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  • 1941 started the career of Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (commonly known as "the Bobs"), with the script being written by them in film school and quickly becoming notorious in the industry for how batshit insane it was, with the two of them throwing in any random idea off the top of their heads. One of the people intrigued by it was Steven Spielberg, who after becoming the biggest director in Hollywood after the back-to-back smash successes of Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind decided to do this script next. And putting these three fresh young egos together quickly sent them even further down the rabbit hole, with the script mutating pretty much daily with one crazy idea after another, while no one was willing to rein them in. Further problems were caused by them beefing up the role of Wild Bill Kelso after casting John Belushi, fresh off his own success with Animal House, only for his notorious drug abuse and habit of wandering off set without warning to wreak havoc with the schedule. Also causing issues was Toshiro Mifune, who was disgusted with the lackadaisical attitude of the other actors playing the Japanese submarine crew and appointed himself as a drill sergeant to whip them into shape and take the process seriously. The film's massive action scenes caused so much noise that the cast was unable to hear Spielberg yell "Cut," so he resorted to firing one of the prop machine guns in the air during these scenes to let them know to stop. The premiere screening was a disaster, with Spielberg having noted he was especially bemused to see so many people covering their ears; he'd seen plenty covering their eyes during Jaws but this was a new one for him. It was savaged by critics and did middling business, which Spielberg and the Bobs have described as a much-needed humbling experience, after which they were all able to go on to wildly successful careers (with the film's position smack in the middle of what would otherwise be a spectacular four film smash hit run for Spielberg ironically causing it to be remembered as a much bigger bomb than it was), including Spielberg producing one of the Bobs' biggest hits Back to the Future a few years later.
  • The 2013 film 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves, was beset by continuous production woes, as evidenced by these articles. Director Carl Erik Rinsch had never made a feature film before, and furthermore, he and the studio, Universal, clashed on the final vision of the film. Universal wanted to make an effects-driven fantasy blockbuster akin to Avatar or The Lord of the Rings, while Rinsch envisioned the film as more of a drama. As such, the film was subject to numerous delays, reshoots, and a budget running from $175 million to a whopping $225 million. Finally, despite denials from the studio, there were rumors that Rinsch was kicked off the project due to the numerous production woes.

    Roughly speaking, between the costs of production and advertising, it needed to gross $500 million to break even... a figure that it did not even come close to. Before it even came out in the USnote , Universal, taking one look at the hurricane of bad buzz surrounding the project, took an unspecified writedown on it. It was met with scathing reviews upon release, and audiences largely agreed with the critics and ignored the film. Having grossed only $150 million — not even a third of what it needed to — it currently ranks as one of the biggest box office bombs of all time.
  • Like many historical epics, 55 Days at Peking ran into issues with budget and logistics: producer Samuel Bronston constructed a set representing turn-of-the-century Peking in Madrid at a cost of $900,000, while the production grew so strapped for extras and equipment they borrowed them from Lawrence of Arabia, filming concurrently in Almeria and Seville. There were myriad on-set difficulties: director Nicholas Ray had a heart attack halfway through production and was replaced by Andrew Marton; Ava Gardner had a long-running nervous breakdown, showing up drunk on set, cursing out the director and ruining a day's shoot because an extra took her photograph; Charlton Heston and David Niven brought in their own screenwriters to beef up their characters (the long sequence where they blow up a Chinese armory was added so Niven's character seemed more heroic). Worse still, the film flopped at the box office and (along with the similarly-expensive Fall of the Roman Empire) destroyed Bronston's production company.

    A 
  • The 2015 film Accidental Love started production in 2008 as a political satire called Nailed, based on the novel Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore (daughter of Al). It had a very timely topic concerning problems in the health-care industry and featured an established cast headed by Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal. Its director, David O. Russell, had a soiled reputation at the time due to his erratic behavior on the set of I Heart Huckabees and needed this film to succeed and help save his damaged career.
    • As it turned out, Nailed's financier was none other than notorious embezzler David Bergstein, and the project was pretty much doomed from the start. Due to Bergstein not paying the SAG as promised, the film was shut down on the first day of shooting. The project would undergo a cycle of starting up again, the cast and crew realizing that Bergstein still wasn't paying the bills, and the production halting again that Russell described as Kafkaesque in a 2014 interview. During the course of its production, Nailed was shut down fourteen times! During the torturous shoot, James Caan, who had a major supporting role, quit the production due to creative differences with Russell.
    • The last scene intended to be shot was the pivotal one, where Biel gets a nail stuck in her head, which starts off the chain of events. This gave Bergstein an ample excuse to shut down Nailed again, reportedly for good, just before the scene was to be shot. Unfortunately, without that scene, the movie had no purpose.
    • With doubts that he would ever be able to complete the film, Russell withdrew from Nailed in 2010. He ended up making The Fighter, which cemented his comeback, and between the release of that film and this one, he continued his hot streak with Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.
    • In 2011, Bergstein cobbled together whatever was filmed and gave test screenings of Nailed in LA, with the crew unaware of its happening. There were talks with Russell and Ron Tutor, the latter of whom was Bergstein's business partner, about completing the film, but no such plans ever came to fruition. Russell subsequently took his name off of the film; it was instead credited to "Stephen Greene". The movie was completed by a former executive of Bergstein's company (the crucial nail-in-the-head sequence was added digitally), and it was dumped into limited release under the title Accidental Love in February 2015.
    • The long delay in the release of Accidental Love had unfortunate side effects: between 2008 and 2015, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or "Obamacare") was passed into law, so what the film had to say about health care had become totally irrelevant. No wonder that the distributor promoted it as a romantic comedy instead of the political satire it originally was. The resulting film received a scathing reception from criticsnote , and was soon all but forgotten except as a footnote of the careers of all involved and a massive case of What Could Have Been.
  • Across the Universe only had a mildly troubled shoot, though with some spats between director Julie Taymor and the producers, who felt that she was making the film a little too "artsy" and being unrealistically optimistic that the music of The Beatles would make it a box-office hit. After filming was done, Taymor assembled her director's cut and presented it to the studio, only for studio head Joe Roth to reject it and put together his own cut tailored more for mainstream audiences. One problem, however; between her status as a Broadway legend and her acclaimed cinematic debut with Frida, Taymor had gotten Protection from Editors in her contract, and she demanded that Roth release her cut unaltered. Roth sent both versions to test audiences in an attempt to show that he was right, and while reactions toward both cuts were mixed, the feedback was clearly more positive toward Taymor's cut than his own. Both parties refused to back down, causing the film's release date to slip from the back-end of 2006 to September 2007, and when it became obvious that the press was firmly on Taymor's side, Roth finally backed down and agreed to release her cut, albeit with little in the way of publicity, causing it to earn back just $30m of its $45m budget worldwide.
  • The Addams Family:
    • Problems began with producer Scott Rudin, who at the time was head of production at 20th Century Fox, who initially pitched the film to his colleagues. However, the rights were held by Orion Pictures (by virtue of their merger with Filmways in 1982), and Fox was unable to purchase the rights due to Orion's plans to create a new television series.
    • Pre-production finally began after Charles Addams' ex-wife sold her portion of the rights to Orion, who at that point had scrapped their idea for a TV series and instead decided to make a feature film. Rudin left Fox to serve as producer, and a screenplay was penned by Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson (of Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice fame), with additional material by an uncredited Paul Rudnick, who would go onto write the sequel Addams Family Values. Several rewrites followed.
    • After Tim Burton passed the director's chair, it was taken up by Barry Sonnenfeld, who at the time had only ever worked as a cinematographer and had no directorial experience. This proved to a problem, as Sonnenfeld repeatedly had on-set panic attacks and lost thirteen pounds in less than ten weeks. Sonnenfeld asked Rudin to let him go, but the producer refused.
    • Three months prior to the end of principal photography, director of photography Owen Roizman suddenly quit and had to be replaced by Gale Tattersall, who had to be rushed to the hospital just weeks later and was replaced by Sonnenfeld himself.
    • Raúl Juliá missed several days of shooting after a blood vessel in his eye burst, and Sonnenfeld had to split his time between Los Angeles and New York after his wife fell ill with several weeks of shooting left.
    • During principal photography, Orion began suffering serious financial issues after a string of expensive flops, and in an effort to recoup their losses sold the film to Paramount mid-shoot after the film went over-budget.
    • Problems followed the film after release. Orion had failed to sell the film's full foreign distribution rights to Paramount, and in turn were inherited by MGM (which bought Orion in 1997), who in some territories have their properties distributed on home media by Fox. As a result, the film didn't receive a DVD release outside of North America or the United Kingdom until 2013.
  • It's hardly surprising that The Adventures of Pluto Nash became one of the biggest bombs in history given the circumstances:
    • The screenplay was originally written in 1985 and it passed between various producers, directors, and actors over the next fifteen years, with some twelve uncredited rewrites by different writers. While the bare bones of the plot remained the same throughout this process, the story gradually changed from its original incarnation as a serious space opera to a farcical comedy, especially after Eddie Murphy joined the project.
    • Principal photography was hampered by the constant bickering between Murphy, director Ron Underwood, and the producers, with Murphy often overruling Underwood and making on-the-fly rewrites, causing the film to go over-schedule and over-budget.
    • The workprint version of the film ran nearly three hours, and Oscar-winning editor Alan Heim was brought in to try and fix the film. After viewing the available footage, he determined that a large portion of the film needed to be reshot, and whole new scenes added including an opening and closing sequence, and introductory sequences for both Pluto and Dina. Eddie Murphy ultimately financed many of the reshoots while the film languished in post-production, writing and directing many of the new scenes himself.
    • Eventually Village Roadshow, which had been in a multi-picture financing deal with Warner Bros., stepped in to cover the costs of the increasingly costly reshoots and editing, but necessitated that the production move to Canada to earn a local tax credit, as Roadshow was at the time busy with the production of The Matrix Reloaded. All the while, Underwood and original editor Paul Hirsch (of Star Wars fame) were locked out of having any input in the film's final cut.
    • Murphy ended up losing interest in the film and left to work on other projects. Since production on the film had technically ended months prior, Warner Brothers had no legal precedent to have him finish the film, which at this point had ended up costing around $100,000,000 (not including promotional costs). Heim took over post-production and did his best to turn the some-five hours worth of disparate footage into a coherent film. The result of this is a film where characters are introduced only to suddenly disappear without explanation, with lengthy Exposition Dumps to fill in important plot points.
    • The film was finally released two years after principal photography had officially wrapped, at which point it bombed at the box-office and sent both Underwood and Murphy's careers into a downward spiral. Heim later admitted he only stuck with the project for the sizable paycheck.
  • Altered States: Arthur Penn, the original director, quit early on after a dispute with Paddy Chayefsky, who was upset with some of the changes he'd wanted to make. John Dykstra quit as well, and Bran Ferren had to do the special effects on a lower budget (it shows). Once Ken Russell was hired to actually finish the film, he was in a situation where, if he changed so much as one word of the script, he would have been sued, so he resolved it by having the actors deliver some of the more pretentious dialogue very rapid fire. Chayefsky didn't sue but was still pissed enough to petition the Writers' Guild to use his given name, Sidney Aaron, in the credits as his pseudonym. The experience of shooting some of the scenes was very trying physically for the actors. Columbia, who had started the film, washed their hands of it and Warner Brothers picked it up. The producer was nonetheless upset that they decided to shove it into the Christmas season rush rather than wait until the spring when there would be less competition for that kind of film.
  • According to the DVD Commentary, An American Carol was heavily reshot after test audiences (in conservative Texas) proved more confused than amused by the original cut (Zucker felt many viewers didn't understand it was a comedy), while the film's conservative bankrollers objected to some of its crude humor. Additionally, Zucker and the filmmakers found their cast (mostly political conservatives themselves) uncooperative and often domineering. Particular offenders were Kelsey Grammer, who objected to a scene where his General Patton shoots a horde of ACLU lawyers, and Jon Voight, who demanded to write his own George Washington monologue and complained that Zucker and Kevin Farley made Michael Malone too sympathetic. The film also ended up flopping really hard with both critics (who had to clarify that they didn't dislike the movie because of its politics, but because it wasn't funny) and the box office.
  • American Graffiti: Although the shoot finished on time and on budget, it was no small miracle that it managed to do so:
    • The day before shooting was due to begin, a key crew member was arrested for growing marijuana, and setting the cameras up for location shooting on the first day took so long that they did not start shooting until 2 am, putting them half a night behind before a single scene had been shot.
    • After a single night of outdoor filming in San Rafael, the city revoked their filming permit after a local bar owner complained that the road closures were costing him business, forcing them to move filming twenty miles away to Petaluma. On the second night, a local restaurant caught fire, and the noise of the fire engine sirens and the resulting traffic jams made filming impossible.
    • Inevitably for a film featuring so many driving scenes, the cars and equipment required to film them in motion seldom behaved as planned. An assistant cameraman was run over after he fell off the back of the camera truck during filming of a road scene, while filming of the climactic drag race was hampered when one of the cars broke an axle, then broke the replacement axle, and then nearly ran over two cameramen lying in the road to film its approach.
    • Among non-technical problems, Paul LeMat (who played John Milner) had to be rushed to hospital after suffering a walnut allergy flare-up, and Richard Dreyfuss had his forehead gashed after LeMat threw him into a swimming pool the day before his closeups were to be filmed.
    • And when the film was screened for a test audience, Universal Studios representative Ned Tanen told Lucas the film was unreleaseable, prompting an outraged Francis Ford Coppola (the film's producer) to offer to buy the film from Universal and release it himself while Lucas, burned out from the chaotic film shoot, could only watch in shock. Instead, Universal offered a compromise whereby they could suggest modifications to the film before release. It was not until 1978, after the success of A New Hope, that Lucas was able to re-edit and release the film as he originally intended.
  • Annie Get Your Gun, the 1950 film version of the Irving Berlin musical, had a fair share of production mishaps:
    • MGM producer Arthur Freed bought the rights specifically for Judy Garland, thinking it an ideal vehicle for her. However, Garland's dependence on prescription drugs was severely interfering with her ability to work by this stage. This, coupled with her collapsing marriage to director Vincente Minnelli, meant she was hardly in the best of shape when production commenced in March of 1949.
    • Intensifying Garland's struggles was Freed's selection of Busby Berkeley as director, which was done due to Freed wanting to give a boost to Berkeley's declining career. Garland and Berkeley had a rocky history together, and she dreaded the thought of working with him again. It was planned to focus on scenes featuring other characters at the beginning of the shoot, thus giving Judy time to settle in.
    • Unfortunately, problems began on just the second day of shooting, when the horse carrying co-star Howard Keel (in his American film debut) fell over, fracturing Keel's leg. This put him out of action to recover, meaning Judy was rushed before the cameras earlier than anticipated.
    • Having never played a character quite like Annie Oakley before, Garland was unsure how to best proceed, and received no guidance from Berkeley. Her drug use and insecurities began to take their toll, and soon she was either arriving late or not at all, thus delaying production.
    • After Garland had shot two of the musical numbers, Freed reviewed the raw footage and was appalled. It was felt that Berkeley was shooting the film as if it were a stage play, with the action very concentrated in small areas and with no sense of cinematic scope. The quality of Garland's performance under his direction was also a point of concern. Berkeley was subsequently taken off the production, and director Charles Walters was summoned in his place. Garland was so worn down by this point that she had little interest in continuing, but Walters met with her privately to offer his support and she agreed to proceed.
    • By this time, however, MGM was greatly dissatisfied with the delays Garland had inflicted on production, and began looking for any excuse to suspend her contract. Due to a misunderstanding on the afternoon of May 10, 1949, she was prematurely handed a notice of suspension in her dressing room, even though she had every intention of working. Furious, she vowed not to return to the set. Taking her at her word, MGM had her removed from the picture and shut down production while a replacement was sought.
    • Freed eventually cast Betty Hutton in Garland's place. Hutton, on loan from Paramount, had wanted the role of Annie Oakley from the moment she saw it on Broadway, and had been quite upset with Paramount for not snapping up the film rights for her.
    • Filming resumed in the fall of 1949 with yet another new director, George Sidney. However, during the hiatus, the original choice for Colonel Buffalo Bill, Frank Morgan, had died from a heart attack, resulting in Louis Calhern taking over. Additionally, Benay Venuta replaced Geraldine Wall in the role of Dolly Tate, while four new children were selected to play Annie's siblings.
    • Though no more casting mishaps or major delays would affect the project, the atmosphere on-set was not a happy one for Hutton. Her enthusiasm and desire to play Annie came across as ungracious and self-serving to many people, who felt she was taking advantage of Garland's misfortune. As most of the predominantly MGM cast were very loyal to Garland, Hutton was treated coldly as a result; the room would go silent whenever she entered, and nearly everybody would snub her between takes. By her own account, she did not get along with newcomer Howard Keel either, though Keel did speak kindly of her in later years. Calhern was reportedly the only cast member to treat Hutton with any respect during production, though even he warned Keel that Hutton was seriously upstaging him.
    • In addition to the cast, Hutton also clashed with the MGM crew. Being a leading lady at Paramount, she was used to her requests being met and for a certain amount of perks. When Hutton demanded the set be air-conditioned, for instance (she was most comfortable performing when cold), certain crew members resented being ordered around by someone not belonging to their studio. Hutton would later accept some responsibility for all of this, saying that her energy could come across as too intense and bossy for those not familiar with her.
    • Despite these issues, the film ultimately was finished several days ahead of schedule and slightly under the revised budget, and was met with critical and commercial success when it opened. Despite making the cover of Time Magazine, Hutton was not invited to the premiere, and later said that the hostility she faced on the set killed her joy of performing. The experience was so devastating that Annie played a large factor in her decision to leave Hollywood a few years later.
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    B 
  • The 1934 version of Babes in Toyland saw several minor cast injuries, including an extra who sued Stan Laurel after being thrown into the ducking pond and causing back injuries. Then there was Oliver Hardy developing tonsillitis and Hal Roach suffering appendicitis.
  • Babylon A.D. took 5 years to get greenlit. French director Mathieu Kassovitz originally intended the film to be highly ambitious. However, Twentieth Century Fox interfered with production all the way through, preventing Kassovitz from shooting scenes as he intended, sometimes even going against the script. Fox forced him to hire Vin Diesel into the lead role against Kassovitz' wishes, which limited him even further. Early in the production, uncooperative weather caused a two-week hiatus. A scene which was supposed to be shot in Eastern Europe ended up getting delayed and moved to Sweden due to a lack of snow. Actor Adam Lambert was thrown into the movie late in production. By the time the whole ordeal was over, the film was allegedly over-budget and ruined to the point where it was virtually guaranteed to fail at the box office. Kassovitz ended up releasing a documentary called Fucking Kassovitz in 2011 covering the whole experience.
  • Back to the Future: Everyone involved in film was sure it would bomb because absolutely nothing went smoothly. (Among the crew, it was nicknamed The Film That Would Not Wrap.) The shoot nearly drove Robert Zemeckis insane, ruined his health, and threatened to wreck his career if the film wasn't a hit. Michael J. Fox, drafted several weeks into filming to replace Eric Stoltz after the latter was deemed unsuitable for the role of Marty, was running on fumes, commuting between the BttF and Family Ties sets with virtually no sleep in-between. In his interview on Inside the Actors Studio, he notes that he was basically a zombie, which luckily enhanced his acting a fair bit.
  • Battlefield Earth took almost 20 years to finally get to the big screen:
    • L. Ron Hubbard intended for the book to be turned into a movie from the moment he had it finished, and recruited British director Ken Annakin to help produce a movie adaptation. However, Hubbard's ongoing legal troubles meant that it proved impossible to get finance for the movie. When Hubbard died, John Travolta started trying to get it made into a film, but this proved difficult as he had been sent into a career slump following Staying Alive. It wouldn't be until he had a Career Resurrection in Pulp Fiction that he had enough star power to convince anyone to touch it.
    • He started putting even more effort in 1995, eventually getting MGM interested in the project. J.D. Shapiro signed on as screenwriter — later admitting that he did so mostly for the paycheck and because he'd heard Scientology centres were good places to pick up women — but ended up quitting after not being able to see eye-to-eye with either Travolta or MGM. MGM eventually dropped the film, and it was picked up by 20th Century Fox. A new screenwriter, Corey Mandell was hired and tried to produce a Pragmatic Adaptation of Hubbard's novel, which Travolta seemed more accepting of.
    • However, 20th Century Fox then dropped the project themselves, leading to it being taken on by Franchise Pictures, a company that specialized in salvaging Hollywood stars' personal projects — and also massively padding out their budgets, allowing them to pull all sorts of embezzlement scams with the budgets. According to Mandell, Franchise only provided the financing, with the rest of production essentially being handled in-house by the Church of Scientology and Travolta's production company, removing any real oversight of Travolta and allowing things to start going completely off the rails. The screenplay was completely rewritten and turned into a more straightforward translation of the novel, with Mandell and Shapiro both being credited as writers, but subsequently disowning the movie.
    • When filming began, the production team had to move from the U.S. to Canada in order to keep costs down. Even then, the budget ended up ballooning (in no small part due to Franchise padding out the budget immensely) to the point where it became the most expensive film to ever be shot in Canada. Despite this, many of the film's crew complained that the actual budget they were afford was barely any better than what they'd had to work with on the average TV movie.
    • The Psychlo make-up proved to be challenging for both Travolta and co-star Forest Whitaker. Travolta had envisioned his wife Kelly Preston playing a larger part in the movie, but it was downgraded to a one-scene cameo due to a combination of Preston being busy on another project, and her finding the make-up incredibly uncomfortable and claustophobic during screen tests. Production ended up taking so long that Travolta had to cancel two other roles in order to finish Battlefield.
    • Right before the film was set to release, a version of the screenplay was leaked and retitled online. Reviews for the screenplay were scathing, pretty much ensuring the film to be the complete commercial disaster that it was. Travolta's career arguably hasn't recovered since.
    • As the icing on the cake, one of the film's main financial backers later sued Franchise Pictures into bankruptcy after finding out the extent of the financial fraud that had taken place with the film's production.
  • Even though the 1959 film adaptation of Ben-Hur was released to critical acclaim and saved MGM from financial disaster, its production was complicated:
    • Having previously produced the 1925 film adaptation, MGM began development of the film in 1952. By November 1953, Sam Zimbalist was hired to produce the film due to the success of his previous film, Quo Vadis. Marlon Brando was also in the running to play the title character.
    • MGM would later announce that the film's production would begin in 1955 in Israel and Egypt, but Karl Tunberg's script was not yet finished. MGM eventually suspended production in 1956 after original director Sidney Franklin became too ill and resigned. The Fall of the Studio System didn't help matters either.
    • In 1957, MGM president Joseph Vogel announced that the studio would finally begin production on the 1959 film in an effort to save it. That year, Zimbalist offered the project to William Wyler; despite Wyler's reservation on Karl Tunberg's script, Zimbalist convinced him that MGM would spend up to $10 million on the film and showed him the storyboards for the chariot race. Wyler was eventually announced as director on January 3, 1958.
    • For the script rewrites, Zimbalist hired S. N. Behrman and then playwright Maxwell Anderson. Eventually, Christopher Fry was called into production by May 1958 to rewrite most of the dialogue.
    • Before production began, the budget was at $7 million, but it eventually rose to $15,000,000 by the summer of 1958. It was the largest budget of any film produced at the time.
    • In late 1957, location scouting took place in both Italy and Libya. MGM planned to start filming in Libya on March 1, 1958, but the government canceled the production's film permit for religious reasons 11 days later.
    • The chariot race was originally planned to be filmed in Spring 1958, but the arena surface was not ready, the set was not finished, and the horses had not finished their training.
    • Sam Zimbalist and MGM decided to make the film widescreen, which Wyler strongly objected to. Despite this, he and cinematographer Robert L. Surtees helped to overcome these issues during production.
    • When principal photography began in Rome on May 18, 1958, the script was still not finished. Filming of the chariot sequence also began on the same day, but the racecourse surface proved so soft that it slowed the horses down and a day of shooting was lost as the yellow rock and all but 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) of crushed lava were removed.
    • Also during the chariot race, the cameras' 70mm lenses had a minimum focal length of 50 feet, and they were mounted on an Italian-made car so the camera crew could keep in front of the chariots. The horses accelerated down the 1,500-foot straightaway much faster than the car could, and the long focal length left unit directors Andrew Marton and Yakima Canutt with a very short timeframe to get their shots. Even though a more powerful American car was purchased, the horses were still too fast. Given the horses had to run at top speed for the best visual impact, Marton chose to film the chariot race with a smaller lens with a much shorter minimum focal length. He also decided that the car should stay only a few feet ahead of the horses. These changes helped solved the problems the camera crew was encountering.
    • The intensity of the filming schedule was so great that a doctor was brought in to give a vitamin B complex injection to anyone who requested it.
    • On June 6, 1958, over 3,000 people who sought work on the film were turned away. They responded by rioting at the set until police dispersed them.
    • By November 1958, the film's production slowed down. Sam Zimbalist died of a heart attack early in the month, and both Wyler and Joseph Judson "J.J." Cohn took his place as producers. Also, over 85% of the extras had no telephones nor permanent addresses, and they resorted to word-of-mouth contact. So in an effort to speed things up, Wyler often kept principal actors on standby to shoot pick-up scenes if the first unit slowed down. Even Martha Scott and Cathy O'Donnell were in leprosy make-up and costumes for the month so Wyler could film their scenes when other shots didn't work out well. Principal photography eventually concluded on January 7, 1959.
    • During post-production, the first cut was over four-and-a-half hours long and was eventually edited down to three-and-a-half hours with an overture, intermission and entr'acte. The film's editing was complicated by the 70mm footage being printed. Because no editing equipment could handle the 70mm print at the time, the footage was reduced to 35mm and then cut. John D. Dunning, the film's editor, also revealed that they had to trim most of the scenes involving Jesus Christ as well as the leprosy sequences.
  • A Better Tomorrow II's troubles began with John Woo and producer Tsui Hark disagreeing on the focus of the film. Tsui felt that the film should focus more on Lung, while Woo's original version focused more on characters Ken and Kit. Hark also insisted that the film should be shortened to a commercially viable length, which in Hong Kong is considered under 120 minutes, so theatre owners could show the film at least eight times a day. When Woo refused to budge, Hark started secretly re-editing the film himself, since he had equal control with the editing of the film along with three other editors (Woo being the fifth editor). However, Woo went back and secretly put the missing parts back in. With only a week remaining before movie was to be released, and with pressure from the studio and distributors to trim the film down, Woo and Hark agreed to send the movie to "Cinema City Editing Unit", which meant that they sent each reel of the film to one of Cinema City's editors, who would then go to work on his particular reel. There was no overall supervision whatsoever by either Woo or Hark. Each of these editors just cut things out as they saw fit, then they returned the reels. What they came up with is now the official released version of the film.
    • The film was also notorious for stunt mishaps. Chow Yun-fat was almost blown up when the explosion outside the mansion door turned out to be more powerful than expected. Some of his hair was singed, and he was blasted forward. The shot in the film is his real reaction. Director Ronny Yu was the stunt double in the warehouse scene. He wrenched his back after slipping on water puddle while carrying Dean Shek. Also the stuntman for Leslie Cheung who performed the speedboat jump landed incorrectly and broke his foot.
  • Beyond the Forest owes some of its infamy to production problems.
    • Regarding Bette Davis' status with the film's studio, Warner Bros.; the film marks Davis' last appearance as a contract actress for Warner, after eighteen years with the studio. She tried several times to walk away from the film (which only caused the production cost to increase), but Warner refused to release her from their employment contract.
    • Besides her legal issues with the studio, Davis also had issues with King Vidor over the character, because Vidor wanted Rosa to be extremely unlikable and her performance more extreme, which clashed with Davis's views and in turn only soured her views on the film.
  • The Big Boss:
    • After just a few days, the overbearing and aggressive original director, Wu Chia Hsiang, was replaced by Lo Wei (the husband of associate producer Liu Liang-Hua). Bruce Lee was initially sceptical of Lo, describing him in letters to Linda as a fame lover and not particularly focused on being much of a director. He was also The Gambling Addict, more concerned about what was happening on the racetrack than on the set. Because sound wasn't recorded at the same time the action was filmed, he arranged to have the commentary of the horse races booming across the set, infuriating Lee.
    • Lee hated the filming location of Pak Chong, Thailand,describing it as a lawless, impoverished and undeveloped village. Due to the lack of fresh food, Bruce was losing weight due to a lack of proper diet, having to eat canned meat and supplement his diet with vitamins, which he had thankfully brought along. He occasionally lost his voice through trying to shout above the noise on set; mosquitoes and cockroaches were plentiful in the hotel, and the tap water was yellow. At times filming had to be delayed by heavy rain.
    • When Lee arrived in Pak Chong, rival film companies tried desperately to poach him away from Golden Harvest, including Shaw Brothers, with a new and improved offer. A film producer from Taiwan told Bruce to rip up his contract and promised to take care of any lawsuit. Bruce, a man of his word, had no intention of considering the offers, although it did add some extra tension on the film set.
    • Although Ying-Chieh Han was the official fight coordinator, Lee took control of his own fight scenes almost immediately. When there was some dispute, he would disrupt filming by some little strategy such as 'losing' one of his contact lenses while filming in the ice-cutting factory where there were thousands of tiny ice chips on the floor.
