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Even the most iconic, lucrative franchises are littered with severely troubled productions.


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    Alien film series 
There's a good case to be made for the Alien franchise being cursed, as nearly every film was subject to some form of production woes.

  • See the Creators page for Alien and Prometheus (Ridley Scott) and Aliens (James Cameron).
  • Alien³ had the most beleaguered production history out of the franchise, the details of which are the stuff of industry legend.
    • After the success of Aliens, 20th Century Fox was keen to get production of a third film moving immediately. William Gibson submitted a draft featuring Hicks and Bishop fighting biomechanical xenomorphs on a space station, but his draft was rejected and he declined further involvement. At this point, the studio didn't want Sigourney Weaver back, and scripts were written with this fact in mind. Eric Red was brought onboard and penned a new script that had a spaceship discover the remains of the Sulaco crew (who were killed by the xenomorphs), before moving the action to a small town in an Earth-like biodome. Producers Walter Hill and David Giler disliked the script, and Red was ousted, with tentative director Renny Harlin also leaving soon afterward. Next, David Twohy came onboard and wrote a new script centered around a prison planet. Hill and Giler liked the script, but this too was rejected.
    • By this point, nearly four years had passed since pre-production began. Vincent Ward was hired, and soon after, with Fox hiring Weaver back with a $4 million payday and a co-producer credit, Ward wrote a script with John Fasano where Ripley crashlands on a "wooden planet" filled with monks. At this point in production, 1/5 of the planned budget had already been spent, and Fox told Ward to rein in his plans (even prompting then-CEO Joe Roth to state "What the fuck is going on?" after hearing about Ward's plan to have Ripley be placed in a cryotube by "seven dwarves" in the finale). After butting heads with executives, Ward left the project.
    • A rotating series of writers came in to try and improve the script during this time. Greg Pruss was hired to rewrite Fasano's "wooden planet" script but left after butting heads with Ward. Fasano then returned to rewrite his script, but he too had a falling-out with Ward. Larry Ferguson was then brought in to rewrite the Fasano script, and Fox complained that the treatment was not favorable towards the Ripley character. Finally, producers Walter Hill and David Giler did an emergency rewrite that combined Twohy's prison script and Fasano's religious elements.
    • Assembling the cast had its own problems. The film is infamous for killing Newt and Hicks in the opening credits when the pods crash. Newt was something of a given, as the actress had aged too much to play her again and cryogenic suspension wouldn't give her the chance to age enough for a new actress. Hicks, however, was repeatedly shuffled between "main character" and "supporting" with each new draft before they decided to kill him off - Michael Biehn was so disgusted when he found it out that he demanded to be paid as much for his image being onscreen for a few seconds as he had for filming all of Aliens.
    • And the reason Hicks kept shuffling back and forth was because the writers were told to work the film around Ripley's absence, as Sigourney Weaver was proving to be problematic. Between the two films, she had become a spokeswoman for gun-control group Handgun Control and was offended by the amount of weaponry present in the script. Very shortly before filming, one of the producers managed to woo her back to the project. Amusingly, it was by telling her that Ripley would be bald.
    • David Fincher, who at that point only had a handful of music videos to his credit, was brought on board to helm the film. He was greeted with a long list of problems; a major set had already been constructed (a monastery set built before the setting was changed to a prison — but still kept, as a church inside the facility), the budget was running behind, the script was still incomplete and roles still hadn't been cast. After being informed by the executives that he had to include as many of the creative ideas the producers asked for, Fincher rushed into production to make up for lost time.
    • Cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth fell ill from Parkinson's disease a few days into filming, necessitating a replacement in Alex Thomson. The kicker here is that a line producer for the film had lost his own father to the same illness and feared that working on the film might kill Cronenweth in his condition, meaning he arranged for the replacement based on personal experience.
    • Somewhere along the line, Hill and Giler (the latter of whom referred to Fincher as a "shoe salesman" during a conference call with the studio) fought with Fincher for 2 months over the script, and he complained about their budgetary restrictions. They and screenwriter Rex Pickett (who was also hired to rewrite the second half of the duo's script) in turn abandoned Fincher and left him to finish the script himself. Fincher would end up rewriting lines and entire scenes on-the-fly during production, while trying to keep Fox (who were requesting daily updates from the set) at bay.
