John Hughes's unrealized projects

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The following is a list of unproduced John Hughes projects in roughly chronological order. During his long career, American film director John Hughes has worked on a number of projects which never progressed beyond the pre-production stage under his direction. Some of these productions fell in development hell or were cancelled.


National Lampoon's Jaws 3, People 0[edit]

In 1979, Matty Simmons hired Hughes and Tod Carroll to write the script of the third Jaws film as a National Lampoon parody from Universal Pictures.[1][2][3][4] According to Simmons, the film was to star Bo Derek and Richard Dreyfuss and be directed by Joe Dante.[1][2] Rodger Bumpass was also to appear in the film.[5] However, Steven Spielberg, who directed the first film, managed to convince Universal not to make the film by threatening to never work with the studio again.[1][2][5] Nevertheless, Simmons credits the unmade film as to how Hughes began his career the film industry.[1][2]


The History of Ohio from the Beginning of Time to the End of the Universe[edit]

In the early 1980s, Hughes and P. J. O'Rourke scripted an unproduced adaptation of National Lampoon Sunday Newspaper Parody which they titled The History of Ohio from the Beginning of Time to the End of the Universe.[1][6] According to O'Rourke, "We never really got it to work and finally abandoned it. But it was fun to work together."[7]

The New Kid[edit]

During the 1980s, Hughes wrote a script titled The New Kid, and it was based on his experiences growing up.[1][8] According to Kirk Honeycutt, the story was "about a teenager's experiences in a new high school in Arizona".[9] When Hughes offered Howard Deutch the choice to direct either The New Kid or Pretty in Pink (1986), Deutch chose to direct the latter film.[1]

The Last Good Year[edit]

Anthony Michael Hall claims that during the making of The Breakfast Club (1985), Hughes had an idea for a movie which he titled The Last Good Year: "At one point when we were doing The Breakfast Club, John had an idea for a movie called The Last Good Year. It was something that he pitched to me as something he wanted to do with me, about the last good year being 1962, before the Beatles’ invasion. Maybe it was a sarcastic title. The idea was, I think, that the cultural shift was significant to him—the crossover in time from Pat Boone America to Beatles America. He didn't have too many of the story elements worked out, but, man, did he have a mix tape put together."[1][10]


Molly Ringwald claims that after he finished The Breakfast Club, Hughes had written a script based on The Cure song, "The Lovecats".[1][10][11]

Oil and Vinegar[edit]

After he finished Pretty in Pink, Hughes wrote the script of a film titled Oil and Vinegar, which was to star Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald.[12] According to Inquisitr, Broderick and Ringwald were to portray a couple who "spend a day in a motel room, swapping stories on life and love".[13] According to Broderick, "It was very intimate: it was just the two of them, basically, is my memory, often in a car. It was a very typical romantic comedy about two very different people who fell in love, but it was very inventive in its smallness."[14]

The film was to have released by Universal Pictures, but Hughes objected when the studio asked for rewrites.[14] Therefore, the creative differences between Hughes and Universal, along with Broderick and Ringwald's scheduling conflicts, are credited for why the film was never made.[14][15]


Bartholomew vs. Neff[edit]

In 1990, it was reported that Hughes would direct Sylvester Stallone and John Candy in a comedy he had written titled Bartholomew vs. Neff for Carolco Pictures.[16][17] The film was to have been about feuding neighbors.[18] Hughes had planned to direct the film right after he finished Curly Sue (1991).[1][19] According to the Los Angeles Times, principal photography was scheduled to take place in the suburbs of Chicago during the summer of 1991.[16] The film was never made.[1][17]

Black Cat Bone: The Return of Huckleberry Finn[edit]

In 1991, it was reported that Hughes would write, produce and direct Black Cat Bone: The Return of Huckleberry Finn for 20th Century Fox.[20] It was to have been about the character that was created by Mark Twain but be set in modern times.[21] Principal photography for that film was scheduled to begin on March 16, 1992.[22] However, it was reported that Hughes was competing against TriStar Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures, since both studios were also trying to make a Huckleberry Finn movie.[23] Disney eventually succeeded over Fox and TriStar following the completion of The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993).[24]


In 1992, it was reported that Hughes would write and produce a live action adaptation of Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts for Warner Bros.[25] Hughes reportedly visited Schulz at his home in Santa Clara, California to talk about adapting Peanuts into a film.[26][27] According to Variety, Hughes planned to start writing the script on Christmas of 1992 and finish it by the spring of 1993; Hughes also did not verify that he would direct the film.[26] It is believed that the critical failure of Dennis the Menace (1993), which Hughes wrote and produced for WB, is what prevented the movie from being made. The film was finally released in 2015 by Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox Animation.

The Pajama Game[edit]

Variety reported in 1992 that Hughes and Warner Bros. were to do a remake of the 1957 film The Pajama Game.[28]

Damn Yankees[edit]

In 1993, Hughes reportedly wrote a script adapted from the musical Damn Yankees, but it never came to fruition.[27]

The Bee[edit]

Due to the commercial success of Home Alone (1990), Hughes felt determined to make The Bee, a live action family comedy film that he wrote that required a $50 million budget.[27][29] According to Daniel Stern, The Bee is about "an architect who was trying to finish his project that day and a bee comes into the house and the guy gets distracted by the bee. And the entire movie is the bee forcing the guy to destroy his own house and take his life apart."[30] Kirk Honeycutt claims that The Bee was inspired by Hughes' "involvement in the development of Redwing Farms, where he worked to reforest the land and turn it into a proper English farm."[27] It is said that of Hughes' script, only ten pages of it contained dialogue.[27][29][31]

