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    O 
  • O Lucky Man was Lindsay Anderson's biggest, most complex film and as a result, had a lot of production difficulties. Anderson soon realized the enormity of what he was taking on—a three-hour free-wheeling epic that would not sit comfortably within any preconceived genre.
    • The sheer number of locations and cast members meant production was halted for a week while locations confirmed. To help with casting, Anderson hit in the idea of having certain actors play more than one role in the film. He also decided on using Alan Price to link the film, in Brechtian fashion, with a series of songs.
    • Anderson was also riven with self-doubt and the emotional upset caused by the death of his mother from cancer during production. Screenwriter David Sherwin was boozing heavily and was also in the midst of an emotionally fraught relationship with his wife and a mistress, both of whom ultimately left him.
    • Add to this the fact scenes were being written during filming with Anderson (with help from Malcolm McDowell) filled in many of the gaps Sherwin left in his script.
    • Once filming was completed, Anderson then faced the momentous task of editing all of footage together. The film eventually ran to three hours, though for the American market twenty minutes of footage was removed—the scenes involving Rachel Roberts as poor working class mother who kills herself and Travis among the down-and-outs. Chosen for the Cannes film Festival, it failed to win any awards and divided critics and audience alike, though it became Vindicated by History as a Cult Classic.
  • Ong-Bak 2 turned out to be an overambitious undertaking for Tony Jaa as the script became more and more bloated and what was supposed to be an action film turned into an elaborate period piece with lots of big sets and Costume Porn. The movie quickly fell behind schedule and went over budget. Jaa became overwhelmed by all the pressure (one obvious sign was that he started sacrificing a live chicken at the start of each shooting day for luck) and he eventually had to stop for a while for the sake of his mental health. The completed footage was released as Ong Bak 2 and the rest of the script was shot when Jaa felt well enough to return and eventually released as Ong Bak 3.
  • Marlon Brando made his first and only film as director, the western One-Eyed Jacks. His inexperience behind the camera was obvious on set. He shot six times the amount of footage normally used for a film at the time. He was indecisive and ran extremely overlong in getting the film finished. He insisted on getting drunk to film a scene in which he was supposed to act drunk, but he got too drunk to act or direct and so he insisted on repeating the process another day. Again he got too drunk to direct or act. Another time, Brando made everyone sit around while he waited for the "right" wave off the Monterey coast. All this while utilizing the Vista-Vision process, which cost fifty cents a foot! In the end, the film, originally budgeted at $1.8 million, wound up with a price tag of $6 million. Paramount eventually took the film away from him and recut it. He found the experience so grim that never stepped behind the camera again.
  • Despite gaining critical acclaim, Dario Argento's Opera suffered the following problems:
    • One of the main male leads, Ian Charleson, was in a car accident, forcing them to have to film everything but his scenes as they did not know if they had to recast him or not.
    • Argento making the decision to hire Cristina Marsillach, an actual opera singer (to give credibility for the opera sequences), over Vanessa Redgrave for the lead role of Betty, leading to him and Marsillach feuding during the entire production due to her inexperience as an actor.
    • Argento's father Salvatore died during production, plunging him into a state of severe depression.
    • Having just broken up with Argento, his erstwhile collaborator Daria Nicolodi reluctantly agreed to appear in the film as a favor to her ex, only to freak out and accuse him of trying to kill her when she read the script and realized that her character would die in a sequence where the actress herself could potentially die.
    • Massive infighting with Orion Pictures, the film's U.S. distributor, over their demand that Argento cut the film's final sequence (which was a Sound of Music homage set on the actual hillside where Julie Andrews famously filmed the scene where she sang the musical's iconic theme song). Argento refused to cut the scene, resulting in Orion backing out of their agreement to release the film (retitled Terror At the Opera) in theaters.

    P 
  • Paint Your Wagon was another disastrous late '60s musical. Thanks to its chaotic production and questionable quality, it was a punchline long before The Simpsons mercilessly spoofed it.
    • Director Joshua Logan, along with Alan Jay Lerner and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, drastically rewrote Lerner and Loewe's original musical. The stage version concerns a frontier girl falling for a Mexican man despite her father's disapproval; the movie depicts two prospectors "sharing" a Mormon wife. Apparently, Lerner thought an unconventional love triangle would appeal to younger audiences in The '60s. Then Lerner decided to add new songs, co-written not by his regular collaborator Fritz Loewe but Andre Previn.
    • Initially, Logan wanted Mickey Rooney, James Cagney and Lesley Ann Warren for the leads. Hardly box office draws in 1969, they at least had musical experience. Which couldn't be said for Paramount's preferred stars, Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin (who turned down The Wild Bunch to appear in the movie because it offered a bigger paycheck) and Jean Seberg, trying to restart her career after spending the '60s in France.note  This would have been an incredible casting coup, if any of them could sing. While Seberg's songs were dubbed by another actress, Eastwood and Marvin were forced to sing themselves, with less-than-impressive results.
    • Following The Sound of Music's lead, Logan decided to shoot on location. He commissioned a huge mining town in the middle of Oregon's Cascade Mountains, which was painstakingly constructed over seven months. This caused the film to run wildly overbudget before filming even began. The location caused logistical nightmares: cast and crew slept in tents on location, constantly running low on filming supplies, food and other amenities. Including trees: Logan wasn't impressed with Oregon's natural flora, importing pine trees from Hollywood to augment the local forest.
    • The shoot attracted local vagrants and hippies, who stole food and supplies from the set. Logan cast them as extras, though they refused his instructions to cut their hair or wear period clothing. Eventually the extras organized a makeshift union, demanding $25 a day payments and commissary bags full of food for fellow hippies. Logan, aggravated by an overlong shoot and lacking replacements, gave in to their demands.
    • As filming dragged on, tensions between cast and crew erupted. Lerner micromanaged the production, overseeing filming and constantly countermanding Logan's decisions. This drove Logan, who suffered from bipolar disorder, to despair; he confided in film critic Rex Reed, "I don't know what the hell I'm doing here." Marvin drank heavily, constantly botching takes and arguing with Logan. Eastwood and Seberg engaged in an affair which drew the attention of tabloids - and Seberg's husband, French director and novelist Romain Gary. Gary arrived on set planning to kill Eastwood, who fled into the woods. Filming climaxed with Logan dynamiting the set, a fitting end to a long, painful shoot.
    • Thanks to a major marketing splash, Wagon proved a surprise hit, becoming the sixth highest-grossing movie of 1969. However, due to its colossal budget and advertising costs, it failed to turn a profit. It also received terrible reviews; Eastwood and Marvin's off-key singing earned particular ridicule, though Marvin's rendition of "I Was Born Under a Wanderin' Star" became a novelty hit. Wagon ended Joshua Logan's film career and derailed Jean Seberg's hope for a Hollywood comeback. It also served as an object lesson to Clint Eastwood; observing the bloated production, he resolved that his own directorial efforts would come in on time and under budget.
  • Pink Floyd - The Wall started off with plans for Alan Parker to only produce, with his long-time cinematographer Michael Seresin directing alongside animation director Gerald Scarfe. It wound up not working during an attempt to film some Pink Floyd concerts to use as footage - in Parker's words, “Michael and Gerry didn’t gel as directors or even realize what exactly they should be doing. As for myself, I was quite useless as an impotent director and even less useful as an impostor producer and began chain smoking for the first time in my life.” Thus he took over the director's chair, and started some never-ending Creative Differences between Parker, Scarfe and writer/ Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who frequently clashed with each other throughout the film's production, to the point where Scarfe wouldn't go to the studio without a bottle of Jack Daniel's; Parker went on to view the film's production as one of the most miserable experiences of his life.
  • In 2018, Alexandre Aja revealed in the podcast The Movie Crypt that post-production on Piranha 3D was a nightmare. In short, Dimension Films attempted to cut corners on the CGI by hiring the cheapest VFX artists they could find, including complete newbies to the industry who'd never worked on a movie before. It showed; by June 2010, just two months before the film was supposed to be released, not a single CGI piranha was finished. Aja threatening to pull an Alan Smithee finally convinced Bob Weinstein to hire every VFX artist Dimension could get their hands on to finish the film. Harvey Weinstein also hated the film, expecting a more serious horror film like Jaws and instead getting a raunchy Horror Comedy that he called Jaws Gone Wild.
  • Roman Polański's Pirates:
    • Polanski planned this as his next film after Chinatown in 1976, starring Jack Nicholson and Isabelle Adjani, with himself playing the sidekick. When production was postponed, he made The Tenant instead, which he rewrote for Adjani. In 1976 he said he aimed to make Pirates the following year in England and Malta and that he would act in the film but only play a small role. However production was put back even further after Polanski was arrested in California in 1977 on charges including rape by use of drugs of a minor. Polanski fled the United States to avoid sentencing.
    • Polanski's legal troubles meant that the film couldn't be shot in America, so production restarted in Paris with a whole new production company, Cathargo Films, and a new producer, Tarak Ben Ammar, who had pioneered Tunisia as filming location.
    • In May, 1983, Universal agreed in a memo to provide two-thirds of the budget of Pirates, then estimated at $28 million. Six months later there was a studio shake up and Universal pulled out. By this stage Ben Ammar had already invested $8 million. He could not find a new distributor. By the time shooting began the budget had blown out to $40 million - Polanski and Walter Matthau each commanded $1 million and the galleon built for the film cost $7-8 million, with $10 million spent on constructing two sound stages.
    • The full scale galleon was built in a shipyard in the port of Port El Kantaoui situated at the city of Sousse, Tunisia, adjacent to the Tarak Ben Ammar Studios, which had been constructed exclusively for this production. An accurate replica above the waterline, but sporting a steel hull and a 400 HP auxiliary engine, the Neptune was and still is entered into the Tunisian naval registry, and is currently a tourist attraction in the port of Genoa, where its interior can be visited for a 6 euro fee. The galleon was not finished until April 21, 1985, five months later than intended, and ran into a storm.
    • Filming was extremely problematic, the shoot cursed by poor weather and a number of accidents. It was finally released in 1986 and was one of several pirate films to bomb at the box office, leading to the genre dying out.
    • On May 14, 2010, actress Charlotte Lewis and her attorney Gloria Allred accused Polanski of predatory sexual conduct against her when she was 16 years old, claiming that Polanski insisted that she sleep with him in return for casting her in the film.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise experienced two of these.
    • The first came with the second film, Dead Man's Chest. Writing wasn't finished by the time it started, ships had to be built, the small island where it was filmed wasn't ready to receive the huge crew, and Hurricane Wilma devastated the Bahamas set.
    • And the fifth film, Dead Men Tell No Tales, was being produced as its star Johnny Depp was going through a bitter divorce from his wife Amber Heard. As such, he was chronically late to the set, as most of his time was spent drinking and getting into fights with Heard, to the point where it ate into the schedule as the set often came to a halt for hours at a time. It got to the point where a production assistant was hired just to wait outside Depp's house and announce that he was awake when they saw the lights inside come on. There was also a two-week delay that cost untold amounts of money when Depp cut the tip of his finger off during a blowout with Heard and had to be flown home to the US to see a specialist and have surgery. This was nothing compared to his fight with the Australian government, which took up a whole year and saw Disney and all the Pirates fans wondering if Depp was going to be charged with dog smuggling. While Amber Heard ultimately was forced to plead guilty after it was discovered that the dogs belonged to her, the year long saga was a massive draw on Disney's patience, and was a major factor in them deciding to not renew his contract and reboot the series.
  • The experience of making Planes, Trains and Automobiles was not a happy one for John Hughes as many shooting days were either lost or delayed due to weather issues or having to work around certain loopholes. For example, a sequence involving a train had to change shooting locations due to a lack of snow, and the crew had to create a train route from scratch as the local train company wouldn't allow them to use theirs. Also, the rough cut ran over three hours and the film spent many months in post-production so to cut the film to a manageable length (this is also why references to Hughes' next film, Shes Having A Baby appear, as it began production right after this film finished filming). In addition to these problems, Hughes was also smarting over the fact that his long-term business relationship with Molly Ringwald had gone sour after she turned down the Lea Thompson role of Amanda Jones in Some Kind of Wonderful. Hughes was so upset over the rejection that he never worked with Ringwald again for the rest of his life.
  • Jacques Tati envisioned Playtime as his masterpiece, and for that the film had to be somewhat more than ordinary. This grand social satire and ode to classic slapstick could not be done on any ordinary set. Rather, it required a set for which two full-size modernist buildings had to be constructed on the outskirts of Paris, along with several smaller models, a full-size road, and its own working electrical system powered by a small plant. The development of the film would then necessitate numerous script rewrites and continuous maintenance of the set. Filming in itself lasted three years, during which Tati had to take out numerous loans in order to continue production. In order to further accommodate his immense vision, the film was shot on 70mm film and edited for a stereophonic sound setup. These decisions would eventually cause difficulties in finding theatres that could properly screen the film. When the project was finally completed and released in 1967, it flopped pitifully. The official budget has gone unreported, but the failure of Playtime led Tati to file for bankruptcy and pay off the film's debts for the rest of his life. Fortunately the film's reputation has improved since its release and it is now considered Tati's masterpiece.
  • From the Police Academy series:
    • During filming of Their First Assignment, some of the original cast members allegedly complained about losing screen time to the newer cast members, causing shooting to be shut down temporarily and a mediator being brought in to mellow out the cast.
    • Filming of Assignment Miami Beach was temporarily suspended due to Hurricane Floyd moving through South Florida in October 1987. While filming Proctor's scene atop the swaying tree outside Harris' office, strong winds picked up, causing the tree to sway more than planned. With news of the hurricane fast approaching, the cast and crew were then sent home for their safety until the dangerous weather conditions subsided a few days later.
    • Filming of Mission to Moscow was disrupted by the 1993 Russian Constitutional Crisis to the point where production nearly moved to Budapest. There were also difference of opinion between producer Paul Maslansky (who wanted to keep the slapstick nature of the previous films) and director Alan Metter (who would have preferred to derive the humor more from the location and cultural differences between the American and Russian officers), eventually culminating in Metter disowning the finished product.
  • Popeye was hit by this:
    • The script went through rewrites during the production, and writer Jules Feiffer expressed concern too much screen time was being devoted to minor characters. He also found fault with Harry Nilsson's songs, feeling they weren't right for the characters.
    • The original inflatable arms designed for the muscle-bound Popeye did not look satisfactory, so new ones were commissioned and made in Italy, leaving Robert Altman to film scenes not showing them until the new ones arrived. Altman also had the cast singing their musical numbers live — contrary to standard convention for a movie musical where songs are recorded first in a studio and lip-synched — causing sound quality problems.
    • Robin Williams also had to re-record his dialogue after running into trouble with his character's mumbling style, a by-product of talking with a pipe in his mouth, and his affinity for ad-libs also led to clashes with the director.
    • Producer Robert Evans was arrested for trying to buy cocaine, and as a result was removed from the final stages of production.
    • During filming the scene at the end where Pappy throws Popeye the can of spinach, Ray Walston hit Williams in the head so hard, that he required several stitches in his scalp and delayed filming for several weeks.
    • Paramount co-producing the film with Walt Disney Productions (which handled marketing and the international release) put pressure on the production to keep the film family-friendly, including cutting a fleeting profanity uttered by Williams in one scene.
    • The final battle involving the octopus led to more headaches when the mechanical beast failed to work properly. After the production cost rose beyond $20 million, Paramount executives ordered Altman to stop and return to the U.S. with what he had.
    • While the movie was able to more than make back its budget upon its release at the end of 1980, critical response was extremely mixed (though over the years it's noticeably improved). Between that, the out-of-control production, and the straight-up disaster that was H.E.A.L.T.H. (which sat on The Shelf of Movie Languishment for two years) Altman's career was badly damaged; he spent the remainder of the 1980s working primarily on small-scale stage adaptations and the occasional television production before making a comeback in 1992 with The Player. Williams bounced back fairly quickly from the disappointing response to his first starring vehicle, but would joke about the movie for the rest of his life.
  • Possession, Andrzej Żuławski's Surreal Horror arthouse drama, was a personally devastating film for the director and its lead actors. The film was inspired by and written during a traumatizing divorce Zulawski had from actress Malgorzata Braunek, combined with receiving a de facto ban from his native home of Poland, that left him in a deep depression. Zulawski hoped to use Possession to address that depression, and put Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani through an utterly hellish filming experience, ostensibly in the name of drawing the most emotionally extreme performances out of the two. Neill would later say "I only just escaped that film with my sanity barely intact", while Isabelle Adjani outright attempted suicide after seeing the premire, and needed several years to recover from her performance in the film.
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) was an absolute nightmare to get to the screen:
    • Even before the original 1934 novel by James M. Cain was published, RKO Pictures was interested in buying the film rights, only to be told by the Production Code Administration (PCA) that the content and themes of the story were "definitely unsuitable for motion picture production." Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. were also interested, but were fearful that any attempt to film the story would end in disaster. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer finally purchased the rights two hours after Columbia's deal fell through, but did nothing with them for 12 years, under pressure from the PCA. Meanwhile, other film versions of the novel were produced in France and Italy. It wasn't until Paramount's Double Indemnity (also based on a Cain novel) became a critical and commercial success that MGM finally decided to greenlight the project.
    • The film's two stars, Lana Turner and John Garfield, did not get along with each other at first. When Turner found out that Garfield was cast as her leading man, she quipped, "Couldn't they at least hire someone attractive?" However, they did become friends as the project went along, and were even (according to some accounts) briefly romantically involved.
    • Director Tay Garnett insisted on shooting almost entirely on location instead of on a soundstage, which was very rare at the time. When it came time to film the seaside scenes at Laguna Beach, the intense fog made shooting impossible. After several days of waiting, filming was moved to San Clemente, where the crew also ran into thick fog. After the fog had finally cleared out of Laguna Beach, it returned when the cast and crew attempted to film. The situation was very stressful for Garnett, who was a recovering alcoholic, and he fell off the wagon. Filming was completely delayed after Garnett locked himself in his hotel room, and refused to come out. MGM came very close to replacing him. After hearing this, Lana Turner convinced Garnett to seek treatment. Filming eventually resumed when the fog finally cleared from Laguna Beach.
    • A subplot was filmed involving Audrey Totter's character as a giant cat tamer, as in the original novel. During filming, Garfield was sprayed by one of the lions, and he jokingly asked for stunt pay.
    • The sneak preview was a disaster, with audiences laughing at the scenes of Totter's character showing off her collection of lions and tigers. James M. Cain crawled out of the screening in embarrassment to avoid producer Carey Wilson. The film underwent many reshoots, with Audrey Totter's character reduced to a minor role with barely a minute of screen time.
    • The film was highly successful at the box office, but got mixed reviews from critics. MGM head Louis B. Mayer hated the movie and found it out of the studio's comfort zone of lavish Technicolor musicals. However, the film was eventually vindicated by history and is now regarded as a noir classic. Lana Turner considered it one of the only films of hers that she enjoyed, mostly because it gave her the opportunity to "do some real acting."
  • Predator became a sci-fi action classic, but wasn't easy to make:
    • According to FX supervisor Steve Johnson, pre-production of the film began with director John McTiernan dramatically throwing down concept art for the creature at a meeting with FOX executives — which looked awful. The original idea called for a creature that had backwards-jointed reptile legs, along with an extended head and arms. The crew was also planning to film the project in the muddy slopes of Mexico. Despite Johnson and other members of the crew telling them that it would be physically impossible to shoot with such a creature, McTiernan went ahead anyway.
    • Jean-Claude Van Damme (then recently emigrated from Belgium) was brought in without giving him any sufficient explanation of what he was supposed to be doing. Van Damme was furious due to believing that the temp effects suit (which was used so the "cloaking" effect could be applied in post-production) was the actual suit for the final product. Additionally, the suit was unwieldy (causing him to bump into trees because he couldn't see), and he was further angered to learn that he wouldn't be able to do any of his martial arts moves, which he was famous for.
    • Filming got underway in Mexico, and it quickly became apparent to the cast and crew that the conditions weren't favorable. While the suit was still being constructed, the crew had to deal with sweltering heat and rough terrain. Every member of the cast and crew but Arnold Schwarzenegger (of course) and McTiernan got bouts of Montezuma's Revenge due to unclean hotel water.
    • Things got worse when the finished (original) suit actually reached the production set and saw the result. Faced with Van Damme complaining relentlessly and the crew treating the suit as a joke, McTiernan shot some test footage and sent it back to FOX hoping that they would see reason. The studio did, and shut down production. Lawrence Gordon (one of the producers) was forced to secure additional funding so that Stan Winston and his team could come in and redesign the suit. Van Damme either left the production because of fears for his own safety (supposedly due to a stunt he was supposed to do, but which was helmed by another stuntman who broke his own leg the first time attempting it) or was fired by the studio.
    • Kevin Peter Hall was brought on to play the title character, and production continued in earnest, though not without running into more problems during the filming of the final confrontation. Schwarzenegger found himself being caked in cold mud for hours at a time, while Hall also found it difficult to move around in the suit.
  • By contrast, filming of Predator 2 mostly went smoothly. The one difficult part was the scene where Harrigan meets King Willie. The alley the scene was filmed in was in a rough neighborhood, with disgruntled residents throwing feces at the film crew due to the noise they were making. They even discovered an actual dead body in the very real garbage you see in the scene.