    • Fincher was stymied at every turn by executives who attempted to stop him from shooting important scenes (including Ripley confronting the xenomorph in Fury 161's sub-basement level), forcing the director to grab a camera and skeleton crew and film it himself.
    • Fox sent in a troubleshooter to investigate the spiraling production costs. A rough cut was screened for the crew, and reportedly made several audience members throw up due to a graphic autopsy scene. Hill and Giler were brought back onboard by the studio to give input, and it was deemed that the film had many issues that required significant reshoots (including a finale that was deemed too similar to Terminator 2: Judgment Day), and a pivotal sequence that had to be filmed (the death of the xenomorph!).
    • Fincher (depending on which source you believe) either spent the next year attempting to edit the film, or was locked out of the editing suite altogether by the studio. The reshoots reportedly pushed the budget to $65 million, and were done in Los Angeles with almost an entirely new crew. This was reportedly the last straw for Fincher, who walked away for good at the end of the reshoots. Because of the breakneck pace of the reshoots, composer Elliot Goldenthal only had a single night to create a new piece of music for the reshot finale. The finished film was released in May 1992 to a mixed critical response.
    • Even its post-production history was sordid. Fincher refused to come back and re-edit the film for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set, as he was still bitter over the whole experience. Likewise, Fox executives severely cut down Charles Lauzirika's documentary on the film, "Wreckage and Rape", citing that it made the company look bad. It wasn't until 2010 that the uncut documentary (with the Censored Title of "Wreckage and Rage") was released on the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set.
  • Alien: Resurrection was relatively sedate. There was only one major thing that went wrong during filming — Ron Perlman injuring himself and nearly drowning while filming one sequence, which required the shooting schedule to be slightly reshuffled to give him time to recover — and production and post-production otherwise flew by without a single problem. At most, there was that water chase sequence which proved an exhausting experience for all in the cast and crew. That's not to say things were entirely okay behind the scenes, though, as writer Joss Whedon had major differences of opinion with the producers and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet over the tone and design of the film, but was overruled on every occasion. Even then, he didn't kick up much of a stink, since he was too busy setting up Buffy the Vampire Slayer to get involved in any major disputes. It's also been noted that his show Firefly a few years later has a strikingly similar set of characters as the film, which is speculated to be his effort to show what he really wanted them to be like, much like the Buffy series was his response to how the original film butchered his script.
  • Most of the trouble with Alien vs. Predator was in actually getting the project to the point where they could film anything. The initial draft was written by Peter Briggs in 1991 and set to go into production once Alien³ had been released, but the rights holders for the two franchises spent the next few years battling out over the direction of the screenplay, resulting in several screenwriters coming and going and various new drafts being produced, but nothing of any real substance being accomplished. Eventually the project slipped into the background, and wasn't revived until 2002, when Paul W.S. Anderson approached the studio about producing the film. Anderson eventually got a workable screenplay by ditching everything bar a few story elements from the original Briggs draft and writing his own story from scratch. As with Alien: Resurrection, filming was pretty trouble-free, but the studio were convinced that an R-rated film would not be a box-office success and ordered Anderson to make the film PG-13 at most. There was also a spat over the writing credits, which the studio had recommended should go to Briggs and Anderson for the story, and Anderson and Shane Salerno for the screenplay, only for the Writer's Guild to inexplicably deny any form of credit to Briggs or Salerno and instead award co-story credit to Alien writers Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, who had never been anywhere near the project. The end product was a box-office success, though ironically made less money than the previous year's R-rated Freddy vs. Jason.
  • Production on Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem also wasn't too bad all things considered, but suffered from a low budget — most infamously resulting in an on-set clip of the film's cinematographer angrily bemoaning the near-nonexistent lighting budget he had, which went viral a couple of years later — and Executive Meddling that firstly demanded that the film take place in a modern-day urban setting, and secondly forced the Predalien to be hastily expanded into the main villain at a late stage in the writing process. The inexperience of directors Colin and Greg Strause, who had long careers as effects designers but had never actually directed a feature film, also didn't help much.