    • The final fight proved problematic, as Lee endured "two days of hell" when he sprained his ankle from a high jump on a slipped mattress, and had to be driven to Bangkok to see a doctor, where he caught a virus in the hot and stuffy conditions. Close-ups were used to finish the fight, as Bruce struggled and had to drag his leg, which contributed to his character's worn out, exhausted appearance.
  • The 1991 film adapatation of EL Doctorow's novel Billy Bathgate was that year's troubled production. Reports constantly streamed from the set of protracted arguments between star Dustin Hoffman and director Robert Benton, similar to those Hoffman had engaged in with Sydney Pollack during Tootsie a decade earlier, without the ingenious resolution. Instead, Jeffrey Katzenberg himself had to come on set and intervene. The disputes led to delays and reshoots, including an entire alternate ending that was then entirely discarded in favor of the original ending, as the cost ballooned to $40 million (extravagant for a Depression-era gangster movie at the time). After production was finished, Doctorow distanced himself from the film since it took considerable liberty with his novel. It was released to lukewarm reviews and has been little remembered ever since.
  • Blade: Trinity went through several directors in pre-production, and David Goyer (writer of the previous movies) stepped in as basically the only person capable of getting the project going. Wesley Snipes disliked him from the start and opted to do as little work as possible, all the while trying to intimidate Goyer and being difficult with the rest of the cast and crew. After the film came out, Snipes tried to sue New Line Cinema for lost profits and violating his contract (which supposedly said he had control over who the director would be). Writer Chris Parry described the situation he observed when visiting the set (the cast and crew were in good spirits but hampered by Snipes' anti-social behavior) and basically concluded that whatever the flaws of the film are, the fact it came out coherent is a miracle of its own.
  • The Hammer Horror film Blood From the Mummy's Tomb had a number of production problems. Peter Cushing was cast as the lead but had to drop out after a single day's filming due to the hospitalization of his wife. Then five weeks into production (with only one week to go), director Seth Holt had a heart attack and died (some reports saying this was on set) and was replaced by Michael Carreras. On top of all that, star Valerie Leon was devastated when she was told she couldn't attend Holt's funeral.
  • Blow Out's production went smoothly all around... except that during post-production, two reels of the Liberty Day parade sequence were stolen, never to be found. Director Brian De Palma was forced to reshoot these scenes with insurance money at great cost, and with another cinematographer as the original was no longer available.
  • 1976's The Blue Bird was a much-ballyhooed family musical, the first-ever cinematic co-production between the United States and the U.S.S.R. An All-Star Cast of mostly American actors had the lead roles while respected director George Cukor helmed the project, shooting in Russia.
    • The first problem was that the U.S. side originally promised the participation of Marlon Brando (in what role, it isn't known), but he backed out. This was resolved amicably when Elizabeth Taylor was brought in to play four parts, though her attempt to get David Bowie in the cast (probably as Fire) didn't pan out once he read the script; for that matter, Katharine Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine also backed out of the film by the time it was set to go.
    • The real trouble started in Russia. The Russian studio and crew were far behind the curve of the American talent (they had to replace the cinematographer because he'd never shot a film in color) and the on-set translators weren't up to the task of making sure both sides could communicate clearly. Leading ladies Taylor, Jane Fonda and Cicely Tyson all caused unique sets of problems: Taylor fell ill with amoebic dysentery, Fonda wouldn't stop chatting up the crew about politics, and Tyson warred with the director (among other things, she couldn't get proper lighting with a Caucasian woman serving as her stand-in). The American and Russian composers argued over the direction the score should take, James Coco (cast as Tylo the dog) dropped out in mid-shoot when he suffered a gallbladder attack, the filmmakers couldn't find real bluebirds to use or import for the title figure and resorted to dyeing pigeons (and their handlers were accused of eating some of them), etc. The resultant $12 million film was so bad that it tanked instantly; in the U.S. it still hasn't had a legit video release after 35+ years, and the financial figures related to it were rendered a state secret in Russia.
    • Cukor told the Soviet studio head how honored he was to be filming in the same studio where Sergei Eisenstein had filmed The Battleship Potemkin in 1925. "Yes," said the studio head, "and with the very same equipment."
  • The Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color was, by all accounts, a nightmare to film, between the five and a half month shoot (that was supposed to be two months) and what was described as a "hostile work environment" by the crew, and was bluntly described as being horrible by the two lead actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. The two have both stated very emphatically that they never wish to work with the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, ever again.
  • While it's obvious from all the on-screen mayhem why The Blues Brothers cost so much to make (they actually dropped the Ford Pinto from a mile up, requiring a special FAA permit), there were a lot of other issues that aren't obvious on screen, as this ''Vanity Fair'' article showed:
    • Universal won a close bidding war with Paramount for the project, and of course they were overjoyed to have John Belushi, coming off a year when he'd starred in both a top-grossing film and a top-rated TV show, and had a number one single. But they didn't have a script. After an experienced writing partner was unable to help him, Aykroyd, who'd never even read a movie screenplay before, much less written one, took his time writing it. He delivered a 324-page monstrosity formatted more like free verse. Director John Landis spent two weeks just cutting it down and converting it to something filmable.
    • The script was finished but the studio and the creative people hadn't settled on a budget. After the first month of filming in Chicago, where Landis kept Belushi under control and things went well, they finally saw it: $17.5 million. "I think we've spent that much already," Landis half-joked.
    • And then things went to hell. Belushi went everywhere in Chicago when he wasn't on set—and when he did, everybody was slipping him vials and packets of coke. That was in addition to what he could procure, or had already procured for himself, often consumed in his trailer or at the private bar on set he had built for himself, his longtime friends, the cast and any visiting celebrities. Carrie Fisher, who Landis had warned to keep Belushi away from drugs if she could, said almost everyone who had a job there also dealt, and the patrons could (and did) score almost anything there. Dan Aykroyd, who unlike Belushi or Fisher kept his use under control, says there was money in the budget set aside for coke for night shoots.
    • After Belushi's late nights partying, he'd either be really late for unit calls, tanking almost a whole day's worth of shooting, or only an hour or two late ... but then he'd go back to his trailer and sleep it off. One night, he wandered away from the set to a nearby house, where Aykroyd found him conked out on the couch after he'd raided the owner's fridge. On another, Landis went in to Belushi's trailer and found a gigantic pile of coke on a table inside, which he flushed down the toilet. Belushi attacked him when he came back, Landis knocked him down with a single punch and Belushi collapsed into tears.
    • Meanwhile, there was Executive Meddling to deal with. Fuming about the skyrocketing cost of the movie, Universal kept trying to get the filmmakers to replace the blues and soul stars like Aretha Franklin and Cab Calloway with more contemporary, successful acts like Rose Royce. Landis stuck to his guns, but because he did, some large theater chains refused to book it into theaters in white neighborhoods.
    • The production returned to Los Angeles for the last month of shooting, already way behind schedule and over budget. Fortunately Belushi calmed down and got it done. But right before shooting the final scene, which required him to do all sorts of onstage acrobatics while performing at the LA Palladium in front of an audience of hundreds of extras, he tried out some kid's skateboard... and fell off and seriously injured his knee. Lew Wasserman, the studio head, called the top orthopedist in LA and made him postpone his weekend until he could shoot Belushi up with enough anesthetics to get him through filming.
    • Fortunately the movie was a box-office smash that has since become a Cult Classic.
  • Blues Brothers 2000 had a similarly problematic production:
    • John Belushi died from a drug overdose a couple of years after the original film's release, leaving the follow-up in limbo (during which time co-stars John Candy and Cab Calloway also died) for the better part of two decades. During that timespan it was widely assumed that Belushi's younger brother Jim would be the obvious candidate to co-star with Dan Aykroyd in a sequel. In the end however, he turned it down, ostensibly because of a schedule conflict, resulting in John Goodman being cast in the entirely new role of Mighty Mac.
    • When Aykroyd and John Landis presented their first draft script to Universal, the studio responded by saying their script was essentially just a carbon-copy of the first film, except with Belushi's character swapped out for Goodman's... which Aykroyd later admitted was actually a valid criticism. Unfortunately, what the studio did next would ultimately send the project down in flames, as they decided they wanted the film to appeal to a younger audience, and forced the insertion of a Tagalong Kid sidekick to Aykroyd and Goodman, while also forcing a Genre Shift that made the film much more overt fantasy than the first one.
    • The actual shoot wasn't quite as problematic as that of the first film, but Aykroyd and Goodman had to work essentially for free in order to get the film produced under the less-than-adequate budget that they were given. Aykroyd and Landis became increasingly despondent due to the continued Executive Meddling throughout the shoot, which resulted in the two threatening to quit, until the studio counter-threatened them with a lawsuit for breach of contract. Still, they roughed it out, and eventually finished the shoot.
    • Unlike the first film, 2000 was critically mauled and a Box Office Bomb, completely destroying Landis's career (which was already on life-support after the similarly troubled Beverly Hills Cop III) and sending Aykroyd into a career slump that would last well into the following decade, with Goodman probably only avoiding the same fate via his role in the same year's hugely acclaimed The Big Lebowski.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody, a Freddie Mercury biopic was already suffering heavily from director Bryan Singer's repeated absences on shooting days, to the point that Tom Hollander briefly quit the film while star Rami Malek complained to Fox studio heads, who issued warnings to Singer and actually visited the set to monitor his behaviornote . Then Singer went AWOL after the Thanksgiving break, not showing up for ten days straight, which proved to be the breaking point for Fox who then fired him. While Singer eventually claimed his sudden disappearance was due to "personal health matters", a number of industry insiders suspect that he may be hiding in fears of past allegations of rape and sexual abuse resurfacing in the wake of the Me Too movement.
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities, as documented in Julie Salmon's 1991 book The Devil's Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood, became a tale of caution on how Executive Meddling and ego clashes can lead to one of the worst book adaptations ever made. As one such example, Melanie Griffith left the production for two weeks and then came back with a boob job. Morgan Freeman later said that being in that film was like being on an aeroplane that you knew was going to crash.
  • The Bourne Identity suffered from director Doug Liman having to fight the studio on pretty much every single creative decision, with writer Tony Gilroy having to fax new script pages to the set in the middle of shooting. The ending also had to be completely redone after test audiences hated the original version. And while nothing has been officially stated, it's very likely that the September 11th terrorist attacks occurring during production had a significant impact on this story about the US government running a shady black ops organization.
  • The Bounty:
    • It started as a two-part epic by David Lean (see Serial Offenders) in the mid-'70s. The film languished in Development Hell for years as Lean struggled to secure financing; producers were terrified at the film's proposed scale and projected budget. Lean and collaborator Robert Bolt finished a screenplay, spent $4,000,000 on a life-sized replica of the Bounty, and began casting the film (Anthony Hopkins as Captain Bligh; Christopher Reeve, Oliver Reed and Sting were all considered for Fletcher Christian before Mel Gibson signed on), all before securing a budget. When Lean finally gained Dino De Laurentiis's backing, Bolt had a massive stroke and dropped out of the project. Lean and de Laurentiis sparred for another year over the budget, enough that Lean considered turning the project over to Joseph Levine or Sam Spiegel. Finally, Lean tired of this bickering and left the project, passing it on to Roger Donaldson.
    • At de Laurentiis's urging, Donaldson drastically reduced Bolt's script, which depicted the voyage of the Bounty, the mutiny and the HMS Pandora's pursuit of the mutineers, into a more modest story depicting the mutiny. Even so, filming didn't go smoothly; extensive location shooting in French Polynesia ran afoul of bad weather and logistic difficulties, Gibson drank heavily during lulls in production, while Donaldson clashed repeatedly with Hopkins over the latter's performance. Finally released in 1984, The Bounty cost a hefty $25,000,000, and despite good reviews it flopped at the box office. Fortunately, its failure proved a minor speed bump, as Donaldson, Gibson and Hopkins - not to mention supporting actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson - all went on to bigger things.
  • Brainstorm became this following the death of co-star Natalie Wood. According to director Douglas Trumbull, MGM wanted to cancel the production of the film and collect the insurance money, despite the fact that most of Wood's scenes were already finished prior to her death.
  • Brewster McCloud's production wasn't so much troubled as hectic and chaotic, which set the stage for most of Robert Altman's future film shoots. The major crisis was when cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth (who went on to become one of the top names in the business with his work on Blade Runner) got fired halfway through filming for being too much of a perfectionist. Lamar Boren quickly flew in to replace him. A fascinating but hard-to-find book (On Making a Movie: Brewster McCloud) written by a production assistant spells out all the little issues Altman ran into with the film.
  • Bride of Frankenstein is yet another example of this trope that is Older Than Television.
    • The response to Frankenstein during its original preview screenings had been so favorable that Universal shot a new ending in which Frankenstein survived. Director James Whale followed it up with The Invisible Man, which convinced Frankenstein producer Carl Daemmle that only Whale could direct a sequel. But Whale didn't want to, feeling that the original had exhausted the story's potential. Eventually, after Universal let him direct One More River, he gave in.
    • However, he decided that since the sequel couldn't just be a retread of the first film, a Tone Shift was necessary. The sequel, he declared, would have to be "a hoot". He went through three different story ideas, and more sets of writers, before eventually settling on a story built around a scene in the novel where the monster demands Frankenstein create a mate for him.
    • The sequel would have the monster actually talk. Although his vocabulary would be limited to 43 words, Boris Karloff thought this was a stupid decision that robbed the monster of his charm. He and Whale were clashing over this as filming began. Colin Clive, who returned as Frankenstein, was for his part plagued by his alcoholism having become worse in the intervening four years. Whale declined to recast the part as he felt that it gave Clive's performance the right over-the-top quality. Also, Mae Clarke was unavailable to reprise her role due to ongoing health issues at the time, and Elizabeth was recast with Valerie Hobson in the role.
    • Principal photography ran into problems. On the first day, the rubber suit Karloff was wearing beneath his costume filled up with air as he waded into the castle moat. Later that day, he broke his hip, requiring that a stunt double be hired for the rest of the shoot. Clive also broke his leg. The dress that Elsa Lanchester wore to play Mary Shelley in the prologue reportedly took a dozen seamstresses over four months to complete.
    • Whale shut down production for ten days to wait for the actor he wanted as the Hermit to be available, putting the film behind schedule by that amount of time. It also went $100,000 over budget, a not inconsiderable amount for the time. Universal disagreed with many of the darker elements of the film, with many scenes not making it into the final cut, and a subplot involving Dwight Frye's character being completely excised. Whale finished the final cut only days before the premiere, and had to reshoot the ending. Fortunately for everyone involved, the film made money and is remembered as as much of a classic as the original, if not more.
  • Production of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason wasn't massively troubled per se, but was hampered my many disagreements between director Beeban Kidron and the actors, to the point where executive producer Richard Curtis reportedly had to step in several times to smooth things out, and essentially took over from Kidron in the editing room. It also suffered from a botched released strategy in the U.S., where it was initially released on a limited number of screens and greatly expanded the following week, only for poor word-of-mouth and reviews to cause it to quickly sink without trace.
  • The screen adaptation of Jay McInerney's bestseller Bright Lights, Big City ran into problems.
    • Shortly after it was optioned, McInerney wrote a script, and while it wasn't perfect it was enough to get Joel Schumacher to commit to the project as director, with Jerry Weintraub producing. After it was shopped around to many of the early '80s Brat Packers like Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise signed on for the lead.
    • Weintraub became production chief at MGM/UA, and took the project with him. Since that meant he couldn't/wouldn't be able to produce it, he looked around for another producer. Sydney Pollack and Mark Rosenberg agreed to do it, but wanted a rewrite of the script. A new writer began working on it, but Cruise and Schumacher couldn't wait any longer, and left for other projects.
    • Then Weintraub left UA. The film went from Development Purgatory to Development Hell for months while all the legal issues were worked out. For a long time it wasn't clear whether the film would stay with UA or Weintraub.
    • Months later it was settled, with the studio retaining the film. Pollack and Rosenberg hired Joyce Chopra, who had recently gone from documentaries to features with the well-received Smooth Talk, to direct. She and her husband began work on yet another draft of the script, one that departed significantly from the novel. The plan was to shoot the film in Toronto and cast an unknown in the lead. But Michael J. Fox responded positively to Chopra's requests, and agreed to play the part, also recommending his friend and countryman Kiefer Sutherland for the supporting role of Tad Allagash. So the budget went up, and filming could take place in New York where the novel had been set, albeit only within a ten-week window before Fox had to return to LA for the next season of Family Ties.
    • Things quickly went to hell on location. Chopra spent lots of time planning her shots and quickly fell behind schedule. She also reportedly freaked out one day when Fox's fans began congregating around the set, and the producers began to wonder if she was up to the job, causing friction between her and them. Friction with McInerney over her script led her to ban him from the set as well.
    • The studio didn't like the dailies it was seeing, not in the least because that was how the executives learned how Chopra and her husband had made so many changes to the story, such as writing the main character's drug use out. While there is still disagreement on whether Chopra and her husband did that on their own initiative or at the producers' behest, everyone agreed that it was done with the same motive—protecting Fox's public image.
    • A possible directors' strike was in the offing, complicating things even more. UA made the rare decision to fire Chopra. James Bridges took the call on a Friday, saw Chopra's footage, and agreed to take over and finish the film on an abbreviated schedule. He wrote another draft of the script and recast all but two of the supporting roles. Those actors took the part based on a reading of the novel, since there was no script at the time. Eventually Bridges and McInerney wrote the version, basically a rewrite of the novelist's first draft, that finally became the shooting script. They had agreed to share credit but the WGA awarded it all to McInerney. They were still nervous enough about Fox's image that they wrote and shot an alternate ending, in which the main character, in recovery, shows his girlfriend the eponymous novel he just wrote.
    • The final film received lukewarm reviews from critics, whose complaints reflected the by-then-well-known production difficulties. Fox seemed too young for the part, but Phoebe Cates was even more miscast as his ex-wife, whom one critic described as "the least convincing fashion model, ever." Donald Fagen's music seemed to be filler. Richard Schickel said, perceptively, that "[it looks] like something that has been kicking around too long in the dead-letter office."
    • As of 2010, Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz has been trying to remake the film.
  • The documentary Buena Vista Social Club: Adios was a long, messy battle of legal disputes and Executive Meddling that led to all parties suffering due to the final result:
    • In March 2015, documentarian Lucy Walker, after the collapse of a "Disney project on creativity" she'd been working on for two years, won over producers at Convergent Media and a now defunct British TV station, Blink TV, with her pitch for the project, which involved the BVSC's farewell tour. However, Walker and her production partner Julian Cautherley couldn't get producer credits, due to an abundance of names. They settled for being credited as executive producers, though Cautherley was eventually credited as producer. North American rights were then sold to Broad Green Pictures.
    • Walker wasn't in charge of production, with that duty falling to Blink TV creative officer Christine Cowin, who had limited documentary experience, and Convergent's Zak Kilberg, who never even finished a documentary before. Cowin and Kilberg played second fiddle to Dani Florestano, the manager of BVSC.
    • Despite the focus on the band's final tour, said tour was subject to a Schedule Slip, as what was supposed to start in Fall 2015 wound up being finalized in May 2016. There were limited opportunities for Walker to interact with the group, due to the band being closed-off to the filmmakers.
    • While waiting for access and concerts, Walker managed to complete a VR short about Cuban dance, and located the original Buena Vista Social Club, which the previous documentary by Wim Wenders failed to do. They also pored over unused archival footage of rehearsals and recordings. When it came time for the farewell concert in Cuba, Walker was, for one of the two nights, forced to shoot around not only Cuban TV, but Broad Green livestreaming the concert via iPhone.
    • Walker and her team scrambled to assemble the movie, and eventually got a rough cut to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. However, trouble arose when Walker showed her cut to the band. Her original cut gave just as much attention to US-Cuban relations, complete with a ten minute segment about the infamous Elian Gonzalez affair. The group wasn't happy with Walker's cut, and demanded one that was less political, more flattering, and contained more concert footage. Unbeknownst to Walker, the group also had cutting rights, and due to her reliance on archival footage, that meant she also had to get the group's permission to use it. Walker had no time whatsoever to edit to the band's demands while Broad Green began their edit of the movie only a week before its Sundance premiere. The filmmakers were appalled by their results.
    • Eventually, Walker could agree to show Broad Green's cut via a full damage release. However, doing so would leave her open to legal action, meaning that the decision fell to Broad Green CEO Gabriel Hammond. They abruptly pulled the movie from its scheduled screening, only hours before it was set to premiere. Walker later tried contacting Hammond after the festival to no response. However, moving crews showed up to Walker's office in order to haul away editing equipment.
    • Broad Green was forced to remove all political content from the film in order to make the group happy, much to the dismay of Walker, editor Pablo Proenza and original architect of the BVSC Juan de Marcos, who has long distanced himself from the group. Walker couldn't even remove her name from the film due to DGA rules, and with Blink TV going out of business, there was no production company to sue.
    • With no festival runs, no support from Walker (with Walker even finding out about a release date at all through reading about it online) and Invisible Advertising, the film was dumped in about 80 theaters, grossing a dismal $123,445 over two weeks.
  • Buffalo '66: Vince Gallo made the movie he wanted to make, and got good reviews, but did not make many friends doing so.note 
    • Before production started, Gallo decided he wanted to shoot on the E6 film stock used mainly for color transparencies (i.e., what we used to call "slides"). This can be done but it is very a tricky process, as well as costly—it put a real strain on the film's extremely low budget. The original cinematographer balked, so Gallo fired him. Who did Gallo decide to replace him with? Himself. Yup ... Gallo, already the writer, star, and director, was ready to add "photographed by ..." to his credits as well. At the last minute the bond company stepped in and told him to hire a real cinematographer, Lance Acord.
    • Not that Gallo liked him any better. Acord was credited by some critics with the gimmick of putting characters' flashbacks or other interior imaginings in small insets in the shot. Gallo not only insisted that was his idea, but that Acord had brought absolutely nothing to the shoot.
    • Christina Ricci was so upset by the way Gallo treated her on set, as well as remarks he made about her basically being his "puppet", when the film came out, that she has reportedly said she will never work with him again. For good measure, several years later, Gallo made remarks about how fat she was at the time.
    • Anjelica Huston was also disturbed by Gallo's antics, and would probably be just as happy not making another film with him.
    • Kevin Corrigan, who had originally been hired and fired by Gallo and was then brought back when his replacement had to back out, also was so embarrassed by his portrayal of the mentally-handicapped Goon that he asked to have his name taken out of the credits.

    C 
  • Caddyshack may now be considered a cult classic, but it had a hell of a time getting there:
    • The film was originally supposed to be a simple coming-of-age story about kids working at a golf course, with Danny (Michael O'Keefe) and Tony (Scott Colomby) as the main characters. It slowly morphed into a showcase featuring comedy veterans like Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray (whose parts were originally supposed to be much smaller), and Ted Knight. Much of the dialogue was improvised on the spot, and production was extremely disorganized.
    • On the first day of shooting, Hurricane Dave came through, and production had to wait to begin filming until the storm passed and the flooding cleared. The Florida weather proved intense for the cast/crew, who were often unwilling to film, and there were frequent no-shows on set. Sound recording was also frequently ruined by planes flying over the golf course.
    • Cindy Morgan was uncomfortable with doing nude scenes, and while Harold Ramis was willing to change the script, producer Jon Peters told Morgan that her career would be over if she refused. Peters then invited photographers from Playboy to the set to photograph her, which angered her greatly, and she, with Ramis' support, again refused to do the scene until the photographers were sent home. In a 2010 interview, Morgan stated that she voluntarily put her career on hold as a result of the experience.
    • In addition, few co-stars got along. Chase and Morgan got into a scuffle, and almost refused to do their scene. Knight, usually an easy person to get along with, got completely fed up of the improvisation and on-set shenanigans, and didn't get on with either his young co-stars or Chase and Dangerfield. Murray, who was only available for six days, also didn't get along with Chasenote , and when execs insisted on them having a scene together, everyone in the production feared what would happen, but fortunately the scene turned out beautifully. Also, the cast/crew partied hard every night, getting stoned out of their minds, wrecking the golf carts and ruining the golf course on a regular basis.
    • After the filming ended and the rough-cut came in, it was too long. Over two hours had to be cut, including key parts of the main plot. The film made no sense, so more money had to be spent on a mechanical gopher to add extra comic relief and to tie the picture together; as its scenes were shot after principal photography had wrapped with higher quality film stock and on an indoor soundstage, there is a noticeable difference (even on the DVD release) between the picture quality of the gopher scenes and that of the rest of the film.
    • The country club at which location filming took place were wary of the damage the explosions in the film's climax would cause to the golf course, so a hill had to be specially constructed and the country club executives invited to an off-site meeting while the explosions were set off without their knowledge. However, the explosions were so powerful that the hill was completely destroyed, and the pilot of a passing flight to Fort Lauderdale mistook them for a plane crash and radioed the airport accordingly.
    • The film was not a critical success when it came out, and co-writer/producer Douglas Kenney, who verbally abused reporters while drunk at a press conference for the film, fell thirty feet from a clifftop viewpoint in Hawaii to his death a month later (there is some question as to whether his death was suicide or an accident; in the weeks leading up to his death, he had begun joking about his past suicide attempts, leading friends to urge him to seek professional help).
    • To the end of his life, even though the film became better appreciated over time, Harold Ramis was dissatisfied with his directorial debut. "All I see are compromises and things we could have done better," he told GQ magazine in the late 2000s. His greatest complaint was that no one in the film other than Michael O'Keefe was able to swing their golf clubs properly.
  • Caddyshack II didn't have it much better:
    • After the original film's release, Dangerfield repeatedly advocated that a sequel be made, but Ramis kept refusing the idea, not keen on reliving the first film's chaotic production. After a few years, Dangerfield and Ramis worked out a compromise whereby Ramis would co-write the script, but someone else would direct, and Dangerfield selected Alan Metter, who he had recently worked with on Back to School.
    • While Ramis and co-writer Peter Torokvei were working on the script, Dangerfield soon came to blows with Jon Peters, who had fully taken over the producer's role (which he shared with the since-deceased Kenney on the first film) and demanded that the sequel be PG-rated in order to appeal to a wider audience. Dangerfield was angered by this, as it would preclude him from ad-libbing the edgier material that he had done in the first film (which was R-rated), and when Peters refused to back down he ended up quitting. Peters then fired Metter and replaced him with Allan Arkush, and Ramis and Torokvei, not wanting to do the film without Dangerfield, walked shortly after that.
    • Filming eventually started with Jackie Mason in the lead role, and Chase as the only returning actor from the first film, something even he later admitted regretting, and only did because he was offered a comparatively huge amount for just a few days' worth of shooting. His contempt for the material is palpable throughout and has even been noted as making the film worth a watch on its own. Filming wasn't as problematic as that of the first film, but Arkush insisted on staging scenes at a slow, deliberate pace — something he had similarly done on Heartbeeps — neutering what little comic timing the script (rewritten by around a half-dozen uncredited ghost writers) still had.
    • This time around the film was unable to overcome its behind-the-scenes issues, and the end result was critically mauled and made back less than half of its budget at the box-office, with Arkush never again helming a theatrically-released movie, and Ramis considering it arguably the lowest point of his entire career. Adding insult to injury, Bill Murray successfully sued the producers for royalties relating to the gopher character, which he originally created in the first film, but was never asked for permission to re-use in the sequel.
  • A whole mess of this led to the utter disaster that was the notorious 1979 historical epic/porn film Caligula. To make a very long story short:
    • Most of the problems stemmed from the endless feuding between writer Gore Vidal, director Tinto Brass, and producer Bob Guccione (of Penthouse magazine fame). Vidal wanted the film to stay true to his script, to the point of claiming in a Time magazine interview that directors were "parasites" living off writers, and that the director need only follow the directions as provided by the writer of the screenplay. Brass, not amused in the slightest, threw Vidal out of the studio. Guccione, meanwhile, wanted to incorporate hardcore sex into the film in order to promote his magazine, which caused female lead Maria Schneider to withdraw from the film (she was replaced by Teresa Ann Savoy) and no shortage of disagreements with Brass.
    • The aggressive shooting schedule developed by the inexperienced producers Guccione and Franco Rossellini was unrealistic for a film of such scope. Art director Danilo Donati had to scrap some of his more elaborate original ideas for the sets and replace them with such surreal imagery as bizarre matte paintings, blacked-out areas, silk backdrops and curtains. This resulted in significant script changes, with Brass and the actors improvising scenes written to take place in entirely different locations, and sometimes shooting entirely new scenes (such as the frolicking scene that opens the film) in order to show progress while the incomplete or redone sets were unavailable.
    • As the film entered post-production, Guccione took control of the film footage and fired Brass for running up huge costs (Guccione claims Brass shot enough film to "make the original version of Ben-Hur about 50 times over"), casting actual criminals as Roman senators, and using what Guccione considered "fat, ugly, and wrinkled old women" in the sex scenes instead of his Penthouse Pets. Guccione hired his friend Giancarlo Lui to reedit the film. Lui was instructed to refashion the film into something more in keeping with what Vidal had first scripted, while delivering the sexual content demanded by Guccione; they shot and added hardcore scenes. With much footage improvised and rewritten from the original draft of the film, Lui further scrambled, re-cut, and deleted scenes altogether. Many of the disturbing sexual images shot by Brass were removed, replaced by approximately six minutes of hardcore sex shot by Guccione and Lui. In the end, the final cut of the film had strayed far afield from what Brass had intended. Ironically, perhaps, it bore little resemblance to what Vidal had scripted as well.