  • The Predator (the 2018 sequel to the original film) became infamous for this even before its release:
    • After the release of Predators in 2010, director Nimrod Antal and producer Robert Rodriguez both expressed in developing a sequel to their film, but talks reportedly stalled out, with nothing happening for several years. Eventually, FOX would go to reveal that they were interested in developing a new film unrelated to the previous work.
    • Production was announced in earnest in 2014, with director Shane Black (who starred in the original film) being tapped to direct. Originally explained by a FOX executive as "set in suburbia" with "a dad and his son at the heart of the action", the film was shaping up to be a very different experience from the previous films, which were largely set in jungles.
    • The first sign that something was... off came in 2017, when the planned early 2018 release date was moved to September 2018, and a plot summary (of what was later revealed as an early version of the script) was leaked on Reddit. The script caused fan complaints over the nature of the story, not helped by the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed in an interview that the producers approached him to reprise his role of Dutch (who appears in the early script summary), but refused to do it because he wasn't satisfied with the material he was given.
    • The changing release dates (four in total) were a prelude to additional reshoots that changed many story beats. While reports vary on what exactly changed, it is generally known that much (if not all) of the third act was reshot, in a manner similar to that of Rogue One. The third act was originally set to begin with the "Loonies" (the main characters) teaming up with a human general (played by Edward James Olmos) and a pair of captured rebel Predators they find locked in Area 51 who help them in the first skirmish against the Ultimate Predator. Reports differ as to why the third act was changed. Shane Black contended that three-quarters of the act were reshot to change the scenes from day to night, while Olmos contended that his role (which was cut entirely from the finished product) was removed due to time constraints. Character deaths and motivations were also overhauled completely, with Keegan-Michael Key's character shown in early set photos to have died much earlier in the script (at the beginning of the third act, with his head mangled) than his fate in the finished film, which happens later.
    • The ending was changed multiple times. Originally (and as per the script summary leak), the film was intended to end with lead characters Quinn and Rory McKenna, along with Casey, encountering Dutch Schaeffer, who arrives in a helicopter after they defeat the Ultimate Predator and enlists them to help him in a mission. After Schwarzenegger declined to appear, the concept got far enough that a variant of the scene (with Quinn looking up and saying, "Come and get us, motherfucker" as Casey and Rory stand beside him in the jungle) was shot and appeared in trailers. After Schwarzenegger declined to reprise his role, the production team shot several variants of what was supposed to be inside the pod, with at least two getting to the shooting stage — either Ellen Ripley or Newt would be the occupant of the pods, with a facehugger-like breathing mask on their face. The eventual ending (the reveal of the "Predator-Killer" suit) was evidently shot very late in production, likely in reshoots.
    • Not helping matters was a publicized incident between cinematographer Larry Fong (largely known for incorporating CGI into all of his shots) called out a fan for criticizing an image of the Renegade Predator hoisting Quinn up in the air, and told the fan "You're wrong as fuck."
    • The film was days away from being locked for distribution when an urgent note was delivered ordering the production team to delete a scene featuring an actor named Steven Wilder Striegel. Olivia Munn, who acted opposite Striegel, discovered that he was a registered sex offender — and that while the studio didn't know about this, Black did, and cast him as a jogger who repeatedly tries to hit on Munn's character. During the subsequent world premiere and publicity tour at the Toronto International Film Festival, Munn was placed in the uncomfortable position of having to answer questions about that matter while trying to defend the film, and Black issued a statement saying that Striegel was a friend he wanted to help give a break to after the latter was struggling in Hollywood. Even worse, the scene in question was meant to be her character's original introduction — in the final cut, she appears with next-to-no explanation for who she is.
    • While the film did debut at the top of its opening weekend, the resulting theatrical run was a Box Office Bomb. It also set a new record for the worst opening weekend for film on more than 4,000 screens, $7 million lower than previous record holder The Mummy (2017).
  • The Producers did manage to avert the time and money problems that plague most movies here - Mel Brooks managed to do everything in 40 days on a $941,000 budget. Otherwise, as this article proved, it was no easy feat.
    • Even before filming began, Brooks had problems selling his Springtime for Hitler script, as many felt making fun of the Fuhrer was in bad taste - one studio even suggested renaming it "Springtime for Mussolini". Even once he did get producer Sidney Glazier, he asked to change the title as most theaters would refuse to put Hitler's name in the marquee (thus Brooks came up with The Producers, feeling it was an ironic Non-Indicative Title given how the protagonists are anything but producers).
    • Brooks convinced Glazier and the studio that he could direct the film, despite being his feature debut. His inexperience showed right off the bat (Brooks yelled "Cut" instead of "Action" to start shooting), the slow pace of production compared to television annoyed Brooks, and both his sleep and his temper suffered for hit: in addition to only two hours of rest, his prima donna tendencies showed up, with Brooks clashing with the cinematographer, insulting a visiting reporter, and temporarily banishing Glazier from the set.
    • Star Zero Mostel, who was afraid of Typecasting but still accepted the role of Max Bialystock because his wife loved the script, was hard to deal with, and only with Brooks as both were frequently at odds. Mostel had injured his leg in a bus crash sometime before production and added a clause in his contract being forfeited from any work past 5:30 PM. Assistant director Michael Hertzberg managed to convince him once to work overtime, by enduring Mostel screaming his lungs off at him for several minutes. And given the leg injury got worse in humid weather, the very last scene at the Lincoln Center's fountain had Mostel throwing a fit and give up on production. Glazier had to leave a dentist appointment and rush to the set where Mostel and Brooks were arguing, and once the producer managed to calm them down, the resulting scene had to be shot all night long. (it shows in the finished film, as the sky is as dark as possible).
    • Once filming ended, long post-production where Brooks clashed with the editor ensued. Upon release, critics were divided, the film barely got distributed and subsequently only got enough to cover its low budget. Still, the Academy liked it enough to give it an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (to Brooks' surprise), and eventually, the film was Vindicated by History.
  • Considering Prom Night III: The Last Kiss's low budget and pressure to get things finished as quickly and cheaply as possible, there were numerous issues the cast and crew encountered during production:
    • Al Magliochetti, who did visual effects work on the film through VFX company Light and Motion, recalled numerous instances of a tense and confusing on-set atmosphere. For example, he did not get along with producer, co-director Peter Simpson, labeling him an uncivilized thug and one of the nastiest producers he'd ever worked with. He described one instance where Simpson reduced actress Courtney Taylor (Mary Lou) to tears after making a crude comment about her chest.
    • Editor Nick Rotundo was also the cause of much tension, as Magliochetti recalled that Rotundo would often try to override the wishes of director Ron Oliver and the VFX department, simply doing whatever he wanted with the picture. After Oliver exploded at Magliochetti over an unauthorized change, he simply showed Oliver the instructions Rotundo had given him, causing Oliver to realize the source of the problem.
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    Q 
  • The Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle The Quest. In his autobiography, Roger Moore recalled that the film was a disorganized production that was running out of money due to poor preparation. Apparently, when the production was running out of money, many of the crew were even asked to work for free to keep filming on schedule; the producers promptly found the money for the filming when said crew laughed at them and threatened to strike. In the end, Moore credits Second Unit Director Peter MacDonald for bringing it all together.

    R 
  • Radio Flyer, the story of two brothers who escape an abusive stepfather with a homemade flying machine, was a red-hot script when it was picked up by Columbia Pictures and initially was directed by its screenwriter, David Mickey Evans (who later did The Sandlot). But after a week of shooting, he was fired and production was shut down until Richard Donner was brought in to replace him. In the process, the production budget more than doubled from $15 million to $35 million.
  • The Rage: Carrie 2. To begin with, the film was supposed to start production in 1996 as an original project titled The Curse, with no relation to Carrie beyond a similar plot. However, production got stalled for two years, during which time it was rewritten into a sequel to Carrie. A few weeks into production, director Robert Mandel quit, citing Creative Differences, leaving Katt Shea (maker of Poison Ivy) to take over the production with less than a week to prepare. This also forced two weeks of reshoots.
  • This trope just seems to follow films about a certain wrecked ocean liner around. Consider Raise the Titanic!:
    • Most of the trouble was in pre-production. Lew Grade, head of Britain's ITC Entertainment, read Clive Cussler's script and saw the potential for a Dirk Pitt franchise. The legendary Stanley Kramer had already been set to direct, and when Grade bought the rights he made Kramer the producer as well. However, he quit when Grade kept complaining that the models of the ships to be used were two or three times bigger than they should have been. Kramer was replaced by Jerry Jameson, who had just come off the similarly effects-heavy hit Airport '77, though whose career had mostly been directing television and schlock cinema like It Lives by Night.
    • The real trouble was with the script. The first draft, by Eric Hughes, was a pretty straightforward translation of Cussler's novel. Unfortunately, Grade felt it was far too long and wanted something with more appeal to family audiences, and so hired someone else to rewrite it... several times. Ultimately seventeen writers worked on the screenplay, and all of them except for Larry McMurtry, who disliked the novel to begin with, petitioned the Writers' Guild for credit on the released film (credit was given to Hughes and Adam Kennedy, the latter of whom was mostly responsible for the final draft). Between the writing clusterfuck and the efforts to find a ship that could be dressed to look like the Titanic, $15 million (an amount that could have paid for a few modestly budgeted films at the time) had been spent without shooting a single frame.
    • It didn't help that they didn't have a cast after Elliott Gould turned down the part of Pitt. Eventually an All-Star Cast including Jason Robards and Alec Guinness was hired at yet more considerable expense.
    • The film had to deliver on its title promise, and in order to do so a 50-foot (15-meter) model of the Titanic was built. It turned out to be too large for any existing water tank, so a special 10-million-gallon "horizon tank"note  was built off the coast of Malta. As if they hadn't already spent enough money they never expected to, it took fifty takes to get the shot of the ship rising they way they wanted it. Grade famously quipped that it would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic.
    • Thus finished, the film sat on the shelf for two years. Its 1980 release made just barely $7 million, nowhere near the final budget of $40 million (again, almost astronomical for the time) and video rentals weren't much help. It was one of the numerous bombs that killed off Associated Film Distribution, Grade's joint-venture arm for American distribution with fellow British film company EMI, alongside such disasters as Can't Stop the Music and The Legend of The Lone Ranger (already discussed elsewhere on these pages); AFD went bust and Grade sold the remaining backlog to Universal. Already reeling from being kicked out of the ITV network, Grade was left vulnerable to being bought out by a corporate raider, Robert Holmes a Court, who promptly started mismanaging a bunch of properties he couldn't care less about and began asset-stripping, as ITC withered (most notoriously, this was a major reason for the decline of the Muppets in the '80s, as they'd lost Grade's support, and ended up splitting off from ITC completely by 1985).
  • Reach Me: According to director-writer John Herzfeld, he wrote the script for Reach Me in 2001 and spent the next twelve years trying to get it made. During the second week of shooting, an important producer pulled out and the film was left without funding. As a result, Herzfeld started a Kickstarter campaign to complete it. In order to allow for bigger contributions, the campaign was moved to Indiegogo, where it reached just over $178,000 in less than a week (although an anonymous backer pledged almost $150,000), allowing Herzfeld to finish it. The Indiegogo pitch can still be seen here.
  • 1993 saw Kim Basinger team with Val Kilmer in the heist-caper movie The Real McCoy. Problems arose right from the start due to creative differences between Kilmer, director Russell Mulcahy, and producer Martin Bregman. According to Basinger, the screenplay that she initially read and the story that ended up in the finished film didn't match. More to the point, Basinger said that she originally signed on to a movie that was going to be a love story instead of a caper movie. Bregman attested that Kilmer almost tried to destroy the picture. As a result, the filmmakers had to rewrite it because of him. The problems with Kilmer didn't end there. According to one exec on the set, Kilmer once became enraged when a scene wasn't altered to his liking. Kilmer reportedly started firing his prop gun at a car. Producers also told horror stories about Kilmer snapping at someone to “never speak to him like that again” when he was just asked to rehearse a scene once more. Apparently, Basinger lobbied for Kilmer to be in the film, and he took it. Ultimately, however, Basinger accused him of sinking the movie purposefully by acting poorly. When The Real McCoy was released in September 1993, critics savaged the movie, and audiences didn't care. It currently has only a 19% score on Rotten Tomatoes and just grossed $6,484,246 against a $24 million budget. The Real McCoy wound up being one of a string of busts that damaged Basinger's career.
  • Rebecca started production five days after World War II broke out, causing lots of problems with the mostly British cast and crew. Alfred Hitchcock's perfectionism slowed production down, to the point where he refused to allow lights to be set up during camera rehearsals — because he found the noise distracting. Within two weeks, the film was behind schedule. Stagehands went on strike during filming and Joan Fontaine suffered a nasty flu. In addition, Laurence Olivier greatly disliked his leading lady (he had wanted his new bride, Vivien Leigh, to be cast as the second Mrs De Winter) and wasn't shy about letting her know it. Hitchcock got a suitably uncomfortable performance out of Fontaine by telling her that everyone on set hated her. The film ended up going $500,000 over budget.
  • The remake of Red Dawn (2012) was originally meant to be released in 2010. MGM was hit with financial difficulties which halted production for a while. Distributors refused to pick up the film for fear that the Chinese antagonists would anger the Chinese government, which has the power to censor films in China and cut a film's box office take. After resuming production MGM spent an additional one million dollars to turn the Chinese villains into North Koreans by digitally altering images and dubbing dialogue. The film was finally released in November 2012, and only then with Film District, a surprisingly small distributor for such a big film... and it flopped big-time.
  • When the cast of Red Planet went on location in the Australian desert, Tom Sizemore apparently had an exercise machine shipped out to him. That flipped out Val Kilmer, and the two escalated into throwing weights at each other until Sizemore knocked out Kilmer with a punch to the chestnote . Kilmer then refused to do any of his remaining scenes with Sizemore, locking himself in his trailer while Sizemore did his lines and forcing the crew to work around him. By the end of production, however, he wasn't even saying Sizemore's character's name, further crimping things. Antony Hoffman has never directed another film.
  • The Dolph Lundgren action vehicle Red Scorpion was originally set to film in Swaziland, but the production was denied permits just a week before filming was to begin. As a result, it was instead filmed in what was then the South African province of South-West Africa (now the republic of Namibia). This immediately caused problems, as South Africa at the time was under massive international pressure over apartheid. More importantly, the South African government and the film's producer and writer, the infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff, were using the film (in which Lundgren plays a Spetsnaz operative in Africa who defects to the anti-communist rebels) as part of their propaganda efforts to portray the African National Congress as communist sympathizers. Warner Bros. pulled out of the production as a result, not wanting to run afoul of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, while anti-apartheid activists led a boycott of Lundgren's films in protest. Even a number of cast and crew members, such as Carmen Argenziano (who plays a villainous Cuban colonel), were disgusted when they found out that South Africa was essentially bankrolling the film. Tom Savini, meanwhile, who did special effects work on the film and described his experience in one of the DVD bonus features, also said that the meals on set were barely edible and that he and his family almost died in a flood during production. The budget ballooned to $16 million as a result of the delays to production that these issues caused, even with the South African Defense Forces providing support of their own, and it landed at the box office in April 1989 with a resounding thud.
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ran into problems when Milla Jovovich's stunt double Olivia Jackson crashed into a malfunctioned camera crane during a motorcycle stunt. The accident left her in a coma for two weeks, and among Jackson's injuries were cerebral trauma, a crushed face, a severed artery in her neck, a paralyzed arm, several broken ribs, a shattered scapula, a broken clavicle, torn fingers with a thumb that needed to be amputated, and five nerves torn out of her spinal cord. The paralyzed arm also later needed to be amputated. One of the film's crew members was also crushed to death by a US Army Hummer (a prop in use for the film) while on set.
  • Independent filmmaker Tom Laughlin, creator and star of the Billy Jack films, spent years trying to get a fifth entry off the ground, and probably came closest to doing so when The Return of Billy Jack actually entered production in 1985. Unfortunately, with only an hour of the film completed, he suffered a head injury on set that put production on hold, and by the time he recovered, he had run out of money to finish it. The film, as well as plans for a TV show, would remain in Development Hell until Laughlin's death in 2013.
  • The Revenant, the followup to Alejandro González Iñárritu's Oscar hit Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), has endured one of the harshest productions in recent memory. What was supposed to be a $60 million film had its budget balloon to $135 million and Inarritu's infamously temperamental nature, the high-pressure schedule, unpleasant filming conditions, and his insistence that they shoot long, elaborately choreographed scenes in single takes while only using natural light made it a very difficult shoot. This caused several crew members to quit the project in response and some were even fired by Inarritu himself. Tom Hardy in particular was concerned about the safety of some of the stunts he had to do, which caused friction between him and Inarritu before Inarritu allowed Hardy to choke him out in return. Later, the image of Hardy strangling Inarritu was immortalized in a T-shirt gifted by Hardy to all members of the crew at the end of the shoot. Fortunately, the result paid off: on top of generally positive reviews, box-office success, and various accolades; Leonardo DiCaprio, after years of nominations, finally won an Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the film!
  • Revolution (1985): This American Revolutionary War movie proved almost as much of a struggle as America's actual war for independence; fittingly, it also had serious negative consequences for Britain (in this case, its film industry).
    • Producer Irwin Winkler and director Hugh Hudson approached Goldcrest Films, who had produced Hudson's Chariots of Fire, on making a film about the American Revolution. At the time, Goldcrest was in internal turmoil; its founder, Jake Eberts, had just been ousted in a boardroom coup by Sanford Lieberson. Believing a successful mid-budget picture could give Goldcrest much-needed financial security and solidify his control of the studio, Lieberson jumped at the chance to back the film, with Warner Brothers handling certain distribution duties. Others at Goldcrest and Warner were less eager, as they felt the script suffered from an Uncertain Audience, but Goldcrest greenlit the project over doubts from Warner Bros. COO Terry Semel.
    • Although Goldcrest wanted production started in November 1984, February 1985 came and went without a script in good enough shape to proceed, and pre-production was contending with budget gaps and rain-soaked conditions at King's Lynn, Norfolk. It was allegedly at this point that Hudson suggested the film be pushed out by three months to polish the script, but Goldcrest executives balked as they strove to use awards to superheat their box office. Revolution would have to show select screenings no later than Christmas of 1985 to be eligible, especially as their other films, Absolute Beginners and The Mission, were troubled themselves and being held off so as not to compete against Revolution.
    • As shooting proceeded, Hostility on the Set broke out between the stars and director. Al Pacino, who had been brought on to star, considered the film a vehicle for himself and Nastassja Kinski, with Pacino trying to get involved in the endless script rewrites. Stories circulated that Kinski was an emotional wreck, with paparazzi harassing her over her disintegrating marriage. Things eventually reached the point where she stopped talking to Hudson at all, and her repeated absence from the set cost the film over half a million dollars. Multiple on-set accidents occurred (possibly sabotage from disgruntled locals) with expensive equipment and tents being destroyed. Only Winkler and Donald Sutherland, cast as Sergeant Major Peasy, were keeping any sense of order on the set.
    • On April 15, a Goldcrest executive appeared on set with freelance accountant Bobby Blues to compile "The Blues Report". The findings caused Goldcrest higher-ups to remove associate producer Chris Burt from the project and Lieberson attempted to have Winkler pulled as well, but it was discovered that Warner owned the rights to Revolution due to an earlier in-house deal they'd made with Winkler, while Goldcrest was left paying for the film. Goldcrest's bosses backpedaled on their decision to replace Burt, and Winkler threatened a mass walk-out would take place if he too was ousted. James Lee, leader of the "New Goldcrest Clique", elected not to punish Winkler, and Lieberson began to lose his clout.
    • Filming fell so far behind schedule that multiple scenes were shot in rain to compensate for delays, causing illness to run rampant on the set; Pacino contracted pneumonia that kept him from performing for a full month. Eventually, Lee himself went to the set to speak with Winkler, Hudson and Pacino. Despite obtaining a promise in writing, it became clear that Winkler and Hudson were ignoring executive demands. By this point, Lieberson decided to wash his hands of the whole affair by leaving to oversee production on The Mission. Winkler was also continuously flying out of the UK to concentrate on other projects including Rocky IV, meaning nobody with any authority was on hand to mediate on-set issues.
    • Meanwhile, finding that no European or American bank was willing to help them, Goldcrest performed a financial juggling act. Squeezing as much money as they could out of their properties and distribution deals, Goldcrest managed to cut deals with Midland Bank and Credit Lyonnais, receiving a loan of five million pounds to complete the film and a further twenty million to cover their loans with Midland in exchange for certain concessions, while a Norwegian fund agreed to help finance the movie provided some scenes be shot in Norway. This forced production to pack up and move to Norway, where shooting was completed mostly without incident.
    • But then the money ran out. The Mission and Absolute Beginners were also suffering from delays and bloated budgets, and this caused Credit Lyonnais to activate various clauses in the contract which required immediate renegotiation, slashing the amount of money they had agreed to loan and demanding Midland share the burden in the meantime. As Goldcrest were wrangling with the banks to find a solution, Lieberson's plans to leave the studio were leaked to the press and the board discovered Lee planned to combine the roles of Production Chief and CEO so he could occupy both positions. After a very angry board meeting, Lee left Goldcrest and a reluctant Jake Eberts was invited back as CEO.
    • In the end, Revolution was an enormous failure. Mutilated by critics, it made just over a million dollars and was nominated for four Razzies. Hudson's career was effectively torpedoed, while Pacino and Kinski took years-long hiatuses from film. Along with Absolute Beginners, it not only played a major role in the severe decline of Goldcrest Films but also set back British cinema by over a decade, as Margaret Thatcher would pull virtually all tax reliefs related to the film industry in part due to the failure of this film.
