movie, it's sometimes tempting to just stay inside and pray that The Walking Dead, 30 Rock and Boardwalk Empire keep up their quality. But don't despair! Movieline has found five projects in development that sound potentially interesting if not downright fantastic. Check them out after the jump, and chime in with your own ideas for movies in development that Hollywood should get into theaters sooner rather than later.


First, news broke that Alfonso Cuaron was making a sci-fi movie set in space, which is exciting in and of itself since it's new territory for the visionary director. Then, a description of an 20-plus minute opening shot made the whole effort sound even more spectacular. Now, months later, the film has been stalled as the cast changes over and over. Enough! Let's get this going!

·Trouble is my Business

Clive Owen has the rights to this story by the great detective novel author Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye), which has never been adapted for film, and is set to star as private eye Philip Marlowe. Not only is Owen a perfect casting choice for the cynical, wise-cracking private eye, but Chandler's work has aged amazingly well. In fact, the morality-play aspect of his mysteries examining greed and corruption at all levels are as relevant as ever in these bleak times.

· The Happytime Murders

Yes, there's been much discussion about this puppet film noir, which will apparently be aimed squarely at adults. I'm basing excitement on the initial synopsis, which describes it as a hard-boiled murder mystery that takes place in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, and where puppets are treated like second-class citizens. That said, between Team America: World Police, Meet the Feebles and others, we've already had plenty of films and TV shows that exploit the novelty of puppets doing bad things. But the storyline for this sounds solid, and if they play it straight and go beyond shock value, it could actually be a thrilling, totally engaging puppet movie. Even if it's a disaster, I'm more interested in seeing a version of Seven with puppets than another remake or sequel any day.

· The Eternal

Hollow Man notwithstanding, anything with director Paul Verhoeven attached to it is cause for excitement. The fact that The Eternal is being touted as an erotic ghost story only makes the project more intriguing. And finally, the logline: A recovering alcoholic stops a mysterious woman from committing suicide, then sleeps with her. He soon finds out that she's actually a ghost trying to steal his soul. Yeah... I'd like to see how that plays out.

· Bring Your Own

So far, raunchy comedies have been mostly written by, directed by and aimed squarely at males. The news that Natalie Portman co-wrote a "female-themed Superbad" with her friend Laura Moses just begged one question: Why didn't anybody think of this sooner?


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