    • In the unpleasant aftermath, both Brass and Vidal launched independent tirades against the film and lawsuits against Guccione, delaying the release of Caligula. Vidal, who was paid $200,000 for his script, agreed to drop his contractual claim for 10% of the film profits in exchange for having his name removed from the title of the film (original billing was to have been Gore Vidal's Caligula). In 1981, Anneka Di Lorenzo, who played Messalina, sued Guccione, claiming that he damaged her career by using hardcore sexual scenes in the final cut of Caligula without her knowledge, thereby associating her with a pornographic film. After a protracted litigation, in 1990 a New York state court awarded her $60,000 in compensatory damages and $4,000,000 in punitive damages, but on appeal, the punitive damages were determined to be not recoverable and the court vacated the award.
  • Candyman: In order to ensure the film crew's safety filming the Cabrini-Green exterior scenes, various local gang members had to be promised roles as extras in exchange for the crew's safety. However, a sniper round took out one of the windows on the production van on the last day. Also, there were no practical special effects for the bee scenes, including the scene where bees flew out of Tony Todd's mouth. And to top it off, Virginia Madsen was extremely allergic to bees, so the production crew had to go out of their way to make certain ambulances were on standby at all times.
  • According to this New York Times article, The Canyons (a collaboration between Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis starring Lindsay Lohan) was fully subject to this. Lindsay - notoriously rather troubled herself - was hired based on starpower, and was supposedly fired before the production due to completely vanishing during a key meeting. When production started, she was in a constant struggle with Schrader, had to be persuaded to do nude scenes, and often showed up late after partying all night (one night staying out until 5:30 AM with Lady Gaga - when she had a 6 AM call time). She wasn't the only problem with the production, as star James Deen (yes, porn star James Deen) left town to pursue his... other career during filming, and several attempts to shoot covertly without permits were thwarted. The film was also rejected by both Sundance and SXSW before eventually being picked up by IFC films.
  • The 1976 adaptation of Carrie suffered a minor case of this during the filming of the climactic scene where Carrie burns down her house. The script called for Carrie to bring down a rain of stones as well, and the interior scenes, showing rocks crashing through the ceiling, had already been shot. Unfortunately, when it came time to shoot the exterior scenes, the rig that would've dropped the stones on the model house malfunctioned. Due to their limited budget, they could only shoot the scene once, and they had already lit the house on fire by the time they realized that they were experiencing a literal Special Effect Failure. The shot of the house burning down, sans the rain of stones, was what made it into the finished product, though the darkness of the night scene helps to mask the error.
  • Cat Chaser:
    • The film was originally supposed to be shot in Santo Domingo, where the Elmore Leonard novel it's based on is set. However, the producers decided it was too dangerous to shoot there, so production was moved to South Florida shortly beforehand.
    • Kelly Mc Gillis feuded with Peter Weller regularly throughout filming, although he says he never knew why; their disagreement is said to have been triggered when she walked out while filming a sex scene. Immediately after her "finished in the picture" moment, McGillis had director Abel Ferrara (whom she also had a difficult relationship with) confirm that he was done with her, went back to her dressing room and shaved her head, telling her reflection, "Fuck you. I never want to act again." She kept her promise for at least three years and never returned to the A-list she had been on.
    • After principal photography was finished, the studio demanded that Weller do a voiceover narration. He absolutely refused, so another actor was hired for it. The cast and crew believe this ruined the movie.
  • Production on Chappie reportedly had an absolute whale of a time with the antics of the members of Die Antwoord, especially Ninja (real name Watkin Tudor Jones). Ninja refused to sit next to other cast members out of a sense of superiority, attempted to tell his fellow cast members how to do their scenes, sexually harassed female crew members and sent them explicit photos of himself, and had to be written out of at least one scene because Hugh Jackman couldn't stand him. Neill Blomkamp allegedly refuses to ever work with him again.
  • Like many epics, Tony Richardson's The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) encountered numerous obstacles getting to the screen.
    • The film began as a Michael Powell project, but Powell gave up after his preferred screenwriter (John Witham) died during pre-production. After Richardson took over, actor Laurence Harvey sued Richardson and screenwriter John Osborne for using Cecil Woodham-Smith's book The Reason Why as a source; Harvey owned rights and was keen on adapting it himself. The lawsuit dragged out for years until the parties reached a settlement; one of the terms was finding Harvey a role in the movie - a cameo excised from the finished film. Richardson sacked Osborne for refusing to rewrite his script, leading to an acrimonious falling out between the longtime partners. Charles Wood took over the screenplay, only to produce a 300+ page work that had to be painstakingly whittled down. Richardson then spent years negotiating with the Turkish government to allow filming in Turkey and use of military extras, relying on the help of American and French diplomats.
    • Actually shooting the film wasn't any easier. Richardson fired a stunt coordinator whose manic swordplay killed several horses; an earthquake destroyed the hotel used by the production; star David Hemmings proved extremely temperamental on set, besides his marked inability to mount or ride a horse; the crew and especially the soldier-extras fought (both verbally and physically) with local villagers who resented their incursion into the area. Richardson's strange mixture of perfectionism and historical flippancy grated on both his crew and advisers.note  While filming the final battle, the soldiers were called away for a NATO war exercise, forcing Richardson to shoot the scene with only a few dozen stuntmen. The film was also significantly edited by United Artists in post-production, forcing Richardson to cut several subplots and action scenes, including the Charge of the Heavy Brigade. Richard Williams' animated sequences were added to bridge some of the narrative gaps.
    • By the time Charge wrapped up, it was the most expensive British film ever - yet its tumultuous production generated negative press. Richardson's refusal to screen the movie for critics (a rarity in that time), and insulting them in print as "intellectual eunuchs," helped ensure a poor reception. Critics considered the film choppy and erratic, while audiences disliked the blend of satirical humor and antiwar drama. Charge became a notorious flop, damaging Richardson's career (and ruining Hemmings'), though it's gained in critical stature over time.
    • Among its other legacies, the movie inspired both of its screenwriters into writing scathing fictionalizations of its production. Charles Wood satirized it in his play Veterans, featuring Flanderized versions of stars David Hemmings and John Gielgud (amusingly, played by Gielgud in the show's original production) as protagonists. And John Osborne's Hotel in Amsterdam featured an abusive, backstabbing film director clearly modeled on Tony Richardson.
  • Children Of The Living Dead, produced by John Russo was indeed one of these. The director, Tor Ramsey claims:
    • Writer and producer Karen Lee Wolf was given the money to fund it as a present from her father. The budget was $500,000. Karen stayed on set and threatened to fire anyone who questioned her script. When actors protested that the lines didn't make sense and wanted to work through their scenes, Karen refused to allow any changes to be made.
    • They had only two lenses - an 18 mm and 25:250. When Ramsey requested two more, he was yelled at for beefing up the budget with 'unreasonable' demands.
    • The cinematography team rolled two expensive days' worth of footage backwards and shot without realizing it, rendering it worthless. Ramsey had intended to get an acquaintance of his - an award winning DOP who had worked with MTV - to come aboard. But he was told he had to use Russo's friend Bill Hinzman, who had shot a number of George A. Romero's early films, but had only worked on two films since then. The director was also pressured into hiring only Karen Wolf and John Russo's friends who were paid ridiculously high salaries.
    • The actors were all from Pittsburgh and Karen Wolf refused to let them cast the film with SAG actors.
    • A workable Director's Cut was created which cut down the long dialogue scenes and emphasised the action scenes. However Karen Lee Wolf fired everyone in Pittsburgh, hired a new editor and re-cut the film. She reinserted long dialogue scenes and looped even more dialogue without the director, resulting in robotic delivery of many of the lines. She also cut and dubbed over the original ending to turn it into a first date scene between Michael and Laurie.
  • Charlie Chaplin's film The Circus is one of the earliest examples of this. It took 11 months to film, an eternity in those days (remember, it was a Silent Film, so they didn't even have sound to worry about).
    • A month into production, it turned out the negative print had been scratched. Eventually it was restored, but at some cost, and it took a while to be sure they wouldn't have to reshoot it. Then a fire destroyed most of the set, delaying production for a month. Then the circus wagons were stolen.
    • During production, Chaplin's mother died. And then wife Lita Grey filed for divorce, dragging his sex life into the media with sensational claims in the court documents that severely tarnished Chaplin's image. Then the IRS got involved, claiming Chaplin owed a million in back taxes. He spent a good deal of time in New York and/or London with the print of what had been completed, trying to stave off a nervous breakdown. The stress was so great that his hair, graying when production began, went completely white by the time filming resumed and had be dyed to matchnote .
    • Chaplin left this film out of his autobiography altogether and kept it out of circulation for almost 40 years.
  • Cleopatra remains one of the first and last words in troubled cinematic productions, even after over half a century. Where to even begin?
    • The whole reason the film was made was to alleviate the financial woes plaguing 20th Century Fox at the time. Darryl Zanuck, the founder and long-time executive of Fox, left the studio in the mid-1950s to produce independent films in Europe. His replacement, Spyrous Skouras, lacked Zanuck's vision; he was an exhibitionist, not a producer. Thus, the studio pumped out unsuccessful films, including rare flops for bankable stars such as John Wayne, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe. Skouras then decided on a remake of a successful property to pump up some much needed profit, and chose Cleopatra, a 1917 film starring Theda Bara. They initially planned a $2 million, 64-day project to be shot at the backlot, but the studio was so impressed with sketches and models of proposed sets that the budget was increased to nearly $5 million.
    • After Joan Collins bowed out of the lead role in 1958, Elizabeth Taylor sarcastically offered to take it for a million dollars - and to her surprise, Fox agreed. Through her contract, Taylor demanded that the film be shot outside the United States. The weekly costs that were included in Taylor's fee ballooned out of control when she became gravely ill with pneumonia during initial shooting at Pinewood Studios in England in 1960, putting a halt to filming for many months, and leading her to be paid over $2 million before any usable footage had been shot. Taylor's illness and the resulting delays led to the resignation of the original director (Rouben Mamoulian) and the actors cast as Caesar (Peter Finch) and Antony (Stephen Boyd).
    • Even leaving aside Taylor's extended sick leave, few things went as planned during the abortive Pinewood shoot. The producers had frequent clashes with the studio's labour unions, the film crew did not realise until after settling on Pinewood as the venue for indoor filming that there were fewer available soundstages than anticipated and the ceilings were too low to accommodate the sets as originally planned, and the outdoor sets deteriorated rapidly in the cold, wet English weather. The footage shot at Pinewood ended up being discarded as the filming moved to Cinecittà Studios in Rome so the English weather would not impair Taylor's recovery. (The sets were still used by the producers of the Carry On films in 1964's Carry On Cleo.)
    • Production in Italy was just as problematic. The costumes and sets had to be completely re-designed and re-built, leading to a shortage of lumber and other building materials throughout Italy. Millions of dollars' worth of props and other equipment were stolen by studio employees, while a group of female extras went on strike as a result of being constantly groped by lecherous male extras. Two construction workers building the Alexandria set were killed by an unexploded World War II land mine. The constant delays and reshoots in filming the epic-scale scene of Cleopatra's entrance on a barge into Rome (started in October 1961, finished the following March) required the recasting of Cleopatra's son as the original child actor had grown significantly taller during the delay.
    • When Joseph L. Mankiewicz was brought on board to direct at Taylor's insistence, the film was already nearly a year behind schedule, $5 million over budget, and had not a single frame of usable footage to show for it. The script was only half completed, and Mankiewicz had to write the rest as filming went along, shooting the script as new scenes were written and editing the resulting footage later rather than editing the script first and then shooting the resulting scenes. The catastrophic budget overruns meant the climactic Battle of Actium sequence had to be re-written to take place almost entirely off camera. So great was the strain of writing and directing that Mankiewicz required injections to both get through each day and sleep at night, and had to be carried onto the set each day on a stretcher.
    • To complicate matters, the film marked the beginning of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's tempestuous relationship and eventual marriage (and subsequent divorce, re-marriage, and re-divorce); as both were already married, the resulting scandal and moral outrage added bad publicity to the already toxic combination of massive delays and cost inflation. However, the affair created enough fascination with the public that Fox decided to assemble a publicity campaign that focused almost entirely on Taylor and Burton, with scant attention at best devoted to Rex Harrison as Caesar.note 
    • Darryl Zanuck was still a stockholder in Fox and became convinced that Cleopatra would destroy the studio. Fox's problems nearly led to the studio taking over the editing of The Longest Day, which Zanuck was producing,note  in order to increase the number of shows per day and make an even bigger profit. When Zanuck heard of this, that was the last straw; he staged a board-room takeover of the studio and won. As a result, Skouras was ousted from Fox and Zanuck took over. The Longest Day was saved.
    • Things didn't improve during post production. Mankiewicz initially planned to assemble two three-hour films, Caesar and Cleopatra and Antony and Cleopatra, but Zanuck believed that the public interest in seeing Taylor and Burton on screen together might fade if the second film were released later, while interest in the first film (in which Burton would only appear in a few scenes) would be minimal, so he ordered the films edited into a single four-hour film - requiring more reshoots to smooth over the changes. Mankiewicz was eventually fired during editing, but had to be re-hired when it became obvious that he was the only person who could make sense of the raw footage.note 
    • The film finally staggered into cinemas in June 1963, with a final production cost of $44 million (over $300 million adjusted for inflation) - money Fox knew it had little chance of recovering. Despite lukewarm reviews from critics and audiences, the film had the highest box office take of 1963 and was nominated for nine Oscars (including Best Picture), winning four,note  but it would not break even until ABC paid $5 million for two television screenings in 1966 (at the time, a record fee for film broadcasting rights). The already financially troubled 20th Century Fox almost went bankrupt, selling parts of its studio lot and needing the successes of such films as The Longest Day and The Sound of Music to offset their losses. Cleopatra also killed interest in the sword and sandal epic genre for nearly a generation, and was a key factor in the disintegration of the old "studio system", as studios passed responsibility for production costs to independent production companies instead of handling said costs themselves.
  • The planned remake of Cleopatra has also been at the center of a production storm, and it doesn't even have a script or a director yet. As revealed in the treasure trove of hacked Sony Pictures emails, it came down to a battle of wills between Angelina Jolie, who viewed a new version of Cleopatra as a passion project, and Sony Pictures executive Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. Relations between the three quickly went to hell, the biggest point of argument being Jolie's choice of director — she had her heart set on getting David Fincher to direct the film, while Rudin (with Pascal's support) wanted Fincher for a planned biopic of Steve Jobs (see below). Rudin and Pascal eventually won that debate by offering Jolie a shortlist of other directors led by Martin Scorsese, but by that point, the Jobs film had already fallen through. Pascal and Rudin also wanted to make a film that focused on Cleo's romance with Marc Antony, which Jolie wanted to de-emphasize.
  • The sci-fi horror film The Cloverfield Paradox was originally written as a standalone film titled God Particle before it was bought by J. J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot, which turned it into a Dolled-Up Installment in the Cloverfield Modular Franchise — and as (perhaps unintentionally) revealed in a Facebook Live interview with Abrams, director Julius Onah, and stars David Oyelowo and Roger Davies, the process of making the film into such lay at the root of its problems. The script was constantly being fiddled with during production to add connections to Cloverfield, most notably an entire subplot set on Earth with Davies' character (which doesn't connect back to the main story in any way) after test audiences wondered what was happening down there. Paramount, deeming the finished film to be virtually unsalvageable, sold it off to Netflix for $50 million rather than release what they predicted would be a Box Office Bomb. While the film's surprise announcement during Super Bowl LII, complete with the news that it would premiere on Netflix that night after the game, brought it a ton of buzz, the film wound up getting a very mixed reception that bitterly polarized those who saw it, with one of the biggest complaints being that the attempts to connect it to Cloverfield left its story an utter mess.
  • The 1989 horror film Clownhouse became one of the nastier examples on this list when it was discovered that director Victor Salva had been molesting the film's 12-year-old star, Nathan Forrest Winters, during production. Despite the film winning the Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic category at Sundance that year, Salva wouldn't direct again until 1995 — and his next film, Powder, was hit with an attempted boycott led by Winters.
  • The Marx Brothers' first film The Cocoanuts started out with all the usual problems of early sound films, with bulky recording equipment the actors had to be near to be audible, and also easily picked up unwanted noise (all the paper is clearly sopping wet as the only way they could stop it interfering). On top of this, the brothers had a hard time transitioning their notoriously raunchy stage act to the far more censored world of film. It was also the first sound film to have more than one director, of whom French-born Robert Florey had difficulties with English and Joseph Santley didn't get the Marxes' style at all. As Groucho more succinctly put it, "One didn't understand English and the other didn't understand comedy." As a final grace note, after seeing the finished product they decided the dark grey color that Harpo's red stage wig was rendered didn't look right, and it was replaced with a blonde one for all their other films.
  • In 1992, animator Ralph Bakshi released his ninth feature film, Cool World, his first since 1983's Fire and Ice. What started off as an ambitious mixture of live-action and animation meant to prove that animation wasn't just for kids (just like Bakshi's previous film, Fritz the Cat) ultimately ended up an unsalvagable production.
    • First and foremost, Bakshi had envisioned Cool World to be an animated erotic horror film about an underground cartoonist who fathers an illegitimate half-real/half-cartoon daughter, who hates herself for what she is and tries to kill him. Bakshi wanted Brad Pitt to play the cartoonist, while he wanted to cast Drew Barrymore as the illegitimate daughter. Problems soon arose when Frank Mancuso, Jr., who had produced the Friday the 13th movies for Paramount as well as well as other horror flicks, was by this particular point growing tired of the genre. So, as a means of removing the horror elements from Bakshi's initial screenplay, Mancuso had that particular script heavily rewritten by Michael Grais and Mark Victor in secret. In Mancuso's eyes, he felt that it would've been better if Cool World was "about what happens when someone creates a world, becomes defined by it, and then can't escape [...] a film about being trapped by your own creation." Once Bakshi discovered what happened, he punched Mancuso in the face and threatened to walk off the project. However, he had little choice but to complete the film as it now was after Paramount informed him that they would threaten him with a lawsuit if he didn't comply.
    • Bakshi's first choices of Pitt and Barrymore as lead characters Jack Deebs and Holli Would were overruled in favor of Gabriel Byrne and Kim Basinger, the latter of whom was considered a bigger box office draw than both Barrymore and Pitt at the time. In order to keep Pitt (who just a year prior, had his breakthrough role in Thelma & Louise) associated with the film (instead, he portrayed Detective Frank Harris), Bakshi was forced to compromise, and therefore went along with the casting of Basinger as Holli. But things went from bad to worse for Bakshi when Basinger wanted further rewrites. According to Bakshi, who envisioned Cool World to be a hard R-rated movie that was decidedly not for kids, Basinger had hoped that the film would be appropriate for her to personally show to sick children in hospitals. Naturally, Mancuso agreed with Basinger's assessment, so Cool World ultimately went from being an R-rated horror film to an R-rated comedy to a PG-13 comedy (in effect, a Who Framed Roger Rabbit knock-off minus the genuine heart and emotion behind its characters). Basinger also demanded the addition of a scene where she got to sing a duet with Frank Sinatra, Jr. Consequently, because Bakshi now didn't have a clear idea in regards to what the script was going to look like (and what sort of context the animation would fit within the storyline), he told his animators to just do whatever they wanted as long as it was "funny".
    • When Cool World was finally released in the summer of 1992, it proved to be a massive bomb both critically and commercially. It opened at number six at the North American box office and wound up grossing only $14,110,589 against a $28 million budget. More to the point, it only has a 4% score on Rotten Tomatoes and Basinger received a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actressnote . This was arguably the beginning of the end for Basinger as an A-list star. Just three years removed from her biggest commercial triumph, Batman (1989), this was the third consecutive commercial and creative failure (which began with The Marrying Man and Final Analysis and would continue on through 1994's Prêt-à-Porter, which was her last movie before her Oscar winning performance in L.A. Confidential three years later). The lingering effects of Cool World's failure were more damning for Bakshi, who was so dismayed by all of the Executive Meddling to his original vision that it ultimately drove him away from filmmakingnote . Meanwhile, Mancuso's career was downgraded to B-level status ever since. The two men who rewrote the film into what it became without Bakshi's knowledge, Grais and Victor, saw their cinematic careers erased until 2000. The next time they got a writing credit was on the 2015 remake of Poltergeist, and that was for their original screenplay. To add insult to injury, to advertise Cool World, the studio erected a giant sign of the character Holli Would standing alongside the Hollywood Hills sign, assuming it would be great publicity-only to have it blow up in their faces when feminist organizations raised a ruckus about how sexist it was.
  • Klaus Kinski's antics on Crawlspace were so bad that the director made a documentary about them. Prior to filming, the actor allegedly threw a fit over the wardrobe that had been picked out for him, and subsequently went out and bought his own clothes (charging them to the film and keeping them himself afterwards). On set, Kinski clashed severely with other actors and crew members. By the third day of filming, Kinski had started six fistfights and caused the film to fall significantly behind schedule. Schmoeller and the producers attempted to fire him, but Empire Pictures demanded that the bankable star remain. Aside from his combative behavior and bizarre demands (including an order that Schmoeller refrain from saying either "action" or "cut", essentially forcing him to film Kinski continually so he could start and end his scenes whenever he wished) he also refused to say any lines which he didn't like, to the point where, "Scenes were starting not to make sense because he would NOT say this or that line." Co-star Tane McClure later recalled that Schmoeller begged her to stay on set because Kinski (who she claims was "unfortunately, very interested in me") behaved better when she was around. Tensions reached the point of several crew members asking the director to, "Please kill Mr. Kinski"—a request that became the title of Schmoeller's later film about the experience.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 subject The Creeping Terror was an auteur project of the mysterious "Vic Savage," whose real identity is still unknown. Alan Silliphant, brother of the famous writer Stirling, wrote the original story treatment but found Savage not receptive at all to his ideas (mostly to make a deliberately campy romp rather than a serious alien invasion film), and quit from concern for damaging his brother's career. The crew was unable to secure Lake Tahoe for filming as intended, and had to make due with the far less scenic Spahn Ranch (soon to be notorious as the home of the Charles Manson Family). Savage completely stiffed the creator of the original alien costume, so he stole it a day before filming was set to start, forcing them to plow ahead with a hastily constructed pantomime-level costume often derided as looking like a shag rug, with its several operators boiling in the California heat. For unclear reasons almost the entire soundtrack was lost (various sources state that it was so poor as to be unusable, that the reels got knocked into a lake, and more), and no money was left to redub it, so radio news reader Larry Burrell was brought on to awkwardly narrate the whole thing, even as it's often clear that scenes were intended to have actual dialogue. Shortly before the film's release, Savage was hit with a fraud lawsuit and vanished never to be seen again, though in 2009 his wife wrote a book about the production using aliases, claiming that he died of liver failure in 1975, at age 41.
  • The little-known Sam Raimi/Coen Brothers collaboration Crimewave suffered from heavy Executive Meddling (beginning with a refusal to allow Raimi to cast his friend Bruce Campbell as the protagonist; he retaliated by expanding a minor role so Campbell would be there for most of production), going over budget despite being a minor production, and other difficulties such as stars Louise Lasser and Biron James' cocaine addictions (at times, Lasser refused to leave her trailer, while James destroyed the lights in his hotel room because he thought the ghost of his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend was coming to haunt him!). Sam Raimi had particular difficulty working with Paul L. Smith; according to Scott Spiegel, Smith wasn't very co-operative, and his entire dialogue was dubbed in post production. And to add insult to injury, the studio forbid Raimi to edit the film, which he has since disowned. Bruce Campbell provides a DVD commentary on the film explaining what went wrong. Because of this film's troubled production and box office failure, Evil Dead 2 was made.
  • The Crow had an incredibly troubled shoot, so much so it would have been an infamous example of this trope before its defining behind-the-scenes accident:
    • Series creator James O'Barr's first meeting with Paramount executives led to him discovering that they wanted to make the film a musical starring Michael Jackson, and when he laughed thinking it was a joke, they told him they were absolutely serious. Later on, they refused director Alex Proyas' request to shoot the film entirely in black and white.
    • With eight days of filming left, lead actor Brandon Lee was accidentally shot and killed due to a prop gun that discharged a piece of blank cartridge that was left in the barrel. The resulting shot punctured Lee's chest and impacted his spine, and he eventually died from serious blood loss. The footage showing Lee being shot was destroyed, and the incident caused so much anguish for supporting actor Michael Massee (who pulled the trigger on the gun, and was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident) that he took a year off from his career to recuperate.
    • As a result of Lee's death, and Paramount Pictures writing the project off as a result, Miramax finished production of the film via reshot sequences that used a stand-in for Lee. The FX studio Dream Quest Images (which was already trying to make effects for the entire film on a budget of $15,000) was forced to jury-rig handheld footage of Lee shot earlier in production to finish several effects shots.
    • There were several more accidents that befell the production crew, leading to a widespread belief that the film was cursed. A carpenter suffered serious burns on his upper body during the first day of filming. A manual worker had a screwdriver get embedded in his hand. An equipment truck burst into flames. A stuntman broke several ribs after falling through a roof, a rigger was horribly electrocuted, and a hurricane destroyed several of the sets. Just prior to his fatal shooting, Lee cut himself on a piece of breakaway glass (which isn't supposed to be sharp).
    • A lot of the trouble was due to cost-and-corner-cutting; one of the crew recalled "they were trying to make a 30 million dollar movie for 18 million dollars". The film was shot in North Carolina, a "right-to-work" state, allowing the producers to get away with pay, conditions, and, crucially, production schedules that would have been nuked by unionized Hollywood. They began filming at night outdoors, but the aforementioned hurricane destroyed the sets, so they moved the production indoors - without changing the schedule, as switching a production from nights to days requires a 24-hour turnaround, time the harried production team didn't have. Moreover, it was still so cold that the camera rails had to be de-iced during filming by riggers with blowtorches hiding out of shot.
    • On top of all of this, cocaine abuse was rampant on set, according to Empire magazine, with cameramen shooting whilst high, crew going into the toilets to snort between shots, and people cutting around looking like the Got Milk? ads. One crewmember recalls hearing the sound of a sneeze on the set one day, and an annoyed Brandon Lee quipping "someone just lost $50".
    • Everything eventually got so bad that one of the neighbouring productions in the EUE studios began taking bets on mishaps...until a fire destroyed several of their sets as well.
  • The film adaptation of Stephen King's Cujo descended into one for a quite amusing reason: the title character, a gigantic St. Bernard who contracts rabies and becomes a terrifying killing machine, was played by some of the happiest, friendliest dogs you'd ever see. The crew had a hell of a time getting them to act appropriately scary, having special problems with them wagging their tails until resorting to tying the tail to their leg. They also frequently wanted to eat up the mixture of cream and egg whites they were slathered in to create Cujo's filthy appearance. And in one shot of him ramming into a car door they actually had to use a man in a dog suit, appearing briefly after a shot of what's actually one of the dogs leaping into an open car door to greet his owner.
  • The Current War, a historical drama about the conflict between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, suffered this as it became a victim of the collapse of The Weinstein Company. For a full explanation:
    • During pre-production, a range of names was attached to the project at different times. Timur Bekmambetov and Ben Stiller were both considered as directors (with the former still having a producer credit), and Jake Gyllenhaal was considered for the role of Westinghouse. In the end, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon took to the directors chair, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon as Edison and Westinghouse respectively. This smooth pre-production led straight into a messy post-production.
    • The film was acquired by The Weinstein Company, who planned to make it their big prestige film of that year after a string of previous attempts had flopped. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, but to a middling response that risked ending its award campaign out the gate. Gomez-Rejon, who was in attendance at the screening, took notes on how to improve the film, only to discover that Harvey Weinstein had taken the film away from him and planned to create his own edit for the wide release.
    • The Weinstein sexual abuse scandal broke while this was happening, and caused the studio to collapse. The film found itself in limbo until it was acquired by Lantern Entertainment, a company created to house The Weinstein Company's former assets. The new owners planned to complete and release the Weinstein re-edit of the film, but a clause in executive producer Martin Scorsese's contract meant he had the final say over the release of the film, and he refused to allow its release unless Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was given his creative control back.
    • Alfonso Gomez-Rejon went back and made his edit of the film, which included a redone musical score and new scenes, all of which were shot in a day inside a single farmhouse, with each room serving as a different set. The film eventually found its wide release in October 2019, almost two years after its original planned release date, again to middling reviews.
  • The 2005 werewolf film Cursed, a reunion of Scream director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson, turned out to have a rather fitting title, quickly degenerating into a case of Executive Meddling run amok.
    • To start with, it originally wasn't a werewolf film at all. Williamson had written it as a Serial Killer film in the vein of The Silence of the Lambs (albeit with a twist), but a writers' strike in 2001 forced him to put it on hold. Things finally got moving again when Warner Bros. announded an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's The Otherworld novels, leading Dimension Films, seeking a dueling film, to snatch up Williamson's script in October 2002 and have the twist be that the killer was a werewolf. A release date of August 2003 was announced.