  • Roar (1981) was a passion project for Tippi Hedren and her then-husband, Noel Marshall. The couple and their family raised 150 wild animals over the course of a decade (first in their Los Angeles home, then on a ranch in California), then spent five years making a film with these animals. All hell broke loose.
    • Before filming, Marshall's son John was the first victim; he was attacked by a lion who clamped its jaw on John's head. It took 25 minutes to get the lion to let go of John's head, and the result was 56 stitches.
    • During filming of one scene, a lion bit through Noel Marshall's hand; that moment is in the film, and Marshall can be seen attempting to shake the blood off his hand!
    • One lion grabbed Melanie Griffith's (Hedren's daughter) hair and wouldn't let go. That moment also made it to film. She later got clawed in the face, requiring reconstructive surgery. Some reports would later blame the latter incident for playing a major role in her becoming addicted to painkillers, which she needed post-surgery.
    • The cinematographer, future Speed director Jan de Bont, needed 200 stitches on his scalp as a result of another attack. On top of that, de Bont ended up effectively having to co-direct much of the film, due to Marshall's lack of experience working on an actual film set.
    • Tippi Hedren was thrown off an elephant and broke her leg. Now a staunch supporter of animal rights, Hedren regrets having ever put the animals in the situation she and her husband put them through. The strain of the production ultimately played a major role in destroying their marriage, and led to their getting divorced in 1982.
    • The film was released to tepid reviews in late 1981. Hedren and Marshall had intended to donate all proceeds from the film to charity, but couldn't find a U.S. distributor who was willing to give more than around 10% of the gross revenue to charity. As a result, it only made around $2 million; a not-insignificant amount of charity money, but much less than had been hoped for.
    • When the film was eventually released in America by Drafthouse Films in 2015, its nightmarish production was front-and-center in promotions, with taglines proclaiming it "The most dangerous movie ever made" and "No Animals Were Harmed in the making of this movie. 70 members of the cast and crew were." (John Marshall thinks the number might be higher.)
  • Filming of the Rat Pack movie Robin and the 7 Hoods was interrupted by the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra's son Frank Jr. After a two day ordeal he paid the ransom and his son was returned, but he was left so shaken by the incident (for the rest of his life he famously carried a roll of dimes in his pocket in case something similar happened and he needed to use a pay phone), combined with the assassination of his close friend President John F. Kennedy, that it was questioned if he'd be able to complete the movie.
  • When Laurel and Hardy signed on for the independently-funded Robinson Crusoeland (also known as Atoll K or Utopia), they hadn't made a film in five years and were looking to re-kindle Hollywood interest in them. Instead, the film had such a shambolic production that it killed their big screen careers. Laurel's widow, Ida, told her biographer, "I'm hardly likely to forget the date we left for France and the date we returned - April 1, 1950 and April 1, 1951. But there was no April Fooling about that terrible year. That bloody picture was supposed to take twelve weeks to make, and it took twelve months."
    • The film's director, Léo Joannon, was a Frenchman who spoke little English, while neither Stan Laurel nor Oliver Hardy spoke French, causing frequent communication problems. Laurel was dissatisfied with Joannon's story treatment and brought in veteran comedy writers Alf Goulding and Monty Collins to help write the script; however, Goulding's work was uncredited, while Collins was only credited with "gags".
    • Both stars already had health problems that were made worse during location shooting. Laurel had problems with diabetes, colitis, dysentery, and a prostate ulcer; Ida Laurel later said that the medical care Stan received in French hospitals was so bad that she had to change his bandages when nurses proved unavailable. Laurel lost so much weight, bottoming out at 114 pounds, that he could only work for 20-30 minutes at a time and looked visibly gaunt on screen. By contrast, Hardy's weight ballooned to 330 pounds, and he suffered from cardiac fibrillation and influenza. Italian actor Adriano Rimoldi, who played stowaway Giovanni, fell off a docked yacht and needed a month to recuperate.
    • Ida Laurel later attested to the chaos on set thanks to the toxic relationship Laurel and Hardy had with Joannon, recalling one incident when the director spent three days filming a lake simply because he found it especially photogenic. Things got so bad that John Berry, a victim of the Hollywood blacklistnote  seeking to re-start his career in Europe, was secretly brought in to work with the comedy team and get the film back on track, but Berry received no on-screen credit out of concern that a film helmed by a blacklisted director would be unmarketable; his contribution was only publicly acknowledged in 1967 in film historian William K. Everson's book The Films of Laurel and Hardy, and leading lady Suzy Delair confirmed Berry's participation in an interview with film historian Norbert Aping (author of The Final Film of Laurel and Hardy: A Study of the Chaotic Making and Marketing of Atoll K).
    • The film was so poorly marketed that it was dead on arrival at the box office. Stan and Ollie appeared in a few stage shows together in the mid-1950s (as loosely dramatised in Stan & Ollie) and were planning a TV series when a heart attack forced Hardy to retire, but they never appeared on the big screen again.
  • RoboCop (1987) was shot during a very hot summer in Dallas, and Peter Weller's costume not only came in late, but he could barely move in it, rendering his previous mime training useless. In addition, it ran behind schedule and over budget, actors Kurtwood Smith and Ray Wise stole the crew's golf carts during the shooting of one scene and executives kept trying to interfere with the production while it was still going on.
    • A fair portion of the scheduling delays were caused by difficulties in lighting the RoboCop suit properly — originally, they tried to light it as actors were normally lit, which didn't work because the suit reflected too much light. Eventually, they hit on the solution of lighting it like a car.
    • Verhoeven mentions a minor adversity on the commentary track of the Criterion Collection release: Dallas was chosen as the shooting location in part because of the futuristic look it has downtown. Verhoeven especially liked the look of one particular building when it was lit up by external lights at night. Unfortunately, that building was being renovated during the shooting and the lights were shut off. As they were finished in Dallas and were leaving, they literally saw the lights come on through the plane's window...
  • The Rock launched the blockbuster career of Michael Bay and remains one of Bay's most critically respected films, but is notorious for its behind-the-scenes headaches.
    • It was a film that, along with The Cable Guy, became the center of controversy as the Writers Guild of America went into arbitration over the many writers that had touched the script. The final agreement left several writers on The Rock uncredited, including Jonathan Hensleigh (who had done a number of rewrites) and script doctors like Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin. Bay called the arbitration process “a sham” in an open letter, particularly for leaving Hensleigh uncredited.
    • Bay, who was still early in his Hollywood career (having only made Bad Boys (1995) less than a year prior), had to deal with overbearing Executive Meddling from Disney executives who were overseeing production. That changed when Sean Connery (playing an aging Expy of James Bond in the film) accompanied Bay to a board meeting and threatened to leave unless Bay was allowed to make the film his way. And since the film was being shot on location at Alcatraz Island and could not close it down for filming, Bay had to plan filming around the many tours hosted there.
    • There were also stresses between long-time production duo Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson. Simpson was one of Hollywood's most infamous party animals and had fallen further into drug use and controversy, most notably when a doctor that Simpson hired as a "rehab specialist" was found dead of a drug overdose in Simpson's estate. Bruckheimer felt his partner was too erratic and unfocused to work with any longer and terminated their partnership in December 1995, though both agreed to see the film through. Simpson himself died of a drug overdose a month later, some five months before the release date. The film would be dedicated to his memory.
  • The Rollerball remake. Anyone who's seen the original script says it was very good—even superior to the original 1975 film, some thought—but John McTiernan disliked it and ordered multiple rewrites. Principal photography took place in 2000, but after uniformly negative test screenings the studio ordered reshoots. The film was then heavily cut for a more family-friendly rating before its release in 2002. The end result was critically panned (3% on Rotten Tomatoes), earned lead actress Rebecca Romijn a Razzie nod, and earned back just over a third of its $70 million budget. McTiernan would never produce another picture, and would only direct one more film in 2003's Basic, which didn't do much better. William Harrison, who penned the short story on which both films were based, later said he had neither seen the remake nor had any interest in doing so.
    • It later turned out that, in the middle of production, McTiernan had hired private investigator Anthony Pellicano to wiretap the phone of another producer, a felony for which he would later serve several months in federal prison and declare bankruptcy, effectively ending his film career.
  • The Room had a very troubled production due to writer/producer/director/star Tommy Wiseau's... eccentricities. These are described in detail in The Disaster Artist, a memoir by Greg Sestero, who played Mark, about the making of the movie and his friendship with Wiseau. Some of the more notable things out of Sestero's book:
    • Wiseau made the film because he was tired of waiting to be cast as an actor, and decided to make his own film, despite having never made a film before and having little discernible talent for acting or writing. As his heavy accent makes clear, English is not Wiseau's first language, hence the script's many bizarre turns of phrase (such as Mark's "Keep your stupid comments in your pocket!"). Sestero recalls that the original script rarely specified whether scenes were taking place by day or at night, indoors or outdoors, or in which room, and one scene began with Lisa answering a phone call from her mother and ended with them walking to the door. Wiseau refused to take any advice from the cast or crew, dismissing concerns about characters' motivations changing within scenes or subplots abruptly coming and going and insisting that they deliver their lines exactly as written, which were apparently even more nonsensical than they were in the finished film.
    • Wiseau was verbally abusive towards the cast. Juliette Danielle, who played Lisa, got the worst of it; in one scene, she had been put in a backless blouse, and Wiseau shouted loudly enough for the whole cast and crew to hear that she needed make-up on her back acne (every other actress who auditioned for the part was driven off by Wiseau's behaviour, including putting the main characters' bed in the audition room, prompting one actress to ask Sestero if the film was a porno). Carolyn Minnott, who played Lisa's mother Claudette, had to be rushed to a hospital after passing out from heat exhaustion when Wiseau refused to rent an air conditioner for the studio. The original Michelle walked off the film, taking several cast and crew members with her, after Wiseau threw a water bottle at her during rehearsals. Kyle Vogt, who played Peter, told Wiseau that he had a limited time to shoot due to another commitment, but Wiseau made no attempt to schedule Peter's scenes before Vogt was due to leave, requiring the casting of Greg Ellery as Steven, who got Peter's lines during the party sequence. When Vogt hit his head on Johnny and Lisa's spiral staircase, ending up with a concussion, Wiseau made him film his scene anyway, resulting in Vogt having to hold onto props and blinking woozily throughout the take that went into the finished film.note  Sestero and his girlfriend broke up during filming, and Wiseau decided to use this as inspiration for a scene in which Mark grumbles about women to Johnny over coffee.
    • The crew members were treated just as bad, if not worse. Wiseau would shout at them for minor or imagined infractions (including one crew member who farted during filming) and lack of professionalism even though he routinely arrived on set three or four hours late. Though most of the crew had the training and/or experience to back up their technical advice, Wiseau ignored every suggestion, resulting in multiple resignations. Sestero was given double duty as line producer as well as playing Mark, requiring him to handle everything from casting to catering between (or even during) takes. The first director of photography, Raphael Smadja, stormed off the film, taking his entire crew, when Wiseau refused to hire a dedicated line producer. His replacement, Graham Futerfas, only lasted a few weeks before quitting (along with almost his entire crew) after catching Wiseau in a lie about having been unable to rent a generator that would save time lost re-charging equipment. His replacement, Todd Barron, was the only cameraman who had not left with Futerfas, staying on specifically because he was angling for a promotion, and was deemed the Closest Thing We Got.note  Script supervisor Sandy Schklair also quit after getting an offer to work with Steven Spielberg's double Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and losing patience with Wiseau viewing him as his personal assistant.note 
    • Numerous illogical decisions were made that inflated the film's budget unnecessarily, including purchasing (rather than renting) half a million dollars' worth of equipment, filming on 35 mm film and high-definition video simultaneously (even though they require entirely different lighting,note  and no HD footage ended up in the finished film), and filming scenes that could have been done on location on sets - this despite Wiseau being The Scrooge when it came to any cast or crew requests for minor but necessary expenses. The haphazard allocation of the production budget left almost nothing for costumes, forcing the wardrobe director to buy them from thrift stores (hence the film's Rummage Sale Reject look), while the condominium set was a window display from a furniture store bought in its entirety, and the crew had to buy such items as the infamous framed spoon photographs to make it look like someone actually lived there. Rather than filming all of the scenes on a particular set and dismantling it, Wiseau chose to film scenes almost at random, requiring sets to be struck and then re-built days later. When the studio shoot wrapped and production moved to San Francisco for location shooting, Wiseau didn't bother to obtain filming permits, attracting unwelcome police attention.
    • Due to Wiseau's inability to remember his lines (even though he wrote them himself) or move to the appropriate place, minutes-long dialogue sequences often took days to shoot, while he is visibly reading off-screen cue cards or looking at his feet for his mark in takes that went into the finished film. For example, Johnny's infamous "I did not hit her!... Oh hai Mark!" line, which lasts seven seconds, took three hours and thirty-two takes to film.note  The equally infamous "You're tearing me apart, Lisa!" scene, conceived as a tribute to Rebel Without a Cause, also took hours to film when Wiseau couldn't remember the line "I cannot go on without you!".note  Despite being brutally critical of the other actors' performances, Wiseau would accept no criticism of his own performance, so the crew set up a "giggle tent" where they could laugh at blown or unusable takes in privacy. Not that this escaped Wiseau's notice, as he hired a Czech man named Markus to film the cast and crew, ostensibly for a "making of" documentary but really to see what they were saying about him behind his back.
    • By the end of the shoot, nobody was even trying to be professional about it, and most of the actors admitted to phoning in their performances, while the crew were no longer paying attention to continuity or even whether or not scenes were in focus. Post-production was just as bad, as Wiseau refused to listen to editor Eric Chase, who told him that the film's pacing was a complete mess and there was simply no way to join the scenes together into anything like a coherent whole without cuts; the only scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor were alternate versions of Chris-R confronting Denny and the final sequence, plus three minutes of Johnny and Lisa's sex scene. Convinced he had made a masterpiece, Wiseau sent the finished film to various major studios seeking distribution; Sestero notes that while studios usually take two weeks to make a decision on distributing films, Paramount rejected The Room in just twenty-four hours. Wiseau ended up paying to distribute the film himself.
  • The production of Rush Hour 2 went pretty smoothly, but it has become infamous for a single incident that occurred as it was wrapping. One scene involving a bust on a counterfeit ring in Las Vegas was to end with a pile of money going up in flames and $100 million worth of bills floating through the air. The scene was shot without issue, but the prop bills they had used were so convincing that extras and bystanders had picked them up and attempted to use it as actual legal tender on the Vegas Strip and beyond. The Secret Service ended up intervening, accusing the prop maker, Independent Studio Services, of counterfeiting, and forced them to recall and destroy all the money they had sent out to other productions. ISS did manage to survive the ordeal, but not without significant cost. (A rather ironic case of real life imitating art; the film itself centers on the protagonists trying to stop a massive money-laundering scheme, using counterfeit bills closely resembling U.S. legal tender—assisted by a Secret Service agent, no less.)
  • Rust, an Alec Baldwin-produced western, hit a catastrophic snag not long into production on October 21, 2021, when a gun wielded by Baldwin discharged and critically wounded director of photography Halyna Hutchins, who later died en route to a hospital. Director Joel Souza was also injured,note  but he was treated at another hospital and released. Production was suspended in response while the police started conducting an investigation. Almost immediately, press reports revealed that members of the cast and crew, including Hutchins and Baldwin, had previously raised serious safety issues on set, namely on the extremely lax handling of real firearms (which were used instead of prop guns or CGI because it was cheaper) which resulted in several incidents of weapons being misfired. It was because of these issues that several crewmembers had quit the production and were replaced by non-union workers mere hours before Hutchins and Souza were shot. Two crewmembers who became particularly scrutinized after the shooting were Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the production's armorer, and Dave Halls, the assistant director who had handed Baldwin the gun; associates of Halls revealed that he had been fired from the last movie he worked on over a completely different incident involving a loaded gun while Gutierrez-Reed caused trouble on her first production (Rust was her second) by discharging a firearm without warning, causing Nicolas Cage to storm off the set. In January 2023, it was announced that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed would face involuntary manslaughter charges in the shooting.

    S 
  • What happens when you combine the elements of two other famously troubled productions, like, say, a lengthy location shoot in Morocco with an attempt to relaunch a franchise based on Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt Adventures? You get another legendarily troubled production, Sahara (2005).
    • After the mess that had been Raise the Titanic! 20 years earlier, Cussler had refused to sell the movie rights to any of his books, not just the Pitt ones. Until he was approached, just as he had been for that film, by a very rich outsider, in this case Philip Anschutz. A Denver billionaire who had parlayed his oil and gas fortune into a broad range of investments, he was also a strongly conservative Christian. One of his investments had been the Regal theater chain, the largest in the country, and like many successful film exhibitors he decided to put some of his money into productions. The Anschutz Film group sought to produce films that weren't R-rated and delivered a strong moral message. Like Lew Grade in the 1970s, he saw the possibility for a film series in the Pitt books.
    • Cussler, remembering the earlier experience, not only got Anschutz to shell out $10 million for the rights to his 1992 Pitt novel Sahara, about a search for lost Confederate gold in Africa, he also got final approval for the script, cast and director—a highly unusual provision for the author of a novel being adapted into a film.
    • And just as it had during Raise the Titanic, that provision led to a huge and expensive revolving door of writers and directors. Cussler had written his own script, but clashed bitterly with every professional screenwriter brought in to polish or rework it, deriding them as hacks (the feeling was apparently mutual). Before long, 10 different writers had been paid almost $4 million for their services, without getting any closer to a script everyone was happy enough with to start filming (much less casting—Cussler actually bragged that he turned down Tom Cruise for the part as "too short").
    • Finally (or so they thought) a draft that the studio and the producers liked met with the approval of Rob Bowman, who had agreed to direct. But when the producers, whom he said never told him the extent of Cussler's creative authority, kept telling him Cussler disliked that versionnote , he quit. Breck Eisner, son of Disney head Michael, replaced him. Despite his parentage and the familiarity it gave him with this kind of moviemaking, he had never directed a big-budget film himself. Strife over the script and casting continued, with Cussler later alleged to have used racist and antisemitic slurs to refer to some of the counterparties during arguments.
    • There were other pressures on the script. Anschutz would not fund any film with even a possibility of getting an R rating, which meant that some scenes Cussler wanted in the film, such as the brutal revenge murder of a slave boss, were not likely to be shot no matter how much the novelist complained. The studio was also securing Product Placement deals, resulting in scenes being added that had little purpose save for making Jeep look good or having the characters drink certain brands of liquor.
    • After three years of this, filming finally got underway in London with a script credited to four writers. Cussler had had it by this point, and blasted the film on his latest Pitt book tour. Before it was even released he filed suit, alleging Anschutz and the other producers had never intended to honor their promise to give him creative control and deceived him all along. They, in turn, countersued, alleging he had promised to sabotage the film if they didn't use his script. Cussler lost, but some theater chains grew leery about booking the film (and that wouldn't be the end of the damage from that one).
    • Meanwhile, on set, the costs of the tortured writing process were becoming apparent. Expensive action sequences, such as a $2 million plane crash, ultimately had to be cut from the finished film so that contracts with advertisers who had paid millions to have their products featured could be honored. The budget ballooned to twice its original size, well over $100 million. That meant that, despite winning its opening weekend and doing well otherwise despite poor reviews, the film would still lose money. Just as had happened with Raise the Titanic, the Dirk Pitt franchise was again dead after one film (a sequel was cancelled). Eisner has only directed one feature film since then, The Crazies (2010).
    • The Coup de Grâce came two years later — when the film's full, 151-page line-item budget, entered as evidence in the lawsuits and supposedly confidential, was leaked to the Los Angeles Times. This rare look into the detailed finances of a film, especially a notoriously expensive bomb, showed the production benefiting from cheap Moroccan labor and European tax credits on one hand, but wasting the money on a plane crash that was cut and paying Penélope Cruz's hairstylist and dialect coach over a quarter of a million dollars. More seriously though, it even included $237,386 of expenses for what were explicitly labeled as bribes to Moroccan officials, some (a $40,688 payment to stop a river improvement project and $23,250 for "Political/Mayoral support") of which may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Samurai Cop owes its camp-classic status in large part to the way incompetence and miserliness can give rise to this trope:
    • Lead actor Matt Hannon (now Mathew Karedas), a former bodyguard to Sylvester Stallone who'd decided to give acting a try, went to co-producer, writer and director Amir Shervan for what he throught would be an interview about the possible role only for Shervan to take one look at him, tell him he was perfect and that shooting would start next week. Shervan, as he did in many of his other films, set all his scenes during the day to avoid spending any money on lighting and used the same locations as his other movies, no matter how poorly suited they were to the purpose.note  Some fight scenes were choreographed a mere 15 minutes before being shot, usually with a single take so that Shervan could keep things on the cheap.note 
    • Frustrated by not getting a second chance to shoot many scenes, Hannon began deliberately screwing up takes in the hope of forcing Shervan to shoot more, only for the director to actually use them.
    • After several months of shooting, Hannon assumed that Shervan had finished the film when he told them they were done. However, it turned out that he'd only run out of money, and he called back a few months later and said there was more movie to make. What Hannon thought was to be just a few scenes turned out to be about half the movie.
