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When a movie is trying to be made based on a particularly complex book or graphic novel the term “unfilmable” gets thrown around a lot. Sometimes it is the author of the source material that will deem their work unfilmable. Other times a studio or filmmaker, after a particularly rough preproduction will declare a movie unfilmable. Regardless, sometimes people who call something unfilmable are just wrong. Here are the top five movies that were deemed unfilmable at one point but are now movies.

5. The Watchmen

Zack Snyder’s first foray into superheroes, 2009’s The Watchmen, is based on a graphic novel written by Alan Moore. The book is both a satire of America’s political and social class system and on the art of making a superhero comic. Thus, it uses a lot of comic book techniques in order to tell its narrative. This is what made Alan Moore deem his work unfilmable.
Terry Gilliam begged to differ and was one of the first directors attached to the project. It was the late ‘80s, however, and there were concerns that the technology was not there to bring the comic to life. There were also concerns over budget. Terry Gilliam would abandon the project calling it unfilmable. Durring to ‘00s Darren Aronofsky would be the next director to try and make this film only to walk away over disagreements with the studio over the budget. Finally, Snyder would get the film made, though he had to make some changes. Everything is there, just like in the comic, except in the movie it is a nuclear bomb that destroys the city. In the graphic novel it is a giant tentacle monster.

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  • Angus

    Where’s American Psycho?

  • Juan

    I think the Avengers or the whole idea of a shared universe at one point was thought to be unfilmmable

    • Pætter Wollesen

      That was the third time an Avengers film was made.

      • Juan

        I meant like realistically unfilmmable to do it justice and I was going more for the whole idea of a shared universe. Not many executives thought it could be possible for people to understand the connection and stick with it.

      • Ellis Chasteen

        *fifth. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain American: The First Avenger.
        adding Iron Man 2 itd be sixth.

  • Touch

    unfilmalbe huh?

  • http://jaarsvold.tumblr.com/ Jillian Joyce Aarsvold

    The only one of these movies I’ve heard of is Lord of the Rings

  • TD

    Please, for the love of God and all that is holy, hire a damn copy editor! “Unfilmalbe,” really? It’s your headline for crying out loud! I work cheap when I like the subject matter, so please, stop embarrassing yourself; You have my email address, use it!

    • Cloudface Von Ruckus

      Just write for Cracked man, pretty sure they take submissions & this site’s a pale imitation of it anyway

  • mikeal

    Dies the fire by s. M. Sterling that I believe would be unfilmalbe

  • terlet

    Most of these were horrible.

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