    • After eleven weeks of filming, with about 70% of the film having been shot by Craven's estimate, Dimension put production on "extended hiatus" in order to do a series of rewrites, concerned over the special effects and The Reveal of Scott Baio As Himself being the werewolf. What came out of the reshoots was almost an entirely different film — the serial killer plot was dropped entirely, in favor of a story about Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg's characters getting bitten by a werewolf. Mandy Moore dropped out and was replaced by Mya due to the delays, Skeet Ulrich dropped out when he saw the changes to the script (leading to his character being removed), Baio's role was cut down to a cameo, special effects artist Rick Baker was replaced by Greg Nicotero, the director of photography was also replaced, and several actors (Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Omar Epps, Robert Forster, James Brolin, and Corey Feldman) all saw the scenes they shot removed entirely from the film, pushing the planned release back to October 2004.
    • It wouldn't meet that date, thanks to the final insult: the film was delayed again so that the studio could edit it down to a PG-13. Craven felt insulted by this decision, as he and everybody involved intended to make an R-rated film, calling it "completely disrespectful" and claiming that "they shot themselves in the foot with a shotgun."
    • Cursed was finally dumped into theaters in February 2005, a year and a half after it was supposed to come out. It quickly became a critical and box office dud that is often cited as Craven's worst film, with both Williamson and Craven viewing it as an Old Shame. The drawn-out production caused Craven to drop out of the American remake of Pulse (which he had also co-written) just ten days before filming began, as both this film and that one were Money, Dear Boy jobs for him, and his experience with Cursed had soured him on working just for the money. (To his credit, given the Pulse remake's poor reception, he probably dodged a bullet.)
  • The 1983 Canadian horror film Curtains was by all accounts a nightmare behind the scenes:
    • Most of these production difficulties stemmed from Creative Differences between director Richard Ciupka, who imagined the film as more of a psychological thriller, and producer Peter Simpson, who wanted a more conventional slasher picture of the kind en vogue at the time. According to actress Linda Thorson, the tension between the two became so great that her fellow cast members became unsure whether or not the production would ever move forward at all.
    • Eventually Ciupka quit the project after about 45 minutes' worth of footage had been shot, resulting in Simpson having to take over the shoot. Over the course of the next year or so, production was put on hold, during which time there were numerous script rewrites and re-shoots, which explains the finished product's choppy feel.
    • In preparation for the film's ice skating sequence, actress Lesleh Donaldson was sent for skating practice by the producers as she had very little training in the field prior to shooting and had fellow performer Anne Ditchburn help her practice her choreography. Once filming of the scene commenced, however, Donaldson tripped on uneven ice and injured herself, resulting in a body double being used for her long shots.
    • The climactic scenes were filmed more than a year after the initial production, by which time the cast and crew had begun to lose faith in the whole project. The constant re-writes and re-shoots also resulted in numerous scenes being shot that never actually made it into the finished product.
    • Upon completion of production, Richard Ciupka took his name off the project, instead being credited as "Jonathan Stryker", the name of John Vernon's character in the film. In the end, Curtains received generally poor reviews and even worse box office figures, and became relegated to the history of Canadian horror cinema soon after. In recent years, though, it has developed a small cult following, with many citing the aforementioned ice skating scene as a memorable highlight of the film.
  • Cutthroat Island's Guinness Book of World Records-certified status as the worst Box Office Bomb ever is in part due to this:
    • Renny Harlin and Geena Davis, who had a reasonably successful marriage and creative partnership at the time, began to explore the possibility that she could topline action movies after she more than proved her acting mettle in films as varied as The Fly (1986), The Accidental Tourist (which won her an Oscar), Thelma & Louise, and A League of Their Own. A pirate movie seemed like a good place to try to start.
    • Michael Douglas made his appearance conditional on getting an equal amount of screen time to Davis. After he began to suspect the filmmakers were adding scenes for her without letting him know, he quit. Many other prominent male stars turned it down before Matthew Modine took the part. While it was partially a boon to the producers in that he actually knew how to fence, he was also not the first or even the 17th person you'd think of for an action-adventure swashbuckling male lead at the time.
    • Due to the casting distractions, Harlin hadn't really been able to pay attention to the sets and production design. When he finally did, he didn't like any of it. It all had to be redesigned and rebuilt in a rather short time frame—and then the script had to be rewritten to accommodate the changes. Both had a lot to do with driving the film's budget way up.
    • Oliver Reed had been cast in a minor role but had to be replaced after (surprise!) he got drunk and flashed Davis on the set. By that time Davis and Harlin had lost any enthusiasm they had originally had for the project and were strictly in it because they were contractually obligated. And they were getting paid.
    • The less than $10 million the film made at the box office against a budget over ten times that led to cascading Creator Failure: Carolco, the studio, went bankrupt. Harlin and Davis tried one more film together, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and then ended their marriage. She hasn't been the A-list lead she was before then, and his projects since have mostly been low-budget genre films. The film is also blamed for killing the pirate movie until Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; although it's more accurate to say it failed to relaunch the genre, since there hadn't been that many made before it.
  • Albert Pyun's Cyborg films have suffered different variations of this.
    • The original Cyborg was actually born out of, rather than suffering from, this trope.
      • Back in the 1980s, Cannon Films was planning on making both a Spider-Man film and a sequel to Masters of the Universe. Pyun was at the helm of both projects, with plans for filming them back to back. However, after more than a dozen re-writes and an investment of $2 million in pre-production and very early production, Cannon Films began to lose money fast. It eventually lost the rights for both franchises.
      • Wanting to recuperate some of the money and time invested, Albert Pyun was tasked to come up with a project that could use the production assets (like sets and costumes) of both failed projects. Pyun came up with the story in a weekend. $500,000 and 24 days of frenetic shooting and editing later, Cyborg was finished.
      • Albert Pyun's first cut of the filmnote  was somewhat experimental and played more like a war film, being in black and white, containing very little dialogue, and using a heavy metal inspired soundtrack. Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus hated it, and demanded a new, more mainstream version that played to star Jean-Claude Van Damme's strengths. Pyun obliged, and produced a second cutnote  changing the soundtrack a little, and adding most of the dialogue and color back. The test screening ended in disaster, only one person liking it from a hundred surveyed.
      • Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus tried to convince Van Damme to allow them to release the movie as it was. Instead, Van Damme convinced both producers to let him edit the film as he had done previously with Bloodsport and asked them for 2 months, after which Cyborg was finally released.
      • Jackson "Rock" Pinckney, who played one of Fender's pirates, lost his eye during filming when Van Damme accidentally struck it with a prop knife. Pinckney sued Van Damme in a North Carolina court and was awarded $485,000.
    • Cyborg Nemesis: The Dark Rift, a sequel promised at the end of the original film's director's cut, didn't get made until decades later. Unfortunately, after completing the first cut of the movie, Pyun decided to cancel production —and as a result, the entire movie—and retire from filmmaking after being diagnosed with dementia in 2016, with the disease taking control of his life.

    D 
  • Björk described the process of making Dancer in the Dark as so emotionally taxing that she would not appear in any film ever again. Lars von Trier was no better, he stated that working with her felt like working with a terrorist.
    • During shooting, Björk left the set for three days without any contact, which was documented in the documentary Lars Von Trier's 100 Eyes. She was also known to say "Mr. von Trier, I despise you" and spitting on him each morning before shooting.
    • It took Trier a year to convince Björk to play the lead role.
    • Björk delayed the filming of a pivotal scene for days, saying that she wasn't ready. When she finally arrived on set, she found it to be empty and was told that Lars von Trier wasn't ready. The crew admit that although it was an extremely expensive prank, it was worth the time and money because everyone wanted to get back at Björk for her disruptive behavior.
    • In October 2017, Björk accused von Trier of sexual harassment on the set of the movie.
  • Dances with Wolves faced a series of uphill battles. All in all, Kevin Costner spent five years and thousands of dollars of his own money working on the film, having to turn down multiple major film roles while facing ridicule for what was seen as a vanity project. Among the issues the production had to deal with:
    • Costner couldn't find a suitable director, so he decided to do it himself. His inexperience as a director caused early shooting delays.
    • The major studios wouldn't provide the proper funding. They took issue with the script's length and the amount of subtitles - the latter something that Costner and crew would not budge on - on top of the film being a western.
    • New Mexico proved to be not an ideal filming location, as few buffalo existed there and it was difficult to find people who could speak Comanche. South Dakota proved more suitable, so the Comanche were swapped out for Lakota Sioux, which was more widely spoken.
    • The actors had trouble learning their lines in Sioux. Costner threatened to fire them if they couldn't.
    • The production ended up way over budget and over schedule. The first cut of the film ended up being five and a half hours long, requiring massive cuts.
  • Darkman suffered from behind-the-scenes troubles. The screenwriting process was grueling, and there were lengthy post-production battles with the studio. The editing process was extremely difficult, and the editor allegedly had a nervous breakdown, and left the production. The Universal executives were also rather nervous with some of the wild things in the film, and insisted they be taken out. Sam Raimi confessed that studio movie-making, as opposed to independent filmmaking, didn't fulfill him in the same way.
  • The Dark Tower film adaptation had a ten-year complicated development history. It started out in 2007 with J. J. Abrams directing before he dropped out two years later, with Ron Howard taking over before ultimately being replaced by Nikolaj Arcel in 2015, though Howard remained as producer. This Variety article revealed that in October 2016, the film was screened to test audiences with negative results, with many labeling it confusing and messy; in response, Sony and MRC spent $6 million on reshoots to fill in the backstory of Idris Elba's character.
  • Darling Lili suffered from Executive Meddling from Paramount, who edited the film behind Blake Edwards' back. In addition, the budget swelled to three times its original size during production, the aerial sequences took two years to film, and problems with the May 1968 protests in France led to much of the planned Parisian shooting being done in Brussels.
  • Day of the Dead (1985), the third and final film in George A. Romero's original Living Dead trilogy, probably had the hardest time getting to the screen.
    • To begin with, the production company cut the budget in half in response to Romero's decision to forgo an MPAA rating and release the film unedited, forcing Romero to greatly scale back his original script. He'd envisioned Day as a legitimate Epic Movie, the biggest zombie film ever made up to that point, but the budget cuts led to a film that was much smaller in scope. (A number of his ideas that got left on the cutting room floor would later be reused for his fourth Living Dead film, Land of the Dead.)
    • Most of the film was shot in an abandoned mineshaft in Wampum, Pennsylvania. The high humidity inside the mine caused frequent mechanical and electrical failures and played merry hell with Tom Savini's gore effects (though he still won the Saturn Award that year for best makeup effects), and the long distance from Wampum to the nearest city made transportation of crew and equipment difficult.
    • Savini also recounts a story where, during filming of Captain Rhodes' death, they used real animal guts to show him getting eviscerated and torn in half by the zombies; unfortunately, somebody accidentally unplugged the refrigerator where the guts were stored, leaving them to rot for two weeks before it came time to use them. The stench was almost enough to make the actor vomit.
  • Production on Days of Heaven was so stressful that Terrence Malick didn't make another film for twenty years.
    • The production schedule was loosely structured at best from top to bottom in order to allow actors to improvise. The call sheets were sparsely detailed, while the schedule was changed at short notice to take advantage of changes in the weather. Although this may have allowed the cast more freedom, many crew members who were more used to tighter organisation took it as a sign that Malick and cinematographer Néstor Almendros had no idea what they were doing, leading to several resignations.
    • Two weeks into production, Malick, disheartened by what he was seeing in the dailies, decided to throw out the script and "go Leo Tolstoy instead of Fyodor Dostoevsky" by shooting whatever seemed like a good idea at the time and making plans to trim the film down in the editing room, causing the film to fall badly behind schedule and go hugely over budget. On a day originally set aside for shooting the locust invasion, which involved two helicopters dropping peanut shells to simulate the insects, Malick changed his mind and decided to shoot scenes involving period cars, but he kept the helicopters on hold, further inflating the costs. Producer Bert Schneider had to mortgage his house to cover the $800,000 overages. The film's props were almost as difficult to work with, with the harvesting machines frequently breaking down, so that filming for the day began in the late afternoon, mere hours before nightfall.
    • The delays forced both Almendros and camera operator John Bailey to leave midway through production to honour their commitments to François Truffaut's The Man Who Loved Women. Almendros persuaded his friend and fellow cinematographer Haskell Wexler to take his place, and worked on the film with him for a week to ensure the film's visual style would be preserved. Wexler was responsible for around half of the footage that ended up in the finished film, but was dismayed to find himself credited only for "additional photography".
  • Days of Thunder, per this old ''Spy'' article. Everyone thought getting the producers of Top Gun (Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer), its director (the late Tony Scott) and star (Tom Cruise) together, with a script by the legendary Robert Towne about a trendy sport (stock-car racing) couldn't miss. It was a commercial success indeed, despite bad reviews, but none of them ever worked all together again, because:
    • Simpson, Bruckheimer and sometimes Towne (a sometime director himself) often started their days on set having arguments with Scott (sometimes ganging up on him, sometimes three-way) over how to shoot scenes. Meanwhile, the crew sat around getting paid, sometimes for 20 hours a day. Some later said that they had made so much overtime on the film that they could have gone on vacation for four full months after the wrap date.
    • However, the effect of all that sitting around watching the producers, director and writer fight with each other was that the said wrap date kept getting pushed back. At one point the production schedule was revised three times in a single day, leading the unit production manager (the studio's on-set financial liaison) to call out Simpson and Bruckheimer. In response, they told him "Screw the schedule." It went from February 1990 to the end of May, severely jeopardizing its chances of making its expected summer release date (it came out a month later). Unsurprisingly, the budget almost doubled over this wasted time too, requiring that the movie make a then-astronomical $100 million merely to break even.
    • Towne (the writer, mind you) had a barn built to his specifications while the production was filming outside Charlotte. He didn't like it and they didn't use it. When the crew moved down to Daytona for scenes there, another barn was built. Towne didn't like it either, and most of the barn scenes he had envisioned were thus dropped from the script.
    • The cars being assembled in a barn were just one of many inaccurate depictions of NASCAR in the film. Why this happened given the official cooperation of NASCAR and several racing teams, Tom Cruise's personal interest in racing as a hobby and the research he and Towne did is a matter of some artistic license, almost lampshaded in the movie itself by Cole Trickle's constant expressions of surprise that he's gotten this far in the sport despite limited experience. But it seemed on the set as if Scott and a lot of the actual crew just didn't care. So much so that, reportedly, only after principal photography wrapped did someone review the footage and find that they had neglected to shoot Cole Trickle's car crossing the finish line ... only the climactic shot of the entire movie.
    • One reason why Simpson and Bruckheimer may not have cared about the accuracy (as if they ever did): they were too busy realizing the potential of the movie to get chicks. They spent $400,000 of the studio's money having an empty storefront in their hotel building converted into their private gym. And then putting up a huge eight-foot-high neon sign with the name of the movie in the window. They threw a special welcome party for the crew at a local nightclub with minimal food and drink and no music ... but plenty of hookers they flew in, most of whom they limited to a roped-off VIP area with themselves and Cruise.
  • Production on the 2010 independent zombie film The Dead was originally scheduled for six weeks, but wound up taking twelve due to a litany of problems, such that Howard J. Ford (who wrote and directed the film with his brother Jon) wrote a book about the experience titled Surviving the Dead. Many of the problems pertained to the fact that the film, set in West Africa, was filmed on location in Ghana and Burkina Faso. The biggest problems were a delay in the shipping of filming equipment, which pushed production back by three weeks, and most critically, lead actor Rob Freeman coming down with malaria and almost dying. Ford also mentions needing to pay out so much money in bribes to corrupt local officials that he "literally had a bad shoulder from handing over cash". The experience was so bad that Ford would frequently wake up screaming from nightmares about the shoot for months afterward, and the Ford Brothers — having been cut out of most of the movie's profits by their Anchor Bay contract — considered leaving the industry altogether.
    • The 2013 sequel, The Dead 2: India, wasn't a walk in the park either. Not wanting to repeat their experience in Africa, the Ford Brothers decided to shoot the sequel in India instead. The wait period for their shooting permits took longer than anticipated (forcing the brothers to film some scenes guerilla-style), the crew were forced to flee two villages after the locals attempted to stone them, and on two occasions measures had to be taken to keep male extras from kidnapping and gang-raping actresses. What's more, the brothers' distribution deals with Lionsgate and Kaleidoscope fell through, and they were once again screwed out of any earnings the film made.
  • Death Becomes Her suffered no major catastrophes, but it was made back in the early nineties, when digital effects were still in their infancy. This meant that they had to stage the scenes down to the smallest detail, and any slight unplanned movement would ruin a take, which had the effect of exhausting the actors. Meryl Streep later said that while she was proud of the movie and her work in it, she would never appear in such an effects-heavy movie again.
  • Deck the Halls counts not due to external forces or Executive Meddling, but due to the four actors' personalities (Matthew Broderick, Danny Devito, Kristin Chenoweth and Kristin Davis) reaching Dysfunction Junction levels. According to an episode of How Did This Get Made?, guest Andrea Savage's friend Gillian Vigman, on set at the time, said that Broderick suffered a shoot-long Heroic BSoD, and was frequently saying stuff along the lines of "I've hit rock bottom", explaining his Dull Surprise performance; DeVito showed up just long enough to say his lines before hopping on the next plane out; Chenoweth, who'd just broken up with Aaron Sorkin, spent everyday crying, with Davis saying to Vigman that "[She] should get [her] eggs frozen." It all made for an uncomfortable, hilariously depressing story.
  • Dersu Uzala, due to Akira Kurosawa having to work in the USSR as no Japanese studio wanted to fund him at the time. The resulting studio, Mosfilm, clashed with Kurosawa as his perfectionism did not fit the "deliver a certain amount of shot film per day" the company wanted. Union fights were recurrent, and cameramen were changed every week. There was only one interpreter - to a crew of mostly Russians! To make the tiger attack more realistic, a wild one was used instead of a domesticated animal - and needless to say, it wasn't collaborative. No wonder the film took 3 years to get ready.
  • The Oscar-winning 1947 documentary Design for Death about the state of Japan after World War II was an expanded version of a short propaganda film created near the end of the war by Dr. Seuss. He was just starting to get his children's book career back on track after a seven year break due to the war, but was convinced to participate in the film by producer Peter Rathvon promising him total creative control. And he may well have intended to keep that promise, but was unfortunately replaced shortly into production by Sid Rogell, who subjected Seuss and editor Elmo Williams to constant Executive Meddling. The film saw success at the Oscars, but the questionable messages Rogell had shoehorned into it did not impress the critics. Still, Rogell was the one who got to actually collect the Oscar, which infuriated Williams—while Seuss, on the other hand, was happy just to have his name on the film after military procedure didn't let him put it in any of his wartime work. Nevertheless, the experience completely soured him on what he'd intended to be a permanent move into film, which, thankfully, set the stage for the next several decades of his legendary career in children's books. Seuss also spent the rest of his life believing all copies of the film had been destroyed, though a few did turn up after his death.
  • The Dirty Dozen may be the only case of a movie ending the career of a professional athlete. A rainstorm delayed production to the point where it overlapped the start of NFL training camp - a bit of a problem when one of your stars is Cleveland Browns star running back Jim Brown. This drove Browns owner Art Modell to threaten fines on Jim for every day he wasn't at camp to get him to show up. Fortunately for the movie (and unfortunately for the Browns team, the city of Cleveland and the NFL), Brown chose Hollywood over football and completely retired from the game. note 
  • 20th Century Fox, still reeling from the box office failure of Cleopatra, ran into serious trouble for the second time in four years with the 1967 family musical Doctor Dolittle, envisioned as a Follow the Leader title in the steps of My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music. The book Pictures at a Revolution goes into detail about problems that it ran into. The most of notable of them included the following:
    • Following years of legal battles with Hugh Lofting's family, work on a Dolittle film finally began in 1964 with Alan Jay Lerner employed as scriptwriter and composer. When a year passed and Lerner had nothing to show for it, producer Arthur Jacobs fired him and tried unsuccessfully to entice The Sherman Brothers away from Disney before settling on English composer Leslie Bricusse, who took just two months to provide a full treatment complete with song ideas and tempering the racist content in a way that met with the Lofting family's approval. However, Bricusse unwittingly included an original scene from a rejected script by producer Helen Winston (assuming it was from the book), who sued Fox for $4.5 million.note 
    • Rex Harrison, fresh from his star turn as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, was contracted to play the title character, but tried to back out after Lerner's dismissal. To do that, Harrison made ridiculous demands to piss off the producers like demanding that Sammy Davis Jr. be replaced with the non-singing actor Sidney Poitier, because he didn't want to work with an "entertainer" (Read: someone who could sing better than himself). He also demanded contradictory rewrites from Bricusse, made pointless explorations for new shooting locations and other songwriters (most notably, he looked into replacing Bricusse with Michael Flanders and Donald Swann), and wanted to record his songs live as opposed to standard sound recording in studio. Christopher Plummer, fresh from his star turn as Baron von Trapp in The Sound of Music, was paid $300,000 to stand by as Harrison's replacement during production. Harrison eventually returned, but was extremely difficult to work with during production, suffering various personal crises and constantly insulting and arguing with castmates, such as Anthony Newley for being Jewish, and crew members.
    • Over 1,150 animals were trained for the film... in California. Because of British animal quarantine laws, they were unusable for location shooting at Castle Combe in Wiltshire, and another set of animals had to be trained at great expense. The animals proved almost as difficult to work with as Rex Harrison; a fawn drank from an open paint can and had to have her stomach pumped, a goat ate director Richard Fleischer's script, squirrels chewed through several key pieces of scenery, Rex Harrison was frequently urinated on by sheep while filming a field scene, a flock of ducks sank when placed in the water as the scene was shot at a time of year when their feathers were not water-repellent, several animal roles had to be repeatedly recast when the "actors" grew too large, some of the trainers got hepatitis from being bitten repeatedly, and the unexpected co-operation of the animals during the first take of "The Reluctant Vegetarian" was rendered irrelevant when Polynesia the Parrot shouted "Cut!" - and Harrison assumed it had been Fleischer who spoke.
    • The location shoot in Castle Combe, posing as Dolittle's home village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, had other unexpected problems. Just as the weather reports the studio ignored warned, the rain fell in torrents all summer - except when the crew tried to film scenes set on rainy days. The film crew clashed with local residents when they insisted on the removal of their anachronistic television aerials, and an artificial dam built to enlarge the local lake was almost blown up by future explorer-adventurer Ranulph Fiennes, then a demolitions expert in the SAS, who saw the dam as an act of vandalism.note 
    • Filming moved to Marigot Bay in St. Lucia for the Sea-Star Island scenes, and the problems continued apace. The weather remained unco-operative, and there were frequent problems with swarms of local insects. A key scene in which Dolittle's companions leave the island on the Great Pink Sea Snail enraged the locals, the children among whom had just endured a food poisoning epidemic caused by freshwater snails, and they pelted the prop Snail with stones. Harrison deliberately ruined filming of a beach scene in which he was not involved by sailing his yacht into the shot and refusing to move. Studio sets had to be built in California for costly reshoots of the village and island scenes.
    • As set decorator Stuart Reiss recalled in the book Pictures at a Revolution, the California sets had to be built on a slant so they could drain in case animals (such as cows or birds) made a mess. They also had laborers on standby with brooms, and all of the furniture had to be hosed down and washed every night. And there had to be duplicates of everything, even the walls, in case a big animal backed up into it or kicked it. Furthermore, the sets had the problem of a nasty stench resulting from animal waste and the gallons of ammonia used to clean them. To add to this, despite birds being tethered to railings, a few of them escaped and managed to get caught in the netting on the ceiling of the soundstages.
    • Despite initial optimism from producer Arthur Jacobs (who had a heart attack during production), the final budget was a then-outrageously high $18 million ($136 million adjusted for modern inflation), three times original estimates. Preview audiences (which notably included very few children) and critics were unimpressed, and the film was a box-office bomb, earning just $9 million despite a merchandising blitz (nine different versions of the soundtrack were recorded, with a million records pressed, but they sold so poorly that they are often found in bargain bins to this day).note  Public opinion soured further when Fox essentially bribed their way to nine Oscar nominations (including Best Picture) by hosting lavish dinners and free screenings for Academy voters.note 
    • As well as ending Rex Harrison's career as a leading man, Dolittle is often credited, alongside Warner Bros.' Camelot (which came out two months earlier), with killing the family musical, as both opened to a negative critical reception and general lack of interest. Fox, already committed to releasing the similarly disappointing musicals Star! in 1968 and Hello, Dolly! in 1969, almost went bankrupt again, only making one film in 1970 and not recouping their losses until a 1973 re-release of The Sound of Music. The only good thing to come out of Doctor Dolittle was that Arthur Jacobs was able to make Fox greenlight, under promise of not exceeding a $5 million budget, a discredited Pierre Boulle-penned sci-fi story that he had been seeking to adapt for years... called Planet of the Apes.
  • Two weeks before A Dog's Purpose was released, someone edited a video showcasing the training of a German Shepard to look like he had been forced into a dangerous water current against his will, thus causing a massive outrage from animal rights activists before the full story was even released. Later, after the movie was released, an investigation proved that the entire story and video were deliberately faked to start drama. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done to the film's reputation, as animal rights groups everywhere had already called for a boycott of the film and a lot of people bought into the story.
  • Dracula (1931) was an early talkie film, with all the troubles that implies. In addition, production was plagued by Todd Browning's alcoholism and unfocused direction, forcing cinematographer Karl Freund to direct many scenes himself.
  • David O. Selznick was certain that Duel in the Sun would be his next Gone with the Wind, but his habit of extreme micromanagement, which worked for the production of GWTW, could just as easily increase tensions on the set and artistically smother a movie. Also, Selznick was in the process of separating from and divorcing his first wife so he could eventually marry his leading lady, the much-younger Jennifer Jones, with whom he had become obsessed. That obsession, unfortunately, affected many of his decisions. Finally, to keep up with his workaholic schedule, Selznick was taking—and became addicted to—Benzedrine, which only increased his erratic behavior and decision-making during production. The film also fell afoul of the Hays Code and religious censors, particularly for a scene in which Pearl Chavez (Jones) performed a sensual dance for Lewton McCanles (Gregory Peck), but Selznick found a way to turn that to his advantage.
  • Dune. A cover article in Time Out referred to it as "the movie that cost the Earth", and as Cracked put it, "Dune changed hands in the wake of collapsed ruin so many times, it was like the Goddamned monkey's paw."
    • Plans to adapt Frank Herbert's 1965 novel to film went back over fifteen years, with the aforementioned Arthur Jacobs being the first to buy the rights to it not long after it came out... at which point he sat on them, consistently holding out for more money, until he died several years later.
    • In 1975, Chilean director Alexandro Jodorowsky, with backing from the Seydoux brothers (a pair of French producers), picked up the rights for $100,000. He invested more than $2 million into pre-production, writing a script for a 10-20 hour miniseries starring Salvador Dalí and Mick Jagger with music by Pink Floyd, before running out of money, with the rights going to the Seydoux brothers. The documentary Jodorowsky's Dune was later made about his attempt.
    • Italian independent mega-producer Dino de Laurentiis was the next to get involved, buying the rights from the Seydoux brothers for $2 million and turning to Herbert himself to write the script. When that didn't work out, he turned to Ridley Scott, fresh off the success of Alien. That, too, didn't work out — Scott's vision for the film's aesthetic was similar to that of Alien, which de Laurentiis felt would've made the film feel too derivative, and there was also an argument over Scott and his co-writer Rudolph Wurlitzer writing an incest scene that wasn't in the book, which Herbert himself stepped in over. (Scott denies that the latter part happened.) Finally, just when it was looking like the film might actually enter production, Scott's older brother, Frank, died unexpectedly, forcing the emotionally devastated Scott to withdraw from the project entirely. Scott opted not to return after recovering, deciding instead to make Blade Runner.
    • Finally, de Laurentiis found David Lynch, who had just made The Elephant Man, and hired him as writer and director. The first argument was over casting; Lynch wanted to cast Freddie Jones, who he had worked with on The Elephant Man, and had to go against much resistance from de Laurentiis to do so. De Laurentiis planned to fire Jones, but changed his mind upon seeing the first dailies and went so far as to apologize to Jones for being skeptical of him.
    • Churubusco Studios in Mexico City was selected as the shooting location, due to the nearby desert and the devaluation of the peso making it possible to shoot the film for a quarter of what it would've cost in the US. Unfortunately, with that cut-rate cost came cockroach infestations, Mexico's byzantine bureaucracy, brownouts that necessitated having backup generators on hand at all times, a primitive phone network with only one direct line to the production office, worse smog than Los Angeles, and Montezuma's Revenge afflicting half the Europeans on the crew. In addition, Francesca Annis accidentally blew herself up with a gas oven and was hospitalized for several weeks. Production began in March 1983 and took six months to complete due to all the problems the production faced, coming in $4-7 million over its planned $38 million budget.
    • Problems didn't end with the production. The film was taken out of Lynch's hands in post-production, and diverged so greatly from his vision that he refuses to have his name attached to certain cuts of the film.

    E 
  • Easy Rider:
    • Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda were constantly at odds with each other, the bikes were stolen (Fonda's declared motivation for his delivery of "We blew it") and Hopper proved to be a Prima Donna Director, eventually leading to the studio sending him on a paid vacation while they recut the film in his absence to a more manageable length (Hopper's original cut was 220 minutes long).