    • Since Hannon thought the film had wrapped, he cut the mullet he'd worn throughout the shoot. To cover up his new short haircut, the annoyed Shervan bought him a woman's wig whose only resemblance to Hannon's original hairstyle was being long. Hannon assumed, again wrongly, that he'd only have to wear it in long shots ... in some of the closeups it's clearly falling off and his real hair is visible underneath. And since the movie was not shot in continuity, Hannon's hair goes back and forth between the wig and his real hair constantly.
    • As a further cost-cutting measure, Shervan shot the film without sound, planning to loop all the dialogue afterwards. Again, he was not able to do this until months after wrap, and couldn't get many of the actors who played bit parts to return. So ... aside from Hannon and his costar Mark Frazer, Shervan decided to dub all those parts himself. According to Hannon, Shervan didn't know how to use the ADR machine correctly, resulted in many of those bit-part actors sounding robotic.
    • Shervan filmed Hannon and Frazer doing pick-up shots during dubbing in his own office, with the actors standing in the corner ... which is why many of the shots of them talking during the film have this same wall behind them and don't seem to match the location they're otherwise set in.
    • The final film not only went straight to video, it went straight to video in Poland, and wouldn't be rediscovered for almost two decades, after the original cut was found in a film vault. It was a triple Creator Killer ... Shervan never directed another film, and died before this one was rediscovered. Frazer never acted again, and Hannon ... well, by the end of the 20th century he'd not only given up acting as well, he'd done a short prison term and changed his name, which led people to think he had died years later as they rediscovered the film, only for him to come out and say he was alive under his new name.
  • Serena: a big-budget period piece set during the Great Depression, with a great director, Darren Aronofsky, and an incredible cast — it starred Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Toby Jones and Game of Thrones's Conleth Hill (Varys). Unfortunately, Aronofsky left shortly before filming started, and the back effects of the production stall seemed to have caused some issues with keeping the filming and post-production cohesive. Whilst this is easily overlooked, it did become a problem when faced with the added delays in release. Its initial releases were only in foreign markets, and it only really lived up to expectations with the box office outcome in the UK. It then suffered only a limited theatrical release in America, which was bad enough but also probably was the move that spoiled its Oscar Bait chances.
  • Seven Samurai may be one of the most celebrated films ever made, but it had a tough time getting there.
    • Akira Kurosawa's demanding directing style led to regular disputes with the actors. Almost all the actors except for Toshiro Mifune, who got into arguments with Kurosawa constantly, were scared of him; poor Yoshio Inaba (Gorobei) was yelled at constantly for blowing his lines. Kamatari Fujiwara insisted on playing Manzo comically when Kurosawa wanted him to play the part more seriously, until he realized later that Fujiwara had the right idea and allowed him to play the character how he wanted.
    • Filming had to be stopped several times due to a shortage of horses for the final battle sequences.
    • Yoshio Tsuchiya (Rikichi) got badly scorched and blistered by fire in the scene where Rikichi, Heihachi and Kikuchiyo were setting fire to the bandits' camp, and fainted from a blast of flame during filming. Yukiko Shimazaki, who played Rikichi's wife, also got her face covered in blisters while filming that scene.
    • Toho pulled the plug on the project several times when it ran over budget, forcing Kurosawa to go back and personally argue with the board of directors, which was convinced that Toho was making a flop. The film wound up going more than four times over budget, with production stretched out to 148 days of shooting; the simultaneous production of this and Gojira nearly forced Toho into bankruptcy.
    • The film's final battle scene, originally scheduled to be shot at the end of summer, was shot in February in near-freezing temperatures. Mifune later recalled that he had never been so cold in his life.
  • Shock Treatment underwent a long and tumultuous process between its initial conception as a direct sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show to a social satire with little connection to its predecessor.
    • Originally, Richard O'Brien's script for Curse of the Baby (later Rocky Horror Shows His Heels) started with Janet finding herself pregnant after the sex-filled night at Frank's castle. Meanwhile, Brad decides he is gay, and joins Rocky (who somehow escaped the castle alive) and also-gay Dr. Scott in finding virgin blood to revive Frank, who proceeds to turn the town of Denton into transsexuals while requiring further transfusions. Eventually, Janet has her baby, but it's promptly kidnapped by Riff Raff and Magenta while Frank meets his demise again. Fox and his RHPS collaborators rejected the script because it was just plain terrible.
    • O'Brien tossed the script but kept some of the songs for a new script provisionally titled The Brad and Janet Show, which only featured them and Dr. Scott as returning characters. Production was to take place in Denton, Texas — an idea which never progressed beyond location scouting due to the 1980 Screen Actors Guild strike.
    • In a last-ditch attempt to get a second movie to the Rocky fanbase, Richard rewrote the new script as Shock Treatment, which drastically simplified the story to take place inside a television studio, with the citizens of Denton as a brain-dead studio audience entertained by whatever on-set activities occur in front of them. The role of "fake cripple" now went to sleazy game show host Bert Schnick, with Dr. Scott written out. Thus production was scaled down as much as possible, but then casting proved difficult.
    • Susan Sarandon, now a genuine movie star, would only reprise her role as Janet for a fee far beyond what the film's minuscule budget would allow. Cult actress Jessica Harper's version of Janet seemed to be an exact carbon copy of Phoenix, her character from Phantom of the Paradise, rather than Susan's take. (Allegedly, Susan has never actually seen Shock Treatment to this day.)
    • Barry Bostwick was involved in other projects and could not reprise his role as Brad. The next potential actor was Tim Curry (no kidding), who felt that he couldn't pull off an American accent. In the end, Cliff de Young played both Brad and his evil twin brother Farley; and like Janet, Cliff's version of Brad bears no resemblance to Barry's, leaving some fans to question if they're even meant to be the same characters.
    • 20th Century Fox still had high enough hopes for the film to give it (by critic Drew McWeeny's recollection on an episode of the podcast '80s All Over) six months of promotional hype via ads in comic books and movie magazines; there was also a TV special. But come Halloween 1981, the initial midnight-only screenings in New York City and Los Angeles went so poorly that the planned national rollout never took place. Despite gaining a small cult following over time, Shock Treatment has been disowned by Richard O'Brien and most of the RHPS fanbase, although a Screen-to-Stage Adaptation was staged in the U.K. in 2015.
  • Filming Shredder Orpheus, as detailed on the film's history page, didn't always go smoothly, primarily since it was an underground production and most exterior locations were used without permission.
    • Filming a night scene at the Port of Seattle was rendered nearly impossible when the costume designer was arrested on her way to the location and her car was impounded with the costumes in the back of the trunk. The crew managed to release her and had to compress 12 hours' worth of shooting into only 3 hours before the sun rose, managing to get the footage needed.
    • At the climax of the movie where Orpheus confronts Hades and the Furies, smoke machines were used to backlight the latter as they made their entrance. By take 16, so much smoke was pouring out of the train station that it seeped aboveground and the Seattle Fire Department showed up. Robert McGinley, wearing only a loincloth and some body paint in preparation for a dream sequence, managed to talk his way out of trouble.
  • For Since You Went Away, David O. Selznick cast his mistress Jennifer Jones opposite her estranged husband Robert Walker, sadistically forcing them to perform loves scenes together (before rather symbolically killing off Walker's character).
  • The 1998 action/adventure/comedy Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights is a rather obscure film that received a slight Colbert Bump when it became the subject of an episode of Allison Pregler's Movie Nights. Many people in the cast and crew loved the episode, and some were willing to have Allison interview them about the production of Sinbad. It was...an interesting shoot.
    • Dean Stockwell was promised a box of Cuban cigars as compensation for appearing in the film. Stockwell arrived on set in Jordan, and when he found out that the producers didn't get him his cigars, he immediately decided to board the next plane home. He only relented after the producers begged him to stay.
    • The script called for chickens flying off a cliff. Chickens do not fly, and the crew learned that the hard way. As instructed, the PA dropped three chickens into the sky, where they plummeted twenty feet from the cliff. Two of them died; the other one was so severely injured that the crew suggested giving it a mercy killing. Eight takes later, three more chickens were killed, before the second unit director said, "Don't throw the chickens anymore, it doesn't look good."
    • A production coordinator claimed to be friends with then-King Hussein of Jordan and that he could use that friendship as leverage to use the entire Jordanian army for battle scenes as well as using them for labor to build an elaborate Great Wall of China set and ships for Sinbad to sail in. Those promises were never fulfilled. The production coordinator couldn't find anyone to dig a hole for a pool of water, so an entire day was spent on him digging the hole himself while the cast and crew sat there with nothing to do. Sinbad is supposed to be a sailor and they couldn't afford ships; the writers attempted to lampshade it with the narrator uttering "The desert is a sea of sand. What's the difference in Allah's eyes?"
    • The director disappeared for roughly half of the shoot to go shopping for no reason.
    • When they couldn't find professional extras, the crew dragged random people off the street and hired them.
    • When production began, the filmmakers realized they only had real swords at their disposal, no props. When the executive producer found out that fight scenes were still being prepared with these weapons in mind, she had all sword fights canceled to avoid injuries to the actors. This was ironic, as the filming location - Jordan - had been chosen because there would be enough room to accommodate large-scale battle scenes.
    • The first AD was Trigger-Happy and threatened to kill anyone who disagreed with him. Soon, some people started disappearing, and questions arose over whether or not the AD murdered them. Fortunately, all of them were alive, hiding out at the American consulate for fear of their lives. One of the people he threatened was friends with the King of Jordan, and the Jordanian government escorted the AD out of the country. Another person threatened was the film's accountant; because she went missing, the crew wasn't getting paid, and they threatened to quit.
    • The production ran out of money with only two-thirds of the script filmed. Funds were so scarce that the cast and crew had to sneak out of the hotel they were staying in, having nothing left to pay with.
    • A Bedouin village had to be built inside a high-school gym because the budget was so tight.
    • Mickey Rooney kept showing people his genitals without their consent.
    • The cast and crew were briefly stationed in Amsterdam and had to wait several hours for a plane to take them to their next destination. Dante Basco was fed up with having to wait and split up from the rest of the group; he subsequently missed the plane and was stranded in Amsterdam.
    • At one point, the production had to transport the body of a dead tourist visiting Petra. The family of the deceased, also in Jordan, heard the crew had an ambulance and asked to deliver the body to them. Unfortunately, the ambulance was entirely empty, save for a roll of toilet paper. Plus, the production also spotted a dead horse on the road. A scene was written where a horse was supposed to fall off a cliff; when they failed to obtain a fake rubber horse, the crew contemplated throwing both the dead tourist and the dead horse off the cliff. They ultimately came to their senses and decided not to go that far.
    • The film had post-production problems in the editing room; they realized that the film had an incoherent plot, so it was decided that new sequences would be shot in Bulgaria to clarify the story. Director Alan Mehrez hired his friend Elvis Restaino to direct these sequences, which starred Ryan Slater (half-brother of Christian Slater) and Restaino himself as the villain Murkhi Khan. Restaino added a deliberately campy tone to the Bulgaria-shot footage which clashed with the serious tone of the Mehrez-directed segments, and he also ended the film with an awkward, out-of-place Sequel Hook.
    • The film's first public screening was an embarrassment for the cast and crew, and most of the audience walked out. Sinbad barely got theatrical distribution and was subsequently dumped onto HBO, ending hopes for the sequel Restaino was hoping for.
  • Singin' in the Rain was a bumpy ride for Debbie Reynolds. Despite the fact that Reynolds and Gene Kelly's characters (eventually) became sweethearts on screen, in reality the two actors did not get along very well and frequently bumped heads (not in the least because she had not been his choice as she had to learn not just to do the dances for the film but to dance, period, in all of three months). In fact, Kelly, in his role as director, once mocked Reynolds' dancing to the point where, after shooting finished, Fred Astaire (who was visiting the set that day) found her huddled under a piano, sobbing. He helped her get her dancing closer to Kelly's draconian standards. Kelly also made Reynolds tap so much for the number 'Good Morning' without any break that her feet began to bleed and she needed to be carried to her dressing room. In the end, Kelly hated how Reynolds' tapping came through, so he dubbed over it (mind you, Reynolds was entirely new to tapping until Fred Astaire came along and helped her). She wasn't the only one to have problems; Kelly spent three days filming the title number while running a high fever, and Donald O'Connor was so exhausted after one of his big numbers that he needed four days of bed rest afterwards.
  • Sliver: Not as bad as some other iterations of this trope, but ...
    • The animosity between Sharon Stone and William Baldwin was so deep that at one point during a kissing scene she bit his tongue so badly he couldn't speak clearly for days afterward.
    • Stone didn't miss a step, by contrast, having an affair with the executive producer that ended his five-month-old marriage.
    • The ending was reshot after a) test audiences were turned off by Carly seemingly willing to cover for Zeke and b) the helicopter being used in that scene crashed into the volcano during filming, resulting in the pilot's license being suspended. All footage of that scene was destroyed, and the ending rewritten so that Jack rather than Zeke turns out to have been the killer.
  • The Snowman, based on Jo Nesbø's novel of the same name in his Harry Hole series, ran headlong into this so much that the director spoke openly about its production problems after the film's release:
    • The project was in Development Hell for several years, with Martin Scorsese attached to direct at one point before dropping out (though he stayed on as executive producer). Several directors, including Baltasar Kormákur and Morten Tyldum, either declined or dropped out.
    • Swedish director Tomas Alfredson, who was known for critically-acclaimed projects like Let the Right One In, joined the project in 2015 while it was still in development hell. According to Alfredson, the project was dormant for a year, then suddenly sprung to life in January 2016 when a critical investor was found, causing the crew to rush into production in London.
    • Michael Fassbender started shooting his scenes only two days after filming of Assassin's Creed (2016) was concluded.
    • The shoot finished after two-and-a-half months, but to the production team's horror, the film was still missing anywhere from 10-15% of the script, due to what Alfredson described as a "compressed shooting schedule". As a result, the production team had to go back a year later and either refilm or shoot missing parts of the script. A feature story from Den of Geek showed that an entirely different team of production leads (including additional screenwriters and a second assistant director, along with Platoon film editor Claire Simpson) helmed the reshoots.
    • In the final product, all of the scenes featuring Val Kilmer (notwithstanding his frail appearance) are badly-dubbed, with the re-recorded lines bearing absolutely no similarity to his own voice. It was widely speculated (and later confirmed by Kilmer in a Reddit AMA and various interviews) that he was suffering from throat cancer at this time, and his lines were unintelligible.
    • Universal's marketing campaign for the film, which depicted crude, child-like drawings of snowmen backed by ominous phrases, were widely mocked by social media users, with the "Mister Police" phrase and drawings quickly entering Memetic Mutation status. A Tweet where the studio invited audiences to "find out where it all went wrong" quickly went viral for the wrong reasons while the film debuted to a dismal $3.3 million opening weekend, with particular criticism singling out the film's choppy editing, bizarre cameo appearances and unintentional humor.
    • Speaking of unintentional humor, according to a member of the production staff who attended a live episode of How Did This Get Made? covering the film, no one on the production team seemed to catch the pronunciation of the main character's name. Which is how, instead of Harry Hole sounding like the Norwegian "Harry Hool," it sounded like the American... well, guess.
  • The 1962 biblical epic Sodom and Gomorrah didn't have an easy time getting to the screen.
    • Co-producer Joseph Levine described the initial script as "bad", and when the filmmakers asked for a $1 million budget, he suggested getting a better script and a $2 million budget, 60% of which he put up himself. In the end, the budget ballooned to over $5 million (although Levine's contribution remained 60% of $2 million), leading co-producer Goffredo Lombardo to accuse director Robert Aldrich of needless extravagance. Shooting took eleven months; the opening sequence, depicting the aftermath of an orgy as the revellers sleep off the previous night's drink, took three days to film instead of one, as originally planned.
    • Location shooting was done near Marrakech in Morocco under second unit director Sergio Leone. Aldrich and Leone were initially looking forward to working together, as Leone admired Aldrich's 1954 western Vera Cruz, while Aldrich was impressed by Leone's work on the action scenes in The Colossus Of Rhodes. However, doubts set in quickly with Leone when Aldrich explained that he envisioned the film as a biblical version of La Dolce Vita (to the point of casting Anouk Aimée, one of said film's female leads, as Queen Bera of Sodom), and he ran into problems with delayed shipments of costumes and weapons, while the Elamite cavalry extras supplied by the Moroccan government were often unavailable due to political unrest. Aldrich claimed that when he visited the second unit and an entire day went by without any film being shot, he fired Leone; Leone claimed he quit despite Aldrich asking him to stay.
    • There was also bad blood between the male and female leads, Stewart Granger and Pier Angeli, from their work together on The Light Touch ten years earlier, making their scenes together as Lot and his wife a struggle for all involved. Angeli said in her autobiography that at one point, she told Granger she was sleeping with all of her male co-stars except him.
    • Aldrich sought Dimitri Tiomkin to compose the score for the film despite the producers' request that he save money by hiring a non-Hollywood composer; Tiomkin demanded $62,500 for his services, which was then a record fee for a film composer. However, after watching the raw footage, he told Aldrich he didn't believe in the film, particularly the final scene of Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt; Aldrich recalled angrily asking Tiomkin if he wanted him to re-write The Bible before storming out with a profanity-laden tirade.note  Tiomkin's subsequent hospitalisation for a detached retina rendered their disagreement moot, and the score was instead composed by Miklós Rózsa, who was as unimpressed by the film as Tiomkin, calling it "tacky and inferior".note 
    • The end result was tepidly received by critics (Bosley Crowther described it as a feeble imitation of Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments) and audiences, not helped in the latter regard by getting slapped with an X certificate in the United Kingdom for its lurid (by 1962 standards) subject matter. The disappointing returns for both this film and fellow Goffredo Lomardo-produced epic The Leopard stalled the Italian film industry until the rise of the Spaghetti Western, but while The Leopard has been Vindicated by History as a timeless classic, Sodom and Gomorrah is largely forgotten.
  • The little-remembered 1990 sci-fi flick Solar Crisis owes its obscurity to this trope. Based on the novel of the same name by Takeshi Kawata, the film began shooting in November 1989 with an announced budget of $30 million. At first, production went fairly smoothly aside from some minor conflicts between scientific advisor Richard J. Terrile and the production crew. It wasn't until much later that things got out of control, with the budget eventually ballooning to well over $43 million. When Solar Crisis opened in Japan in 1990, it underperformed massively despite the presence of such recognizable names as Charlton Heston, Peter Boyle, and Jack Palance as well as production design by renowned concept artist Syd Mead and a score by Academy Award-winning composer Maurice Jarre. This prompted the producers to order extensive recuts and rewrites in the hopes of securing an American distributor, resulting in a choppy, disjointed end product. In the end, the film's production woes led to director Richard Sarafian taking his name off the credits and retiring from the film business.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) was a victim of extensive studio meddling, so much so that it took years to get it off the ground. Even then, the post-production phase wasn't any smoother either.
    • Earlier attempts to adapt the franchise not withstanding, Sonic was originally set up at Sony Pictures in 2014, just before the studio's devastating cyber attack resulted in a management shakeup, thus delaying its planned 2016 release. Before then, Sony had a turbulent time trying to negotiate the rightsnote . Former co-screenwriter Van Robichaux also got into a number of fights with Sony executives, most notably Amy Pascal (who left the studio not long afterward over the hack fallout), over the film's creative direction.
    • The film's producer and Sony executive Neal Moritz didn't get along with new studio head Tom Rothman, who didn't see Sonic as a top priority as he wanted to focus on rebooting older Sony franchises as well continue to milk the Spider-Man movie license for all its worth. Rothman sat on the film for more than a year before deciding to let Moritz start working on the film in late 2016. Tim Miller, who had just bailed from Deadpool 2, was hired by Moritz as executive producer, bringing frequent Sonic collaborator Blur Studio into the movie. Robichaux and partner Evan Susser were subsequently fired, replaced by Patrick Casey and longtime Blur associate Josh Miller. Things seemed to be moving forward until the failure of Passengers and the loss of financing partner Lone Star Funds resulted in Sony canceling the movie via turnaround before a release date could be announced. Moritz got tired of Rothman's antics and left Sony altogether for greener pastures at Paramount, who then bought the Sonic movie rights and finally moved the film out of pre-production. The budget cuts Paramount imposed upon the movie shortly thereafter resulted in filming being moved to Canada, instead of Atlanta as originally planned.
    • After filming wrapped up, Sega, whose contract stipulated they would co-finance the movie and own half of the film's copyright, had to oversee every aspect of production to ensure it stayed faithful to the franchise. In particular, they frequently sent notes to the visual effects team expressing dislike towards Sonic's realistic, muscular body in the movie, with their biggest criticism being towards Sonic's eyes. They also initially forbade the producers from referring to Dr. Eggman as his former North American name, Dr. Robotnik, though in the end the producers and SEGA worked out a compromise to allow the name to be used.
    • When the trailer was released, fans and critics complained over the original look of Sonic as being unfaithful to its source material and looking downright horrifying for children, the film's intended target audience. It turned out that the original design for Sonic in the movie was entirely ordered by Paramount because they wanted to replicate the aesthetics of their prior Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, openly knowing full well that the fans would hate it yet feeling the rest of the general public would be more open to it. The backlash ended up being so strong that director Jeff Fowler decided to go back and redesign Sonic altogether, which ended up adding additional months to the production schedule and forced the visual effects artists to work overtime. The release date was pushed back by several months so Paramount could properly compensate the visual effects artists. The redesign was rumored to have increased the movie's budget by $35 million, but in reality, it ended up costing only $5 million.