  • Alien 5 (which was supposed to go into production as Alien: Covenant was filming) got cancelled because of this and Executive Meddling. Despite James Cameron stating that the film's script was "gangbusters" and Sigourney Weaver's avid support for the film; Ridley Scott stated in an interview that the film had no script during its long development and Neill Blomkamp was unable to get one in time for production, and that Weaver and Michael Biehn hadn't even signed on yet. Fox also had no faith in the project and preferred Scott's Alien: Covenant so they canned it. It's also likely Fox wanted to avoid a repeat of Alien³. Blomkamp has since confirmed it's officially dead.
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    The Exorcist film series 
  • The Exorcist was a hellish experience that went over budget and schedule ($4.5 million and 105 days to $12 million and over 200 days plus 6 months of post-production!).
    • William Friedkin proved to be a Prima Donna Director who didn't care much for the cast and crew and intentionally made the set as hostile as possible in order to make the actors appear genuinely stressed on camera, even firing guns at random moments to make doubly sure that the actors were constantly on edge. During post-production, he disliked Lalo Schifrin's would-be score so much he literally took the tapes and threw them away in the studio parking lot, choosing instead to score the film to pre-existing music (most notably Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells").
    • Ellen Burstyn complained that for the scene Chris is telekinetically thrown against a wall, the stuntmen were pulling her too hard... and Friedkin's response was a take so strong Burstyn suffered permanent damage!
    • Massive air-conditioning units were brought in for the climactic exorcism, bringing the temperature on the set down close to freezing. Linda Blair had to spend the entire time dressed in nothing but a thin nightgown and developed a lifelong dislike of cold temperatures.
    • To make it worse, there were strange events (such as the interior sets of the MacNeil residence getting burned) that led people to consider the film cursed.
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic had it even worse:
    • Friedkin and writer William Peter Blatty were repeatedly asked for ideas for a sequel but turned the studio down on finding out that the producer assigned the project, Richard Lederer, wanted them to just make a quick-and-dirty sequel to exploit the first film's success. Instead, a screenplay was commissioned from William Goodhart, whose only other screenplay credit was the obscure 1969 film Generation; the exact contents of Goodhart's screenplay have never been made publicly known, but apparently mixed in the first film's themes with a lot of odd metaphysical symbolism.
    • The studio then hired John Boorman to direct the film — an odd choice when you consider that he actually disliked the first film, and was more interested in the metaphysical aspects of Goodhart's script than any of the actual Christian themes. Boorman and co-writer Rospo Pallenberg then pretty much scrubbed all the remaining Christian elements from the script, leaving it barely recognisable as an Exorcist sequel. They then had to perform further last-minute rewrites which swapped out Regan's mother Chris for Sharon, the nanny from the first film, after Ellen Burstyn refused to appear as Chris again.
    • Filming was where things really started to go wrong. The production was refused permission to film at just about every location they asked for (including the house from the first film), leading to them having to recreate everything on the studio backlot and inflating the $9,000,000 budget all the way up to $14,000,000. Linda Blair was already in the midst of her drug habits and constantly turned up late to shooting, to the point where she actually considered it an achievement that she was only 20 minutes late one day. Co-star Richard Burton had his own substance issues, as he was constantly drunk on-set and frequently lashed out at Boorman and his co-stars. Boorman was laid low by a serious lung infection for a month, resulting in Pallenberg — who had never directed a film before — taking over as director for many key sequences. The crew also had no idea how to realize the swarms of locusts that were required for the climax, resulting in them using a combination of styrofoam "packing peanuts" fired from an air cannon, and actual locusts with their legs clipped, with mixed results. On top of that, the locusts could only survive for a day or two in the American climes, resulting in them having to be constantly replaced at considerable cost.
    • When the film was finally released it was laughed off the screen during its premiere, leading to Boorman hastily producing a re-edited version, which was no better received. The studio had granted Boorman to do the final cut of the movie without any kind of studio oversight. The result was considered such a disaster that no major studio has allowed that since for any movie.
