Unrealized Projects

This is a list of projects that never saw the light of the day for several reasons

The Dying of the Light

The Dying of the Light was a project of Nicolas Winding Refn starring Harrison Ford as a C.I.A agent who starts to become afflicted with blindness in his last mission. The shooting was set to start in March 2010 but the project fell apart at some point in February. Apparently, at least according to Refn words, Harrison did not agree about the idea of having the character dead at the end of the movie and they could not find another way to do it.


Manhunt

Back in 2005, Harrison Ford grew a goatee and signed on to star in the historical drama “Manhunt” based on James L. Swanson’s book “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer”, a Civil War thriller about the search for Abraham Lincoln’s assassin. In the movie, Ford would have played the leader of the search, Col. Everton Conger. The story focused on the days after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 and followed the New York Cavalry as it solved the mystery that eventually leaded to John Wilkes Booth, uncovering a plot that threatened to plunge the nation back into war. Conger was in command of the troops when they tracked down Booth in a Virginia barn 12 days after Lincoln was shot. The project was set to start filming in 2006 but it was canceled. The reasons for this cancellation still unknown.

Age of Aquarius 

Age of Aquarius was a project starring Harrison Ford as an American relief worker who falls in love with a woman in Sarajevo (supposedly played by Kristin Scott Thomas).  The story opens in Ethiopia in 1984. The star of the tale is Harry Sunderland, a mercenary of sorts who goes from war zone to war zone, delivering food & other supplies. With him is a team comprised of various nationalities, among them Katia, a Serbo-Croatian woman. We learn quickly that Harry & Katia are more than just business, and there’s a lot of water under the bridge between them. The production of the film was planned to begin in 1998 in Israel but was aborted following a wave of terrorist attacks there. The project fell apart later for high budget estimates.

The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan Series)

It was a project of the Jack Ryan Series in development in the late 90s. The Cardinal of the Kremlin is a sequel to The Hunt for Red October, based on the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative and its Soviet equivalent, covering themes including intelligence gathering and counterintelligence, political intrigue, and guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan.It involved Harrison Ford and William Shatner (probably the villan).  Harrison sent the first two scripts back for rewrites and the project was scrapped later.

Fred Cuny Biopic

Fred Cuny went missing during a trip to Chechnya in 1995 at the height of the 1994-96 military campaign. He is believed to have been executed along with an interpreter and two Russian doctors while attempting to negotiate a Russian-Chechen cease-fire. Harrison Ford would have played the lead role in the movie, and also was co-producing the film. Production of the film was set to start in early 2003. The film was based on “The Lost American,” a 1997 documentary by David Fanning.  Mexican director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu was also in negotiations to direct. The project was abandoned and the reasons are still unknown.

Battle for Fallujah

Battle for Fallujah was the first movie project to spawn from the war in Iraq. Based on a book written by a former marine, the story follows the U.S. assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was led by General Jim Mattis and resulted in dozens of American casualties. Harrison Ford was attached to the project to play the part of General Mattis but it was probably canceled because there is no news about it since 2008 at least. Reasons are unknown.

Godspeed

Godspeed was a science fiction movie project that would have reunited Harrison Ford and James Cameron. The ambitious story was about a life-threatening situation on an international space station that could kill all the inhabitants on the station. It was announced circa 2004 and got canceled in 2006. “Godspeed is gone” were Harrison Ford’s words in an interview. No further details have been given about this.

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Another book to film, A Walk Among the Tombstones would have featured Ford as Matthew Scudder, a cop-turned-private eye who is hired by a Brooklyn drug dealer to find the men who kidnapped and butchered his wife. Harrison Ford was attached to the project in 2002 with Joe Carnahan directing. However, the project did never see the light back then and after 10 years, apparently Liam Neeson is taking the part of Matthew Scudder for a movie to be made in 2013 with a new director.

Gemini Man

Gemini Man is, according to many people, one of the best movie concepts created ever: the world’s best assassin is getting old but he’s still the best. The only way to defeat him is to clone him and get the younger clone to hunt him down and kill him. Would the clone succeed? The movie would have Harrison Ford playing two characters: his younger self, who is sent to kill his older self. Special effects -now CGI- and camera angles would help to have two Fords in one movie. Circa 2000, the project was taking form when Harrison was told to be involved in it. Why this, for many of us, perfect Harrison Ford movie was never made? We don’t know. Will the movie see the light some day? We hope.

Dodsworth

Circa 1994, a remake of Dodsworth was in the making starring Harrison Ford and produced by Gregory Peck. Dodsworth is a 1936 movie starring Walter Huston and Ruth Chatterton. Dodsworth is a bittersweet tale of the increasing estrangement of a retired automobile tycoon and his wife. Increasingly obsessed with maintaining an appearance of youth, she falls in with a crowd of frivolous socialites during their “second honeymoon” European vacation. He, in turn, meets a woman who is everything she is not: self-assured, self-confident, and able to take care of herself. The project fell apart at some point due to Harrison Ford’s interests to continue doing action roles.

Hickok & Cody

Let’s go back in time to 1993. Harrison Ford receives a screenplay, reads it and loves it. The soon-to-be movie is a western about James Butler Hickok (‘Wild Bill’) and William Frederick Cody (‘Buffalo Bill’) real people and very notable characters in the 1870 era (I have no further details about the plot, though.) However, a producer takes over the project with a new concept: to change almost everything in it. The result is a corny, less serious movie that would have gone unnoticed. Of course, Harrison Ford didn’t like those changes and walked-out of the project. Good work, producer!

Dark Debts

Harrison Ford was wanted by writer Karen Hall to star in the movie version of supernatural novel titled Dark Debts. Following the style of The Exorcist, Dark Debts tells the story of a cursed family and an exorcist that may have a connection revealed later in the book. Still unknown if Harrison Ford would have played the priest exorcist or one of the family members. Paramount bought the film rights in 1996 but the project was canceled at some point, reasons unknown.