    • Naturally, crunch was involved. According to a VFX artist who worked on the redesign, a large load of work still in progress was thrown out after Paramount changed course, with artists being forced to work up to 10-12 hours during a 70-hour work week for six weeks. And to add salt to the wound, just after the redesign was sent to Paramount, MPC’s Vancouver branch, which was primarily responsible for re-animating Sonic, was shuttered abruptly by its owner as part of a corporate restructuring, resulting in all of the artists who were involved in the redesign finding themselves out of work just several months before release.
    • The film opened to surprisingly decent reception, making it one of the few aversions of Video Game Movies Suck, and outperformed box office expectations with a record $58 million opening, and made over $300 million worldwide while also beating out Pokémon Detective Pikachu for the highest domestic gross ever for a video game-based movie, finally giving Paramount a solid hit after massive flops such as Terminator: Dark Fate, Gemini Man, and The Rhythm Section and starting a new franchise for the studio.
  • Sorcerer (a remake of the similarly troubled The Wages of Fear) was supposed to be a "little 2.5 million in-between movie" by director William Friedkin, particularly as he had just gone through Hell with The Exorcist. Then he decided to go all the way - the budget was 10 times more than the original estimate - with four different locations, most prominently in Latin America, providing an antipode experience to what Coppola was facing in Southeast Asia with Apocalypse Now:
    • Actors refused the movie even when they liked the script due to having to travel to Ecuador and Dominican Republic, and one of the eventual stars, Roy Scheider, was tougher with Friedkin than when they did The French Connection. The ten month shoot was described as "Friedkin took his camera crew to the jungle and never quite returned", with the crew being stricken by food poisoning and malaria - the latter including the director himself - and departures due to injury or gangrene; difficult stunts and effects, with at a certain point an arsonist being sent from NYC to help the pyrotechnics; and Friedkin firing a cinematographer, five production managers, and the trucker crew.
    • The famous bridge scene was a complete disaster to make, as the first location turned unsuitable and required moving the production, building a new bridge (greatly straining the budget) and right when the bridge was finished the entire area was struck by a drought, requiring that the crew artificially create the storm and high water on the river. A helicopter hovered a few meters away from the bridge to create the illusion of strong wind. The entire sequence, lasting for about ten minutes, basically doubled the film budget and extended filming by two months. On the plus side, it still looks fantastic, especially in the restored Blu-ray edition.
    • Upon release, Sorcerer divided critics and flopped at the box office, as along with the Non-Indicative Title ("Sorcerer" is the name given to one of the trucks, not a wizard) and subtitles to alienate audiences, being released shortly after Star Wars (even replacing it at the Chinese Theater before demand made the space opera return) destroyed any chance of success. Still, Sorcerer has since been Vindicated by Cable and earned Cult Classic status.
  • Spartacus (1960) is another Epic Movie beset with myriad difficulties. Articles, essays and at least one book (Kirk Douglas's memoir, I Am Spartacus!) have been written about its tumultuous production.
    • Things started smoothly enough. Douglas purchased the rights to Howard Fast's novel for just $100, and cast most of the key roles without difficulty: Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Tony Curtis and Peter Ustinov all eagerly signed on. Jean Simmons was cast as Varinia after Douglas auditioned a young German actress, Sabina Bethman, who proved unsuitable. The production cleared its first hurdle when a rival project titled The Gladiators, directed by Martin Ritt and starring Yul Brynner, fell apart in pre-production.
    • Problems began when shooting started. The original director, Anthony Mann, shot some early scenes with Peter Ustinov but dropped out after a few days. Douglas offered David Lean, Joseph L. Mankiewicz and others the chance to direct; he even considered letting Olivier take over direction. All declined. Then Douglas remembered Stanley Kubrick, whom he'd worked with on Paths of Glory, and offered him the job. Ominously, Kubrick had just dropped out of One-Eyed Jacks, another film with a temperamental producer-star (Marlon Brando).
    • Though Douglas and Kubrick had collaborated amicably on Paths, Spartacus proved another story. Kubrick's notoriously prickly, perfectionist personality led to endless rows with Douglas, arguing over script content, editing, the staging of scenes and even Kubrick's wardrobe. When Douglas asked Kubrick his opinion of the "I Am Spartacus" scene, Kubrick (in front of cast and crew) called it "a stupid idea." Douglas promptly chewed the director out. When Kubrick removed close-ups of Spartacus's crucifixion during the finale, Douglas (by his own account) grew so angry he attacked Kubrick with a folding chair.
    • Douglas and Kubrick weren't the only ones feuding on set. Olivier and Laughton, longtime rivals, were barely on speaking terms; Olivier actually refused to film a key scene between them unless Laughton left the set. Laughton's prima donna behavior aggravated everyone, storming off the set and threatening to sue Douglas for trimming his part. Olivier was distracted by his dissolving marriage with Vivien Leigh and exasperated Douglas by insisting that he play Spartacus. And both Laughton and Peter Ustinov disliked Dalton Trumbo's script, rewriting scenes on set or else ad-libbing dialogue. Only Jean Simmons avoided the squabbling, partly because she missed six weeks of shooting after an emergency surgery.
    • After filming ran way too long and extremely over budget, Kubrick delivered a disastrous rough cut - a formless mess with little coherent story. Hoping to salvage the picture, Kubrick insisted on filming Spartacus's final battle with Crassus (at this point, the movie only showed its aftermath). Universal reluctantly relocated to Spain (having previously shot in Hollywood and Death Valley) for an expensive battle employing thousands of Spanish soldiers as extras. Along with other last-minute reshoots, this swelled the budget to a then-staggering $11,000,000.
    • Douglas hired blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo to write Spartacus, under his alias Sam Jackson. At some point during production, journalist Hedda Hopper discovered the identity of "Jackson" and demanded Douglas fire the screenwriter. In this case, Douglas stood his ground; he not only retained Trumbo but credited him in the finished film, hence breaking The Hollywood Blacklist. Douglas's decision was vindicated as Spartacus became a smash hit.
  • Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker (1979) wound up literally killing many of the people involved, including the director himself. How so?
    • Tarkovsky shot the film in Soviet-occupied Estonia with cinematographer Georgy Rerberg. Despite past collaborations, the pair's working relationship wasn't smooth. Tarkovsky continuously resisted Rerberg's pushes to rewrite the script. He also asked Rerberg to do a special effect that he had seen in an Ingmar Bergman film, going so far as to build a special studio for the task, only to erupt when Rerberg didn't nail the effect. Accounts vary as to whether Rerberg was fired, or just walked out of the production.
    • Tarkovsky's wife Larisa convinced him to cast her as the wife of the protagonist. However, she turned out to be so difficult on set that the crew derisively nicknamed her "the empress." Rerberg eventually persuaded Tarkovsky to recast the role with Alisa Freindlich, which angered Larisa and caused her to hold a grudge against Rerberg.
    • When the footage was sent back to Moscow for processing, the film laboratory — unfamiliar with the experimental Kodak 5427 film stock that Tarkovsky had flown in from America — botched the job, resulting in the footage having a darkened green tint. Tarkovsky managed to convince Mosfilm to let him completely reshoot the film from scratch, with the aim of releasing it in two parts.
    • Tarkovsky hired a new cinematographer named Leonid Kalashnikov for the reshoot, and moved to a new shooting location after the original had been damaged by an earthquake. Unsatisfied with Kalashnikov's performance, Tarkovsky replaced him with yet another cinematographer, Alexander Knyazhinsky, and completely reshot the film for a third time. This version became the final product, which reportedly bears little resemblance to what Tarkovsky shot with Rerberg.
    • The new location, an abandoned hydroelectric power station, sat near a chemical factory which heavily polluted the area; the "snow" in one scene is actually airborne pollutants from said factory, which caused female crewmembers to break out in allergic rashes. The cast and crew were in close contact with (and in some cases were literally knee-deep in) a miasma of toxic chemicals, and many of them — including Tarkovsky, Larisa, and actor Anatoly Solonitsyn — later contracted fatal illnesses as a result.
  • The 2004 parody remake of The Stepford Wives underwent massive reshoots, script rewrites that created gaping plot holes, John and Joan Cusack pulling out of the film (and Nicole Kidman, who played the main character, considering it after she saw the changes to the script), and fighting on set between director Frank Oz and his stars. It all built to an utterly incoherent final product that bombed at the box office and was savaged by critics.
  • Steve Jobs, a biopic of Steve Jobs written by Aaron Sorkin, was originally set to be made at Sony Pictures and directed by David Fincher. However, as hacked emails from the company revealed, Jobs found itself in contention with another Sony Pictures project, a remake of Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie, largely because Jolie wanted to get Fincher to direct her film instead, which led Jobs producer Scott Rudin to call her a diva (in far less polite terms). Eventually, Fincher passed on the project, at which point Danny Boyle was brought in to direct, with Michael Fassbender their first choice to play Jobs. Unfortunately, Sorkin strongly disagreed with the casting of Fassbender. Meanwhile, financing for the film fell apart, leading to a temper tantrum by Rudin that poisoned relations with Sony Pictures executive Amy Pascal. Ultimately, Sony Pictures lost the film and Universal picked it up, and released it in theaters in 2015. There are also reports of Jobs' widow, Laurene Jobs, attempting to sabotage the production by contacting potential cast and crew members and telling them not to do the film, most likely because it portrays Jobs in a very honest and open way, which includes negative traits like how he treated his co-workers.
  • Street Fighter's many behind the scenes problems were documented here:
    • Initially, writer-director Steven E. de Souza only wanted to feature seven fighters from the game (presumably Guile, Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken, M. Bison and a few others), arguing that having too many characters would make for a messy and disjointed story. The Capcom representatives initially agreed to this, but eventually began pressing him to include additional characters in order to help promote the brand. By the end, the script included nearly the entire cast of Super Street Fighter II, with only Fei Long being excluded. Having 15 fighters from the game not only unnecessarily divided the screentime, but also necessitated making odd changes to the characters in order to fit them into the story, such as Dhalsim becoming a Shadaloo scientist or E. Honda and Balrog being part of a news team with Chun-Li.
    • Due to the script having to be rewritten multiple times to accommodate the changes Capcom had dictated, the casting process was very rushed, with key roles like Ryu and Ken not being cast until just two weeks before filming was to begin. Additionally, Capcom pushed for Japanese actor Kenya Sawada to play Ryu, even though his English wasn't very good. de Souza wanted an actor with more comedic chops and a better grasp of the English language, so it was decided that the film would introduce a new character for Sawada to play, named Captain Sawada. This meant there was now yet another character who had to be written into the movie, and Sawada's poor English ultimately resulted in the character being dubbed. Things were so down to the wire that de Souza found Kylie Minogue, the actress who would play Cammy, while reading a magazine during his flight to Thailand to begin filming.
    • Well-known actor Raúl Juliá was hired to play M. Bison, the film's lead villain, but when he arrived in Thailand, he was visibly frail and emaciated. It turned out that Julia had recently undergone surgery to combat stomach cancer, and the crew had not yet been informed of his condition. It was decided that Julia needed time to regain weight, so the filming schedule was hastily rearranged to have the fight scenes (which didn't feature Bison) bumped forward.
    • The rescheduling angered Charlie Picerni, a veteran stunt coordinator who had previously worked on big films like Die Hard. He had taken the job on the condition that he be given enough time to properly plan everything, as capturing the high-flying martial arts moves of the game required extensive wirework and staging, as well as ample rehearsal time. With the schedule flipped, a lot of the fight scenes had to be improvised, sometimes moments before filming was about to begin. Additionally, many of the actors didn't have actual martial arts experience, which only exacerbated things.
    • At the time, Jean-Claude Van Damme was still a major star, and brought a massive ego to the set. He was also addicted to cocaine at the time, and was reeling from a very bitter divorce. Because of this, he was frequently late to the set, and sometimes didn't show up at all, meaning de Souza and the others would have to make stuff up on the spot to stall for time. Van Damme's thick Belgian accent also caused problems when it came to delivering his lines, a situation that was compounded by the star's refusal to actually rehearse his dialogue.
    • While the jungles of Thailand made for some beautiful exterior shots, the soundstage the movie had rented was rundown and full of holes, making it unsuitable for filming. A series of minor catastrophes befell the production, including the line producer suffering a heart attack and the local power station having a blowout. Many of the actors also lost weight due to being unfamiliar with the local cuisine, as well as the extremely humid temperature. Some of the young male actors had also let their salaries go to their heads, and had begun frequenting Thai massage parlors in order to receive sexual favors. By the end of the Thailand shoot, the movie was fifteen days behind schedule.
    • Though the movie was behind schedule, Capcom was adamant that the movie still be ready by its coveted December release date. The film had also struck a partnership with Hasbro, who needed the movie to be released on time so they could have the toys ready for Black Friday. The tight schedule led to things being very rushed, and the second unit team having to shoot entire scenes by themselves. Tensions also began to flare between de Souza and Picerni, as Picerni didn't want to incorporate the game's more outlandish combat elements, like the trademark Ki Manipulations. Things eventually got so heated that Picerni threatened to leave the film. By the time filming finished in Australia, 20 pages of the script still needed to be filmed. At Capcom's request, de Souza also had to reshoot some of Picerni's fight scenes in Vancouver to make them look more like the fights in the game, complete with the fireballs and other special moves.
    • According to Alan Noon, the chaos even affected the the video game adaptation, as developers from Incredible Technologies and a Capcom representative took a trip to the filmset to digitize the actors and ran into various issues; Raul Julia's deteriorating health meant that his stunt double (Darko Tuscan) had to fill in. Van Damme only did 4 of his contracted 8 hours of capture work. Ming-Na Wen put off her motion capture session until the last second, and Gregg Rainwater left the set before any of his motion capture could be done, preventing T. Hawk from being in the game. The capture sessions took much longer than anticipated, which left the developers little time to create the gameplay and contributed to its many issues.
    • During the editing process, the film received an R-rating, which de Souza believes came from a then-recent school shooting that had made people sensitive to violence in children's movies. This resulted in many of the fight scenes being heavily trimmed down and reedited, which sometimes messed up the flow and even caused continuity issues. Despite Capcom's insistence, many of the special moves also ended up being cut due to the level of violence or there simply not being enough time to create the necessary special effects.
    • Though Street Fighter was a modest success (grossing nearly $100,000,000 on a $35 million budget), it was not the big hit the studio was hoping for, and was absolutely savaged by critics. Stephen de Souza never directed another theatrical film, and the careers of many of the actors involved stalled out as well.
  • Streets of Fire suffered a fair share of behind-the-scenes issues:
    • Production went significantly overbudget and overschedule (a tent built to allow day-for-night shooting cost $1.2 million to build, and it took four weeks to shoot the sledgehammer fight between Cody and Raven). Walter Hill was not used to filming musical numbers, and had serious trouble shooting them within the time and budget given. Rough weather disrupted location shooting in Chicago. The negotiations for music rights held up production several times, most notably with Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Fire", which was used in the original ending sequence, but negotiations with The Boss dragged on for too long to secure the rights in time for opening day. Jim Steinman wrote "Tonight Is What It Means to be Young" as a replacement in two days, and the ending had to be reshot at the cost of a million dollars.
    • There were also issues related to the casting. Hill mandated that none of the cast be over 30 years old as part of the film's stylized universe. As a result, a good amount of the cast fell under child labor laws, which meant that shooting could only take place in daytime hours. Michael Paré, the film's lead, was inexperienced with large productions and often felt overwhelmed by the demands put on him. Paré and Rick Moranis didn't get along, as he didn't take well to Moranis heckling him throughout filming. Moranis himself didn't enjoy his time on the film, as he wasn't allowed to improvise his material as he preferred to do.
    • The film turned out to be a Box Office Bomb, making a measly $8 million out of a $14.5 million budget. The abysmal opening weekend numbers (likely due to pitting it against Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) caused producer Joel Silver to quip, "Tonight is what it means to be dead." Co-writer Larry Gross (whose career took a significant hit from this failure) was deeply upset by the film bombing, blaming Paré's performance as a key reason why it failed. Hill intended to make a trilogy of films starting with this one, but its failure resulted in a Stillborn Franchise. However, the film became a massive Cult Classic in Japan, where it inspired Bubblegum Crisis and Street Fighter, among others.
  • Striking Distance had to deal with star Bruce Willis' huge ego:
    • Namely, Willis would often rewrite scenes and have them directed the way he wanted them to be done, to the point where one crew member called him "Orson Willis". This is not the first time this has happened with Willis.
    • Since test audiences found the original cut confusing, they had to do loads of reshoots to make the movie more sexy and violent; Willis didn't want to do them, and even blamed the director for the original cut's poor quality. Overzealous executive Mark Canton, known for being behind various other troubled productions, wanted many scenes altered, and even shielded the movie's production problems from the public.
    • Finally, the title was changed at the last minute from Three Rivers due to the increase in action scenes. All of this resulted in a product that flopped at the box office, and is now an Old Shame to Willis.
  • The Stunt Man. Richard Rush suffered two heart attacks during the production. The film was completed in 1978 but it took two years to find a distributor. The studio had no idea how to market it because it didn't fit easily into one particular genre. Peter O'Toole would later famously quip that the film wasn't so much released as it escaped.
  • The infamous Super Mario Bros. (1993) film adaptation suffered from a nightmare mix of this and Executive Meddling, and started a trend of poorly received video game film adaptations that continues to this day.
    • Before the film had even reached production, the project went through several directors and script writers, as well as a number of potential stars. Unable to find a director willing to commit to the original idea of a more direct adaptation, the producers decided to take a chance on a pitch by husband-and-wife directing team Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel of Max Headroom fame, who envisioned the film as dark, gritty political satire. New scripts were written with this new direction in mind, and while it impressed the likes of Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper, and Fiona Shaw enough to sign on, the adult tone completely flew in the face of the conception of being a children's film and had nothing to do with the game series beyond its name. The producers proceeded to bring in new script writers, again, and ordered massive rewrites just before and during shooting.
    • The damage these rewrites did to the production cannot be understated. Jankel and Morton had done their own rewrites to bring the film around to their Darker and Edgier vision, their rationale being that they wanted to make a film parents could appreciate as well. The studio hired Ed Solomon, showed him some drafts, and gave him two weeks to pull something together, before shooting started, and he did. Unfortunately no one had bothered to tell the directors, who had storyboarded scenes from the script they thought they'd be shooting and were beginning the set-design process ... when someone walked in with Solomon's draft and told them this was what they'd be shooting. They went out into the lot and burned all the storyboards they had done, coming close to quitting right then and there.
    • Things truly turned disastrous once shooting began. Conflicts between Disney and the directors led to massive Executive Meddling, daily on-set rewrites occurred without any of the involved parties allowed to communicate with each other,note  and production went over-budget and far over-schedule (Dennis Hopper stated "I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for seventeen."). Morton and Jankel's Control Freak tendencies and poor communication caused severe friction between them and the film's stars.note  John Leguizamo declared that he and Bob Hoskins were having such a bad time that they would frequently get drunk to make it through the experience (which led to injuries to the both of them during shooting). Around a half-hour of scenes were cut from the final film to get it to an acceptable run-time. In the end, the film became a massive Box Office Bomb, making a mere $20 million out of a $48 million budget.
    • The frequency of re-writes got so bad that towards the end of production, Dennis Hopper snapped and went a long, profane rant on-set about how Morton and Jenkel were the most unprofessional directors he'd ever worked with. After reportedly ranting like this for hours, the couple were practically begging Hopper to finish shooting the scene and were willing to acquiesce to whatever he wanted. Hopper agreed to do the scene as written, saying later he just needed to get the tension out of his system.
    • The fallout from the film was massive. It scuttled an attempt by Disney, who distributed the film through Hollywood Pictures, to integrate Nintendo into their business model. It caused Nintendo to reject any further forays into live-action film adaptations of its franchises, it ruined the directorial careers of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, and played a large role in the downfall of producer Roland Joffe's career. It was also considered a massive Old Shame by Dennis Hopper and Bob Hoskins, the latter of whom had the following to say in an otherwise pretty congenial interview with The Guardian in 2011:
      What is the worst job you've done?
      Super Mario Brothers.
      What has been your biggest disappointment?
      Super Mario Brothers.
      If you could edit your past, what would you change?
      I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.
    • It is said that the film's turbulent history ultimately led to Nintendo granting their theme park license to Universal Studios instead of Disney twenty-two years later. According to rumors, Nintendo executives still knew about Disney's treatment of the project, and were adamant that Disney not get any slice of that pizza.
  • Supernova is a now-forgotten bomb thanks largely to this trope:
    • The script started off in 1990 as Dead Star, which the writer described as "DeadCalm in space". Over the next few years of Development Hell, it evolved to be more like Hellraiser in space, more of a sci-fi horror flick, without any of the originally envisioned scenes set on Earth.
    • After some reshufflings of stars and directors attached to the project, filming finally got underway in 1998 with James Spader in the lead and Walter Hill in the director's chair. MGM wanted it in the can before a possible SAG strike that summer, however, and Hill only had a few weeks to prepare, most of which he spent fixing script problems, unaware that the studio head had greenlighted the production precisely because he liked the version of the scriptnote  that Hill was now rewriting. (It may not have helped that Hill felt the script at that point was a little too like Alien, which he'd written and produced almost 20 years earlier).
    • Halfway through principal photography, the budget was cut after a deal with Digital Domain, which would have produced the special effects at low cost in exchange for a stake in not only the film but other MGM productions, fell through. Again, Hill had to rewrite the script around a number of scenes that now had to be scrapped.