  • The Exorcist III had probably the smoothest production of the franchise, though even then there was a lot of friction between writer-director William Peter Blatty and the studio, who forced him to reshoot large sections of the film, scrapping all the footage showing Brad Dourif as Father Karras and recasting his original actor, Jason Miller in the role. However, most of the reshot footage was essentially the same script wise (with some segments and bits of dialogue not included such as the Gemini Killer psychologically toying with Kinderman, suggesting he might be the real deal or an accomplice who was never caught or possibly someone with psychic powers who can sense the killings (which ironically sounds similar to an episode of The X-Files Dourif was in) and the only major change being the changing of the set of the disturbed ward cell to look more like a modern one as opposed to the medieval torture chamber-esque look they went for in the initial shoot. Jason Miller was also suffering from alcoholism and wasn't able to remember his long lines of dialogue so they brought Dourif back in, switching between Father Karras (Miller) and the Gemini Killer (Dourif) giving the film even more of a Surreal Horror tone. They also added a completely new character called Father Morning, who is somewhat clumsily inserted into the film to show up in the climax to provide an actual exorcism since they obviously couldn't call it an exorcist movie without an exorcism and add some gore shots with horrific hellish visions. The ending was also changed, with the original ending being rather anti-climactic, with Lt. Kinderman simply shooting Karras after the attempt on his daughter's life, but the reshot version made it a much more horrific and disturbing, with the demonic force putting up much more of a fight and also adding a bit more to the end of Kinderman's character arc. The ending burial of Karras was used with a scene that was originally earlier in the film, where they excavated Karras' grave to discover the body within was not his own, and while the original cut has a scene that elaborates on who the body is, it's only briefly addressed in the final film. Blatty also didn't get along too well with star George C. Scott, though for the most part, they were able to put their differences aside and work together without too much trouble.
  • Exorcist: The Beginning may have had the most troubled production of the entire franchise:
    • The screenplay had a long and painful gestation process; Blatty refused to get involved, resulting in over a decade being spent trying to get a screenplay together, with the producers eventually settling on a draft by Caleb Carr, which incorporated elements from an earlier screenplay by William Wisher Jr.
    • John Frankenheimer was initially hired as director, but suddenly died just a few weeks before shooting was due to start. This led to Paul Schrader taking over the project, and significantly rewriting Carr's script, which he heavily disliked, leading to a public spat between the two, and Carr going so far as to endorse the eventual reshot version over Schrader's.
    • Filming was relatively smooth, though the studio pushed Schrader into adding more gore than he really wanted to. Matters came to a head after Schrader turned in his first edit, however — the studio promptly fired him, as they thought the finished product was too slow, too talky and still wasn't gory enough for their liking.
    • Renny Harlin was then brought in and asked to film a few new scenes and re-edit the movie to make it closer to what they wanted. Harlin told them that Schrader's version was complete crap and unsalvageable, and without any intention of actually signing onto the project, said that they'd be better off reshooting the project from scratch. Much to his shock, the producers agreed to this and offered Harlin an even bigger budget and paycheck than they had given Schrader. Harlin accepted the offer and rewrote the screenplay alongside new writer Alexi Hawley.
    • Immediately, Harlin ran into the problem of nearly the entire cast (barring only lead actor Stellan Skarsgård) either being unavailable for the reshoots or refusing to return out of loyalty to Schrader. Filming again went relatively smoothly, though this time there was a lot more press attention, leading to the studio having to step up security.
    • Eventually, Harlin's version was released in the summer of 2004... and got torn apart by critics and barely broke even at the box-office. This led to the studio eventually releasing Schrader's version (now called Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist) the following year, without any real effort at marketing it, though it did at least get some positive reviews, in particular from Roger Ebert, and was even endorsed by William Peter Blatty himself.

    Friday the 13th film series 
Given the rapid production of new Friday the 13th films almost every year during The '80s, problems were bound to crop up eventually, especially as the series wore on and started to fall into sequelitis.