The Bee was initially developed at 20th Century Fox, but by early 1993, Hughes sold the project to Warner Bros. after Fox passed on it.[27][29] Then in May 1994, WB put the project in turnaround.[29] By June that same year, it was officially announced that Hughes would write, produce and direct The Bee for Walt Disney Pictures with a budget of $25 million.[1][31] Simon Brew credits Hughes's 1994 departure from Hollywood, along with the critical and financial failure of Baby's Day Out (1994), which he wrote and produced for Fox, as factors that led to the film's cancellation.[29]

In later reports, Daniel Stern claimed that he was going to direct the film.[30] According to Stern, Hughes visited him on the set of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), showed him the script of The Bee and asked him to direct it.[29] Stern further claimed that he worked on the script with Hughes.[29] It has also been reported that Steve Martin was considered to star in the film.[27][29]

Dumb and Dumber[edit]

According to Kirk Honeycutt, Hughes wrote an incomplete initial draft of the Dumb and Dumber script; he eventually abandoned the script, sold it to the Farrelly brothers and had his name removed.[32]


In 1996, Hughes had written a script titled Tickets. According to Bradford Evans, "Tickets was a script that followed a group of teenage strangers camped out all night in zero degree weather for tickets to their favorite band’s farewell show." The script was never made into a film due to the release of the similarly themed film Detroit Rock City (1999).[1]


Grisbys Go Broke[edit]

In 2002, Hughes had written a script titled Grisbys Go Broke, which was about a wealthy family in Chicago who spend their Christmas bankrupt.[1] It was later reported in 2010 that Paramount Pictures bought the rights to the script.[33] However, the studio officially confirmed that it was not negotiated to purchase the script.[34][35]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Evans, Bradford (12 July 2012). "The Lost Projects of John Hughes". Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Evans, Bradford (10 April 2012). "Talking to Matty Simmons About Producing Animal House, Publishing National Lampoon, and His New Book Fat, Drunk, and Stupid". Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  3. ^ Kurland, Daniel (21 June 2016). ""That Was a Franchise?" – 'Jaws'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  4. ^ Hiaasen, Rob (6 August 2013). "Jaws 3-D : One Survivor's Story". HuffPost. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b Karp, Josh (2006). A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever. Chicago Review Press. p. 349. ISBN 9781556526022. john hughes national lampoons jaws 3 people 349
  6. ^ Ferris, D.X. (19 August 2009). "Sincerely: John Hughes created a whole world, and we're still living in it". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  7. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (2015). John Hughes: A Life in Film: The Genius Behind Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, and More. Race Point Publishing. ISBN 38
  8. ^ Gora, Susannah (2011). You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 131
  9. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (2015). John Hughes: A Life in Film: The Genius Behind Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, and More. Race Point Publishing. ISBN 96
  10. ^ a b Kamp, David (March 2010). "JOHN HUGHES'S ACTORS ON JOHN HUGHES". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Billboard Bits: Lady Gaga, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Greg Dulli and More". Billboard. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  12. ^ Meroney, John (19 August 2010). "Molly Ringwald's Revealing Interview on John Hughes, Not Being Lindsay Lohan, and More". The Atlantic. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  13. ^ Kanty, Edward V. (28 February 2016). "'Pretty In Pink' Celebrates 30 Years With Behind The Scenes Trivia". Inquisitr. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Gora, Susannah (2010). You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation. Crown/Archetype. ISBN 9780307460066.pages 234-235
  15. ^ "Another Unproduced John Hughes Script Found?". Elle. 16 April 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  16. ^ a b "SHORT TAKES : Stallone in Line for Comedy Role". Los Angeles Times. 30 July 1990. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  17. ^ a b Crane, Robert; Fryer, Christopher (2015). Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 252
  18. ^ Carter, Bill (4 August 1991). "Him Alone". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  19. ^ Evans, Bradford (2 June 2011). "The Lost Roles of John Candy". Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  20. ^ Kleid, Beth (20 November 1991). "Movies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  21. ^ "TASTE OF MODERN LIFE FOR HUCK". Deseret News. 21 November 1991. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Revision 'Huck Finn'". Pittsburgh Press. 26 November 1991. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  23. ^ Pond, Steve (3 July 1992). "'BATMAN' RETURNS TO EARTH". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Huck Finn Returns In Three Incarnations". Hartford Courant. 1 April 1993. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Hughes to produce 'Peanuts' movie for Warner". United Press International. 13 November 1992. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  26. ^ a b Frook, John Evan (15 November 1992). "WB, Hughes crack deal for 'Peanuts'". Variety. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g Honeycutt, Kirk (2015). John Hughes: A Life In Film: The Genius Behind The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Home Alone. Race Point Publishing. ISBN 9781627886239.pages 176-177
  28. ^ Eller, Claudia (6 October 1992). "WB, Hughes tune up for 'Pajama Game' remake". Variety. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h Brew, Simon (9 April 2018). "The Bee: The $50 Million John Hughes Movie That Fell Apart". Den of Geek. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  30. ^ a b "John Hughes Remembered: Daniel Stern (burlgar in 'Home Alone')". Entertainment Weekly. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  31. ^ a b Citron, Alan (24 June 1994). "Company Town : Disney Rolls Out Carpet for Hughes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  32. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (2015). John Hughes: A Life in Film: The Genius Behind Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, and More. Race Point Publishing. ISBN 5
  33. ^ Reynolds, Simon (3 March 2010). "Paramount buys unmade John Hughes script". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  34. ^ Kit, Borys; Fernandez, Jay A. (7 March 2010). "John Hughes script stirring up interest". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Final Hughes script may see big screen". ABC Online. 8 March 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2018.