    • Hill spent six months editing the film after it wrapped. His initial cut did not include even the process shots that the film still had the money for, as they had not yet been finished. Nevertheless, MGM insisted on previewing it for test audiences anyway. Hill warned the studio that it would not go over well without the effects and refused to attend the screening, which MGM took as him not being a team player. After the audience did, in fact, hate the movie, Hill quit.
    • MGM then hired Jack Sholder to salvage something from the footage Hill had shot, perhaps with some reshoots to tie his version together. His cut got rid of many character development scenes Hill had shot, adding some more humor and giving Spader's character a slightly bigger role. It went over a little better with test audiences. But that wasn't good enough for MGM's new executive team, who went back to Hill. He asked for about $5 million worth of reshoots. After the studio again said no, he was done with the project for good.
    • In August 1999, MGM hired Francis Ford Coppola to re-edit the film. He was able to restore a zero-gravity sex scene cut from previous versions by digitally pasting Spader and co-star Angela Bassett's faces onto two other actors. But MGM wasn't happy with his version, either, despite spending an additional million dollars, and put the film back on the shelf with the intention of selling it.
    • It couldn't, and thus MGM decided on a January 2000 theatrical release. Its version eliminated the villain's transformation into a demonic monster for the climactic battle, despite considerable expense on the makeup, since the studio wanted audiences to be able to see the actor, and lowered the MPAA rating from R to PG-13. Hill successfully petitioned the Directors' Guild to be credited as "Thomas Lee", which gave Supernova a place in film history as the first use of a directorial pseudonym other than the recently retired "Alan Smithee". Its sole place in film history. A film a decade in the making, costing by some accounts almost $90 million, has as of 2020 grossed barely $15 million.
  • Ben Affleck's stand-in John Wight wrote a devastating depiction of what production of Surviving Christmas was like in his book Dreams that Die: Misadventures in Hollywood. Filming started in Chicago, where the story takes place. The cast had to deal with a verbally abusive Director of Photography who was later replaced. Affleck's then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez would sometimes visit the set and once got into a spat with Christina Applegate. Filming also started without a completed script, requiring the cast to improvise. James Gandolfini got so fed up with this process that he locked himself in his trailer for a day and refused to come out until the script was changed. The studio agreed and production was suspended for re-writes, though this meant that a few exterior shots had to be done later in Los Angeles.

    T 
  • Jeremy Renner broke both his arms while making Tag, interfering tremendously with the film's violent slapstick. For much of the film, his arms are CGI replacements.
  • Midway through production on Tango and Cash, Andrei Konchalovsky was fired as director by producer Jon Peters who wanted to movie to be a spoof while Konchalovsky wanted it to be a buddy cop movie and Peter MacDonald took over. In addition, Barry Sonnenfeld was fired as cinematographer before production started, the budget went over by 20 million dollars and a third director took over editing. Through it all, Sylvester Stallone was often said to be the man who actually held everything together.
  • Before Tank Girl was released, MGM were insisting on numerous changes and holding even more test screenings. When the director refused, the studio took the movie away from her and had it directed and re-edited by the people involved in marketing. This plus the failure to film several scenes enraged the creators of the comic, who canceled it for a decade after the end result of the production tanked.
  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone legitimately had no idea how difficult Team America: World Police, an all-marionette action film, would be to make (judging by the source material) and clashed with the puppet-makers when they were told that even the puppetry that was meant to look bad on purpose took a considerable amount of puppeteering expertise and rehearsal that would not allow for the same kind of spontaneous script-changes that would come with making an episode of South Park. They also forfeited their salaries in favor of complete creative control when Paramount started coming down on them about censorship, making them more apathetic to their already disillusioned vision. The result was Parker and Stone swearing off feature films for the rest of their lives.
  • The little-seen and less-remembered 1988 film The Telephone owes its obscurity to this trope.
    • It was written and produced by veteran screenwriter Terry Southern and ... Harry Nilsson. Yup, the singer. By the mid-80s his career had slowed down, partially because of the effect of his smoking and drinking on his voice and partly because he was depressed by the deaths of longtime friends Cass Elliott, Keith Moon and John Lennon. He told people he was retired from music and began looking at a career in TV or film, writing songs for Robert Altman's Popeye that were in some cases better than the film deserved. So he formed Hawkeye Productions with Southern.
    • Of several projects they got behind, only The Telephone would actually be produced. It had been written with Popeye star Robin Williams in mind for the lead role of an unemployed, unhinged actor who sets the plot in motion with a series of prank calls. After he turned it down, Whoopi Goldberg signed on, and it was greenlighted.
    • Nilsson and Southern got another aging '60s survivor and friend, Rip Torn, to make his directorial debut. However, he had to deal with Goldberg during her coke phase, and she constantly ignored the script and improvised (supposedly at the behest of New World Pictures, which was financing the film). It got to the point where he was begging and pleading with her to do at least one take of each of her scenes as written. She was also able to use her clout to force the replacement of the cinematographer, John Alonzo, Torn's friend and a veteran who had shot Chinatown and Scarface (1983), with her then-husband David Claessen.
    • After production ended early in 1987, the film was set for a summer release. But then Whoopi sued to try and block the film's release, arguing that its low quality would hurt her career. She lost, but by then it was almost Christmas.
    • Nilsson, Southern and Torn put a cut of those takes Goldberg had done according to the script together and took it to Sundance, where it attracted some interest. However, New World sabotaged them by putting the film out in a very limited Dump Months release around that same time—using the takes Goldberg had improvised instead.
    • The film's failure left many casualties, some literal. Hawkeye Productions had gone bankrupt by 1990. Just afterwards Nilsson discovered his assistant had embezzled all but $300 of the remaining money from his music royalties. With neither a film nor music career left, Nilsson made only one more public appearance and died of his second heart attack in a year in 1994. Southern, who had been in shakier financial circumstances before Hawkeye, also went into both a literal and figurative death spiral. He was never able to get another screenplay produced, and survived mainly through journalism and teaching jobs. In 1995, on the way to one of them, suffering from stomach cancer, he collapsed, dying four days later. Torn never directed another film, and Goldberg and Claessen got divorced afterwards, as well.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) went reasonably smoothly for the most part, but its third act seemed to be trying to make up for that.
    • First, lead actress Marilyn Burns proved completely unable to convincingly keep ahead of Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface while he was chasing her through the woods, forcing Hansen to run much slower than he actually could, and even resorting in one shot to pointlessly cutting up tree branches to let Burns widen the gap between them. There was also an incident where Hansen slipped on the wet grass and lost his grip on the still-running chainsaw, which flew up in the air and then came down point-first just inches from his head.
    • For the scene where Sally's finger is cut for the Grandfather to suck on, the device to spurt fake blood wouldn't work. Thus, what you're watching in that scene is Marilyn Burns actually getting her finger sliced open. Though they thankfully didn't go as far as to make the guy playing Grandfather suck on her real bleeding finger, and there's a quite noticeable edit before he starts sucking.
    • And then came the worst part of all with the climactic dinner scene. All the food on the table quickly rotted under the filming lights, and the room's poor ventilation made the stink even worse, raising it to genuinely health-threatening levels. Several of the actors suffered genuine Sanity Slippage and took Tobe Hooper's direction as meaning they really were their characters, not exactly the result you want when most of them were playing cannibalistic murderers. Edwin Neal, who played the Hitchhiker, had just come home from the Vietnam War and described filming this scene as worse than anything the Viet Cong put him through. After it was all over, the rest of the crew were all furious at Hooper and he's said it took years for any of them to cool off.
  • The 13th Warrior
    • It was reshot at least twice before test screenings. The studio kept leaning on producer Michael Crichton and director John McTiernan to change the main character from the Muslimnote  he was in Crichton's source novel The Eaters of the Deadnote . Resisting this change was about the only aspect of the film the two agreed on.
    • Crichton took over as director for the latter reshoots and recuts, two years after principal photography, by which time McTiernan, who had given up on his initial hope of restoring his reputation after Last Action Hero, was no longer involved nor wishing to be. At the last minute the studio decided to throw in some material during the reshoots that would be gory and bloody enough to get an R rating. McTiernan was outraged, because he had been told the film was intended to be PG-13 and had he known they were aiming for an R, he would have shot everything differently. At the same time the studio asked for a trailer that was Lighter and Softer, since it had felt the original one to be "too scary". Despite the distance he now had from the production, critics nevertheless savaged McTiernan for the result as he was the credited director, pretty much ending his career.
    • Two scores were written. Countless Executive Meddlings halted production a few times, forcing the crew and actors to start from scratch. Then there was another reshooting after unsatisfying results from test screenings. There was apparently poor teamwork between crew and actors (Omar Sharif had a lot of harsh words about John McTiernan's skills as director) and the open conflict between execs, McTiernan and Michael Crichton over the screenplay. A horse was killed during the production, slowing it even further, and Danish actor Dennis Storhøi nearly drowned. It's a wonder the film didn't end up in Development Hell.
    • The studio added one last insult to the injury when it released the film at the end of August with almost no advertising.
    • Sharif was so revulsed by the whole thing that he retired from acting until he was persuaded to return four years later.
    • The film's final cost was agreed to have been at least $100 million ... some sources put it at as much as $160 million. As of 2020 its worldwide grosses have been put at $61 million, making it not only the most expensive box-office bomb of 1999 but, by some measures, the biggest money-losing film evernote 
  • Leni Riefenstahl is best-remembered for her Nazi propaganda epics Triumph of the Will and Olympia. However, her longtime passion project was an adaptation of Eugen d'Albert's opera Tiefland. The saga of the film's torturous production, rescue and release spans an astonishing twenty years, to which the actual film (rarely listed among Riefenstahl's masterworks) seems almost a footnote.
    • Riefenstahl first mooted the project in 1934, planning to shoot in Spain, but the film ran afoul of budget issues, equipment snafus (apparently, cameras were shipped to Spain without any film) and Riefenstahl came down with a serious illness. Riefenstahl was forced to scrap the project, allowing Adolf Hitler to commission her for propaganda work.
    • By the time Riefenstahl returned to Tiefland in 1940, she'd lost much of her original ardor for the project, mostly wanting to make a movie without political overtones after the hostile international reception towards her documentaries. Which didn't make filming such a large epic in the midst of World War II any less problematic. Riefenstahl shot scenes in Spain and Italy, but logistical difficulties and the ongoing conflict forced her to relocate to Germany. Riefenstahl's art director constructed an entire village near Mittelberg, Germany, which she tore down after finding it didn't meet her specifications, wasting several months and millions of marks. In Germany, poor weather and problems retaining cast and crew repeatedly delayed filming, forcing Riefenstahl to call in favors from the Nazi government to keep the production afloat.
    • Unfortunately, Riefenstahl's ongoing rivalry with Joseph Goebbels complicated matters. Goebbels felt Tiefland a waste of time and wanted money and resources diverted to more prestigious projects like Kolberg and Uncle Kruger. Apparently out of spite, Goebbels ordered Riefenstahl's sets destroyed without informing her, and denied access to Berlin studios in favor of other productions. Riefenstahl went over Goebbels' head, asking Hitler's secretary Martin Bormann for assistance in procuring funds, but the Propaganda Minister continued meddling in the production as long as possible. This governmental interference helped Tiefland become the second most expensive German film up to that point.
    • Tiefland generated a controversy that lasted decades after the war. Riefenstahl employed dozens of Roma extras for the movie. Unfortunately, these extras had been interned by the German government, and there are accusations Riefenstahl procured them from concentration camps with help from the SS. It didn't help that most of these Roma were later sent to Auschwitz. As late as 2002, Riefenstahl was still being sued for complicity and Holocaust denial, charges for which she was legally cleared but further damaged her already checkered reputation.
    • The movie's final days were especially chaotic. Allied bombers destroyed Bamberg Studios, where the film's interior scenes were being filmed. Riefenstahl was forced to decamp to Prague, and later Kitzbuhel, Austria to finish production, narrowly avoiding Allied troops which by then were entering Germany and Austria. Riefenstahl wrapped editing Tiefland just weeks before Germany's surrender. But her difficulties were hardly over.
    • Riefenstahl was arrested, first by American and later French troops. The French Army confiscated the ''Tiefland'' negative. Riefenstahl was tried and acquitted of Nazi collaboration, but it took her years to locate the film footage. Even then four reels of footage remained missing and were never recovered. And Riefenstahl's Nazi connections made studios reluctant to release it. She finally reedited and released Tiefland in 1954, but its distribution was suppressed in several countries and the movie received lukewarm reviews. Riefenstahl herself disowned the film and pulled it from release after it recouped its budget. Its failure ended Riefenstahl's directorial career, though she experienced a Career Resurrection as a photographer in the '60s and '70s.
  • Nazi Germany produced another troubled wartime epic, the infamous Titanic (1943). Say what you will about James Cameron's film, but at least his jerkassery stopped well short of actual murder.
    • The film, commissioned by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, was intended as a wartime propaganda film, depicting the sinking of the Titanic as the result of a plot by British capitalists Gone Horribly Wrong, with a heroic German officer saving the day and rescuing many people from the sinking ship. It was filmed in the occupied Polish port of Gdynia on board the SS Cap Arcona, which was later used as a prison ship before being sunk a few days before Germany's surrender.
    • By this point, Germany was instituting mandatory blackouts in response to Allied bombing. However, Goebbels bent the rules for writer/director Herbert Selpin so he could shoot the night scenes at, well, night. This had the unfortunate side effect (or fortunate, from the Allied point of view) of making the shooting location a convenient target for enemy bombers.
    • Merely one week into the shoot, Selpin loudly criticized the Kriegsmarine officers who served as marine consultants for the film over their propensity for molesting the female cast members. Co-writer Walter Zerlett-Olfenius reported Selpin to the Gestapo, who arrested him and brought him to be questioned by Goebbels personally, who had hand-picked Selpin for the project and was furious about his comments. Selpin stood by his criticisms of the officers' behavior, and 24 hours later, two guards (it was speculated) hanged him in his cell from the bars of a ceiling window, using his trouser suspenders as a noose, staging it to look like a suicide. For the records, Goebbels had the death scene secretly photographed and filed away. He then sent a terse letter to Selpin's wife notifying her of her husband's "suicide". When asked about the director's "suicide," Goebbels commented Selpin had "drawn the same conclusions that would probably have been drawn by the State."
    • Despite Goebbels' efforts to conceal the truth, everyone quickly figured out the truth that Selpin had actually been assassinated on his orders. Selpin's murder rendered Zerlett-Olfenius a pariah in the German film community, and most of the cast and crew of Titanic almost revolted over what happened. Goebbels' response was to tell them that anybody who continued to shun Zerlett-Olfenius would have to answer to him personally, and presumably meet the same fate as Selpin. The film was completed by an uncredited Werner Klingler, having gone badly over-budget.
    • The film was set to premiere in Berlin in early 1943, but the theater that had the finished print was bombed by the RAF in an airstrike the night before. While it was ultimately released in the occupied countries, Goebbels blocked it from release in Germany proper, as by that point Germany was undergoing nightly bombing raids and he felt it was too soon to release an epic about death and destruction. It was rediscovered in 1949 and, like most Nazi propaganda films, quickly banned in most Western countries (except West Germany itself, oddly enough, where it could occasionally be found on television), while in the Eastern Bloc a version dubbed into Russian was screened as a "trophy film". It wouldn't receive an uncensored releasenote  until 2005.
    • As for Zerlett-Olfenius, he was tried after the war for complicity in Selpin's murder. During the trial, investigators found photographs of Selpin's death scene (staged by Goebbels) among Zerlett-Olfenius's possessions. Zerlett-Olfenius spent four years in prison, lost most of his personal assets, and was prevented from working in the German film industry again.
  • Tombstone: From the start, Kevin Costner was placing pressure on studios not to finance the picture (Tombstone and Wyatt Earp were two halves of the same project that more or less split off due to Creative Differences between Costner and writer Kevin Jarre), with Buena Vista (Disney) stepping up at the last minute. Disney refused to have anything to do with the original choice for Holliday, Willem Dafoe, due to the controversy still surrounding The Last Temptation of Christ. Jarre was originally set to direct, but was fired due to his refusal to cut the screenplay (both Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer have stated the original shooting script was about 30 pages too long). Disney hired George P. Cosmatos to finish the film; Kurt Russell (who had significant pull behind the scenes with both cast and crew) has in recent years made the claim that he directed the picture with Cosmatos as a front (he was the same guy who did Rambo: First Blood Part II, so he was at the very least agreeable to actor input), although Michael Biehn has denied Russell's claims, and at least some of Jarre's directorial work is still in the film. As a cherry on top of all of this, the actor playing Old Man Clanton, Robert Mitchum, was injured in a horse-riding accident, which led to the part being cut entirely (although Mitchum was able to do the beginning and ending narrations) and much of his dialogue given to Curly Bill.
  • Tommy Boy: The plan was for Chris Farley and David Spade to quickly complete the film during their summer break from Saturday Night Live. However, because the film had several script issues, production ran past the deadline and the two were forced to commute back and forth to do both the show and the film. Thanks to the stress and exhaustion from having to commute back and forth from Toronto to New York, the two began to bicker more so than usual.
  • Tootsie was frequently referred to this way during shooting. Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollack feuded so intensely that Hoffman finally resolved it by suggesting Pollack play his agent and get that tension into the actual film. The script was still being rewritten as filming began (so many writers appeared before the Writers' Guild panel seeking to be credited that the arbitration over it delayed the release), and it took Elaine May to come up with Bill Murray's character as a much-needed foil for Michael. In the end, it actually worked out well, becoming one of the best comedies of the 1980s.
  • The Mexico City shoot on Total Recall (1990) was considered a nightmare for most of the cast and crew. Many cast and crew members got sick at one point from contaminated water (the only major members of the production who didn't get sick were Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had remembered being sick during the Mexico shoot of Predator and took special precautions, and producer Ronald Shusett, who would give himself B12 shots each day to avoid illness) and the air was so polluted that Schwarzenegger recalled having trouble breathing on most days. The initial marketing was also underwhelming, to the point Arnold had to convince the studio to revamp the ads just three weeks before release.
  • Ishtar veteran Warren Beatty was at the centre of another troubled production and financial disaster in 2001's Town & Country.
    • The script was first brought to Beatty's attention in 1998, with a planned budget of $19 million. However, Beatty commanded a salary of $8 million and demanded numerous script changes. Over $40 million had been spent on actor and writer salaries even before the cameras began rolling.
    • British director Peter Chelsom's previous credits consisted mostly of low budget, whimsical comedies, meaning he was ill-suited to direct the big-budget, all-star film and deal with the resulting egos. He and Beatty clashed frequently over various details in the script and the visuals.
    • Filming began in 1998 but had to be shut down after five months so that cast members Diane Keaton, Garry Shandling, and Jenna Elfman could honour prior commitments. The shoot did not resume until April 2000 (requiring further increases in the actors' salaries), with the final act of the film still being constantly re-written. A sequence in Sun Valley in which artificial snow was created to make up for the absence of real snow on the ski slopes was re-shot after over a foot of natural snow fell on the resort.
    • The final production budget for the film was estimated at around $90 million; it was clear to all involved that it had no hope of breaking even, and just $15-20 million was spent on marketing and distribution for the film's release in April 2001, leading to a paltry domestic box office take of $6.7 million and a worldwide take of $10.4 million. It would be a decade and a half before Warren Beatty made another film, the similarly money-losing Rules Don't Apply.
  • The Train saw Arthur Penn replaced as director a week into production, cold weather in France and going over budget and over schedule. John Frankenheimer says on the DVD Commentary that several of the French cast members were killed off because the overlong production interfered with previous work commitments.
  • The infamously So Bad, It's Good film Troll 2 was, unsurprisingly, plagued with many problems, most of which can be placed at the feet of director Claudio Fragasso:
    • The film was originally titled Goblins, but distributors in the US felt the film would not succeed on its own as a stand-alone project, so they insisted it be named Troll 2, despite not having anything at all to do with the first movie. The film was more or less a way for Fragasso's wife, who was irritated with her friends becoming vegetarians, to give them a thinly-veiled Take That!.
    • Fragasso brought over his all-Italian crew to the United States to begin filming at Morgan, Utah. However, only the costume designer spoke any English. This communication barrier led to much confusion between the English-speaking cast and the Italian-speaking crew. Compounding this problem was the fact that Fragasso refused any kind of assistance from any English speaking crew or cast. The cast would later state that they had no idea what was going on.
    • To compound the cast's confusion, none of them were aware they were getting lead roles, and they had no experience as actors. The casting call from nearby towns was specifically stated to be for extras alone, only for Fragasso to declare that the people who had showed up were going to be playing lead roles. One of the most ridiculous examples of this was George Hardy, a local dentist with no prior acting experience who showed up on the set one day for fun, only to be given one of the largest speaking roles. Similarly, Don Packard, who played the store owner, later stated that he was on a day trip after being released from treatment at a local mental hospital, and had—in his wordssmoked an enormous amount of marijuana prior to showing up on set. His disturbed demeanor is evidently not acting.
    • Fragasso wrote the script himself, but only had a tentative grasp of the English language. This created a script that has been repeatedly described as "written in pidgin English". This was further compounded by the fact that Fragasso insisted that the script be read verbatim. He later claimed that he "knew how Americans spoke better than they did" and would repeatedly deny the cast members attempts to make what they said more grammatically correct and sensible. On top of that, they were only given parts of their script on a scene-by-scene basis, so rarely did they get any kind of context as to what was supposed to be happening.