  • Friday the 13th Part 2 ran into most of its problems before a single frame was shot. Sean S. Cunningham, the director of the first film, disagreed with Paramount's plan to build the sequel around Pamela Voorhees' son Jason taking up his mother's murderous legacy, on the grounds that it would be a massive, unexplained retcon of the first film's backstory; instead, he wanted to make Friday an anthology series. Victor Miller, the writer of the first film, supported Cunningham and followed him out the door, as did special effects artist Tom Savini. Ultimately, however, things went fairly smoothly once Steve Miner, a producer on the first film, stepped in to direct. The only problems during production came when the producers discovered that Marta Kober, the actress who played Sandra, was actually underage, forcing them to cut a full-frontal nude scene they'd shot with the actress, and when stuntman Steve Daskawicz accidentally cut his finger with a machete and needed thirteen stitches.
  • Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter was the first really troubled production in the series.
    • Director Joseph Zito, fresh off The Prowler, was asked to both write and direct this film. The problem: Zito was not a screenwriter, and only took the writing job due to the promise of seeing his salary for the film doubled. As a result, he used that extra pay to hire Barney Cohen to ghostwrite the film for him, a move that got everybody involved (Zito, Cohen, and producer Phil Scuderi) in trouble with the Writers Guild of America. Cohen would be credited as the sole screenwriter on the film (story credit went to Bruce Hidemi Sakow, who had written an early treatment that Zito was supposed to turn into a screenplay) as a result.
    • Once production started, Zito treated his actors like crap. Many of them had No Stunt Double and had to perform dangerous stunts themselves, leading to injuries; Judie Aronson developed hypothermia from shooting a scene where she had to remain submerged in a very cold lake and was not allowed to get out between takes, and Peter Barton was slammed into a shower wall for real. Hostility on the Set developed between Zito and Ted White, who played Jason Voorhees, over Zito's treatment of the cast, such that White had his name taken off the credits. Corey Feldman also hated Zito and acted like a brat on set out of frustration with him, such that, during the scene where Tommy Jarvis kills Jason, Feldman pretended that the off-screen sandbags he was hacking at with a machete were actually Zito. Feldman's behavior was also the motivation for White in the scenes where Jason attacks Tommy; he was so annoyed working with Feldman that he wanted to scare the kid for real, and proceeded to deliberately go off-cue in order to get a more authentic reaction out of him.
    • That's not to say that Zito was responsible for everything that went wrong. Lawrence Monoson's character Ted is smoking pot before he gets killed, so he decided to actually smoke pot in order to get into character for his death scene. This merely caused him to start freaking out on set, unable to concentrate due to drug-induced paranoia.
    • The film was supposed to premiere in October 1984, but producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. was so impressed by it that he decided to push the release up to April. Unfortunately, this left only six weeks for post-production, leading to one of the only times when Paramount actively assisted in production on a Friday film, renting a house in Malibu for Zito, Mancuso, and their editors to rush through the job of getting the film ready for theatrical release. It ultimately paid off, as The Final Chapter made $33 million on a budget of just $2.6 million and was (until Freddy vs. Jason) a close second only to its immediate predecessor in box-office earnings, and while critics ravaged it as they always did, many Friday fans will point to it as one of the series' highlights.
  • Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning had at least some troubles during filming, though exactly how many troubles, and who or what caused them, depends on who you ask.
    • According to director Danny Steinmann and co-stars Shavar Ross, Dominick Brascia, and Debi-Sue Voorhees, there were a few minor problems with lead actor John Shepherd being standoffish during the shoot, a malfunctioning rain machine that held up filming of the finale, and make-up effects having to be cut or worked around during editing after Paramount deemed them sub-par, but production otherwise wasn't too problematic.
    • On the other hand, Shepherd himself, lead actress Melanie Kinnaman, co-star Dick Wieand and stuntman Tom Morga have alleged that Steinmann spent most of the shoot bingeing on cocaine, and veered between being verbally abusive to most of the cast and so high off his ass that the cinematographer had to direct certain scenes, only cleaning up his act on days when Ross' mother was on-set. Steinmann also shot a couple of very graphic sex scenes, one of which was cut entirely, with the other being edited down to only about ten seconds. Wieand later theorized that Steinmann filmed the scenes so that the MPAA would insist on cutting them and let the gore go through uncensored, only for this plan to backfire when Paramount ended up cutting the gore and sex scenes out before ever submitting it to the MPAA.
