19. INFERNO, BY LARRY NIVEN AND JERRY POURNELLE (1976)

Status: Not in development

Niven and Pournelle’s lost classic Inferno revolves around a disgruntled author named Allen Carpentier who dies and finds himself upon the shores of Hell. Once there, he is approached by a mysterious man named Benito who shows him around the molten kingdom of the dammed. This is the same Hell that Dante Alighieri once roamed through in The Divine Comedy, and Niven and Pournelle fill it with the same twisted terror and fear of the original poem. But because Carpentier is disconnected from religion, he tries in vain to rationalize everything that he sees with science.

The visuals in this novel alone would be enough to make an interesting movie. Flowing rivers of lava, twisted creatures fluttering around, and the sight of Satan himself would be the perfect canvas for a director like Guillermo Del Toro to perform his special effects magic.