  • Troy had a tamer production than most examples but still troubled. Filming happened in Morocco at first but had to be moved due to the impending Iraq war. Filming then happened in Mexico, where two hurricanes tore through the sets. Many stagehands also fainted in the intense heat. Peter O'Toole later derisively referred to director Wolfgang Petersen as "that kraut" and said he had no idea what he was doing, while Brad Pitt grew very frustrated at constantly being placed in front-and-center glamour shots, and in 2019 revealed that this combined with the film's tepid reception caused him to totally change career tracks from the blockbusters he'd previously been known for.
  • Production for The Turning, a modern adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, began in 2016 as a passion project for Steven Spielberg and was intended as one of the first releases of Spielberg's new Amblin Partners studio. However, five weeks before shooting, Spielberg abruptly withdrew his involvement after writer Scott Z. Burns turned in a page-one rewrite that radically altered the project from what Amblin had envisioned. Amblin fired Burns and director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, even though a third of the movie's $17 million budget had already been spent. Universal kept the film on The Shelf of Movie Languishment until they dumped it into theaters in January 2020, to poor critical reception.
  • Twister was almost as disaster-plagued offscreen as it was onscreen.
    • The original concept for the film was pitched in 1992, and Michael Crichton and his wife Anne-Marie Martin were reportedly paid $2.5 million to turn it into a feature-length screenplay. However, Joss Whedon was hired as a script doctor in early 1995, and had to leave the production twice - once after developing bronchitis (resulting in Steven Zaillian being brought in while he recuperated) and once shortly after production began when he married Kai Cole (this time, Jeff Nathanson took over as script doctor). Neither Whedon nor his temporary replacements were credited in the finished film.
    • Much of the film shoot took place in sunny weather, requiring Industrial Light and Magic to more than double the number of "digital sky replacement" shots needed to make the weather look suitably dark and stormy. Even when they did get dark skies, the weather changed so quickly and so often that director Jan de Bont had to schedule at least three scenes a day. Worse, however, was the solution to the inappropriate weather conditions for shots of Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in the cab of their truck; bright electronic lamps were set up behind the cameras that burned their retinas, leaving them unable to see at the end of a day's shooting. Eventually, Plexiglas filters were put in front of the lights, while Paxton and Hunt needed eyedrops and special glasses for several days to recover.
    • Hunt's problems didn't end with the bright lights. She and Paxton had to be injected against hepatitis after hiding in a particularly unsanitary ditch, and while filming the same sequence, Hunt stood up too quickly and hit her head on a low wooden bridge. In the scene where the truck drives through a cornfield, she inadvertently let go of the door of the truck and was hit in the side of the head by it (suffering a concussion according to some sources); the door was wedged open for further attempts at the sequence. Jan de Bont later said that much as he loved working with Hunt, he described her as "clumsy", which Hunt didn't appreciate.
    • The crew also had problems working with de Bont, whom they saw as "out of control". The first director of photography, Don Burgess, blasted de Bont for not knowing "what he wanted till he saw it", resulting in numerous cases of shooting a scene from one direction, then insisting on shooting from the other direction immediately and losing patience with the time the crew members needed to move cameras and lights and sound equipment around to the far side of the set. When de Bont knocked over an assistant cameraman for missing his cue, Burgess and his crew walked out en masse, to the shock of the cast. Jack N. Green and his camera crew were hired to replace Burgess, but things didn't go smoothly for them either; a hydraulic house set that was rigged to collapse on cue was accidentally set off too early while Green was inside, and he was hit on the head and back by the falling ceiling and had to be rushed to hospital, forcing de Bont to take over as director of photography for the final two days of filming.
    • Filming was planned to finish in time for Hunt to resume her commitments to Mad About You, but inevitably it ran over schedule, and Hunt's Mad About You co-star and series creator Paul Reiser agreed to push back production on the 1995-96 series to accommodate the delays. Because of de Bont's insistence on using multiple cameras, 1.3 million feet of film were printed (more than three times the amount usually printed for a film of its length), propelling the final budget to $92 million. It became a box-office smash despite tepid critical reception, but it had a difficult time getting there.
    • Troubles even extended to the soundtrack. The filmmakers asked Van Halen to provide two songs for the soundtrack, but it proved to be terrible timing; both Eddie and Alex Van Halen were having surgery to deal with hip and back problems, Sammy Hagar and his wife were about to have their first child, and they were taking a year off anyway to cool off inner band tensions that had been growing for some time. Their manager talked them into it so they could be set financially for the rest of the year though, and the band agreed, explicitly against Hagar's wishes. Sammy ended up flying back and forth multiple times from his home in Maui to work or re-work the song "Humans Being", eventually getting fed up and writing the final lyrics on the dashboard of his car in ten minutes so he could get back to his wife. Producer Bruce Fairbarn ended up getting caught between the arguments, and eventually had to keep Sammy and Eddie away from each other in the studio. Further manipulations from Eddie would continue behind the scenes concerning their upcoming Greatest Hits package, and after giving Sammy an ultimatum, he eventually left the band in acrimony in 1996.
  • The Two Jakes:
    • Filming was due to start in 1985. Kelly McGillis, Cathy Moriarty, Dennis Hopper, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel had all been cast, ready to shoot in April, with Robert Evans playing the other Jake. The following month, the sets had been built and filming was ready to begin, but Robert Towne's lack of confidence in Evans' acting ability exploded into a final argument when Evans objected to having to get a 1940s-style haircut (mostly due to recent plastic surgery scars that would be visible). Filming was scheduled to begin four days after the confrontation, with a witness telling Vanity Fair: "In the morning, nothing happened. They said the weather was wrong. But you could tell the plug had been pulled".
    • Grievances were filed by 120 crew members who had not been paid (over $500,000 from Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America members, and $1.5 million from suppliers of sets, props, costumes, and sound stages), and the project was officially postponed indefinitely.
    • Because the film hadn't been budgeted normally due to the initial plan, Towne approached Dino De Laurentiis to help finance. McGillis remained in the cast, with Harrison Ford set to take over as Jake Gittes and Roy Scheider attached to play the other Jake, with a tentative start date of mid-1986. At one point, John Huston was rumored to be brought in as director, although Towne denied the claim. However the constant shuffling worried Paramount, who withdrew from the distribution deal out of nervousness, eventually taking a $4 million loss on the film. The project was discontinued until the late 1980s when Jack Nicholson took on the responsibility of directing and also rewrote parts of Towne's script (which "was really only about 80% ready").
    • Filming began in Los Angeles on April 18, 1989, lasting through July 26. Numerous scenes had to be reshot after initial filming had wrapped, causing the release date to get pushed from Christmas 1989 to its August 1990 date, however Nicholson insisted that it came in "perfectly on schedule and perfectly on budget" (the final cost was about $25 million). The film ended up in a personal fallout between Nicholson, Towne, and Evans, with Towne saying in 1998 that he hadn't spoken to Nicholson in over ten years, and Evans checking into a hospital for mental health and substance abuse issues.

    U 
  • Underwater: The film's biggest issue came from its star, Kristen Stewart. The movie has a ton of underwater scenes, and Stewart took the gig under the mistaken impression that those scenes would be done with CGI like in Aquaman (2018), when they were actually done with mostly practical effects. Why was that a problem? Because Kristen Stewart is absolutely terrified of being underwater. Shooting the movie was a nightmare for her, and it compounded other production snafus like sets coming apart and suits malfunctioning, culminating in Stewart injuring her arm while filming one scene. Once the film was finally completed in 2017, it sat on The Shelf of Movie Languishment for three years, seeing release in 2020.
  • Under The Stadium Lights is a 2021 adaption of the memoir Brother's Keeper, covering the Abilene High School football team during their miracle run in the 2009 Division II State Championship. All was good until the film premiered in the city of Abilene in 2019, to a vicious local reception from a crowd that felt the film reflected terribly on their city as a Wretched Hive, and that it focused too much on head coach Chad Mitchell rather than the players. The film was sent straight back to the editing room where it spent over a year trying to improve its reputation; the big consequence of this is that whereas the original cut featured an Ensemble Cast that presented things in chronological order, the release version instead chose to set the film In Medias Res and focus on each character's story one-by-one in flashbacks by using scenes that were clearly not sequential in the original cut, while reducing Mitchell's role. The resulting film was heavily criticised for its jumpy pacing and lack of coherent character arcs, both of which are traits made worse by the panic re-editing the film went through.
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    V 
  • Vampirella: The 1996 made-for-television movie suffered greatly from this, according to director Jim Wynorski.
    • The origins of the film go back to the mid-1970s, with Hammer Horror making an ill-fated attempt to adapt the comic book character that ended up being the last nail in the coffin for Hammer's film business. The film rights later fell into the hands of prolific B-film producer Roger Corman and director Jim Wynorski, who sat on the rights until the mid-1990s. With the rights on the verge of expiring, a made-for-television film was quickly rushed into production for Showtime. But troubles immediately began with Executive Meddling from the production companies; Wynorski wanted Julie Strain as Vampirella, since her likeness was being used for the character in the comics, but was overruled and Talisa Soto was hired against Wynorski's wishes.
    • Wynorski dealt with a very troublesome shoot as discussed in a pair of interviews. Among the troubles were on-set theft, union problems and accidents. As shooting was taking place in Las Vegas, he also had to deal with the notoriously hot Vegas summer while cast and crew members spent their nights gambling and drinking in the city's casinos, frequently showing up to the set hungover and exhausted. The final product debued on Showtime to negative reception, with Soto's performance especially being panned. Wynorski later stated that out of the dozens of B-films he helmed, this was the only one he regretted making.

    W 
  • The Wages of Fear was beset by a series of misfortunes as life imitated art. Where to begin?...
    • It all started well. The director, Henri-Georges Clouzot, managed to secure the rights for the novel's adaptation and then-rising star, Yves Montand, in the leading role. Next, Clouzot started scouting appropriate locations in Spain. Just when he found one, after a few months of searching, Montand refused to go there (his then-wife, Simone Signoret, was strongly opposed to Francisco Franco's politics). The crew managed to make an exhaustive photodocumentation and the small town was meticulously rebuilt in southern France. Then, Jean Gabin suddenly pulled out (he thought that his fans would dislike his part as a 'coward'); Charles Vanel was hired at the last minute.
    • The shooting started in late August of 1951. And the troubles came en masse. The September of 1951 was particularly capricious: many days were lost due to rain, and sometimes a sunny day could turn into a heavily rainy one within a few minutes, endangering the equipment and electrics. The two trucks, playing a central role in the movie, were initially quite solid and dependable, but after some raining they started bogging down. The rains made the ground wet, causing camera cranes to suddenly collapse and damage the sets several times. Just when the crew managed to get some control over everything, lead actress Vera Clouzot was admitted into the ICU (she suffered from major heart problems which, unfortunately, claimed her life in 1960). Just as she was released from the hospital, Henri-Georges Clouzot broke his ankle. Adding Clouzot's trademark perfectionist attitude and multiple retakes, it is no surprise that the production already was 50 million francs over budget and way over schedule when they had to quit shooting as the autumn rains set in. During the next few months, Clouzot managed to secure some funds and the shooting continued in the summer of 1952. This time, the only major accident occurred when both Montand and Vanel ended up in the hospital due to conjunctivitis after a few days of filming in the pool of crude oil.
    • It all paid off when the movie, finally released after months of editing in the spring of 1953, turned out to be a major hit both critically and commercially (it was the first picture to win both the Golden Bear in Berlin and the Palme d'Or in Cannes). It was initially less enthusiastically received in the US due to the movie being re-cut (some key plot points were eliminated because they were considered 'anti-American'), but the complete version was one of the most critically acclaimed pictures of the 1950s.
  • Wagons East!, the last film John Candy starred in, would have been an example of this without John Candy dying during its production. Some of the details were covered in Robert Crane's book Sex, Celebrity and My Father's Unsolved Murder:
    • Candy was contractually mandated to make the film with Carolco Pictures. Despite his misgivings about the material, and due to the fact that he owed more than $1 million due to his stake as a minority owner with the Toronto Argonauts football team, he agreed to make the film in Durango, Mexico.
    • Crane, who was Candy's assistant at the time, flew to Durango for location scouting and discovered that the conditions for the cast and crew were substandard. After securing the "best" hotel in the town and dealing with extreme heat, Crane began to notice that the project was quickly spiraling out of control, not only due to underlying factors like the script being "unfunny", but also a lack of chemistry between Candy and co-stars Richard Lewis and Ellen Greene. Not helping matters was that Candy was rapidly gaining weight during his time on-set because of homesickness and the fact that he had quit smoking just before filming started. Adding to that was his discovery that the Argonauts had been sold to another owner behind his back — after he'd agreed to shoot on-location videos promoting their upcoming season ticket sale. In response, Candy went on a two-day tequila bender.
    • With eleven days left to go in production, Candy had a sudden heart attack in his hotel room and passed away. While most of his key scenes were completed, the filmmakers were forced to use a combination of Fake Shemp/re-edited clips to fill out the rest of the scenes in which his character was supposed to appear in (notably, a scene near the end where Candy's character, Harlow, pours out some whiskey in response to a fallen settler re-used footage from a similar scene earlier in the film).
    • The finished film was released to scathing reviews and became a Box Office Bomb, only earning $4.4 million at the box office. It was also part of the string of box office flops that Carolco endured in 1994/1995, culminating in their bankruptcy after the notorious flop Cutthroat Island (also covered on this page). In an Amazon review written years later for the film's soundtrack, a musical supervisor mentioned that composer Michael Small was under immense stress due to Candy's death and political infighting at Carolco.
  • Warcraft was, in the words of director Duncan Jones, "a political minefield". During production, Legendary Entertainment's deal with Warner Bros. expired and made another one with Universal Pictures. The company was then later bought out entirely by the Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group. Blizzard Entertainment was also very protective of the Warcraft brand and supervised many aspects of the production. A revolving door of producers combined with his inexperience in dealing with such a high level of Executive Meddling led to Jones having a very stressful time writing and directing the movie.
  • Waterworld became infamous in the 1990's thanks to massive cost overruns and a serious case of Wag the Director from star Kevin Costner.
    • The film's origins began in the 1980's as a Mad Max-inspired script by Peter Rader, which was rewritten several times and floated around Hollywood for years until gaining the notice of Kevin Costner. Costner was on the Hollywood A-list after a string of successes such as The Bodyguard, The Untouchables and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but it was his success with Dances with Wolves where Costner directed, produced and starred that got Universal Studios to back Waterworld with a budget of $100 million, with Costner both starring and co-producing.
    • Troubles began when Costner took a heavy handed role in pre-production. He insisted on hiring Kevin Reynolds as director (who had previously directed Costner in Prince Of Thieves) and building a massive filmset off the coast of Hawaii (against the advice of Steven Spielberg, who previously dealt with troubles filming in open waters in Jaws). Even before filming began, the construction of the set and related costs was already threatening to drive the film over its budget. Joss Whedon, who was an uncredited script doctor on the film, described his experience as "seven weeks of hell" that amounted to taking notes from Costner without any creative input.
    • With filming underway, Costner went into full Wag the Director mode, constantly arguing with Reynolds over creative decisions. Costner also rejected Mark Isham's music as being "too ethnic" and hired James Newton Howard as composer. Jeanne Tripplehorn also got into arguments over the producers insisting she do a nude scene, though both parties compromised with a body double. Tensions between Costner and Reynolds came to a head around the midway point of filming where Reynolds quit the production under hazy circumstances; Whedon would later claim that Reynolds was actually fired by Costner for pushing back against his demands. Costner would take the reins to finish filming, though Reynolds would be given a full director credit for the final film.
    • Cost overruns caused the budget to spiral out of control, largely due to a hurricane demolishing the Atoll set, which required it to be rebuilt at the cost of $60 million dollars. As a media circus formed around the film, near-fatal mishaps on the set also drew attention; Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino nearly drowned on their first day of filming when the trimaran they were on sank, Costner nearly died when he got caught in a squall while tied to the mast of his trimaran, and Stunt Coordinator Norman Howell got hit with compression sickness during filming of an underwater scene and was rushed to a hospital in Honolulu via helicopter. The press gleefully covered the chaos, referring to the film with mocking names such as Kevin's Gate and Fishtar, films similarly notorious for their messy productions. The film's final production cost was a staggering $175 million (and estimated at $235 million with marketing costs factored in), a record amount at the time, with Costner having put $22 million of his own money into the film.
    • The toxic press coverage arguably colored reviews of the final product, which was mixed to negative. While the film opened at #1 at the box office, it only grossed $88 million in the US and was widely declared a Box Office Bomb, though the film performed significantly better internationally, making $176 million for a combined $264 million in total. Waterworld, along with Wyatt Earp and The Postman, sent Kevin Costner's career into a severe downturn, though he would recover in the years ahead in smaller productions such as The Guardian, and even worked with Kevin Reynolds again for the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. Universal theme parks would launch a wildly successful stunt show attraction based on the film, and the film itself later became a Cult Classic thanks to television reruns and a Director's Cut home video release.
  • While Wayne's World was finished on-time and on-budget, it was a grueling experience for all involved.
    • Mike Myers' father was dying during the shoot, and he says he barely remembers filming because of the emotional strain.
    • Myers was also constantly fighting Executive Meddling from producers who didn't "get" the film and wanted to make a number of changes that Myers categorically refused to make.
    • Director Penelope Spheeris said that she had to shoot each scene three times, once Myers' way, once Dana Carvey's way, and once Lorne Michaels' way. She also fought with Myers over the final cut of the film, and Myers himself in one case threw a tantrum over the lack of margarine for a bagel. Spheeris did not return for the sequel.
  • During production of West Side Story, Jerome Robbins, with his background in stage, shot and re-shot until the film was over $1,000,000 over budget and six months behind schedule. He was fired, and co-director Robert Wise, who was supposed to helm only the non-dancing scenes, had to finish the film alone, including the numbers Robbins was supposed to direct. Despite directing the majority of the film (and also being the producer), Wise still insisted Robbins share the directing credit with him.
  • What About Bob? did not have problems as bad as many of those on the list, but it was still trying to make:
    • Casting took a long time. Bill Murray was set for the title role, but the possibility of snaring Woody Allen as director, cowriter and costar as long as he could get Orion to let him do that stalled everything for a while. Ultimately he declined as he preferred to do that level of work only on projects he had initiated himself. Patrick Stewart was also considered, as well as Robin Williams; finally Richard Dreyfuss was able to take the role of the psychiatrist.
    • The film was originally meant to shoot in central New Hampshire during summer 1990. But the casting delays meant that when production could finally begin, it was mid-September, by which time the woods in that area are showing extensive evidence of autumn, which wouldn't work with a movie meant to be set in August. So production was hastily moved to Virginia, where it still looked like summer but nothing like New Hampshire.
    • Murray and Dreyfuss did not get along,note  as they have both admitted in subsequent interviews.note  At one point the former, heavily intoxicated, lit into the latter about his reputation for being sometimes difficult to work with, screaming "You are not loved! You are tolerated!" and then threw an ashtray at him. For the scenes at the climax of the film, where Dreyfuss's character is in a constant state of rage and planning to kill Murray's, Dreyfuss didn't need to act.
    • He also got into it with producer Laura Ziskin, throwing her into the lake after one disagreement and breaking her sunglasses and throwing them across a parking lot after another.
    • After the film was finished, Disney head Michael Eisner, wanting the company to have a strong start with 1991's summer movie season, insisted that the trailer basically tell the story of the film, and include all the scenes that preview audiences had found funniest. It indeed opened strong and ultimately made money, but many audiences wondered what there was to see that they hadn't already seen ...
  • Andrey Zvyagintsev's What Happens has been significantly delayed due to several factors:
    • The COVID-19 Pandemic prevented shooting in 2020, as with the majority of projects worldwide back then.
    • A few days after receiving the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, Zvyagintsev caught a severe form of COVID nonetheless, with a violent fever, and was put into an artificial coma in a hospital in Germany. Then he contracted sepsis as a result of a nosocomial infection resistant to antibiotics and subsequently developed polyneuropathy, the result of which causing him to lose the ability to walk and speak for several months, and his throat ligaments were injured. He spent the better part of 2022 recovering.
    • Adding to this, in early 2022 his (Ukrainian-born but then-Russia based) producer Alexander Rodnyansky publicly announced that all of his Russian projects were put on hold or closed as a result of the military invasion of Ukraine (which Zvyagintsev also publicly opposes), although he later found new partnerships outside of Russia and What Happens could be filmed, eventually.
  • It took 22 years to finish and release the 1996 boxing documentary When We Were Kings...
    • ...because it was originally supposed to be a concert film. In conjunction with the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight title bout, promoter Don King had persuaded the host, Zaire's then-dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, to stage a concert where top African-American artists like James Brown and B.B. King would perform alongside their African counterparts. King had originally wanted to hire a black director, but gave it to Leon Gast instead because he was impressed by Gast's having worked with the Hell's Angels. King's only stipulation was that half Gast's crew be black.
    • Gast and his crew arrived in Kinshasa a few days before the fight's scheduled date in September 1974 and filmed both fighters' arrival and some footage of them both training. He had always intended for that to be B-Roll to the concert footage, as he would not be able to use any footage from the fight itself since the closed-circuit broadcaster had the exclusive rights. Then Foreman was cut over his eye during a sparring session. The fight was postponed for six weeks. Mobutu ordered both fighters and their entourages to remain in Zaire during that time to ensure that the fight would take place.