    • Terry Southern had written the George Hanson part for his friend Rip Torn. However, after Torn and Hopper nearly came to blows one night before production at a restaurant in New York, Jack Nicholson got cast instead, and the rest is history. Nicholson declared about the shoot that "Everyone wanted to kill one another and put one another in institutions", while Karen Black described production as 'insane'.
  • Empires of the Deep was a Vanity Project for Chinese real estate mogul Jon Jiang, who was inspired to make it after seeing the groundbreaking visual effects of Avatar. An Epic Movie with a Greek mythology-inspired plot and a $130-150 million budget paid for mostly out of Jiang's pocket, with plans for a multimedia franchise encompassing a trilogy, an animated series, video games, action figures, and an amusement park, it has never been released despite being all but finished. One need only look at the film's production history to see why, as laid out in this article from The Atavist magazine, this production diary by an extra, Dale Irons, who documented his experiences, and in this article from Cracked featuring an interview with the film's male leads, Steve Polites and Maxx Maulion.
    • Polites and Maulion were unknown actors cast simply because they were Americans, which Jiang hoped would lend a degree of Hollywood prestige to the project. Problems began immediately when it became apparent to Polites and Maulion that very few people involved with the film spoke a word of English, and that the film's main purpose was to promote Jiang's real estate ventures. Polites realized it the moment he stepped off the plane with a bad case of 'hat head' rather than the curly brown hair he had in his audition, causing his stylists to panic and give him an awful dye job because he couldn't communicate with them. Maulion, meanwhile, realized it when the film's cast was brought out to headline the grand opening of one of Jiang's hotels. The casting of other actors was about as rigorous; Irons blatantly lied about his past films and about his experience with action and fight scenes, thankful that IMDb was blocked in China, while Jiang cast his girlfriend Shi Yanfei as the female lead.
    • Jiang's mismanagement of production was comparable to that of Tommy Wiseau, but at least Wiseau spoke the same language as his actors. Hairstyles changed frequently, extras were used to play multiple background characters, Jiang insisted on wrinkly swimcaps for the actors playing mermen instead of proper makeup, actors were put into makeup "just in case" even on days when they weren't set to film, and when, during shooting on a beach with a very non-ancient hotel resort in clear view, director Jonathan Lawrence jokingly suggested building a wall to block the view of the resort and keep it out of the shot, Jiang took him seriously and actually built that wall — defeating the purpose of shooting on location instead of on a soundstage (because now they'd need to use CGI to cover up the wall).
    • Lawrence was actually the second director hired for the film, which ultimately went through four of them. The first director hired for the project, Pitof, was best known in the West as the director of the infamous bomb Catwoman — in hindsight, a sign of just how little thought Jiang had put into the project. Pitof thought that the screenplay (which Jiang wrote himself) was so terrible that, upon reading it, he immediately hired Michael Ryan to do major rewrites, producing a screenplay that was more reminiscent of Clash of the Titans (2010). Jiang, unfortunately, hated Ryan's script, and after multiple fights over it, Pitof eventually quit before production began. Lawrence, who Jiang had initially passed over, was hired next, and held the same opinion of Jiang's script; he ultimately left the film due to both problems receiving his pay and concerns over conditions on set (more on that below). Canadian director Michael French was next in the director's chair; due to a preexisting work commitment, he could only shoot for three months, and he decided to shoot the film as a comedy, owing to both his background in the genre and (again) the fact that he thought the script was incredibly campy. Scott Miller, the son of sports documentarian Warren Miller, was the one who finally finished it.
    • Lawrence wasn't the only one whose paychecks came late or not at all. Foreign extras who grumbled about not getting paid were met with visits from the police to check their visas, while Maulion ultimately quit the film over $30,000 he was owed that failed to materialize.
    • No OSHA Compliance was in full effect on set. Scenes were shot in caves with random falling rocks, in remote locations where access to a rescue helicopter could not be guaranteed if anything went wrong, and (for underwater scenes) in a diving tank with lights hanging just a few inches above the water that was kept clean simply by dumping more chlorine into it. Actors and crew worked in very non-union conditions; work days ran up to 22 hours straight at points, with no heaters, no water, and few breaks for food and rest. For the mermen, the glue used to hold their prosthetics to their bodies wound up being toxic and irritating their skin. When actress Irena Violette quit the production out of fear for her safety, not only was her character written out of the film, but the producers tried to stop her from leaving the country; she needed help from Lawrence and an American consulate to return home.
    • The few people who have seen the finished film have described it as one of the most unintentionally hilarious things they'd ever witnessed, such that it could become a Cult Classic on the "bad movie" circuit if it were ever released. Jiang, for his part, still insists that Empires of the Deep will see the light of day.
  • Enemy Mine began its shoot in Hungary with a different director and a $20 million budget (which was considered lower than the average sci-fi film). After the studio saw the first dailies, production was shut down and the director was let go. After Wolfgang Petersen was hired to replace the first director, the shoot moved to Germany with the budget somehow doubling to $40 million. Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. even got additional pay on their salaries so they would not abandon the production. Needless to say, Fox ended up with a major money loser by the time the film was released.
  • Eraserhead suffered from this — no studio would fund it due to its unusual plot and David Lynch's lack of experience, so he had to rely on funds from the AFI, as well as friends and family. Because of these financial troubles, filming was intermittent — it took five years, and sets had to be repeatedly assembled and disassembled. While its critical reception was initially mixed, the film was praised by several other filmmakers (including, but not limited to Mel Brooks, Stanley Kubrick and John Waters), which kickstarted Lynch's career.
  • In his autobiography, Bruce Campbell described production on The Evil Dead (1981) as a "comedy of errors" and "twelve weeks of mirthless exercise in agony." Sam Raimi and the cast and crew had done some shorts before, but a feature proved to be much harder.
    • The cabin used as the film's set was also used as lodging for the thirteen crew members. Living conditions were terrible, and the crew frequently argued. The actors went days without showering or bathing (the cabin did not have plumbing) and fell ill frequently in the freezing weather. Things got so bad that, by the end of production, they were burning furniture to stay warm.
    • On the very first day of shooting, the crew got lost in the woods.
    • Several people were injured during the shoot and couldn't get medical help due to how isolated the cabin was. In one particularly gruesome instance, Betsy Baker's eyelashes were ripped off during the removal of her face mask.
    • The special effect used to create the Deadites' possessed-looking eyes was done with contact lenses as thick as glass that could only be worn for fifteen minutes at once because they prevented the actors' eyes from breathing. Campbell compared the effect to putting Tupperware over the eyes. (Perhaps it's not for nothing that the remake dropped this particular effect.)
    • Sam Raimi takes pride in how he "tortured" his actors on set, feeling that it made it easier for them to capture the characters' pain and misery. When Bruce Campbell tripped and injured his leg during one scene, Raimi poked the injured area with a stick.
  • In 1995, Alicia Silverstone, in the midst of her Star-Making Role in Clueless, signed a two-picture deal with Columbia Pictures-TriStar Pictures worth $8 million. As part of the deal, Silverstone got her own production company, First Kiss, making her the youngest producer in Hollywood, at the age of 18. The first film Silverstone produced for Columbia-TriStar was 1997's Excess Baggage, where she played an heiress who fakes her own kidnapping as a means of getting her father's attention. Silverstone handpicked her co-star Benicio del Toro after seeing him in The Usual Suspects and had to do some heavy convincing to the studio that he was right for the partnote .
    • Unfortunately, production would soon be plagued by clashes between Silverstone and director Marco Brambilla (Demolition Man), the sudden departure of a producer, and even disputes over whether the film was a comedynote  or something darker.
    • The Los Angeles Times reported that Silverstone and Brambilla fought over things like dialogue, scenes, script and even wardrobenote . It got so bad, the source added, that Nicholas Turturro had a stretch limo idling outside the set door for eight hours waiting for the moment he could wrap so he could flee. Some believed that the friendship between Silverstone and Del Toro added to the friction on the set. They took to improvising their scenes together, much to Brambilla's frustration; when he would ask to have a scene played a certain way, the actors refused to cooperate. Eventually, one of the film’s executive producers, David Valdes left the project during filming because the project was “out of control”. He was replaced by Bill Borden.
    • Originally, Excess Baggage was scheduled for a late 1996 release, but it was pushed back due to bad test screenings. Scenes were reshot to try to create better chemistry between Silverstone and Del Toro. The new release date was scheduled two months after Silverstone's appearance as Batgirl in Batman & Robin. Part of the thinking must have been that Silverstone would be an even bigger star after the superhero sequel came out in June 1997.
    • Instead, Excess Baggage got caught up in the Batman backlash. Critics savagely ripped it apartnote , and it proved a box office bombnote . Marco Brambilla would never direct another Hollywood film, First Kiss would never receive another movie credit, and Silverstone—due to its poor box office and critical returns—would be nominated for a Razzie for Worst Actress, “losing” to Demi Moore of G.I. Jane. Combined with the fallout from Batman & Robin, this film marked a quick end to Silverstone's stardom.

    F 
  • Fantastic Four (2015)/Fant4stic would be better if it were called Fantastically Troubled Movie Shoot. A thirteen video series produced by YouTube channel Midnight's Edge detailed the hellish production! Where to even begin?
    • Much like 1994's aborted The Fantastic Four, the reboot was timed to fulfill a need to retain the intellectual property rights for the franchise. Fox had considered a reboot instead of following the Tim Story movies in 2009, announced it in 2012, but only in 2014, having waited nearly a full seven years, rushed into production with director Josh Trank (Chronicle), who quickly brought onboard a cast (helmed by Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm) to mixed reactions from fans. Leaked set photos showing the Doctor Doom costume with unfinished CGI didn't help matters.
    • Reportedly, Fox (having micromanaged similar projects in the past) was the one responsible for pushing the Darker and Edgier take on the source material. However, the script was in constant flux until the last minute, with Trank supposedly having to deal with abrupt changes from Fox production head Emma Watts. Likewise, Fox reportedly pulled several action setpieces from the script days before filming was set to begin.
    • Fox gave the film a budget of around $120 million when Trank thought he would have $150 million to work with, leading to scenes being cut to save money. Notably, a fairly impressive scene from the trailers where the Thing leaps out of a plane to dive bomb a terrorist camp ended up being removed for budgetary reasons. Even the 3D conversion which producer Simon Kinberg hailed as being impressive and immersive was cancelled.
    • According to various sources, there was a battle of wills between Fox and Trank. The latter was reportedly prone to erratic and isolated behavior (including drug use and tardy behavior), made constant changes to the script, sat in a private tent most of the time, abused the production budget and had unclear directions on how to tell the story he wanted. Trank's behavior was supposedly linked to his personal problems - he was having a dispute with his landlord over perceived damage to his rental home in Baton Rouge (which Trank supposedly addressed by defacing photos of the landlord's family after being threatened with eviction and necessitated a Fox executive flying out to personally apologize to the landlord). Others blamed Trank's inexperience helming a feature film for the production issues. His behavior got to the point where he was apparently fired from a planned Boba Fett film (although Trank says he quit). Film producer Simon Kinberg, also a producer on the new Star Wars franchise, allegedly did not want to work with Trank again.
    • Trank bent over backwards to convince Fox to hire Miles Teller. The two didn't get along with each other and once almost got into a fistfight. Trank also reportedly got along poorly with Kate Mara, treating her with disdain because she was a mandated hire from Fox.
    • January 2015 was set as the date to finish the last set of reshoots. This interview stated that they still needed to finish them in May 2015.
    • OTOY, the visual effects company that was hired to do work on the film, was reportedly in way over their heads with the project, and had to deal with a generally-unresponsive and erratic director who requested that The Thing's appearance and size shift between certain shots. A number of visual effects sequences - such as the scene where The Thing fights off insurgents in the Middle-East - were apparently cut due to Fox not funding the small company enough to make them work. Ironically, the reason they hired OTOY was so that they could save on money - reliance on the company and the cost of reshoots ultimately made the whole affair even more expensive.
    • Following the release of the movie on Blu-ray, the special features for the film feature shots that establish that some visual effects of the film were still unfinished or of low quality by at least two weeks before the movie's release (and even less time than that until the premiere). Along with the aforementioned story of the troubles at OTOY, it's abundantly clear that most of the scenes were taken out of the film due to production being rushed to fit a deadline.
    • Not helping matters was Marvel pushing the characters Out of Focus from its publications, first by canceling the then-current run of the series and then mocking the reboot in an issue of The Punisher by having a group of lookalikes get blown up in an explosion.
    • Planned marketing pushes at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con amounted to nothing. And the negative publicity was raised once Fox cancelled both the early release in foreign markets and the reviewer screenings.
    • Midway through production, Fox panicked once they realized Trank was turning in unsuitable material. Eventually, they took control from Trank and conducted their own reshoots in Los Angeles, using body doubles and Teller performing in front of a green-screen. Rumors suggest that Fox hired a "dream-team" (comprised of writer Drew Goddard, Kinberg and director Matthew Vaughn) to try and salvage the ending. According to at least one account, this resulted in the film's special effects director being fired without warning (and causing him to quit the industry in anger). Anywhere from 20-40 minutes of material were excised from the film and replaced by the reshot ending (notable for the fact that Mara is wearing a wig, having moved on to another film and cut her hair short, then called back for her part).
    • Fox also took control of the film's final cut from Trank, who later remarked (in a since-deleted Twitter post) that it was unlikely that anyone would be able to see the "good version" of the film. Trank also reportedly emailed his staff and cast to congratulate them on finishing production and attempt to lift their spirits (by commenting that he was sure it would be better than most comic book films), to which one unnamed castmember shot him down.
    • The initial early screenings were extremely negative, with at least one participant at a U.K. screening given a comment card asking how Fox should proceed with the franchise. The film debuted to a poor Rotten Tomatoes score (more specifically, the lowest rating for a superhero movie since Catwoman), C- Cinemascore and middling box office returns, with everyone blaming each other for the film's weak reception. When all was said and done, Fox ended up losing over $100 million once it finished its theatrical run.
    • The film left behind a battlefield of casualties to the careers of those involved. It cemented the status of former Fox head Tom Rothman (who green-lit this movie as he departed the studio for Sony the following year) as one of the most hated studio executives in Hollywood, and Josh Trank's career went into an irreversible decline, taking over three years to produce another film, which ended up going indie. The careers of the main stars were also heavily damaged, with only Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch) escaping permanent decline thanks to his later roles in Creed and Black Panther. Fox co-head Jim Gianopulos, Rothman's former rival at Fox, was forced out of the studio the following summer, a year before his contract was slated to expire; he subsequently jumped ship to Paramount. Though the effects of the film's failure towards Fox are often inflated,note  it did influence Fox owner Rupert Murdoch's decision to sell much of his entertainment empire, including Fox, to rival Disney several years after the film's release, ending the studio's eight-decade-long tenure as one of the Hollywood majors and resulting in comparisons to this film and Heaven's Gate, and Josh Trank being seen as The New '10s' equivalent of Michael Cimino. The film (alongside Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) played a major role in gradually phasing out the Darker and Edgier PG-13 superhero movie genre that was popularized by The Dark Knight Trilogy, with subsequent movies such as Suicide Squad and Justice League both failing critically (and, for the latter, commercially). It was also revealed years later that the film's failure is what caused Fox to bail on a film about the X-Men character Gambit which had been set to start shooting just a month later.
  • The production of The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu was troublesome before filming started, with two directors—Richard Quine and John Avildsen—both fired before the script had been completed. Peter Sellers also expressed dissatisfaction with his own portrayal of Manchu with his ill-health often causing delays. Arguments between Sellers and director Piers Haggard led to Haggard's firing at Sellers's instigation and Sellers taking over, with his long-time friend David Lodge directing some sequences. Piers Haggard later recalled:
    It was a very disagreeable experience on that film. I was brought in on an off-chance. He [Sellers]’d agreed to do a fairly stock Hollywood comedy thriller, similar to The Pink Panther really, playing a detective and a villain. And he’d fallen out of love with that project and didn’t want to do that script. They said, "Okay, what do you want to do?" and he said, "Let me go off and do a bit of rewriting". So he went off with a Hollywood hack and turned it into a series of Goon Show sketches. The executives were absolutely appalled. They thought, ‘Oh my God, we thought he had a picture and now we’ve got a development situation.’ I knew one of them, so they said, "Maybe this guy Haggard could do something with this". So I got three weeks’ work to supervise a rewrite, which we did. We made Peter’s script much more coherent, turned it into something with a bit more of a beginning, middle and end. And they were very pleased with that so I got the gig. But then unfortunately within about two weeks my love affair with Peter Sellers was over but I had to soldier on. I did soldier on but it was no fun, absolutely no fun. Then just towards the end of the shooting he decided, which had been obvious, that either he would go or I would go so they got rid of me. I didn’t have much choice. So I was retired and he directed for the last week or so. It was pretty much a disaster from beginning to end.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the novel by E. L. James.
    • James wielded a large amount of creative control over everything from casting to the wardrobe to the final script — unusual for any novelist, let alone one whose only published work was a single series of three books. This led to no end of disputes between her and director Sam Taylor-Johnson. While Taylor-Johnson wanted to make a more Pragmatic Adaptation, James was very protective of her book and vetoed even the most minor deviations from it, and since James was the one with final say on all creative decisions, Taylor-Johnson often found herself forced to go along. Rather unsurprisingly, Taylor-Johnson refused to return for the sequels and later described her experience as an Old Shame, with directorial duties on the sequels being given to James Foley.
    • Casting of the film's male lead, the billionaire BDSM aficionado Christian Grey, took a long time. Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, and Garrett Hedlund all turned the part down. Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy originally signed on, but later backed out citing conflicts in his schedule, though others have said that it was because he didn't like the script and clashed with the creative team over it. Eventually, they settled on Jamie Dornan.
    • During filming in Vancouver, several residents were upset over the commotion caused by the production. One man rang a cowbell out his apartment window, ruining several shots until the producers came to an agreement with him by moving the rain machine to another location.
    • While promoting the film, Dornan gave a magazine interview where he revealed he'd been allowed to observe a BDSM scene for research and made disparaging and insulting remarks about the scene he'd observed, its participants, and BDSM culture in general. BDSM practitioners, who were already leery of the film due to the substantial inaccuracies about the culture contained in the source material, were only further antagonized and infuriated by this interview. This was on top of the expected outcry from Moral Guardians, who accused the filmmakers of making pornography and Romanticized Abuse.
  • A Fistful of Dollars struggled thanks to Sergio Leone's fractious relationship with Jolly Films, who gave Fistful a miniscule budget, assured Leone that legal issues over the Yojimbo similarities had been cleared before shooting started (they hadn't, resulting in a long, acrimonious lawsuit) and fumbled its initial release, dumping it into second-run theaters and as the second feature on double bills. Eventually the movie became a hit despite its shabby treatment, allowing Leone to make For a Few Dollars More without Jolly's help. That film's title was explicitly a Take That! directed at Jolly Films.
  • Fitzcarraldo's production was so arduous, it was chronicled in the documentary Burden of Dreams. So many things went wrong that it's a wonder this film ever got made. Werner Herzog himself called it a cursed production.
    • Before production could start, Indians of the Aguaruna tribe burned down the film set in December 1979. It took a whole 13 months to find and build a new set.
    • Jason Robards was cast as Fitzcarraldo but became ill after 6 weeks of filming in the jungle and the production had to be stopped with 40% of the picture completed. The insurance company paid for the resulting costs and filming could start again after Klaus Kinski finally signed on. But the delay caused Mick Jagger to drop out too. Scheduling conflicts made it impossible for him to stay the extra months needed to reshoot the film from scratch.
    • Kinski's infamous erratic behavior caused turmoil on the set. At one point, a native extra offered to kill him for Herzog. He declined the offer, though.
    • Filming was hit by a plane crash that left four people dead and one paralysed.
    • The bulldozer used to pull the boat across the ridge had a series of breakdowns and heavy rains slowed filming to a crawl.
    • Production went overlong and into the longest dry season in recorded history which left the boat sand-banked for months on end.
  • Production on Flesh+Blood was plagued by adversities. There was great animosity among the Spanish, American and Dutch crew and cast members; actors were using alcohol and drugs on the set, while wind, heavy snowfall and cold often disrupted filming, causing the movie to go over budget. Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer argued so much that the crew asked them to quarrel in English so they could follow what they were saying, while Jennifer Jason Leigh has said that the castle they were filming in was so cold that during her numerous nude scenes her hands and feet would actually turn blue. Verhoeven would later call it the worst filming experience of his life, one that made him consider quitting making movies altogether.
  • The (for the time) cutting edge CGI work for Flight of the Navigator was done using the Super Foonly, a completely unique one-of-a-kind supercomputer based on the PDP-10 mainframe and which had previously been used for some of the CG in TRON. This machine was by the standards of the day rather powerful, but it barely had enough memory for the animation frame currently being rendered and the one being printed to film. A 30 second animation sequence would take a full 10 days of computation and printing to complete. The Foonly was also an extremely balky prototype that suffered continuous technical problems and glitches. The most severe of these was when the system's RAID array suffered a head crash in the middle of one of those 10 day rendering runs, completely destroying the drives (and these were huge things that resembled a top-loading washing machine!). All data was lost, the drive heads were toast and it happened on a holiday weekend so there were no service technicians available to replace them. Once the drives were functional again, the software stack had to be reinstalled from scratch, which itself was a pretty fraught operation given that the system was effectively a pre-production prototype, and had to be done from tape and took days to complete. Then the lost rendering run had to be restarted. The system's custodian had the following to say about this:
    I remember about a three day period when I would drive home and try to sleep for a few hours only to drive back and try to get running again. The really awful thing was that I kept seeing big billboard signs on the way in advertising Flight of the Navigator, saying "coming next week!". "We hope!" I would mutter to myself.
  • The Fly (1986) walked a difficult (if not especially painful) path from the initial pitch of a more scientifically-plausible take on 20th Century Fox's 1958 hit for The '80s to its release in August 1986, as recounted in David Cronenberg's DVD Commentary, the retrospective documentary Fear of the Flesh, and Emma Westwood's book-length essay on the film for the Devil's Advocates series.
    • Fox execs weren't sure a horror film in which the protagonist slowly became the antagonist was audience-friendly, so producer Stuart Cornfeld had to win them over by securing initial financing himself, which he found by turning to Mel Brooks and his production company Brooksfilm.
    • The first director attached dropped out when his daughter was killed in an accident. Cornfeld learned that Cronenberg was available (having dropped out of Total Recall) just in time to salvage the project, with Brooks helping seal that deal. Cronenberg's complete rewrite of Charles Edward Pogue's original script draft, a condition of his participation, was so In Name Only to it and any other version of the original short story that initially Cornfeld had his own doubts, until a friend read it and loved it.
    • The lead roles of Doomed Protagonist Seth Brundle and his lover Veronica ended up filled by actors who were in a relationship. Jeff Goldblum — who, unlike many actors considered/sought for the role of Seth, was attracted to the challenge of working through layers of prosthetic makeup — was cast first despite Fox execs' misgivings about a supporting/ensemble actor playing a lead. He turned to his lover Geena Davis for help in learning lines. She was impressed by the script, and he convinced Cronenberg and company to let her audition for the role of Veronica despite their misgivings. Her readthrough (and height comparable to Goldblum's!) won their favor. While the two got along extremely well with Cronenberg, their real life relationship, devotion to making their onscreen counterparts' relationship convincing, and Goldblum's physical commitment to his role (beyond up to five hours of makeup/suit applications not counting between-take touch-ups per day, he was working out with weights to physically match Seth's post-fusion state and — as he playfully admits in Fear of the Flesh — drinking coffee to enhance the character's increasing instability) meant that they rarely interacted with the crew or set visitors. (Film journalist Tim Lucas recalled to Westwood that his interview with Goldblum ended up limited to five minutes...while Goldblum was in full makeup for Seth's final humanoid form.) Moreover, Goldblum hung about the set when scenes between Davis and John Getz, who was playing the third corner of the Love Triangle, were being shot and fuss over how those were playing out to the point that he was once asked to leave. Cronenberg finally reminded Goldblum that there had to be some conflict in the relationships for the film to work.
    • Makeup/special effects designer Chris Walas and his crew (who gave up the chance to do Gremlins 2: The New Batch for this, though given how miserable the first film was for him as seen below...) had limited time to create the FX because an August '86 release date was locked in by Fox and filming would thus start in December '85; what would ordinarily take six months to put together had to be done in two. The animatronic puppets representing "Brundlefly" in the film's climax were still being built in California as filming began in Toronto and Kleinburg, Ontario, since what pre-production time they had was used to design, in particular, the makeup-based stages of Seth's transformation that take up the bulk of the film. The puppets weren't properly finished until they arrived in Toronto and could be adjusted to best fit the lighting, etc. For that matter, Goldblum wore the finished suit for the final humanoid stage of Seth's transformation once for a camera test before he (as well as his stuntperson) had to shoot scenes in it, which meant he was figuring out how exactly to move/emote in it very quickly. Going back to the puppetry, its elaborate nature was one reason the filming of the One-Winged Angel climax and denouement of the film (which unfolds over less than six minutes of screentime) took two weeks. Geena Davis's eyes ended up quite red and puffy in the wake of two weeks' worth of crying on cue!
    • In one scene Seth crawls up and then slides down a brick wall as an insect leg emerges from his abdomen, which he bites off. It required, among other things, a special set for Goldblum to slide down (aided by his being slathered in lubricant!), a fake torso animatronic, and prosthetics unique to the sequence. Alas, cinematographer Mark Irwin wasn't available that day and the resultant substitute's work was too dark to see. Another cameraman was brought in and the whole scene reshot the next day. THEN it was dropped after the first test screenings in Toronto due to directly following on from Seth using the telepods to merge together a baboon and a cat and then beating the aggressive hybrid to death with a lead pipe — which led to a viewer vomiting (stories vary as to whether it was in the auditorium) and the audience losing sympathy for Seth altogether. This whole "monkey-cat" reel didn't resurface until the 2005 DVD release.
    • Miscellaneous issues? Well, the baboon that represented two of Seth's test animals was not easy to control — and it was so strong it accidentally ripped off the door to a telepod one day — in part because it was attracted to the female script supervisor! A blizzard snowed in the cast and crew at the Kleinburg soundstage for two nights. Bryan Ferry was commissioned by the producers to provide a song for the end credits, only for Cronenberg — though he liked the song — to convince them that it wasn't tonally appropriate to have it follow on from Howard Shore's lush orchestral score; "Help Me" ended up as background music in the bar scene. FOUR different epilogues were shot to give closure to Veronica's story only for none of them to test well with audiences or creatives, resulting in the film ending with her mercy kill of Seth/Brundlefly instead.
    • Happily it all paid off. Despite some critics and audiences blanching (or worse) at the film's Body Horror, others were thrilled and moved, resulting in a box-office hit that won the Best Makeup Oscar, provided Goldblum and Davis with Star Making Roles, secured Cronenberg's Auteur License, and remains one of the most-acclaimed horror films of the 1980s if not all time.
  • The 1988 Molly Ringwald teen pregnancy film For Keeps was, by many accounts, no baby-stroll through the park.
    • Fresh off the success of About Last Night, screenwriters Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue were approached by producers Jerry Belson and Jeff Sagansky of Tri-Star Pictures about doing a film on teen pregnancy. According to Kazurinsky and DeClue, the film was intended to be, in their words, "a dark, and yet funny, cautionary tale". Producer Jerry Belson sent the script to Ringwald, who was enthusiastic about the project and saw it as an opportunity to gain more respectability as an actress.
    • However, things started to go south the moment John G. Avildsen was attached to direct. Known for his commercially-successful triumph films like Rocky and The Karate Kid (1984), he envisioned it as a uplifting love story and refashioned the story as such, much to the chagrin of Ringwald, Kazurinsky and DeClue.
    • Finding a leading male to star opposite Ringwald was another challenge. More than a couple of hundred young men auditioned, ranging from stars to complete unknowns. Adam Silbar was originally cast as the love interest, Stan, but at the last possible minute, he dropped out and was replaced by Randall Batinkoff.
    • Production was set to begin in April 1987. Since the film was set in and around Kenosha and called for wintry scenes, the spring date ruled out the possibility of shooting on location. Production designer William J. Cassidy was forced to scout for cities further to the north, ultimately settling on Winnipeg, Canada. When the production team arrived there, they were relieved to see the city covered in a blanket of fresh snow. Unfortunately, when filming began, a freak heat spell occurred, with temperatures rising to levels unseen in a hundred years. Trucks had to be dispatched to the outskirts of town, bringing back over a hundred tons of snow to replenish the set.
    • Working with the several babies used to portray the character of Thea proved to be a nightmare, which probably meant that Ringwald was literally pissed and shit on.
    • Ringwald and Avildsen constantly fought on set over the direction and tone of the film almost from the beginning, with Avildsen accusing her of wanting to turn the film into "a condom commercial".
    • The actor playing Stan's best friend, Chris, wound up in a coma after a drunk driving accident, delaying shooting. Because of this, and possibly due to the actor's negative attitude about the way the film was turning out, Avildsen greatly reduced his role.
    • Post-production proved to be equally nightmarish; as evidenced by production stills, footage from the trailer, and the novelization, many scenes were either recut or reshot.