    • Furthermore, A New Beginning was cast under a fake title, and none of the actors knew they were doing a Friday movie until they got the part. This especially irritated Shepherd, who had spent several months preparing for an audition for a movie he thought was about a man suffering from mental illness (he even volunteered at a mental hospital to prepare for the role), and feared being associated with a franchise known for sex and blood given that he was working as a church counselor at the time.
    • When it was released, the film did reasonably well financially, but the critical reaction was abysmal even by the standards of the series, and it ultimately marked the first of a successively lower-grossing chain of sequels.
  • Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood was the most seriously troubled production in the series, and a sign of the Dork Age to come.
    • The production endured quite a bit of Development Hell, such that it would be the first Friday film since the fourth to not come out one year after the last one. It was made under the shadow of diminishing box-office returns for the franchise since A New Beginning, causing Paramount to push for a crossover with the more commercially successful A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. However, New Line Cinema wouldn't play ball, and so producer Barbara Sachs and writer Daryl Haney instead came up with a story similar to Jaws about a land developer trying to build condos on Crystal Lake (with Jason Voorhees serving as the shark). However, executive producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. hated the idea and gave it an Executive Veto, leading Haney to instead pitch the idea of Jason fighting a Final Girl with telekinetic powers similar to Carrie. Everybody involved loved it and signed off on that instead.
    • Just as he was in the process of finishing up the screenplay, a botched power play by Haney's agent saw him fired and replaced by an unidentified scab writer (the film was written during a Writers' Guild of America strike) who went under the credit of Manuel Fidello.note  After this, the screenplay was heavily rewritten to bring it more in line with the earlier entries in the series, taking particular inspiration from The Final Chapter, as well as cutting some of the more ambitious (and expensive) ideas that Haney had tried to incorporate.
    • That wouldn't be the end of it, however, as Sachs had enormous ambitions for the film, hoping to score a big-name director like Federico Fellini to helm it. The director they ultimately went with, John Carl Buechler, was a low-budget veteran of Full Moon Features, not the kind of filmmaker that Sachs was hoping for. Naturally, the two of them butted heads almost immediately, and Sachs frequently tried to override Buechler's decisions. Notably, Sachs didn't want to show Jason's face, forcing Buechler to wait until a day when she wasn't around to shoot those scenes. She also didn't like the makeup for Tina's dead father and instead opted to go with no makeup at all, meaning that, during the climatic scene where Tina revives her father to finish off Jason, the actor clearly does not look like a man who's spent a decade at the bottom of a lake.
    • Sachs and Buechler's sour relationship was only the start of the problems. There was Hostility on the Set between Lar Park-Lincoln (who played the female lead Tina) and the rest of the cast, especially Kevin Spirtas (who played the male lead Nick), such that Park-Lincoln and Buechler (who she did get along well with) had an inside joke about it, and Spirtas claims to have written an unused script for an eighth film in which Nick kills off Tina. The set outside Mobile, Alabama had to be guarded by a man with a shotgun to ward off alligators. The film was shot in the winter, and the set was so cold that the actors (whose characters were dressed for summer) sucked on ice cubes between takes to prevent their breath from showing up on camera.
    • Even post-production was troubled. The film had to be submitted to the MPAA and re-edited seven times in order to receive an R rating as opposed to an X, and as a result, most of the death scenes were cut to the point of being nearly incomprehensible. (The cut footage, in the form of workprints, would later be included on the special edition DVD released in 2012.) Buechler describes the MPAA as having "raped" his movie.
    • In the end, the film, which went from screenplay to premiere in six months, was a box-office disappointment, opening at #1 but suffering a steep drop-off.
  • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan suffered most of its damage in pre-production, but filming itself, while not as troubled as The New Blood, didn't go entirely smoothly either.
    • To start, it had to be heavily rewritten after Paramount halved the budget. Originally, it was planned to have the first act of the film take place on a cruise ship and the rest of the film to take place in New York, with scenes set at Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, a Broadway show, a Fifth Avenue department store, and the Statue of Liberty. By the time writer/director Rob Hedden was done rewriting the film to accommodate the reduced budget, the whole second act wound up set on the boat as well. They were ultimately only able to shoot in NYC for two days, one of which was spent filming footage for the trailer instead of the actual film.