    • But the concert had to go on since the musicians had prior commitments. And indeed it did. But tickets had been priced with the expectation that most would be sold to foreigners in town for the fight—foreigners who were by and large leaving town. Average Zaireans, who made on average the equivalent of $100 a year, couldn't for the most part afford tickets that cost a quarter of that amount. The show went on, and Gast filmed it, with many of the performers rising to the occasion. But the many empty seats were an embarrassment to the regime. So on the second day Mobutu announced the show would be free. Great for the locals, and the performers, who upped their game for the larger crowds. But not for Gast, as the concert's receipts were supposed to have paid his post-production costs.
    • He continued filming the fighters training, and Ali interacting with his many local admirers. In return he got some lengthy interviews with the boxer. Eventually the fight happened, and Ali pulled off a stunning upset through his rope-a-dope strategy, making Foreman exhaust himself until Ali could knock him out and reclaim the title he had been stripped of for refusing to be drafted in the late 1960s. Gast returned to New York to start editing. When he tried to get the production company in Zaire, which he had been told was a local subsidary of a British firm, to reimburse him for his expenses there, he and his producer could not find any record of it. Eventually it turned out to be a shell company in the Cayman Islands controlled by the Liberian finance minister. He promised to help Gast get paid, but lost his job in a coup shortly afterwards.
    • As a result of a lawsuit he filed against the shell company, Gast got ownership of the film footage he had shot. But it mostly sat in boxes in his apartment. Eventually he was able to transfer most of it to video and put together clips to show prospective financiers. Taylor Hackford, one of those who saw it, suggesting adding the interviews with Norman Mailer, George Plimpton and Spike Lee to help a younger audience understand the story better. Hackford shot those himself, earning him a co-credit under "A Film By ..." but not under "Directed By ..." And eventually Gast, who had long realized the film was really about the fight, got the rights to use the footage of it.
    • The long delay in putting it together ultimately worked in the film's favor critically and commercially. Ali, long retired, was beginning to return to the public's consciousness after lighting the torch at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; Foreman, also retired, was better known by then for the grill he pitched on TV. The film ultimately won the Oscar for Best Documentary and is considered one of the best sports documentaries ever, and the best boxing documentary.
  • Filming of Where Eagles Dare was delayed due to the weather in Austria. Shooting took place in winter and early spring of 1968 and the crew had to contend with blizzards, sub-zero temperatures and potential avalanches. Further delays were incurred when Richard Burton, well known for his drinking habits, disappeared for several days with his friends Peter O'Toole, Trevor Howard, and Richard Harris. According to Derren Nesbitt, Burton was drinking four bottles of vodka a day. At one point, Burton was threatened by a jealous husband with a gun in a bar, leaving Clint Eastwood and Elizabeth Taylor to deal with him. Nesbitt, when filming von Hapen's death scene, had to be rushed to the hospital after a squib malfunctioned and went off into his eyes, nearly blinding him.
  • The film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are was incredibly troubled:
    • Concepts for the film dated all the way back to the 70s when several animators took a whack at it, but failed to stir up any interest.
    • In the 80s, the first serious production was started, backed by Disney. While an animation test was completed as well as a few other story elements, John Lasseter was ordered to halt production (it didn't help that the combination of traditional animation and CGI annoyed some traditionalists in upper management), and the film proceeded no further with the company.
    • In the early 2000s, Universal picked up the project and attempted to make it a CGI animated film. This idea got canned and got switched to a live action film.
    • Finding a director that had the talent necessary to adapt such a difficult book was a challenge. When Spike Jonze was finally put behind it, he made several demands that made the film too costly in Universal's eyes. Eventually Universal gave up and let the rights go.
    • Jonze brought the idea to Warner Bros. and got the film greenlit. When actual production began, the troubles only got even worse. The costumes for the wild things arrived and were heavy, bulky, and awkward for the actors wearing them. The faces were entirely blank, leaving freedom for CGI faces to be added later, but proved to be a challenge for child actor Max Records to work around, as he was basically talking to a faceless object with an actor uttering the lines behind him. To make things less awkward for Max, Jonze had some of the crew members invite their children onto the set.
    • Michelle Williams was originally supposed to do the voice to one of the wild things, but ended up leaving after only a few days in production, as Jonze felt her voice didn't fit the role.
    • Getting the scene where Max runs and barks at the dog proved to be quite difficult, as getting him and the dog to move in rhythm proved to be much more of a challenge. Jonze had to resort to shooting the two separately.
    • Rumors of Arcade Fire doing the soundtrack spurred much fanfare for fans of the band. It has never been confirmed, but Arcade Fire apparently worked on a partial score and then decided to abandon it. Karen O. from Yeah Yeah Yeahs was called in to record the soundtrack instead, which was allegedly rushed.
    • The film, while debuting at number 1 in the box office, was so over-budget that it didn't break even. Had it not run over, it probably could have been a smashing success. The film was also met with mixed to positive critical reception, but many are seeing it getting vindicated by history as one of Jonze's masterpieces. The film would probably have done far better critically if the marketing department had been on the same page as everyone else. Choosing to advertise an ultimately dark and depressing coming-of-age film, clearly aimed at an older audience, as an epic fairytale celebrating the joys of childhood and imagination was a serious factor behind the critical dissonance.
  • Whisky Galore!:
    • As most of the established production staff were working on other films at Ealing, many of Alexander Mackendrick's team were inexperienced. On what was supposed to be the first day of filming, Mackendrick threw away the script and had Compton Mackenzie and Angus MacPhail rewrite it over two days.
    • This was one of the first British films to be filmed out on location, largely due to Ealing studios being taken up by Kind Hearts and Coronets and Passport to Pimlico. The summer of 1948 brought heavy rain and gales and the shoot ran five weeks over its planned 10-week schedule and the film went £20,000 over budget.
    • The sets were pre-built at Ealing Studios and then shipped up to Scotland. They were then constructed in a village hall for the frequent occasions when it was too wet to put them up outside.
    • Michael Balcon hated the first cut, so Charles Crichton was brought in to re-edit the film.
  • Bette Davis' last film, Wicked Stepmother, became troubled very early on. A week into principal photography, Davis, the star of the movie, took a leave of absence for a dental appointment...and never came back.note  Now without its leading lady, the part was nearly recast with Lucille Ball, but her own illness led her to back out.note  Then the director came up with a plan. In the script, Davis magically turns her cat into a human played by Barbara Carrera. Instead, the finished product has Davis turning herself into Carrera. Now all the footage of Bette could be salvaged, for a film that was ultimately buried in its theatrical release.
  • Wild Wild West saw its budget spiral to $170 million on account of this trope, and wound up as one of the most notorious bombs of The '90s as a result. This article by Ralph Jones for Mel magazine goes into more detail.
    • It started when Barry Sonnenfeld, who had been a fan of the '60s TV show The Wild Wild West as a kid, was told during production on Men in Black that a Shane Black-penned adaptation of the series had fallen into Development Hell. Will Smith, who Sonnenfeld had directed in Men in Black, quickly signed on to play the hero Jim West, while Sonnenfeld personally vouched for Kevin Kline to play Smith's Straight Man co-star after George Clooney turned the part down. Sonnenfeld had been hoping to repeat the chemistry between the wisecracking Smith and the stone-faced Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black, but Kline proved to be more interested in matching Smith beat-for-beat with the laughs, partly because he felt threatened by Smith's star power. Perhaps not coincidentally, a common complaint was that their chemistry didn't match up to that between Smith and Jones.
    • Producer Jon Peters, notorious in Hollywood for his Hair-Trigger Temper and egotistical Executive Meddling, was responsible for many of the film's infamous anachronisms. A scene of Smith's character riding a horse, for instance, was replaced with him riding a motorcycle because Peters thought that horses were boring, even though the writers pointed out that the film was a Western set in 1868. However, the infamous giant steampunk Spider Tank from the climax, contrary to popular belief and Peters' reputation for putting spiders in his movies, wasn't Peters' idea; that was in the original script by Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson, and he actually tried to reject it initially in favor of a giant flying machine, with Sonnenfeld sticking up for it in meetings. Incidentally, the meetings concerning the spider were the last time that Maddock and Wilson heard from Peters.
    • Reshoots were done to add more jokes and make the film Hotter and Sexier after test audiences complained that it was too chaste. An actress was recast because she had it in her contract that her scenes wouldn't get too raunchy, and Sonnenfeld himself was also horrified by a lot of the humor. Peters was responsible for the scene where Jim West dresses up in drag to seduce the villain, largely because Peters thought it was funny, even though Sonnenfeld sharply disagreed and felt that it dragged the film to a halt; he said that, if a producer tried to meddle with one of his films like that today, he'd have simply walked off the set. This also bumped up the budget by an estimated $20-40 million.
    • During the shooting of a sequence involving stunts and pyrotechnics at the western town set at the Cook Movie Ranch (now Cerro Pelon Ranch), a planned building fire grew out of control and quickly overwhelmed the local fire crews that were standing by. Much of the town was destroyed before the fire was contained.
    • The film premiered over the Fourth of July weekend in 1999. Reviews were scathing, the box office wasn't much better, and a number of people involved with the original show condemned it, with Robert Conrad, the original Jim West, even personally collecting the three Razzies the film "won" in order to express his displeasure. Virtually everybody involved (save for Bai Ling) treats the film as an Old Shame, though Maddock also regards it as a learning experience.
  • The conspiracy thriller Winter Kills ran into some unique production difficulties, as two of its producers, Robert Sterling and Leonard Goldberg, were mob-connected drug dealers. Filming began in 1976 and quickly exceeded its modest budget, grinding production to a halt as the producers struggled to find funds. Filmmaking soon became the least of their problems, as Goldberg was murdered by the Mafia and Sterling was arrested and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Writer-director William Richert abandoned the film at that point, making The American Success Companynote  with Jeff Bridges (who starred in both movies) instead, which made enough money for Richert to fund Winter Kills out of his own pocket. The movie was finally released in 1979 and, thanks to Embassy Pictures's cuts and lukewarm promotion, became a box-office bomb. Production of Winter Kills was so troubled it has, like, Apocalypse Now, Fitzcarraldo and The Island of Dr. Moreau, earned its own documentary, Who Killed Winter Kills?
  • The direction and casting of The Wiz led to a lot of the changes that made the film such a drastic departure from the musical; the producers had Stephanie Mills in mind to play Dorothy but were ultimately convinced to cast Diana Ross who fought to get the part, which prompted director John Badham to quit out of dissatisfaction, and so Sidney Lumet stepped in to fill the chair. Rounding out the production was Joel Schumacher, and to accommodate Diana Ross' age rewrote the script to focus on a much older Dorothy living in New York City instead of Kansas. Lumet's inexperience with musicals, combined with these casting and script decisions led to a lot of internal skepticism of the project that was ultimately vindicated when the film failed at the box office.
  • As mentioned on the main page quote, The Wizard of Oz.
    • The trouble began with the script. Three writers were ultimately credited (Florence Ryderson, Edgar Allen Woolf, and Noel Langley); however, these were merely the three who did the most work on it, as the laundry list below the three credited writers will show.. And Langley, the studio's favored writer, took a massive step away from the story, introducing slews of new characters (including Prince Florizel, a handsome prince transformed into the Cowardly Lion), pushing Dorothy completely to the periphery of the plot, and turning Auntie Em into a cruel, heartless caretaker that was, in the first drafts, the one trying to get rid of Toto. Woolf and Ryderson mostly applied damage control, cutting away the more bizarre elements of Langley's scripts while keeping the majority of his dialogue.
    • Casting was another problem. Margaret Hamilton was cast as the Wicked Witch of the West after the original choice, Gale Sondergaard, left the film due to Creative Differences over the Witch's makeup note . Hamilton, a single mother, got into an argument with the studio over guaranteed time to work, only agreeing to take the role three days before filming. Ironically, although she finally got an agreement for five weeks of work, she ended up working on the film for three months. Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Scarecrow, while Ray Bolger was the Tin Man; Bolger, whose childhood hero was Fred Stone (who had played the Scarecrow in a 1902 stage adaptation of the story), worked out a deal with Ebsen and switched roles with him. During filming, Ebsen suffered a severe allergic reaction to his Tin Man makeup and was forced to quit, being replaced by Jack Haley. He remained plagued by respiratory issues for the rest of his long life, bitterly calling it "that damned movie."
    • The film went through no fewer than five directors. The first, Norman Taurog, oversaw initial casting and set construction, but left before shooting began. Actual filming began under Richard Thorpe, who lasted a little over a week before being fired, after the footage he shot looked like absolute crap; Dorothy in particular was made to wear ridiculous-looking "baby doll" make-up. George Cukor then came on-board for a few days to help re-tool the film's look, before being sent off to work on Gone with the Wind, and replaced by Victor Fleming. Fleming oversaw the vast majority of filming, but was ironically sent away to replace Cukor on Gone with the Wind, leaving King Vidor to handle filming of the Kansas scenes. In the end, Fleming was the only one of the five directors to be credited.
    • The elaborate nature of the makeup caused a great deal of agony for all actors involved, but particularly Bert Lahr and Hamilton. Lahr could only eat through a straw (if he decided to eat anything more elaborate, he had to spend an extra hour in makeup to repair his face appliances), and due to the massive amounts of hot stage lighting needed for Technicolor, had to remove his entire costume and stand in front of a fan between shots to avoid heat stroke.note  Hamilton, meanwhile, couldn't eat at all due to the copper in her makeup! Ray Bolger was at least able to eat with his Scarecrow makeup on, but the rubber mask cut off air and moisture to his face; his skin would regularly crack and bleed when he removed the mask. When filming finished, the mask had left a pattern of lines on his face that took over a year to fade. A change in the Tin Man makeup from aluminum powder to aluminum paste meant that Jack Haley didn't have the same problems Ebsen had experienced, but the rigidity of the costume left him unable to sit down while resting between takes, and he had to lie on a reclining ironing board instead.
    • Hamilton suffered a serious burn during the filming of her exit from Munchkinland, which was aggravated by her makeup making treatment difficult. Once she recovered, she refused to film the "SURRENDER DOROTHY" scene on hearing they'd made her a fireproof costume, despite the studio's insistence that the scene involved no pyrotechnics; her stand-in did the scene... and was seriously burned herself!
    • And because of that burn (which put her in the hospital for weeks), and her subsequent refusal to do any more fire stunts, the studio was stuck with the rehearsal take of the scene, in which the smoke comes on too early and the trapdoor can be seen being opened.
    • Filming in general was an uphill struggle, with the cast's call time being four AM and their departure being at seven or eight at the earliest.
    • The only element that went relatively peacefully was the music... and even then several songs were conceived and dropped, and one, the famous "Jitterbug" sequence, was cut entirely after early test screenings found the audience unreceptive.note  Though this ended up being quite serendipitous, as with the reference to such a '30s-centric dance craze gone, the film is far more timeless.
  • By all accounts, the film adaptation of World War Z was one of these, to the point where Vanity Fair devoted its June 2013 cover story to it. Despite this, the movie wound up a smash hit.
    • Brad Pitt, the film's producer and star, was most intrigued by the book's geopolitical aspects (what with his partner being a UN Goodwill Ambassador and all), and his production company Plan B, together with Paramount, spent $1 million on the film rights. However, it soon became clear that much of the geopolitics that Pitt was interested in would have to be dropped if they wanted the story to come together on screen. Furthermore, Pitt's production company, Plan B, had never taken on a project of this size, its experience limited to eclectic, low-budget dramas; their biggest film before this was the Julia Roberts rom-com Eat, Pray, Love.
    • The real problems started with director Marc Forster, Pitt's personal choice to direct the film — and a man whose whose background (not unlike Plan B) was in making smaller, dramatic films like Finding Neverland and Monster's Ball. His only experience making big-budget tentpole films was the much-criticized Bond film Quantum of Solace (mentioned earlier on this page). It was hoped that he would be able to focus on story and characters while his crew could guide him on action and effects, but not only was he unable to bring his usual team with him, the lack of a strong leader at the head of the project produced a muddled vision for what the film would be like. As late as three weeks before shooting was to begin in June 2011, Forster hadn't even decided yet on what the zombies would look like or how they would behave.
    • Forster and screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski clashed throughout the writing process. Forster wanted to focus on the action, which Straczynski felt detracted from the story's main themes; he was more interested in remaining faithful to the book, focusing on the characters and the global reaction to the Zombie Apocalypse. Straczynski was eventually fired and replaced with Michael Carnahan (writer of The Kingdom and Lions for Lambs), who made the film an action-adventure focused on a UN field specialist named Gerry Lane, dropping the book's first-person accounts. It was at this point that Pitt was cast as Gerry.
    • And then production began. From the start, it was clear that Pitt, Plan B, and Forster were in way over their heads. Shooting in Malta for the Jerusalem scenes was a nightmare, with two film crews working side-by-side, hundreds of extras, and all sorts of minor costs dealing the budget a Death of a Thousand Cuts. One day, shooting had to be delayed for several hours because the caterer hadn't prepared enough food. When work in Malta finished, the wrap-up crew found a stack of purchase orders related to the cast and extras that had been casually tossed into a desk drawer and forgotten; the amount totaled in the millions of dollars. And all the while, the script still wasn't finished, with work still being done on the third act.
    • Things got no better when production moved to Glasgow for the Philadelphia scenes. Forster began to fight with both Pitt and the head of the SFX team; the latter was dismissed after principal filming ended. Cinematographer Richard Richardson asked more than once to leave the project, and struggled to keep the crew under control, often antagonizing them in the process. He ended up leaving by the end of production (to shoot Django Unchained) and being replaced by Ben Seresin for the reshoots (who received sole credit). Furthermore, Pitt's schedule conflicted with his commitment to starring in Killing Them Softly, and he also took time off to spend time with his family, pushing production back even further.
    • During shooting in Budapest in October for the climax in Russia, the crew found out the hard way that their 85 "prop" assault rifles were in fact fully-functional weapons when a Hungarian anti-terrorism unit raided their warehouse and seized the guns. Furthermore, Paramount, after seeing how out-of-control production had gotten in Malta, ordered a scaling back of the budget, forcing the production to scrap a number of scenes. Members of the production criticized the third act as "Rambo vs. zombies", losing the character-driven drama of the rest of the film, and production wrapped with the knowledge that rewrites and reshoots were inevitable.
    • In June 2012, Paramount ordered, depending on the source, anywhere from five to seven weeks of reshoots totaling forty minutes' worth of the film. They also hired Damon Lindelof to do a third-act rewrite; he later brought in his old Lost buddy Drew Goddard to help him give the script a thorough overhaul after determining that it had much deeper problems. A climatic twelve-minute battle sequence was dropped entirely. This pushed the film's release from December of that year to June 2013. By this point, the budget had ballooned to anywhere from $170 to $250 million depending on who you ask, and the filmmakers had only 72 minutes' worth of largely incoherent footage to show to the studio.
    • During reshoots, Forster and Pitt reportedly weren't on speaking terms — Forster's notes for Pitt had to be relayed through an intermediary.

    Y 
  • Famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti's one and only Hollywood vehicle, the 1982 Yes, Giorgio, quickly ran into problems when its star proved completely unable to handle the demands of a feature film's shooting schedule, refusing to work more than twelve hours a day and insisting on stopping shooting no later than 8 PM. On top of that, he proved to be quite the prima donna on-set, insisting that he only be filmed from angles that hid his infamous girth, and making so many demands that crewmembers began to jokingly nickname the film "No, Luciano." This, along with weather problems that delayed the sequences filmed in Pavarotti's native Italy — and even forced some planned shots to be replaced by matte paintings — caused its original $17 million budget to inflate to a then-sizeable $23 million. The finished product crashed and burned at the box office, barely crossing the $1 million mark, derailing Pavarotti's screen career out of the gate and torpedoing the once-illustrious career of director Franklin J. Schaffner.

    Z 
  • Zapped (1982), the Scott Baio sex comedy, ran into difficulty when the filmmakers decided to make the movie Hotter and Sexier. Following the box office success of Porky's, parts of Zapped! were refilmed to increase the amount of nudity and to intentionally earn an R rating. These changes gave Heather Thomas serious reservations about filming her nude scenes. In post-production, the filmmakers used a body double for Thomas's topless scene at the prom, and pasted her head onto a topless body double in a photograph in the movie. These changes, which Thomas alleges occurred without her permission, prompted her to file a complaint with the Screen Actors Guild.
  • Zardoz had various mild to moderate problems during production, including a lack of budget, difficulty finding convincing prop guns due to the UK and Irish governments heavily regulating all real and even replica guns due to The Troubles, and the film's ending having to be reshot twice after various mishaps resulted in the footage being damaged, much to the annoyance of stars Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling, who had to spend hours in make-up each time the ending was shot. However, by far the biggest issue was that director John Boorman was absolutely stoned off his head during most of the shoot, and kept rewriting scenes and adding new sequences on the fly, to the point where the editor was unable to assemble the footage into anything coherent, forcing Boorman to ADR in extra lines to try and get the film's storyline to somehow progress logically. The studio then forced him to film a prologue scene in order to make the storyline clearer, but most viewers seem to agree that the prologue, if anything, just made things even more confusing. To this day, Boorman himself admits to having absolutely no idea what most of the film means, beyond having a vague Who Wants to Live Forever? message, and considers it an Old Shame.

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