    • Though the film made its money back, it was critically savaged, and subsequently left a lot of dead and dying careers in its wake. Ringwald, who views the film as a serious Old Shame, was the most prominent victim; combined with the evisceration of Fresh Horses that same year, her future as a leading girl was effectively destroyed, and since then, she's been reduced to direct-to-video and television roles. Batinkoff, whose performance was widely panned, hasn't really done anything since, and Avildsen's credibility as a director took a major dent, his last credit being the DTV Jean-Claude Van Damme film Desert Heat, on which he had his name removed.
  • Jay Roach’s production of the untitled “Fox News” historical drama has his several road blocks in the months before its scheduled release, putting pressure on Lionsgate. So much so that, in a meta sense, Tucker Carlson has used that as a topic for discussion on his program.
  • Frida, a biopic of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, was a passion project for Salma Hayek, who went out of her way to pull the film out of Development Hell. Unfortunately, the film wound up being produced by Miramax Films, whose now-disgraced co-founder Harvey Weinstein engaged in habitual sexual harassment and assault towards the actresses he employed, and Hayek avoiding Weinstein's advances and deglamorizing her appearance (including growing a unibrow like that of the real Kahlo) drove the studio boss into a rage. According to her account, Weinstein frequently insulted and yelled at both her and director Julie Taymor on set (they took being called "ball-busters" as a compliment), and was involved in a particularly demeaning instance of Executive Meddling, demanding that Hayek do a lesbian sex scene with full-frontal nudity or else he would pull the plug on the film. Shooting that scene drove Hayek to tears, and to add insult to injury, Weinstein later tried to have the film sent Direct-to-Video. Hayek and Taymor pushed back and had the film released theatrically, with it winning six Oscar nominations (and two wins) in the process.
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    G 
  • Geostorm, Dean Devlin's director debut, was shot in 2014 for a 2016 release, but the studio was so horrified at what Devlin turned in that they spent three years desperately trying to turn it into something releasable in the editing room. This included reshoots under another director, producer and writer (which even recast a role and added others). This is best shown in the trailers, which featured scenes and elements that didn't make it into the final product.
  • The obscure Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan vehicle Ghost in the Noonday Sun had such a torturous production that its director, Peter Medak, would later create a documentary about his experiences working on the film:
    • Sellers and Milligan approached Medak to direct a script they had written; he jumped at the opportunity, loving what they had written, but all three agreed that the first script was over-long and unfocused, and needed a major rewrite. Actually doing so proved very problematic, however, as Milligan was busy elsewhere, and Sellers frequently refused to show up for scheduled meetings with Medak, who ended up having to write the finished screenplay largely by himself, along with playwright Evan Jones.
    • Production in the UK got off to a rough start when Sellers demanded that Medak fire the film's initial cinematographer, Larry Pizer, despite having been the one who advocated for Pizer to be hired in the first place. Though Sellers publicly claimed he realized that he had over-stepped his boundaries and that he should have left it to Medak to hire who he wanted, other sources have claimed that a drunken punch-up between Sellers and Pizer during an on-set party was actually what caused the latter's departure. Michael Reed was brought in to take over for the rest of the shoot.
    • Filming was put on hold for a few days after Sellers suffered what appeared to be a heart attack. It was only when he saw a picture of Sellers dining with Princess Margaret on the front pages of a tabloid newspaper that Medak found out it had actually been a false alarm, which Sellers used as an excuse to bunk off production for a few days.
    • It was when production moved out to Cyprus for the location shoot that things really fell apart. Sellers started acting out more than ever, frequently showing up late, if at all, and when he did show up he usually feuded with Medak, co-star Anthony Franciosa, and just about anyone else he could, and insisted on ad-libbing his own material even when Medak pointed out he was going to make it impossible to edit the film into anything coherent. Then, Medak was taken out of action for a few days with heatstroke, forcing Milligan to jump in to direct in his absence (Sellers had wanted to do it, but Milligan talked him out of it). To add insult to injury, the captain of a boat hired to be used as a pirate ship ended up crashing and sinking it due to being drunk in charge of the ship, holding up production while a replacement was sourced.
    • After the initial cut got a dismal reaction from test audiences, the studio dumped it on The Shelf of Movie Languishment. Sellers found himself unable to get much work until a Career Resurrection a couple of years later with The Return of the Pink Panther, while Medak didn't start regularly directing theatrical films again until the following decade.
    • Years later, with Sellers' career flying high again following the success of the Pink Panther sequels and Being There, the studio finally decided to give the film a limited theatrical run before releasing it into the fledgling video market. Sellers got wind of this and contacted Medak and Milligan, wanting to buy the rights to the film, re-edit it and have Milligan record a new narration... only for Sellers to suddenly die before he could complete any deal, resulting in the original cut being the one that was ultimately released.
  • Although it won Best Picture at the Oscars, apparently Gigi had a rough time of it. Preview audiences were very negative to early screenings, and it endured an endless round of reshoots and edits to come up with a film that ended up being almost universally praised and enjoyed at the time.
  • Gigli wasn't as troubled as some of the other productions here, at least not during the early stages. The script was rewritten from a straightforward mob movie to a romantic comedy in order to take advantage of the "Bennifer" media circus surrounding the Romance on the Set between the film's leads, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Martin Brest, the director, had no problem with this — after all, he'd made Beverly Hills Cop a hit under similar circumstances. And there were no reports of strife on the set. Things blew up between Brest and the studio during post-production, though, as they fought for a long time over the final film. It was roundly panned as one of the worst films ever when finally releasednote , and Brest, a fine comic director with Going in Style (1979) and Midnight Run also to his credit, has not made another film since.
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation's highly-anticipated release was delayed, almost at the last moment, by nine months, for reshoots, ostensibly to make a 3-D version possible and boost interest in international markets (and, unofficially, to avoid competing with Magic Mike, also starring Channing Tatum). However, advance word had it been that it had tested very poorly and the studio was trying to adjust by increasing Tatum's part (which ultimately turned out not to be true). This wouldn't have been so much of a problem had Paramount not been heavily promoting the original June release date up to the point they put it off, leaving them with just two movies on their summer calendar. Left in the lurch in the meantime was an entire line of toys based on the movie that Hasbro was bringing out. The effort to "boost interest in international markets" notwithstanding, the film was still banned in Pakistan due to its negative portrayal of that country. Oh, and a crew member got killed on set in New Orleans.
  • The 1997 comedy Gone Fishin' had a couple of problems from the beginning. It was originally intended as a vehicle for both John Candy and Rick Moranis in the early 1990s, but both turned it down. It went into turnaround until 1995 when Joe Pesci and Danny Glover, who had worked together in Lethal Weapon 2 and 3 signed on. The movie was originally directed by John G. Avildsen, but he was fired after just two weeks of filming, which he immediately paid his $2 million salary, and was replaced by Christopher Cain. In the middle of the shoot, a stuntwoman died when a boat that was made to jump a ramp in one of the film's scenes landed on top of her, while her husband and father-in-law were also injured. It went overbudget to a total of $53 million and was delayed for over a year when Disney, which was the original distributor for the film, had it switched to their Hollywood Pictures label. The film was released in late May 1997, right up against The Lost World: Jurassic Park, where it died a quick death at the box office and earned a savaging from critics.
  • What do you get when you get one of Hollywood's biggest child stars to do an R-rated thriller film against the wishes of the producers and deal with an egotistical father? You get The Good Son.
    • Ian McEwan (Atonement) wrote the screenplay after Fox executives were impressed by his recently published novel The Child in Time and wanted a film involving children and evil. The screenplay was well-received but Fox was initially unconvinced that the film had commercial potential. After the releases of Home Alone and The Silence of the Lambs, however, Fox revisited the project under the belief that they could combine the popularity of both genres together. After funding for the project ran out, original director Brian Gilbert was replaced by Michael Lehmann, with Jesse Bradford cast as Henry Evans after Michael Klesic was deemed too old for the part.
    • When Fox was negotiating Macaulay Culkin's contract for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, his father and then-manager Kit stipulated that Culkin should star in The Good Son for his participation in the former film. When Lehmann found out about this, he and co-producer Lawrence Mark bailed the film in protest. Joseph Ruben, who had just given Fox a major box office hit with Sleeping with the Enemy, was attached to direct. Kit further stipulated that Macaulay's sister Quinn appear in the film and the budget rose to $20 million.
    • Mary Steenburgen, who was supposed to play the boys' mother, later quit because of scheduling conflicts when Fox decided to push back filming for The Good Son by a year, as Home Alone 2 was planned to shoot in the same time frame before Culkin was cast. Steenburgen was eventually replaced by Wendy Crewson. In the process, Elijah Wood got the part of Mark Evans when the delay made him available.
    • McEwan fought with Ruben over the film's creative direction, with Ruben wanting to make it more commercially acceptable. After several rewrites failed to satisfy Ruben, Fox fired McEwan and replaced him with Ruben's collaborator David Loughery. When McEwan threatened to sue the studio if he was forced to share writing credit with Loughery, Fox agreed to give McEwan sole writing credit for the film, even though it was Loughery's screenplay that was used in the final product. The film's failure ensured that McEwan wouldn't write another screenplay until 2017's On Chesil Beach.
    • Eventually, the film was released in late September 1993 to box office success, but was panned by critics and audiences. The film was the first in a series of dominoes that led to Culkin's career decline, and Kit became a major impediment for Culkin's career prospects as studios didn't want to deal with his father. The following year, Culkin decided to retire from acting and estranged himself from Kit. Ruben's career was also never the same, as he wouldn't get another major box office hit until 2004's The Forgotten.
  • The Alfonso Cuarón sci-fi thriller Gravity, as discussed in this article. Cuarón hoped to jump right into the film after wrapping work on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but it took him four and a half years just to begin work, as the technology required to make the film didn't exist yet and had to be developed specifically for this film. Lead actors George Clooney and Sandra Bullock spent long days locked inside a 9'-by-9' cube filled with cameras and LED screens giving them instructions, and while significant problems didn't occur, just the planned experience was, by all accounts, hellish. Needless to say, things turned out well, as the film opened to positive reviews and became a box office smash, breaking records for the highest weekend debut for the month of October and the entire fall season.
  • The independent film Gray State is another one of those "never finished" projects, and one of the grislier examples on this list. A dystopian action film about a takeover of the US by a One World Order, the film initially attracted buzz on the Conspiracy Theorist circuit with a successful Indiegogo campaign. However, production halted overnight in 2015 after its creator, David Crowley, was found dead with his wife and daughter in an apparent case of Pater Familicide. A documentary, titled A Gray State, was made about the affair, and how Crowley went over the edge. Of course, given who the film was marketed to and the worldview it was rooted in, it took no time before many of the film's backers started claiming that Crowley and his family had been taken out by the government in order to stop the film from being made.

    H 
  • Habana Eva, the fourth film of Venezuelan director Fina Torres (of Woman on Top fame), was actually having a quite peachy production... until the rough film was revealed and it turned out that a good chunk of it was filmed out of focus. Another director would have abandoned the project right there, but Torres decide to refilm the whole thing. This was a Cuban-Venezuelan coproduction heavily funded by public institutions, and it was already almost over budget before the need to refilm arose. The final product still had to use the out-of-focus material and has several parts with terrible audio synchronization (although that's on par with Venezuelan films, which have a long story of awful sound mixing). Worse, all this extra effort wasn't for an artsy film, but for a romantic comedy (and a quite mediocre one, according to reviews), but everyone involved allowed it due to Fina Torres having a reputation of doing well in the film festival circuits, and indeed the movie managed to earn "best film" awards at two festivals despite its many shortcomings.
  • The Steven Seagal action flick Half Past Dead had a very tumultuous production history:
    • It was first written in the mid-90s, but shelved when the near-identically plotted The Rock was released first. The script was put into production just after the turn of the decade, but on a much lower budget than writer-director Don Michael Paul had hoped for, and he was only able to get it off the ground thanks to the involvement of Franchise Pictures (of Battlefield Earth infamy). What's more, while the film's official budget was given as $25 million, reportedly the film only actually saw $15 million of that, making it likely that Franchise were employing the same embezzlement tricks they carried out on Battlefield Earth.
    • During filming, Seagal would frequently walk off-set at the slightest provocation — including for no reason other than his spiritual advisor told him that his karma was low — forcing Paul to resort to the usage of Fake Shemps in order to get scenes in the can. The finished film credits no less than four stunt and body doubles for Seagal, one of whom was also injured mid-production and had to be replaced.
    • In addition to his frequent refusal to be on-set, Seagal also behaved like a major jerkass to his co-stars throughout filming, with Claudia Christian in particular recounting that he made her life a living hell, and Seagal also supposedly lecturing Linda Thorson on her acting at points, despite her having worked as an actor for two decades longer than him.
    • The film's meagre budget ultimately prevented Paul from being able to film all the scenes that he wanted to, and he ended up having to borrow stock footage from, of all things, The Rock in order to complete the film.
    • Once filming had finished, Franchise announced that due to the 9/11 attacks and their belief that audiences no longer wanted to see violent films, all their future theatrically-released films would be restricted to a PG-13 rating. This resulted in the film, which was written with the expectation of being released with an R-rating, being butchered in editing in order to obtain the PG-13.
    • When it was released, the film was slaughtered by critics, and did poorly at the box-office (albeit well enough that it would have been mildly profitable had Franchise been honest about the budget). It proved the Star-Derailing Role for Seagal, whose subsequent output has been almost entirely in direct-to-DVD films.
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers took six years to get made after the tepid reception of the last film in the Halloween series, The Revenge of Michael Myers in 1989. Its tribulations almost killed the series.
    • Series producer Moustapha Akkad had been intending to make a sixth Halloween film despite the tepid reception of Revenge, meeting with screenwriter and series super-fan Daniel Farrands in 1990. Farrands' ideas stoked Akkad's interest; he had compiled a notebook filled with research on the series, including a timeline, bios for every character, a "family tree" of the Myers and Strode families, and research on the runic symbol of Thorn that had appeared in Revenge. His intent was to bridge the first two films with the fourth and fifthnote , and also to explain why series villain Michael Myers keeps coming back: he had been put under an ancient Celtic curse that compelled him to murder his entire family, one that would be passed on to another young child after he completed his task.
    • Farrands was brought on to write the film, but a series of complicated legal battles held up production for years until Miramax Films (via Dimension Films) bought the rights to Halloween. Writing finally began in 1994; several screenplays by different writers were gone through and deemed insufficient until Farrands' final draft, dubbed Halloween 666, was finalized after eleven drafts. From there came casting. While Donald Pleasence reprised his role as Dr. Loomis, Danielle Harris did not return as Jamie Lloyd due to both salary disagreements and Creative Differences, namely how Harris resented the fact that Jamie was to be killed off in the opening, feeling that her character was no longer important to the series. As a result, Jamie was recast. Fred Walton was tapped to direct, but dropped out and was replaced with Joe Chappelle.
    • Then production began, and the real problems hit. Shooting in Salt Lake City proved challenging due to an early winter that frequently interrupted production, and Chappelle and producer Paul Freeman had to rewrite the ending on the fly to meet deadlines. Furthermore, Freeman frequently inserted himself into production, rewriting dialogue and action scenes, removing a number of scenes from the script, taking it upon himself to direct second-unit shots, and sending the crew home when important scenes needed to be shot. Freeman's handling of the production was so inept that Miramax eventually stepped in, kicked him off the film, and ordered reshoots. Chappelle, meanwhile, had never been too enthusiastic about the project to begin with, as he found the Halloween series dull and had actually wanted to direct Hellraiser: Bloodline (which, in a twist of fate, he got to finish up after original director Kevin Yagher quit; see the Serial Offenders page for more), leading to him making the reshoots much Bloodier and Gorier.
    • Post-production went no better. Lead actress Marianne Hagan described the test screenings in early 1995 as "consist[ing] primarily of 14-year-old boys" who disliked the ending and the Cult of Thorn storyline. This led to another round of reshoots to craft a new ending, but there was a big problem: Donald Pleasence could not be present for them on account of having died in February. Not only was a new ending shot anyway, but over twenty minutes of other footage was changed as well, leaving gaping plot holes that rendered the film nearly incomprehensible.
    • When it was released that September, Curse had the largest opening weekend out of the entire series but was ravaged by critics and fans, and plunged fast. One of its fiercest critics was Farrands, who hated the final film's deviations from his script. The film's failure resulted in the series getting a partial Continuity Reboot three years later in 1998 with Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, which took only the first two films as canon.
    • Eventually, when the film was shown on TV, someone unearthed the original Producer's Cut from before the reshoots. While it cuts the violence and profanity for TV airing, it otherwise retains most of the original content, and Farrands has given it his tepid (if still disappointed) approval. The full, uncensored, remastered Producer's Cut was finally released on home video (after having been a popular bootleg for years) in 2014 as part of the collector's edition box set of the entire series, with a standalone release the following year. The general reception of the Producer's Cut is that, while the film remains very uneven (mostly due to the Curse of Thorn storyline being divisive among fans), it's still at least somewhat redeemed from the incomprehensible theatrical cut.
  • Halloween II (2009) was also a stressful and torturous production for everyone involved, and sent the franchise back to the grave for almost a decade:
    • After the success of the 2007 reboot, The Weinstein Company wanted to quickly greenlight a sequel, but Rob Zombie wasn't interested in returning, citing the stress and Executive Meddling of the first film, and wanted to move on with his career. The studio went through about ten scripts and seven directors before he begrudgingly agreed to sign on again, assuming it would be a quicker and easier production than the first film, and worried about what another filmmaker would do to his version of the characters. He also saw the project as an opportunity to create something very different for the series, and wanted it to be the final film in the franchise.
    • While location scouting for the film in Atlanta, Zombie learned that the studio had commissioned another script with another writer behind his back, and he quit the production in anger, but they eventually convinced him to return. Then the day before the first day of shooting, they cut two weeks from the schedule. Since Zombie refused to cut anything from his script, filming was extremely rushed, usually with about twelve pages being shot every day, with the local crew unprepared to handle it, and the film ended up going over budget. Some scenes from the script ultimately couldn't be filmed, and countless scenes were written and rewritten during the course of production. At the very end of filming, Zombie even kept shooting into an extra day in secret without the studio's permission.
    • The film ran into difficulties with securing Malcolm McDowell to reprise his role of Dr. Loomis. His deal to return wasn't finalized until filming was well under way, and most of his scenes were rewritten and shot in a single day at a hotel. Daeg Faerch was also supposed to reprise his role of young Michael Myers, but it was obvious when he got to set that he had outgrown the role, so Chase Wright Vanek was brought in as a last minute recast. The studio also vehemently disagreed with Zombie's choice to cast Mary Birdsong as Loomis' assistant, despite the character being a small role. She was ultimately cast and flown in hours before filming her scenes.
    • Making everything worse was the winter weather in Atlanta, which was so rainy, the crew had to bring in rain machines to keep it consistent. At least one outdoor set was washed away by the rain, and one day a blizzard came through Georgia, forcing the crew to accomidate the foot of snow on the ground. The sequence of Laurie running outside the hospital was especially challenging for Scout-Taylor Compton, who was wearing little more than a hospital gown in the freezing rain while everyone else was wearing wetsuits.
    • One entire day's worth of film stock was accidentally x-rayed at the airport, ruining the footage, and Zombie had no choice but to reshoot all of it with no extra time. This included all of Richard Brake's scenes, and he had to quickly fly back from London with just a few hours' notice.
    • The studio insisted on adding more gore at the last minute, and inserts were quickly filmed in Los Angeles during the editing process, in some cases just a couple weeks before the film opened. They also found the ending (where Laurie is fatally shot by the police) too downbeat, so they ordered it reshot to resemble a more traditional slasher ending (where Laurie surrenders to police and is confined to a mental institution). Because of the short schedule, Zombie could not complete his cut on time as intended, forcing the theatrical release to go out with a shorter cut and an almost incomprehensible story.
    • The film was panned by critics and polarized fans of the series. Some praised Zombie's ambition and fresh take on the franchise. Others found the film to be pretentious, excessively violent, nihilistic, and all around confusing, as well as too much of a departure for the franchise. The film disappointed at the box office, grossing only $33 million in the US and $39 million worldwide (on a $15 million budget). Fortunately, Zombie was able to finish a director's cut for the DVD and Blu-ray release, which was considerably better received for its improved character development and more coherent story, and has amassed a cult following.note  However, Zombie was denied permission to include his four hour documentary on the film's production (a staple of his films, including his first Halloween) because it reflected negatively of The Weinstein Company. While a sequel was greenlit a few years later, Zombie once again refused to return, and it ultimately fell into Development Hell. The Weinstein Company lost the rights to the franchise in 2015 because it took too long to put a new film into production. Blumhouse ended up taking over, and produced a direct sequel to the orignal film in 2018.
  • Work on the Jerry Lewis film Hardly Working was suspended for about six months in 1980 after the production ran out of money, with Lewis himself declaring personal bankruptcy. Because of this, there are many notable continuity issues throughout the film. To top it off, it wasn't released in the states for two years.
  • Harry Potter had two of these:
  • Another movie affected by the Screen Actors Guild strike of 1980 was Heartbeeps, due to the strike causing production to go on hiatus for over two months mid-shoot. But even when it was shooting, the sci-fi Romantic Comedy that was intended both as a big-screen vehicle for Andy Kaufman and Universal's big Christmas release for 1981 was troubled: The weather at the Colorado shooting location caused Stan Winston's elaborate robot makeups — which took several hours to apply — to gradually wilt in the heat, limiting how much footage could be shot in a day. Director Allan Arkush, who had never helmed a big-budget project, staged scenes at a glacial pace that frustrated everyone but him. Kaufman, increasingly bored with the proceedings and having no friends to goof off with between takes (his friend/co-conspirator Bob Zmuda was specifically prohibited from the shoot), began acting out. Universal executives were horrified by the cut the director presented them with, and their final cut was a mere 79 minutes with credits. The movie grossed only a fifth of its budget, proving to be both Kaufman's Star-Derailing Role and an Old Shame.
  • Heaven's Gate is practically synonymous with "ambitious films gone horribly wrong", to the point that it inspired an entire book, Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven's Gatenote  by Steven Bach, the only studio executive to be involved with the film from start to finish. According to Bach:
    • Director Michael Cimino had wanted to make a film about the Johnson County War, an 1892 battle between rich Wyoming landowners and European immigrant settlers, since 1971; the good press surrounding his 1978 film The Deer Hunter and its dual Oscar wins for Best Director and Best Picture finally gave Cimino the industry clout to get United Artists to agree to finance the film, with initial budget estimates starting at $7.5 million but rising to $11.6 million by the time production began.
    • The first signs of trouble appeared during casting of the female lead. The male leads - Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, and John Hurt - were more character actors than box office stars when casting began in 1979, and UA hoped that they could bolster the cast's marquee power with a high profile lead actress, but after Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton rejected the role, Cimino insisted on little-known French actress Isabelle Huppert, whose English was hesitant and heavily accented. United Artists insisted that another actress be found; Cimino threatened (not for the last time) to take the film to Warner Bros., and UA capitulated (even afterwards, Bach at one point told Cimino to his face that his leading lady was so unappealing that the audience was going to wonder why Kristofferson and Walken "[weren't] fucking each other instead of her").
    • Filming began at Glacier National Park in Montana in April 1979 and was expected to finish in June, with a projected release date of December 1979. However, Cimino's almost fanatical dedication to his artistic vision for the film meant the shoot was five days behind schedule after just six days, and the delays and inflated costs grew from there. Getting to the filming site from the cast and crew's hotel in Kalispell took two hours each way. Many cast and crew members were on site (and on the payroll) for months just to complete a few hours of shooting. Cimino insisted on taking full advantage of the location's natural beauty by shooting many scenes at twilight, scenes which could thus only be shot during a time window of a few minutes each day. Cimino also insisted on countless retakes; a single-second shot of Kristofferson cracking a whip took an entire day and 52 takes to film.
    • The glacial pace of filming was not the only factor in the skyrocketing costs. Upon deciding that the spacing of buildings either side of a street on an outdoor set "didn't look right", Cimino ordered both sides torn down and re-built.note  A 19th-century locomotive was shipped on flatbed rail trucks from Colorado; as it was too big to fit into the modern tunnels, it had to take a longer and more expensive route to Montana. Cimino put an irrigation system in the rocky field in which the climactic battle sequence was shot so that it would be green with grass at the beginning of the battle, and red with blood at the end of it. And of the masses of footage shot by Cimino, an unusually high fraction was printed for possible inclusion in the finished film (far exceeding the part of the budget devoted to printing); ultimately, of over 1.5 million feet of exposed film, 1.3 million feet were printed, amounting to 220 hours of raw footage.
    • To make matters worse, Cimino's contract stated that he would not be penalised for any cost overruns incurred in completing and delivering the film for its December 1979 release date, so while costs spiralled, he was protected from breach of contract lawsuits. He clashed repeatedly with UA executives, who at several points considered simply scrapping the film, unloading it on another studio (unsurprisingly, they couldn't find any takers), or firing Cimino and replacing him.note 
    • UA was able to cut one cost associated with Cimino, though. Wondering why they were paying so much money to rent the land they were filming on, they went to check the local tax records to find out who the owner was. It turned out that it was none other than Cimino himself.
    • Location shooting in Montana finally wrapped in October 1979,note  with only a Harvard-set prologue and Rhode Island-set epilogue to film. However, Harvard refused permission to film on campus, so the prologue was instead shot at Mansfield College, Oxford.note  Though this was the only part of the shoot to finish on time and on budget, Cimino was refused permission to film near Christ Church on Sunday, and had to prepare and shoot the scene in secret just after dawn before the Sunday morning services. The final production budget came to nearly $40 million, over three times the original figure.
    • Despite Cimino's attempts at press secrecy, the film was already beginning to draw negative publicity during shooting. A freelance journalist landed a job as an extra, then sold the story about the catastrophic time and budget overruns.note  With similar problems on UA's Apocalypse Now fresh in the press' memories, they began dubbing Heaven's Gate "Apocalypse Next". The shoot also attracted controversy for (mostly, but not wholly, exaggerated) claims of animal cruelty, with live cockfights being filmed,note  livestock entrails being used for some of the gorier scenes, and a horse being killed during the filming of a special effects scene for the climactic battle sequence. The film is still on the American Humane Association's "unacceptable" list.
    • The sheer volume of raw footage meant that the Christmas 1979 release date had long since become unfeasible, and the date was pushed back to Christmas 1980. Cimino changed the locks on the editing suite to ensure that he could cut the film his way. His work print of the film, screened for UA executives in June 1980, was a staggering 325 minutes long;note  under threat of dismissal as director, Cimino agreed to cut the film down to 219 minutes for a trio of premieres in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles in November 1980.
    • The New York premiere was a disaster, with the audience reacting with indifference to the story and struggling to hear the dialogue, and critics, led by Vincent Canby of The New York Times (who, in a much-quoted review, called the film "an unqualified disaster"), tearing it to shreds. A humiliated Cimino withdrew the film before its Los Angeles premiere, announcing that he wanted to edit it further.note  He finally trimmed it down to 149 minutes for general release in April 1981; this time, the critics were not so much merciless as disappointed,note  and the film, the final production and promotion budget of which came to $44 million, made just $1.3 million in its opening weekend and was quickly forgotten by audiences. Although it received a more positive response in France (particularly at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival) and the UK, its worldwide gross was just under $3.5 million.
    • The film left a veritable bloodbath of dead or dying careers in its wake. Michael Cimino is the most noted victim; he only made four further films, all largely ignored by critics and audiences. Kris Kristofferson's leading man potential withered, and he turned his attention back to his music career. Although the film's effect on United Artists is sometimes overstated,note  it was an influential factor in its parent company, Transamerica, deciding to sell UA to MGM in 1981, ending its 62-year existence as an independent studio.note  Interest in Westerns also declined for most of the 1980s, and the film is generally credited with hastening the demise of New Hollywood and the auteur director movement.
    • The reputation of Heaven's Gate has, however, improved in the years since its initial release. Cimino assembled a 216-minute "director's cut" of the film which won acclaim at film festivals in 2012, and Kris Kristofferson and supporting cast member Jeff Bridges still speak fondly of their experiences making and seeing the film.
  • According to an insider report, Hellboy (2019) had a lot of on-set clashing between director Neil Marshall and several of the film's sixteen producers, most prominently Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin.
    • Partway into production, Sam McCurdy, Marshall's go-to cinematographer, was fired and replaced for undisclosed reasons, with an alleged claim that Gordon and Levin "were trying to send a message to Marshall that despite being the film’s director, Marshall was not in charge" (though Levin's attorney denies this).
    • Several on-set reports claimed that Levin frequently interrupted Marshall during actor rehearsals, seemingly as an attempt to override him as the director. Two insiders also claimed that David Harbour repeatedly walked off the set, refusing Marshall's requests for more takes, though this was also denied by Levin's attorney.
    • The script apparently went through several rewrites during production, with some allegedly being done in part by Harbour and Ian McShane themselves.
    • There was a prolonged dispute between Marshall and Levin about whether a "surreal tree" featured in the film was to be symmetrical or not, with claims that it began as realistic and asymmetrical to Marshall's vision, was overruled by Levin and became symmetrical, then became asymmetrical again during post-production.