    • Problems also cropped up on set. The actor originally cast to play the male lead, Sean, had to be recast during production because, according to the producers, he came off as gay in the dailies and had no romantic chemistry with the female lead, Rennie. Director Rob Hedden also unsuccessfully pressured Rennie's actress Jensen Daggett to do a nude scene; when that failed, he successfully got Sharlene Martin, who played the Rich Bitch Tamara, to do it. Unfortunately, his means of doing so was to completely strip down himself and get into the shower in order to show Martin how easy it was; furthermore, the cameras were rolling when this happened, leaving the producers very confused when they went over the dailies the next day.
    • The biggest problems, however, came with the boats they were filming on. Three days before filming started, production lost access to the cruise ship they were planning on using due to a scheduling mix-up, forcing them to use three different boats (each about half the size of the original one) in its place. One of them was owned by a businessman who neglected to tell the producers that he owed a massive debt to the wharf where the boat had previously been docked, and the owners of the wharf wound up severely limiting the hours at which they could shoot. Another boat was owned by a man in Washington state, which caused a problem as the production was shooting in British Columbia, Canada, and they couldn't legally bring the boat into Canada for filming purposes. Their solution was to load the boat with bags of potatoes and claim that its purpose was to import them to Canada.
    • The original poster for the film, a parody of New York's famous "I <Heart> NY" advertising slogan with Jason slashing through it, also had to be replaced after the New York City Tourism Committee filed a complaint with Paramount.
    • The film wound up a Franchise Killer, leading to New Line Cinema buying the rights to Friday from Paramount. Fans regard the finished product as one of the worst films in the series, its only real rival being its immediate successor...
  • Much like A New Beginning, it's generally agreed that Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday had a troubled shoot, though exactly how troubled and who was to blame remains disputed. Producer Sean S. Cunningham claims that first-time (at just 24 years old!) director Adam Marcus's inexperience caused him to badly mismanage the shoot, including letting through obviously flubbed scenes without retakes, shooting lengthy sequences entirely in slow-motion, and forgetting to film important lines of dialogue, requiring Cunningham to reshoot nearly half the movie. However, others involved with the production have claimed Cunningham's accounts to be grossly exaggerated, and instead place the blame on Cunningham himself for being a Pointy-Haired Boss during production. The one thing that all the accounts seem to agree on is that Marcus did not get on well in the slightest with lead actress Kari Keegan, who reportedly threatened to quit several times during filming. The end product did a little better than Jason Takes Manhattan at the box-office, though not by a whole lot (albeit it had a smaller budget, making it an overall more profitable venture), and many fans would prefer to think that it never happened.
  • During production of Jason X, writer Todd Farmer and director Jim Isaac did not get along at all. The film saw constant, heavy rewrites during production that required Farmer to be on set at all times; by his account, the entire crew hated him. Of particular note was tension over the film's tone, with Farmer's version being more serious and Isaac's being a lot goofier. On the commentary track for the film, they barely try to hide their enmity for one another, the two frequently taking potshots at each other.
  • Not only was Freddy vs. Jason stuck in Development Hell for over a decade, but when production finally got underway, it wasn't exactly smooth sailing. For starters, while Brad Renfro was originally cast to play the male lead Will, they had to fire him a week before shooting began and replace him with Jason Ritter, as when he first showed up to the set, he was strung out on drugs and couldn't perform. (Renfro would later die of an overdose in 2008.) During shooting, there was also a fight between director Ronny Yu and actress Katharine Isabelle, who had signed onto the film on the promise that she would not have to do nude scenes; during the shoot, Yu went back on this promise and repeatedly tried to pressure her to get naked in a shower scene. (They eventually settled on using a body double.)
  • The franchise as a whole has been stuck in Development Hell for almost a decade now. The sequel to the remake never really got off the ground due to the down economy, and a dispute between New Line and Paramount. Then New Line lent its share of the rights (they own the Jason Voorhees character) to Paramount (they own the Friday the 13th title), and after numerous release date changes, finally greenlit Friday the 13th: Part 13 for an October 13, 2017 release date with filming slated to begin in March 2017 and Breck Eisner directing. Then Rings flopped at the box office in February, and Paramount canceled the film just weeks before filming was to begin. Then New Line got back its share of the rights. And then Victor Miller, the writer of the original film, sued Sean S. Cunningham (producer of the franchise) over the rights to the Jason Voorhees character, which has not only put any future films in jeopardy, it stopped Friday the 13th: The Game from creating any new content.

