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: Sergio┤s Unrealized projects (taken from Wiki) discussion.  ( 1477 )
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« : June 25, 2012, 12:05:53 PM »

Unrealized projects

The Godfather

Leone was approached as a potential director of The Godfather, but turned down the offer in order to work on his prohibition era crime epic Once Upon a Time in America. The film was ultimately directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

A Place Only Mary Knows

The script was written by Leone, Luca Morsella, and Fabio Toncelli. Set at the height of the American Civil War, the treatment for Leone's idea of an "Americanized" western concerned a Union soldier and a Southern con man/drifter searching for buried treasure while avoiding the battles between the Confederate States of America and the North. It was to star Mickey Rourke and Richard Gere as the two main leads.

Although the written draft never got into pre-production, Leone's son Andrea had it published in 2004.

Leningrad: The 900 Days

While finishing work on Once Upon a Time in America in 1982, Leone was impressed with Harrison Salisbury's non-fiction book The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad, and he planned on adapting the book as a war epic. Although no formal script had been completed or leaked, Leone came up with the opening scene and basic plot. According to the documentary Once Upon a Time, Sergio Leone, the film opened in medias res as the camera goes from focusing on a Russian hiding from the Nazis' artillery fire to panning hundreds of feet away to show the German Panzer divisions approaching the walls of the city. The plot was to focus on an American photographer on assignment (whom Leone wanted to be played by Robert De Niro) becoming trapped in Russia as the German Luftwaffe begin to bombard the city. Throughout the course of the film, he becomes romantically involved with a Russian woman, whom he later impregnates, as they attempt to survive the prolonged siege and the secret police, because relationships with foreigners are forbidden. According to Leone, "In the end, the cameraman dies on the day of the liberation of the city, when he is currently filming the surrender of the Germans. And the girl is aware of his death by chance seeing a movie news: the camera sees it explode under a shell .... "[2]

By 1989, Leone had been able to acquire $100 million in financing from independent backers, and the film was to be a joint production with a Soviet film company. He had convinced Ennio Morricone to compose the film score, and Tonino Delli Colli was tapped to be the cinematographer. Shooting was scheduled to begin sometime in 1990. The project was canceled when Leone died two days before he was to officially sign on for the film.

In early 2003, Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore sparked interest in announcing he would direct a film called Leningrad, and he expressed interest in casting Nicole Kidman in the role of the female love interest.[3] The film was in production by 2008, but whether or not it is related to the Leone project has yet to be revealed.

Don Quixote

According to Frayling's biography of Leone, Something to Do with Death, he envisioned a contemporary adaptation of Cervantes' 17th century novel Don Quixote with Clint Eastwood in the title role and Eli Wallach as Sancho Panza.[4] He had discussed doing the project throughout the 1960s-1970s, and he started seriously considering it towards the end of his life.

TV miniseries

In 1987, Sergio Leone contacted his old collaborators Sergio Donati and Fulvio Morsella, pitching an idea for a TV miniseries about a Colt revolver that passed from owner to owner throughout the Old West, similar to Anthony Mann's film Winchester '73 (1950). Donati indicated that Leone was interested in a more revisionist take on the genre than his earlier works, wanting to show the Old West "like it really was." Leone abandoned this project in favor of A Place Only Mary Knows, though Donati wrote a treatment and the project remained in gestation for years after Leone's death.[5]

Other planned films

Leone was also an avid fan of Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind and the 1939 film adaptation. His relatives and close friends stated that he always talked about filming a remake of the film that was closer to the original novel, but it never advanced beyond discussions to any serious form of production.

Leone was a fan of Louis-Ferdinand CÚline's novel Journey to the End of the Night and was considering a film adaptation in the late 1960s; he incorporated elements of the story into The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Duck, You Sucker! but his idea of adapting the novel itself never got past the planning stages.

Leone also started writing a screenplay based on Lee Falk's The Phantom, and scouted locations for the project. Despite this, he never got to make a movie based on the comic book hero. He declared he would have liked to follow his Phantom project with a movie based on another Falk-created character, Mandrake the Magician.[6]

Leone was an early choice to direct Flash Gordon (1980). Leone was a fan of the original Alex Raymond comic strip, but turned down the film because the script didn't resemble Raymond's work.[7]

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« #1 : June 26, 2012, 04:02:26 AM »

If I had to pick one project...

I would go for the Leningrad: The 900 Days project....  "A place only Mary Knows" sounds way too much like GBU.

However Flash Gordon with the Leone treatment sounds fun.  Imagine it Sergio does Scf-Fi.  It might have opened up an new tranche of fans

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