  • Hell's Angels, a 1930 film by Howard Hughes, was notorious at the time for its nasty production, and was dramatized 75 years later in The Aviator. Due to Hughes's overbearing production techniques, the original director walked off the picture. When sound was introduced with The Jazz Singer, Hughes decided to re-shoot the film as a talkie. The original actress for Helen had to be replaced for this reason. The climactic air battle was shot by staging an actual one, where Hughes even took the wing and flew one of the planes himself. He was seriously injured as a result, with three other pilots dying. Overall about 137 pilots were used in the sequence, which contributed to the already-bloated budget. Due to production delays, James Whale, who was directing the talking scenes, was able to shoot an entire other film before Hell's Angels was even released.
  • Highlander II: The Quickening was plagued by the bonding company's interference with the script (the original script covered several plotholes raised by the reveal that the immortals were aliens from the planet Zeist), by Christopher Lambert insisting on the resurrection of Ramirez, as he and Sean Connery had become good friends on the set of the first movie, and by disastrous inflation in Argentina, where the film was being made. In addition, Lambert and Michael Ironside both injured each other (Lambert had begun suffering from increasing myopia, and is also physically unable to wear contact lenses). When the film was released, the public hated it, and over time, the original version has gotten lost to history in favour of a re-edited version, and is now no longer considered a part of the series' continuity.
  • The Hobbit had one of the most troubled yet surprisingly undocumented productions in recent memory. A mix of Executive Meddling and this trope led to a filming production Gone Horribly Wrong.
    • The first problem emerged in 2008 when New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. refused to pay the Tolkien Estate the money that they owed them (including for The Lord of the Rings). What followed was two and a half years of everything spiraling out of control, not only sending the film into Development Hell but causing Guillermo del Toro to leave production after having been attached to it. To make matters worse, these legal issues got so bad that it would have taken the production out of New Zealand entirely. Only when Peter Jackson decided to come back to the director's chair in late 2009 was everything sorted out.
    • And then the studio only gave Peter Jackson and Weta six months of pre-production and told him to start filming immediately afterwards or else. And before production could even begin, Jackson was hospitalized in January 2011 for a perforated stomach ulcer, which eerily was one of the contributing causes of Tolkien's death. Luckily, it was caught in time and surgery went smoothly. This, however, forced production and principal photography to be halted for a month.
    • Filming itself went smoothly for the most part until the decision was made to split it into three movies instead of two. The sound designers, mixers, and editors had to create and edit new sound effects halfway through doing the second film. Then there was the decision to CGI Azog, Bolg, and the orcs in the first and second films, with the decision regarding Bolg being made so suddenly that whole sequences had to be re-shot, which is why in the trailers Azog is the one chasing the dwarves but in the film it's Bolg.
    • Another piece of evidence of the suddenness of switching from two movies to three: the scene where the group tries to bury Smaug in gold in the forges was added only because the filmmakers needed a cliffhanger (they confirmed this when asked) and the actors and some of the crew literally had no idea what they were filming until the finished film.
    • The romance between Kili and Tauriel was always intended to be in the film from as early as 2010 with her relationship with Legolas being strictly platonic and more Like Brother and Sister. But when re-shoots were done to turn it into three films, the studio forced them to write Legolas into the love story and turn it into a love triangle. Both Evangeline Lilly and Peter Jackson have admitted they hated the idea of a love triangle (Lilly had even been specifically promised it wouldn't happen, after she'd suffered through a notoriously drawn-out and tepidly received one on Lost) and just wanted to tell a simple love story.
    • This is also evidenced in the healing scene in Laketown. In the original script, she healed one of Bard's daughters (most likely Tilda) but when re-shoots happened it was changed to Kili, which coupled with the aforementioned Bolg switch suddenly explains Kili being hit with an arrow.
    • When it finally came time to do the third film, the studio practically took the film away from Jackson and forced him to edit it in a way he didn't approve of and imposed tons of baggage onto film, demanding more emphasis on the love story and possibly more Alfrid scenes.
    • Peter Jackson also, by his own admission, has said that while he enjoyed filming the movies, he nearly had an on-set nervous breakdown when it came time to shoot the Erebor scenes during the two-movie period and to plan out the Battle of Five Armies (which had been getting postponed up until the end of shooting because they couldn't find any locations in New Zealand that would've worked and the battle turned out to be more complex than first thought during development); the three movie split was done at the request of producer/production manager Zane Weiner (who was sort of the Hero of Another Story for keeping the production on track and helping to veto any outside meddling) to salvage the production and give Jackson the time he needed. You read that right, the three movie split was designed to save The Hobbit.
    • All of this ended up blowing up in Warner Bros' faces and while the trilogy did do well, it became divisive for audiences and critics and the Tolkien Estate has relinquished the film rights to the books until further notice. All the aforementioned meddling was confirmed not just by Peter Jackson but also by Graham McTavish and Evangeline Lilly, with McTavish confirming that the theatrical cut for the third film isn't what was intended and that the extended cuts of all three films are closer to Jackson's original intention. Yikes.
    • Then ten of the promised 30 minutes of footage from the third film's extended cut were removed mysteriously, seemingly without Jackson's permission.
    • What's worse is, according to a fan, someone asked Jackson at the premiere of the third film if he was going to see it. He said "I will but not yet. I'm not sure what the studio has done with it."
    • John Callen, the actor who plays Oin, revealed in an interview with Lindsay Ellis that the studio told Peter Jackson and the crew that they didn’t care about the other characters and demanded he sideline them to focus on Gandalf, Thorin and Bilbo and more action, which meant entire arcs and plotlines were cut down or outright removed when Jackson intended to give each of the dwarves an arc and the main storyline and Gandalf’s 50/50 screentime.
  • Shooting on Hook went 40 days over schedule, the budget went over by by 50%, and Julia Roberts was going through depression at the time, making it difficult to work with her. Steven Spielberg explained, "It was all my fault. I began to work at a slower pace than I usually do."
  • Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch:
    • After the release of the first The Howling, author Gary Brandner purchased the franchise and sequel rights from New World Pictures. Dissatisfied with that film's treatment of his source material, Brandner resolved to write and produce a follow-up himself, and began writing a screenplay more in-line with his novels.
    • Brandner produced several drafts which procured the interest of Hemdale Film Corporation, a "mini-major" production company known at the time for films lower-budget, well-received genre fare like The Terminator and The Return of the Living Dead. Hemdale and Brandner entered into a financing deal with a Spanish production company on the grounds that the film be shot on-location in Spain, necessitating an extensive rewrite by Brandner.
    • The financing deal subsequently and suddenly fell out, necessitating yet more rewrites. Soon after, Brandner abruptly left the project altogether when his publisher pushed up the deadline to the third Howling novel.
    • Hemdale, who had yet to produce a single usable draft, hired writer Robert Sarno to dig through Brandner's disparate drafts to try and recover something usable, hoping to rush the principal photography to early Spring of 1984, with a projected Fall 1984 release date. Sarno all but disposed off Brandner's drafts, re-tooling a pre-existing spec script about vampires to include werewolves.
    • Director Philippe Mora was hired off the success of the "were-cicada" body horror movie The Beast Within, enticed through the promise of relative creative control. Mora's set out to produce a campy horror comedy, playing up the satirical elements present in the first film to outright pastiche.
    • On-going political unrest in Ceaușescu-ruled Romania ruled it out as a filming location, leading to the production seeking permits in nearby Czechoslovakia. Due to on-going Cold War tensions, equipment and costumes were held up at the border for over two weeks. When they finally arrived, Mora learned that the werewolf costumes were re-purposed ape costumes from the short-lived Planet of the Apes television series.
    • Filming in Czechoslovakia was continually undermined by local authorities, who were suspicious of the production and sent KGB operatives to tap hotel phones and follow cast and crew members around 24/7. During filming of a concert scene, Mora learned that local regulations prevented the audience members from standing up or cheering during a musical performance, and spent several hours negotiating with members of the Czech army who had arrived after mistaking the impromptu mass gathering for a riot.
    • Filming was further slowed by the inexperience of local Czech crews and unavailability of experienced special effects artists or equipment, necessitating numerous on-the-spot improvisations and rewrites. An actor was almost shot after a propmaster misunderstood a direction and accidentally loaded a prop rifle with live ammunition.
    • Most of the Czech extras improvised blocking due to the absence of an on-set interpreter. Most infamously, several extras during the orgy sequence began engaging in actual sex acts, which continued after Mora had called cut.
    • After filming wrapped, Mora was locked out of post-production while the film was edited from his intended horror comedy to a serious horror film, much to his chagrin.
  • Infamous flop Hudson Hawk gathered bad reaction before its release due to a disastrous production - egos running rampant, constant rewrites, clashes between director and star, you name it. Richard E. Grant even dedicated a chapter about the nightmare that was making the movie in his book With Nails.
  • In contrast to the relatively smooth production of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, production of its Spiritual Sequel, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte was full of problems.
    • Baby Jane had been a surprise hit, and so the studio wanted nothing more than to get the two aging divas together again. Henry Farrell, whose novel had been the basis for that film, had an unpublished story perfectly titled "Whatever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?", with a similar plot where one woman manipulates an unsuspecting female relative for personal gain. It was agreed that this time around Joan Crawford would play the villainous Miriam, attempting to manipulate her titular cousin (Bette Davis) out of the estate she had just inherited. Robert Aldrich agreed to direct the sequel, and the script was duly written.
    • However, between the films came that year's Academy Awards. Davis was nominated for Best Actress for her Baby Jane turn, while Crawford was not. Resentful about this, she went to all the other actresses nominated and offered to accept the award on their behalf in the event they could not attend the ceremony in person, something Davis did not hold against her as it was simply courteous (and also because Davis was pretty sure she would win her third Oscar for the part). On the night of the ceremony, as luck would have it, Anne Bancroft was on Broadway and couldn't accept her award for The Miracle Worker, leaving Crawford to go to the stage, and later pose holding the statuette with all the other acting winners as if she had won, while Davis seethed in the audience.
    • Davis believed that Crawford had somehow manipulated the Oscar vote so that she could upstage her costar and longtime rival one more time. She insisted that if she were to do Cousin Charlotte, she would have to be a producing partner. In an Ironic Echo of the question Crawford had asked Aldrich before taking the Baby Jane part (regarding whether he was sleeping with Davis), Davis asked Aldrich if he was sleeping with Crawford.
    • Crawford, who years later admitted her drinking had "crossed a line" during Baby Jane, proved to be very difficult on set - turning up with about twenty suitcases for one week's worth of location shooting in Baton Rouge, and forcing the wardrobe mistress to have to iron many chiffon dresses in the 100-degree weather. Crawford also refused to work longer hours, and eventually stopped speaking to Aldrich at all - forcing him to communicate through her make-up artist. Not helping matters was Davis throwing a few barbs at her during filming, and Davis basically forcing all the crew, some of whom had worked on pictures with both her and Crawford in the past, to declare which side they were on. Given Crawford's behavior, many who had originally sided with her began supporting Davis.
    • On the last day of location filming, Crawford fell asleep in her trailer, in case she was needed for some extra takes, and woke up hours later to find that the crew had all packed up and left her behind. She was convinced that Davis had arranged this.
    • Back in Los Angeles, after learning from her lawyer that there was no way out of her contract for the film, she took sick and would not show up on set. At first she was faking, hoping this way to force changes to the script, but then really did become sick, although doctors could not diagnose it. Production was suspended through summer 1964; a month after coming back from Baton Rouge she was able to return to work for one day before telling Aldrich it had been too much (Davis taking a red pencil to the script and chopping large parts of a scene between Crawford and her on-screen co-conspirator Joseph Cotten didn't help her mood). When she hemmed and hawed out of letting the studio doctor examine her, Aldrich hired a private detective to follow her around and see if she was really sick (it didn't work ... Crawford managed to lose him fairly quickly).
    • Pretty soon the insurance company and the producers sat down with Aldrich and gave him an ultimatum: either you replace Joan Crawford or we shut production down and call this a loss. He decided on the former option. However, recasting the part proved harder than expected. Katharine Hepburn wouldn't even return the call. Vivien Leigh famously said, "No, thank you. I can just about stand looking at Joan Crawford's face at six o'clock in the morning, but not Bette Davis." Crawford's friends Loretta Young and Barbara Stanwyck also turned down the film.
    • Finally Aldrich was down to Olivia de Havilland, whom Davis herself had suggested, the last actress the studio would accept in the part. She had retired to Switzerland, and getting to her home to talk to her was no easy feat; he had to take three planes, a train and taxi up a goat trail to get there. It took him four days to convince her to sign on.note  As there was no time to have Miriam's costumes redone, Olivia supplied most of them from her own wardrobe.
    • Crawford complained later that Aldrich didn't even have the integrity to call her up and tell her she was fired; instead she heard about it on the radio in late August. She never again took a role in a serious film, finishing her career over the next six years with some B-grade horror films she did strictly for the check.
    • On the first day De Havillandnote  was on the set, she and Davis toasted with Cokes (a dig at Crawford, who was on the board of Pepsi due to her late husband having been an executive there). The film, retitled to reflect that it was no longer a retake on Baby Jane, did moderately well, even gaining some Oscar nominations, although it was not the phenomenon Baby Jane had been.

    I 
  • 1971 zombie B-Movie I Eat Your Skin was originally filmed in 1964 in Key Biscyane and suffered a sordid production, with cast suffering numerous health problems while filming in the Florida jungle and stars William Joyce and Heather Hewitt almost getting attacked by sharks. The film went through multiple title changes; the working title was Caribbean Adventure, as director Del Tenney didn't want locals to know he was shooting a horror film, while Voodoo Bloodbath, Invasion of the Zombies, and the incredibly creative Zombies were considered for the finished product. After shooting wrapped, the film was shelved for six years, only getting released after Cinemation's Jerry Gross bought the distribution rights and needed the second half of a double bill for his 1970 in-house production I Drink Your Blood, leading to the film getting the similar title I Eat Your Skin despite being completely unrelated to I Drink Your Blood.
  • No film qualifying for this trope could have had a more apt name than the 1994 Meyers-Shyer rom-com I Love Trouble. Or a more telling plot MacGuffin ... a train wreck.
    • Writing and casting actually started off well, especially when they landed Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts as leads. They must have thought they could practically print the money ... until they began actually shooting, and very quickly their two stars began to dislike each other (Roberts reportedly could have completely done without Nolte's macho act, and was not shy or polite about letting him know; he, in turn, began deliberately engaging in it to piss her off). The reviews would later say they had no chemistry onscreen.
    • Which was actually a testament to their acting skills, because the two of them did have chemistry, if by 'chemistry' you mean the "volatile, explosive throw-things-at-each-other-and-scream" kind—in other words, not what you want to show on screen in a romantic comedy. The antipathy deepened over the course of filming to the point that they refused to shoot their later scenes together, necessitating some quick rewriting and clever editing and camera tricks. By some accounts they did more scenes with stand-ins than with each other.
    • Some accounts from the set, though, suggest that they did occasionally get along—when they were both fed up with Meyers and Shyer insisting on things like endless improvisations on a single line.
    • The bad taste has stayed in their mouths. Nolte says his attitude on the set was a result of only doing it for the money, that he was selling his soul by doing it and that it's his worst film. Roberts has in turn said he was the worst actor she's ever worked with. In some interviews she's described the petulance and childishness of "a former costar" of hers; it's widely assumed that when she does so she's talking about Nolte.
    • It didn't end when they wrapped. Due to all the strife between the two leads and the ways the production had had to accommodate it, Disney's marketing department scrambled to recast the film, which it had been teasing as the romantic comedy originally intended, into something more like a conventional suspense thriller. "It's gone from a Hepburn-Tracy Woman of the Year to The Pelican Brief in a very short time span," one competing studio marketing person noted before it was released.
    • Elmer Bernstein had written the score, but with barely two weeks to go before the film hit theaters Meyers and Shyer decided they didn't like it and hired David Newman to write and record a new one. He had to hire other composers to help out, something he didn't normally do, and work almost nonstop to finish it in time. When the film hit theaters, some of the onesheets still listed Bernstein as the composer, and even the soundtrack album failed to credit all the composers involved (the movie credits eleven orchestrators, while the album only lists two).
  • I Love You, Daddy, a film about a 17-year-old girl falling for a 68-year-old filmmaker, was intended to be released in November 2017, but weeks before its premiere, Louis C.K.—the film's director, co-writer, co-producer, and star—had a series of confirmed sexual allegations thrown at him, causing the film's distributer, The Orchard, to shelve the film and cancel its release date. It's unknown whether the film will be released at all.
  • Location filming for I Was a Male War Bride was beset with problems. The German winter was unbearably cold and most of the cast and crew fell ill. Ann Sheridan caught pleurisy (which developed into pneumonia), Cary Grant contracted hepatitis with jaundice, and Howard Hawks broke out in hives. Production was shut down for three months, until Grant recovered and regained around 30 pounds. As a result, production went on for eight months at a cost of $8 million.
  • Inchon, the Sun Myung Moon-produced Korean War epic, was as problematic as you'd expect a Moonie movie to be.
    • The producers had trouble securing a director - supposedly psychic Jeane Dixon advised Moon to pick Terence Young after the original director, Andrew V. McLaglen, dropped out. Laurence Olivier agreed to play Douglas MacArthur for a $1.25 million salary plus overtime pay (it's no surprise the movie was his inspiration for the famous Money, Dear Boy quote). Being in his 70s, he suffered from heat stroke and exhaustion and had to rest between shots to make it through the filming. Due to poor health, he later refused to return to Korea for re-shoots; as such, a reshooting of the final scene had to be done in Rome instead.
    • The film's script went through several drafts, each more divergent from history than the last. The first version that was submitted to the Pentagon when the filmmakers were seeking their financial support was historically accurate enough and gave a favorable enough portrayal of the U.S. military to receive their support. Later, the name and identity of the main character was changed because the man he was based on, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Eugene F. Clark, was depicted as having an extramarital affair and thus wouldn't sign a release allowing him to be portrayed in the film. The filmmakers eventually had to agree to including a disclaimer in the film stating that certain events had been fictionalized.
    • Eventually, Moon himself got personally involved in making the film, even taking part in the editing and reshots made because of changes to the script. In the finished movie, Moon is listed in the opening credits as "Specially Advised By". Because of the film's several reshots, the filmmakers had to return to South Korea three times and to Rome and Los Angeles twice to work on the film. One of the reshots in question was of a scene near the end where MacArthur steps out of a limo, which was redone because the crowd in the original shot was said to be too small. Other scenes featuring David Janssen were also reshot when he died because it was thought that his presence in the movie would make it feel dated (though his scenes were included in the last known version of the movie). And at least one Korean extra was killed filming the battle scenes when a jeep crashed on top of him.
    • Months of shooting time were wasted trying to import equipment to Korea, where the film industry was (at the time) not nearly advanced enough to handle such a large-scale production. The worst blow came when production was delayed by two typhoons followed by an earthquake. Ultimately the budget ballooned from $18,000,000 USD to $48,000,000.
    • As the premiere approached, rumors about the involvment of Rev. Moon and the Unification Church started circulating, resulting in protests by the public. The cast and crew claimed to have been kept in the dark about Moon's involvment in the project and not to have been told until eight weeks after filming had started; some crew members stated that they wouldn't have signed up for working on the film if they had known about it. The press releases given by the filmmakers didn't endear the movie to many; one of them included a story of how a B-29 pilot supposedly had photographed the face of Jesus appearing in the middle of a group of bomber planes during the war and claimed that MacArthur himself supported the movie - even though he had passed away in 1964.note  Along with critical thrashings (including many Razzie Awards), the movie made only $2,000,000 in theaters and has never been released on video, rivalling Cutthroat Island and John Carter as an all-time box office bomb.
  • Leaked memos from Sony reveal that the studio was extremely antsy about the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie The Interview, claiming the movie was "Desperately unfunny". The execs also felt that the plot was inflammatory and inappropriate, and that the frequent use of Gorn would be off-putting for most audiences. There was also the fact that very few foreign markets wanted to touch the movie, with reasons ranging from the touchy subject matter to the fact that Seth Rogen apparently has very little appeal outside the United States. You can read more here. And of course, the memos were leaked because amidst North Korea's threats about being used in a comedy, hackers invaded the studio's servers and released plenty of papers and even a few movies online (Korea has been accused of sponsoring this, but they denied), giving such bad publicity Sony cancelled the US wide release. Then acquiesced due to the Streisand Effect.
  • Ishtar. Where to begin?
    • They decided to shoot the desert scenes in Morocco instead of the Southwest United States because the studio had money in banks there it couldn't repatriate. Filming began in the midst of unrest across the Middle East, adding security costs to the movie (some locations had to be checked for land mines). And no one in Morocco had experience supporting a big-budget studio production, so logistics got really screwy.
    • The lore from this one is great. There was the production assistant who went looking for a blue-eyed camel in the market. Not realizing how rare they were, and that he should have just bought it right then and there, he went looking for another one so he'd have a price to bargain with the first guy. By the time he figured that out, the first guy had eaten the camel. Then, of course, there was the time that director Elaine May supposedly suddenly changed her mind about wanting dunes in a scene. So the production had to spend $75,000 and ten days having a square mile of desert bulldozed flat.
    • May was sick with toothaches most of the time, and spent a lot of time arguing with Warren Beatty, her producer and star. She got pissed at him for constantly taking the side of Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro in disputes, and didn't get along much with Isabelle Adjani, the female lead, who also happened to be Beatty's girlfriend at the time. Dustin Hoffman says there were periods when Beatty and May wouldn't talk to each other. Some of the crew said that any other director would have been fired for pulling the attitude she pulled on him. Eventually they compromised by shooting every scene twice, one her way and one his. "This was the kind of film where nobody would say 'Sorry, we can't afford that,'" said the guy in charge of the budget.
    • May liked to shoot lots of film. She supposedly demanded 50 retakes of a scene where some vultures landed next to Beatty and Hoffman. Ultimately she shot 108 hours of raw footage.
    • When they returned from Morocco to shoot scenes in New York, under union rules, an American cinematographer and crew had to sit around on paid standby for Storaro and his crew. During postproduction, May and Beatty fought frequently in the editing room, and May often left it to Beatty to direct the actors during looping sessions. The joke was (and some people say it was not a joke) that Bert Fields, their mutual agent, was the one with the real final cut on the film. And editing took so long (release was planned for Christmas 1986, but the film only hit theaters 6 months later), that May only turned in a print of the film when the studio threatened legal action.
    • Beatty would admit in interviews years later that the only thing that kept him from firing May in mid-production was the fear that taking a film away from one of Hollywood's only female directors would hurt his image as a women's rights activist.
  • The 1996 The Island of Doctor Moreau. Hoo boy, did this one go through hell getting to the screen, and the final result shows how bad it was. It was the subject of a 2014 documentary, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau, which only scratched the surface as to how insane things got.
    • To start with, director Richard Stanley feared that he might be kicked off the production and replaced with Roman Polanski before a single frame was even shot, as New Line Cinema had little faith in his ability to helm a big-budget blockbuster, so he enlisted a British warlock to carry out a blood magic ritual to ensure his job security and get star Marlon Brando (who played Dr. Moreau and enthusiastically endorsed Stanley's vision for the film) to vouch for him at meetings. One could say that it worked, as he kept his job, but things started going wrong almost from the moment production started up near Cairns, Queensland. The boat bringing the exotic animals to the set got caught in a hurricane, and Stanley stayed on the ship to ensure the animals' safety — which meant that he got peed on by a restless puma.
    • Bruce Willis was originally cast as Edward Douglas, but had to drop out due to the proceedings for his divorce from Demi Moore preventing him from leaving the country. Willis was replaced by Val Kilmer — who immediately started behaving like a prima donna, demanding a 40% cut in the days he was required on set and the construction of a treehouse to "get into character", having Marco Hofschneider’s role heavily cut down to avoid being outshined, and frequently butting heads with Stanley to the point that all of his footage from the first few days of filming was deemed unusable. As such, he was recast in the smaller part of Dr. Montgomery so as to limit the amount of damage he could do; the part of Douglas was recast with Rob Morrow, but he only lasted two days before the sheer hostility on set led him to drop out, causing him to be replaced in turn with David Thewlis. (Kilmer attributes his obnoxious behavior to learning, upon the start of filming, that his own wife was suing him for divorce.)
    • Speaking of Thewlis, he joined the production due to the prospect of travelling to Australia, working with Marlon Brando, and getting a hefty salary for it. He had such a terrible time making the film that he skipped the premiere and has vowed to never watch it.
    • Brando, meanwhile, didn't show up to the set at all initially. His daughter Cheyenne had just killed herself, sending him into a deep depression that prevented him from even leaving his private island, let alone flying out to Australia. Not only did this force Stanley to shoot Kilmer's scenes first, but not having Brando to vouch for him left him more vulnerable to pressure from New Line. When he finally did get to the set, Brando proved to be almost as bad as Kilmer. He stopped trying to memorize lines and would hear from a radio receiver instead; according to Thewlis, the receiver also picked up other transmissions like police scanners, meaning Brando would randomly announce things like "there's been a robbery at Woolworth's" in the middle of a scene. Brando also had the script revised to give more screen time to Nelson de la Rosa, the "world's smallest man" who he'd befriended during filming, he and Kilmer got along spectacularly poorly, and in one famous instance, he wore a bucket on his head and refused to take it off; this wound up in the finished film.
    • Stanley was eventually fired on the third day of shooting, and he did not take it well, destroying his notes, storyboards, and production art and then disappearing to a remote farm in the jungle, where he lived for two months. Co-star Fairuza Balk, upon learning of Stanley's firing, walked off the set in outrage and tried to escape the shoot with the help of one of the crew, only to be stopped literally at the airport and relented upon being informed that, if she dropped out, her career would likely be ruined. Stanley would later be discovered by a number of crew members still loyal to him, and he was smuggled back to the set in disguise as an extra wearing a rubber dog mask (security had been tightened in case he tried to sabotage the film). Nobody was the wiser.
    • John Frankenheimer took over after Stanley's firing, using New Line's desperation as leverage to secure a massive paycheck and a three-picture deal. He faced Kilmer and Brando on the same coin: apparently, he once replied to Kilmer with "I don't give a fuck. Get off my set!" (He had nothing but bad things to say about his experience directing Kilmer, and vowed to never work with him again.) Stanley's script was also discarded, and the new one was being rewritten on a daily basis. Frankenheimer's arrival was by all accounts a case of Tyrant Takes the Helm — he was a very "old-fashioned" director whose dictatorial control of the production led to constant clashes with the cast, the crew, and the studio.
    • The constant delays meant that the extras playing Moreau's "children" were frequently bored and had nothing to do... so they descended into sex, drugs, and all-around debauchery. Desperate for extras to replace them, Frankenheimer eventually hired some random hippies.
    • The film finally entered theaters after a harrowing six-month shoot, whereupon it was met with a scathing reception and bombed at the box office.
  • The 2017 adaptation of Stephen King's It did not have any troubles during filming but pre-production was anything but smooth. The film had been languishing since 2009 when Warner Bros wanted to bring a more faithful adaptation to screen than the television adaptation was. A script was written in 2010 by Dave Kajganich that tried to cram the entire book into one script but didn't pan out. In 2012, True Detective and Beasts of No Nation director Cary Joji Fukunaga was hired to do his own take (which instead of one film would be split into two parts) and co-wrote with Chase Palmer two different scripts of the film that veered very differently from the original source in 2014 and 2015, especially the '15 version. But in 2015, Fukunaga had to bail due to the fact the studio was not gelling with his ideas (Fukunaga himself claims that it was Creative Differences, that he wanted to make an unconventional horror film). However, the script - specifically the 2015 version - was still preserved and was used as the basis for the final shooting script when Mama director Andrés Muschietti and Annabelle writer Gary Dauberman came in and provided some changes to make the script more faithful to the original book. Things ended up shockingly well after all that, with the film being highly acclaimed as one of the greatest ever adaptations of Stephen King's work, and getting the biggest opening weekend ever for a horror film. We even also got Stranger Things out of the deal when the Duffer Brothers were among the people turned down by the studio and decided to make their own Spiritual Licensee.

    J 
  • The 2016 Western Jane Got A Gun experienced a very turbulent production before it even started filming.
    • The film was set to go in early 2013, with Natalie Portman starring in and producing the film, Lynne Ramsay (maker of the film adaptation of We Need to Talk About Kevin) directing, Michael Fassbender playing the ex-lover of Portman's character, and Joel Edgerton as the villain. Before production began, Fassbender dropped out, causing Edgerton to take his role and Jude Law to take the role that Edgerton had vacated.
    • The real problems started on what was to be the first day of filming, when Ramsay dropped out for reasons unknown. Accounts as to why she did so vary wildly; while she has cited Creative Differences and contract issues, the studio claims that she was drunk, disruptive, and abusive to the cast and crew, and had slacked off on some of the duties in her contract. The studio subsequently sued Ramsay for breach of contract, with Ramsay in turn counter-suing for defamation of character; both cases were eventually settled out of court.
    • Jude Law dropped out the day after Ramsay left, as he had signed on to the film mainly to work with her. Law and Ramsay were subsequently replaced with Bradley Cooper and Gavin O'Connor (director of Warrior), respectively. Not long after, Cooper himself was forced to drop out, as his film American Hustle had been delayed by the Boston Marathon bombings, jamming up his schedule; Cooper was subsequently replaced by Ewan McGregor. The film's planned August 2014 release was now little more than wishful thinking, and the film was kicked back to February and then September of 2015 (not a great sign).
    • As if the indignity of Ramsay's high-profile departure wasn't enough, the film's distributor, Relativity Media, was in the throes of bankruptcy at the time and was forced to drop the film from its release schedule and turn it over to The Weinstein Company, pushing its release back again.
    • The film finally landed in theaters in January 2016 (after a year and a half of delays overall) with mixed reviews from critics, who felt that its production troubles readily showed on screen, and a resounding thud at the box office, making well under a million dollars in the worst-grossing wide release (about 1,200 theaters) of Portman's career.
  • The 1980 remake of The Jazz Singer starring Neil Diamond suffered from a disastrous first few weeks of filming, when initial director Sidney J. Furie rewrote the screenplay beyond recognition and made several bizarre decisions such as hiring Laurence Olivier — who had no known Jewish ancestry, and was well into his Money, Dear Boy phase — to play the all-important part of Cantor Rabinovitch, and having Diamond perform a scene in blackface in total seriousness. After seeing how much money Furie had already wasted on useless footage, the producers fired him and replaced him with Richard Fleischer, who quickly realised what an enormous task he had on his hands when he checked the daillies and found that Diamond was wooden and unconvincing, while Olivier had decided to be as much of a Large Ham as possible, and this combined with original lead actress Deborah Raffin quitting in protest of Furie's dismissal (she was subsequently replaced by Lucie Arnaz, who was cast so hastily that they didn't even have time to screen test her) resulted in them having to ditch and reshoot virtually everything shot so far (except, bizarrely, the blackface sequence). Things ran a lot smoother under Fleischer, though the reshoots meant that they badly overran the original shooting schedule, causing the budget to balloon; Olivier for instance had time to leave the country, film scenes for Brideshead Revisited and direct a play, while being paid for this film all the while. Then, just to add insult to injury, after the film wrapped Olivier went out to dinner with some friends and talked about how disastrous the shoot had been, only for a reporter at a nearby table to overhear this and publish the story the following day, while conveniently leaving out the fact that Olivier had been talking about when Furie was directing the film, not Fleischer's subsequent work. The end product actually did pretty well at the box office, but was poorly reviewed and much less profitable than the studio had hoped for.
  • Jet Pilot, starring John Wayne and Janet Leigh, began production in 1949 and didn't finish filming until 1953. And it didn't get released until 1957 due to the endless tinkering of RKO's owner, Howard Hughes. By the time it was released, Hughes didn't even own RKO anymore and the studio was pretty much dead in the water; the film was distributed by Universal to poor reviews and considerable backlash from Wayne, who thought it was one of the worst pictures he'd ever made. (But hey, at least they got Chuck Yeager to do some of the flying!)
  • Jinxed. The problems occurred when the film's lead Bette Midler clashed relentlessly with the director Don Siegel and co-star Ken Wahl. Things got worse when in the middle of filming, Siegel suffered a heart attack and Sam Peckinpah stepped in to finish some of the film without being credited. The screenwriter Frank D. Gilroy even disassociated himself from the final product by being credited as "Burt Blessing". When it was released in the fall of 1982, it was slammed by critics and bombed at the box office, making less than $3 million against its $13 million budget. This would be the last film Siegel ever directed.
  • John Carter's leap on the big screen was such a misfire, it inspired a book entitled John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood. According to author Michael D. Sellers:
    • The idea to make an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars floated all the way back to 1931. Future Looney Tunes director Bob Clampett approached Burroughs into doing an animated serial of the novel. Burroughs was enthralled in that idea, seeing as animation would offer greater opportunities for John Carter than live action, and gave Clampett the go ahead with the aid of his son John Coleman Burroughs. Clampett and Coleman worked on concept art for months, usually on nights and weekends, and Burroughs mooned MGM as an ideal choice for distribution. At the time, the studio was raking in huge profits from the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films, so it seemed fit that they would be interested in tackling Burroughs' other famous hero. MGM was won over when they saw test footage Clampett and Coleman cooked up, composed of innovating techniques such as oil painting side shadowing, so they shopped it around to theater exhibitors. Unfortunately, they reacted negatively to the footage, as some agents in the Midwest and South thought that a man on Mars was too outrageous for audiences. MGM balked on the John Carter serial and Clampett turned down requests to do a Tarzan one instead. Had the project got the greenlight, it would have beaten Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as the first American animated feature.
    • As the project languished in Development Hell, stop motion legend Ray Harryhausen tried to adapt the novel in the late 1950s. He couldn't get studio attention due to its then daunting technical challenge with effects work. Later across the pond, Raymond Leicester took a shot at adapting John Carter in the 1970s. In spite of extensive conceptual work, the film went nowhere. While this was going on, interest in Burroughs' novel spiked, inspiring other sci-fi works like Star Wars.
    • Looking to ride the coattails of Star Wars, Disney bought the rights to the novel in 1986 from producers Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna. They hired Charles Pogue (The Fly (1986)) to pen the script, then it was passed to Terry Black for rewrites. Still feeling like it needed work, Disney commissioned Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio to further rework the script. Things looked to be falling in to place as the studio tapped John McTiernan to direct and after one more rewrite by Bob Gale of Back to the Future fame, Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts were attached to star by 1991. Unfortunately, Cruise was dissatisfied with the script so McTiernan chose Sam Resnick for yet another rewrite.
    • Once everyone was okay with the revisions, Disney had the script budgeted and it came out to a staggering $120 million. A big issue was how to achieve the visual look of the film. Disney wanted to use animals as the aliens, but McTiernan was more convinced that the booming CGI technology would do the trick. Further complicating matters was that Carolco Pictures, Kasser and Vajna's production house, had fallen onto tough financial times. Eventually, McTiernan withdrew from the project in 1993 and Disney hired George R. R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass for even more rewrites. The project eventually crumbled, and Disney sat on the property for so long that the rights reverted back to the Burroughs estate.
    • Not long afterwards, producer James Jacks, after hearing praises about the novel from Harry Knowles, convinced Paramount to pick up the rights to John Carter and won a bidding war against Sony. Jacks brought Knowles on board to moonlight the project and Mark Protosovich to write a screenplay from scratch. Knowles made his own contribution by bringing in Robert Rodriguez to direct. Pre-production went smoothly this time and by 2005, Rodriguez was using the same digital sets he used for Sin City, going as far as to hire famed Burroughs illustrator Frank Frazetta as designer. Suddenly, production came to halt when Rodriguez found himself in hot water with the Director's Guild of America over giving Sin City creator Frank Miller a co-directing credit. He consequently resigned from the guild and Paramount, unable to use a non-DGA director, had to find a replacement.
    • Kerry Conran, coming off of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, was chosen to take over the film and Ehren Kruger was hired to rewrite the script. He got as far as making a pitch video and scouting locations in the Australian outback, but thanks to Sky Captain's spectacular box office failure he was booted off.
    • Jon Favreau replaced Conran and had Mark Fergus do more work on the script. As the previous incarnation took place in a modern setting, Favreau reverted it back to its Civil War roots. He also wanted to use practical effects over CGI, though he was in favor of having a combination of both for the Tharks. Once again, the proposed budget came in too high. In the end, Paramount gave up trying to adapt the novel and by 2006 the rights went back to the Burroughs estate.note 
    • Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton got wind of the news and saw this as an opportunity to bring John Carter out of his misery. He approached then Disney studio chief Dick Cook about the possibility of letting him helm John Carter as his next feature provided Disney was willing to regain the rights. Cook gave in to his request and the project was back with the mouse house. Because of the involvement of Stanton, writer Mark Andrews and producer Jim Morris, reports speculated that it would be another Disney/Pixar project, but Stanton later claimed that John Carter of Mars would be a standalone live-action Disney film and that he was being "loaned out" from Pixar.
    • There were reservations at Disney about letting Andrew Stanton direct the film, despite his strong sentimental attachment to the material, because he'd never directed a live-action feature before. But, since he'd made WALL•E and Finding Nemo into hits, they let him do it even though he warned them, "I'm not gonna get it right the first time, I'll tell you that right now." They didn't even know how much the film would cost as the new screenplay by Stanton, Andrews and later Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon was taking a long time to be completed. In addition, Stanton made some unorthodox decisions in casting by choosing little known actors for the leads, with Taylor Kitsch playing John Carter and Lynn Collins playing Dejah Thoris. While such choices would be highly evaluated by the executives due to bankability concerns, Cook was inclined to give into Stanton's demands. Even when the script was ready, Stanton couldn't figure out a budget, which was not a big concern for him. Cook pegged it at around $150 million at the least, but once Jim Morris punched the numbers based on all the VFX shots needed for the film, it was clear that the budget was going to be much higher than that. On top of this, reduction was out of the question so Cook approved a budget that would later be reveled to be $250 million, making it one of the most expensive films ever made. This would be one of Cook's last decision before being fired by Disney CEO Bob Iger in September 2009.
    • Cook's replacement came in the form of Rich Ross, who was the former head of the Disney Channel and had little experience with feature films. Ross replaced most of the staff of the Disney's film department with new studio executives who were likewise just as inexperienced with movies, since most had come from television. Iger was never keen on John Carter's outrageously high price tag and informed Ross that it was a serious issue. Stanton was certain that the greenlight he got from Cook would be revoked, but since the film was already deep in pre-production to the point that shooting arrangements were being made and that the project was seen as a "Pixar baby", Iger and Ross allowed John Carter of Mars to go behind the camera. They gave full production support on the project though marketing would be limited to a normal release instead of an event film. This would bite Iger and Ross on the ass later on.
    • Filming finally began on January 4, 2010. Stanton's process of "remaking" a movie in animation was difficult to execute in the unfamiliar live-action realm and the film required extensive double reshoots. Throughout production, he ignored the advice of the crewmembers who were live-action veterans in favor of his Pixar friends, back in their offices. Despite this, principal photography went rather smoothly with Stanton delivering on time and on budget.
    • Then, it came time to market the film, which was already handicapped in that department by having no big stars in the cast. Major entertainment outlets were wary of Disney's new marketing head MT Carney, who directly led the John Carter campaign instead of consulting a client producer. After the box office disaster that was Mars Needs Moms, Carney felt the original title, John Carter of Mars, sounded too geeky and having "Mars" in the title would just create another bomb. She decided to drop "of Mars" from the title — leaving only "John Carter", which she felt would attract a wider audience though it didn't exactly resound with the modern public the way James Bond would.note  By the time word got out of the film's budget, with rival studios claiming that it shot up to $300 million, and when Stanton made an interview about his Pixar process in filming, which indicated costly reshoots, the buzz on John Carter turned sour.
    • Making matters worse, a trailer shown at D23 did not go over well, and Stanton refused to take any advice from the studio's marketing department. He insisted on using Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" in the trailer even after it was pointed out to him that a 30-year-old classic rock song was not likely to resonate with the younger male audience the film was intended for. The press for John Carter got so bad it was referred to as "Disney's Folly".
    • Despite the firing of Carney two months before the release date and Disney trying to make a more focused campaign, the damage had already been done. John Carter became one of the biggest Box Office Bombs of all time, only grossing $284 million worldwide against a total cost of $350 million. Disney took a $206 million write-off on the film and Rich Ross was fired not long after. A planned trilogy obviously never materialized and Andrew Stanton returned to Pixar with the much more successful Finding Dory. The rights for John Carter have since reverted back to the Burroughs estate.

    K 
  • Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy suffered from this. Reportedly, the Kids could barely stand each other during filming and often got into arguments on-set. Dave Foley left the group after their television series' final season for NewsRadio and said he didn't want to do the movie but was contractually obligated to. Nobody could agree on what the film was to be about, the troupe had to fight tooth-and-nail with Paramount Pictures for their movie to be made right, and a mountain of personal problems piled on top of all this led to everyone except Mark McKinney considering quitting the troupe altogether.
  • Production on Kill Bill led to the disintegration of the working relationship between Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino, on account of this trope. According to Thurman's telling of the story, Tarantino pushed her to do a dangerous vehicle stunt herself rather than swapping in a stunt driver, despite her misgivings about the safety of it, describing the stunt car as a "deathbox" that wasn't properly maintained and the winding, sandy road she was asked to drive on at 40 mph as unsafe; sure enough, she got into a bad accident while shooting the scene. Tarantino and Thurman bitterly fought each other over the incident during the promotional tour, and Thurman spent fifteen years trying to get a hold of the set footage showing the crash, finally doing so in 2018 and releasing it in an op-ed in The New York Times.
  • Filming the 1985 film adaptation of King Solomon's Mines lasted six months and was torturous. Sharon Stone proved so difficult to work with that - as her marriage was falling apart at the time - that the rest of the crew played mean pranks on her. The film's budget was very low and filmmakers were even worried that the shoot was cursed.
  • Kin-Dza-Dza!, a late 80s Soviet surrealist Sci-Fi comedy by the renowned comedy director Georgi Danelia was this from the start. Between filming in the desert with no infrastructure to speak of (and this being the 80s Soviet Union, that really is saying something), the railway losing all prepared sets (they were eventually found after the filming on the other end of the country) in shipping, which forced the team to cobble them together from scrap in-place,note  the relentless Executive Meddling from the authorities, script changes due to Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign, and half of the film being ad-libbed, it's a major miracle that it was just completed, much less becoming the instant cult classic that it is.
  • Kiss Me, Stupid was snakebit from the beginning. First, Peter Sellers proved difficult when he began having Creative Differences with Billy Wilder. Then, Sellers had a near-fatal heart attack halfway through production forcing Wilder to scramble to find a replacement. He unsuccessfully tried to recruit a number of actors for the role before casting Ray Walston. Next, the film got into trouble with the Catholic Legion of Decency who tagged it with a "Condemned" rating. This inadvertently generated free publicity for the movie but also made a number of theater owners gun-shy about showing it. Finally, when the movie was released, it was met with a lukewarm critical reaction and disappointing box office returns thereby ending what had been a long streak of critical and financial successes for Wilder.
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    L 
  • Last Action Hero had a famously troubled production, as documented here. In a nutshell...
    • The project first started when two college graduates, Zak Penn and Adam Leff, wanted to make a movie parodying 1980s action movies after being inspired by The Simpsons (who ironically went on to mock Last Action Hero). After binge watching loads of action movies, they wrote a complete script and sent it to up and coming agent Chris Moore, who loved the idea so much that he sent the script to various studios, which resulted in a bidding war won by Columbia with a $350,000 bid. Because the premise was so popular, it also managed to attract Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom no one expected to sign off on a parody flick like this.
    • At the time, it seemed like a dream come true for Penn and Leff. That is, until Schwarzenegger felt that the script wasn't all that professional, and that the violence needed to be toned down. Because of the changes, Penn and Leff were kicked off of their own project. Schwarzenegger got Shane Black, hot off of the success of The Last Boy Scout, to do rewrites. Black and his co-writer, David Arnott, thought that the job was going to be a breeze, having already come up with some clever jokes that pleased the suits at Columbia. However, Black's optimism screeched to a halt when action movie director John McTiernan was hired as the film's director. Since McTiernan was already experienced in the action genre that the movie was attempting to parody, many saw it as a mistake, wanting someone outside of the genre like Robert Zemeckis or John Landis, both well known for picking apart genres. McTiernan, after looking at Black's script, proceeded to rewrite it several times.
    • Black and Arnott were later fired from the movie, with rewrites being given to an uncredited William Goldman, Carrie Fisher, and Larry Ferguson. Because of how stressful it was rewriting the movie, McTiernan called Black one night in order to get advice on how to write some of the action scenes, an act that Black considered not only ironic, but also insulting.
    • After multiple rewrites, the script was finally complete, and production began in August 1992, with a $60 million budget (an incredibly large amount of money back then) and a release date of June 1993. The short timeframe it took to make the movie caused McTiernan to become a paranoid jerk. He claimed that Black and Arnott were conspiring against him after they visited Schwarzenegger's trailer to say "hi", and later called Penn to allow him to return to the movie as a cameo, purposefully blocking him from the scene and making his cameo unnoticeable.
    • Meanwhile, the crew couldn’t decide on whether to make it a kids' movie or an action movie. Because of how rushed the filmmaking process was, McTiernan and the rest of the crew had to work 18-hour days. Actor Austin O'Brien (Danny) didn’t get a chance to see how rushed the production was until he passed out after his harness suffocated him during a scene taking place on a skyline. McTiernan literally came up to him afterwards and told him, "We cannot afford to stop shooting."
    • After the chaotic filming came to an end, the only thing left was to edit it... which presented even more problems. With three weeks left until the movie's release, McTiernan didn't bother to edit all that much, leaving entire sequences in because of the lack of time. Because Black was feeling generous, he decided to take a look at McTiernan's cut of the movie... which he described as a complete mess filled with random scenes, poor casting, and none of his original dialogue. McTiernan described this part of making the movie as "the worst time I've ever had in this business." By this point, the movie wasn't what Penn and Leff had in mind. Rather than being an Affectionate Parody of action movies, the movie instead became a barrage of Hollywood in-jokes and cameos that ended up going against the movie.
    • Then it came time to market the movie. After a disastrous test screening, Columbia forced McTiernan to reshoot the ending, a task he wasn't into. Columbia then spent loads of money on weird marketing strategies for the movie, such as a NASA rocket that had the movie's logo on it, which ended up getting delayed until months after the movie was in theaters. Meanwhile, a giant inflatable figure of Schwarzenegger did make it to Times Square in New York City on schedule, but the first World Trade Center attack that spring meant that the dynamite it held in one hand had to be changed to a gun. Even McTiernan was against the marketing for the movie, claiming that Columbia was overhyping it.
    • Finally, Columbia severely underestimated the public's interest in another Summer Blockbuster wannabe with a much more conventional but equally big advertising campaign — Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park — figuring Schwarzenegger's A-list status was more than enough to compete with a film that had no "marquee" actors. Even when Universal decided to release it the weekend before Last Action Hero, Columbia decided not to move their film's release date. Jurassic Park ended up destroying Last Action Hero in ticket and toy sales, along with getting better reviews. The movie ended up flopping pretty badly, and it would prove to Schwarzenegger that he wasn't the unstoppable money maker that he thought he was, as his career would take a downfall, with the exception of True Lies. McTiernan's career was also never the same after this movie.
  • Contrary to popular belief, M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t the main reason why The Last Airbender turned out bad: studio mismanagement was equally responsible. As reported in a 2014 forum post to Avatar: The Last Airbender fansite AvatarSpirit.net by someone who worked on the film:
    • Shyamalan truly was a fan of the series and poured this into his original draft of the script (a seven-hour treatment spanning all twenty first season episodes), with this treatment getting the seal of approval from Avatar creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. Unfortunately, the film's producers were not nearly as familiar with or fond of the series, and they were in charge of some of the film's more poorly received aspects.
    • Starting with the casting:
      • Nicola Peltz was cast as Katara largely because she was the daughter of a studio bigwig to whom the producers owed a favour; her audition tape was described as "subpar".
      • A Caucasian Katara forced the casting of a Caucasian Sokka, and Jackson Rathbone was at least a fan of the series who shared the character's humour; however, the producers cut the intentional jokes from the script in the interest of time, leaving the dull characterisation of Sokka that landed in the finished product.note 
      • Noah Ringer as Aang had talent but lacked experience, and felt (and looked) lost when talking to air for scenes that would be greenscreened later.
      • Jesse McCartney was originally cast as Zuko, but it finally began to dawn on the producers that their primary cast was all-white; they couldn't get rid of Peltz (and Rathbone with her), so McCartney voluntarily stepped down and was replaced by Dev Patel, fresh from his star-making turn in Slumdog Millionaire, which had the unfortunate side effect of necessitating the re-casting of the Fire Nation characters, the film's antagonists, with South Asian actors.
    • The budget was also very sloppily allocated. The opening scenes at the South Pole were shot on location in Greenland at great expense, but after the producers decided that they couldn't believably render the scenes of elemental manipulation with camera practical effects and so gave a large fraction of the budget to Industrial Light and Magic for post-production of those scenes, most of the rest of the location shooting was done on a far more modest scale in Shymalan's home turf of Pennsylvania. The Fire Nation palace was a Philadelphia high school, the Earth Kingdom was the area in and around Reading, and the North Pole scenes were shot in an old aircraft hangar and greenscreened.
    • Post-production was similarly rushed and left in the hands of staff members hopelessly out of their depths, leading to such scenes as the widely derided "pebble dance". By this point, Shyamalan had given up arguing with the overheads, and DiMartino and Konietzko were only listed as executive producers because they created the original series, not because they were allowed any input into the film itself. Finally, 30 minutes were cut when Paramount decided on a last-minute 3-D conversion and found there wasn't enough money to convert the entire film. The result was eviscerated by critics and fans of the series, and DiMartino and Konietzko have publicly said they prefer to pretend it never happened.
  • While mild compared to some examples, The Last Boy Scout had a very troubled production. Everybody involved in the production of the film had a miserable time working with it.
    • Michael Kamen and Bruce Willis took over the production and made significant changes to Shane Black's script and made Tony Scott film many scenes that he didn't like under threat of being fired from production. Not even that made Kamen like the film.
    • Producer Joel Silver named it one of three worst experiences of his life, while Bruce Willis swore he will never work with Silver again.
    • Damon Wayans and Bruce Willis despised each other, even though they played buddies in the film.
    • Editor Stuart Baird was hired to completely re-edit the film after the original cut of the film turned out to be an borderline unwatchable workprint release.
  • As detailed in this article, 1981's The Legend of The Lone Ranger. For starters, the producers hired Klinton Spilsbury, a male model with minimal acting experience, for the lead, hoping that casting an unknown would pay off like it had with Christopher Reeve. But even before filming began the production became a PR disaster when the producers sued Clayton Moore, the star of the 1950s TV adaptation, for making in-character personal appearances. Once filming started, Spilsbury exhibited Small Name, Big Ego tendencies, stunt man Terry Leonard suffered a near-fatal injury, respected cinematographer William Fraker proved to be too inexperienced as a director, post-production issues pushed the film's release date back six months, and concern over Spilsbury's lackluster performance led the studio to hire James Keach to dub all of his dialogue. The film died at the box office in a summer dominated by Raiders of the Lost Ark, gaining a reputation as Franchise Killer. Spilsbury left Hollywood and has never appeared in another movie.
  • Lifeforce took more time to film than expected and eventually went over-budget, leaving several scenes omitted because there was no money left. This contributed to the movie's rather disjointed narrative and from there middling reviews and remarkably poor box office performance. The movie's failure dealt a fatal blow to Tobe Hooper's career; he would only direct one more big-budget movie as part of his contract with The Cannon Group, and Invaders from Mars fared no better at the box office. Lifeforce was also the first of several big-budget flops that eventually brought down Cannon Pictures as a whole.
  • The upcoming film The Lighthouse was described in an interview with stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as an unpleasant experience. Beyond the fact that the conditions were so harsh that Dafoe and Pattinson hardly talked outside of filming, the latter admitted he came close to punching director Robert Eggers in the face during the filming of one grueling scene involving them being sprayed in the face with a fire hose.
  • The 2013 The Lone Ranger didn't fare much better than its 1981 predecessor.
    • Originally pitched in 2007, it changed hands several times and had the script rewritten at least twice. Then in 2011 Disney delayed the start of production due to concerns about the budget and greatly frustrated director Gore Verbinski, though in the end Disney's concerns turned out to be quite founded.
    • The project was revived when Verbinski agreed to scrap the original concept of a supernatural Western (similar to Pirates of the Caribbean) in hopes of reining in the projected budget.
    • Once filming actually began in 2012, it was delayed repeatedly by inclement weather, wildfires, a chickenpox outbreak and the death of a crew member who was working in a water tank, and at one point Johnny Depp was nearly trampled to death by a horse. And to top it off, it lost between 95 and 120 million dollars putting it in ninth place in the list of the biggest box office flops ever.
  • The Lonely Lady had an even tougher time of things in Hollywood than its title character:
    • Universal initially intended to produce an adaptation to be released around the same time as the novel's release in 1976, hiring Susan Blakely to star and Dean Riesner as writer-director. However, Blakely was never satisfied with any of the screenplay drafts, and years later it was reported that she never really had any intention of actually making the film, and just attached herself to the project to run down her pay-or-play contract with Universal.
    • The project then went dormant until 1982, when it was revived as a vehicle for Pia Zadora, courtesy of her multi-millionaire husband, who co-financed the film's production. However, Universal still had creative control over the project, and forced Zadora's favored director, Matt Cimber off the film, replacing him with Hammer Horror veteran Peter Sasdy, who to say the least proved a poor choice to direct a romantic thriller. Zadora feuded with Sasdy and the studio-appointed script doctors throughout filming, and by the end it was clear that the finished product was a disaster. She and her husband offered to buy out Universal's stake in the film, intending to bury it, but they refused.
    • After Sasdy's director's cut was booed off the screen by test audiences, Universal undertook a major re-editing of the film, when one more bizarre twist of fate struck; the person assigned to head the film's publicity campaign was John Wilson, founder of the Golden Raspberry Awards, and he persuaded the studio to re-instate Sasdy's cut with only a couple of minor alterations, knowing full well that the film would gain far more of a cult reputation if it were So Bad, It's Good instead of just mediocre and forgettable, as the studio's re-edit would have been. The released film promptly ended up being a critical and commercial disaster, Wilson rewarded the studio by giving the film a then record-breaking number of Razzies, and Zadora, having failed to prevent the film's theatrical release, at least managed to keep it from getting a home video release until 2017, when it finally got released on Blu-ray.
  • The 1965 film adaptation of Lord Jim:
    • Filming started in Hong Kong where, Peter O'Toole's seasickness aside, everything went smoothly. When the production moved to Cambodia, it was a different story. The cast and crew had to contend with dysentery, heat rash and insectsnote . Then the snakes arrived. While walking down the middle of a jungle road, O'Toole came face-to-face with a black cobra. He recalled, "They say no snake can travel faster than a scared human, but I ain't so sure. The snake went like hell, but luckily away from me". One dinner he found a live snake in his soup and on another occasion a cobra slithered onto the set and into the makeshift ladies' toilet. According to O'Toole, of particular dread was a snake called the Two Step—"It bites you, you take two steps and then you die".
    • According to director Richard Brooks' biographer Douglass Daniel, though the Cambodian government never demanded any script approval, one condition of its agreement to allow on-location shooting in the troubled nation was for the production company to build a 45-room addition to an existing hotel near the famed Angkor Wat ruins, at a cost of $600,000 from the $9-million budget.
    • The Cambodian officials constantly sought bribes. Brooks was forced to hire Cambodian soldiers instead of local extras and with half a dozen dialects being spoken, the translators required translators.note 
    • During filming there was a spate of political violence in Cambodia. One day a mysterious Frenchman appeared on the location and darkly advised Brooks to get his company out of the country by March 12. With Peter O'Toole's concurrence, the work schedule was doubled and the daily shooting went on from noon until nearly dawn. The 12-week schedule was cut to nine and the company left the country on March 3. A week later, the American and British embassies were attacked by mobs. O'Toole was convinced that some of the attackers had worked on the film as extras.
    • Prince Sihanouk, who was very pro-China and was currently in a war with words with America over Vietnam, visited the set. According to O'Toole, he spouted anti-British sentiments, to which O'Toole responded, "I couldn't agree with you more. I'm Irish myself". When the Prince later denounced the movie company as "Western imperialist invaders" on national radio, O'Toole took revenge by telling a reporter from Life Magazine that "If I live to be a thousand, I want nothing like Cambodia again. It was a bloody nightmare". He was promptly banned from entering the country again.
    • The chaotic production resulted in a mess that was panned by critics and avoided by audiences. In a particularly personal example of rejection by the latter, Lord Jim was screened at the Royal Command Film Performance in 1965 before an audience including HM Queen Elizabeth II. James Mason, who played antagonist "Gentleman" Brown, was among the cast members at the screening, and secured free tickets for his octogenarian parents. However, the elder Mr and Mrs Mason hated the film so much they left halfway through - before their son's first scene.
  • Frank Capra's Lost Horizon is a notable early example. At just over a million dollars, it was the most expensive film Columbia had produced up to that point. Exercising his power as one of the first recipients of the Auteur License, Capra put the film overbudget and overschedule, with lots of location filming (a rarity at the time) and multiple cameras running. His initial cut was six hours (with early talk of splitting it into two parts), then a three-and-a-half-hour cut was previewed but bombed horribly with the audience. Capra shot new scenes and did further cutting, but the studio took it away and did the final cut themselves. The film needed several years to recoup its budget, and this isn't even getting into the later cuts and restorations.
  • Woody Allen's Love And Death was shot in France and Hungary, and production was beset by bad weather, food poisoning, spoiled negatives, and physical injuries. Furthermore, the crews and extras were from different countries, and didn't all speak the same language, making it difficult for them to communicate with each other and Allen. With all of these problems, Allen swore he'd never film outside of the US ever again.
  • The Love Witch was a nightmare to shoot according to people who worked on it. The crew found director Anna Biller unbearable to work with and a Prima Donna to the extent that at least half the crew quit the production. In fact, it wasn't uncommon to see job postings pop up on Craigslist again and again for key crew positions. Biller didn’t help things when in a series of tweets she lashed out against the crew, calling them “sexist” and claiming they were “afraid of women”. When asked about what the production was like in an email, the film’s cinematographer M. David Mullen flat out said “I’m not allowed to talk about it.”

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