    Ghostbusters film series 
  • Ghostbusters became one of the biggest smash hits of The '80s, breaking box-office records and spawning a franchise that has continued for decades afterward. Yet, the journey from script to screen was fraught with production difficulties, cost overruns and a production team that was completely unprepared for a project of that size, as this Vanity Fair feature explains:
    • The script was a labor of love for Dan Aykroyd, who was inspired by his family's history conducting spirit channeling and seances in their northern Ontario home. The project was originally envisioned as a buddy comedy with Aykroyd and John Belushi, but things immediately hit a snag early on when Belushi died midway through the scripting process, throwing Aykroyd's original idea out the door. In response, Aykroyd asked fellow Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Murray to come onboard with the project. (It was also noted by sources that Murray refused to commit to the project officially until the 11th hour, a trend which would manifest itself later on down the line with the sequels.)
    • Soon after, Ivan Reitman came onboard to direct, while Harold Ramis agreed to not only act as the third member of the group, but also help Aykroyd rewrite the script. When the idea and production team were pitched to Columbia Pictures chairman Frank Price in 1983, Ivan threw out a pie-in-the-sky budget of $25 million — and Price agreed. Reitman came to realize immediately after that this would mean they would need to re-write, shoot and edit the film in roughly a year so it could hit its projected summer 1984 release date.
    • The script rewrites got underway immediately, with the group (sans Murray, who was filming The Razor's Edge) decamping to Martha's Vineyard and working around the clock to get the plot hammered out. Large chunks of the plot (which Reitman later admitted were too shocking) were chopped out. The team soon realized that they would need more than 200 effects shots to see their vision brought to the screen, and most of the other major effects houses with busy with tentpole films. In response, Reitman got visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund to create his own FX house, Boss Film Studios. The only problem was that by the time all the necessary arrangements were completed, the team was ten months out from a release date without a single frame of footage to show for it. Designers began creating creatures and ghosts for a script that hadn't been fully completed at that point.
    • Filming got underway in October 1983 and everything began to run smoothly, though the team soon hit a snag when they realized that the "Ghostbusters" trademark had been used by a similar property, Filmation's Ghostbusters. The team attempted to work around this by having different logos bearing the names Ghostbreakers and Ghoststoppers, though Columbia eventually negotiated the rights to the name. The rest of the shoot was trouble-free.
    • Shutting down the street outside the location of Dana’s building for the climax created a horrific chain reaction of traffic jams until about half of Manhattan was completely gridlocked. On the commentary Reitman recounts that none other than Isaac Asimov, who just happened to be at the location, berated him over the mess, with the first words spoken to him by one of the greatest science fiction writers in history being “Are you the ones responsible for this?”
    • Production hitches reared their head again once shooting was completed. Edlund's FX studio, which was already working around the clock with multiple effects teams, was ordered by Reitman to require an additional 100 FX shots (which prompted him to, as the featurette explains, "meet [Reitman] in the parking lot with my samurai sword"), though this number was eventually trimmed down. The first industry screening was an unmitigated disaster, with Price being met with long stares and regrets after he found himself laughing alone in a screening room. Several of the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man suits caught on-fire, and the FX takes were barely edited in to the final print just before it went to theaters.note  Yet the final film was a smash hit, grossing nearly $300 million worldwide and igniting a wave of Expanded Universe offerings including an action figure line and animated series.
  • Ghostbusters II was fraught with its own set of issues, and indirectly led to a series of stallouts and delays that led the film series to be put on ice for more than two decades.
    • At first, nearly all of the parties involved in the making of the first film had no interest in doing a sequel, as they thought the original should be considered a standalone work. After a meeting with CAA agent Michael Ovitz in Los Angeles, however, Reitman, Murray, Ramis and Aykroyd all realized they could do it. This was also the meeting in which a formative agreement, in which Aykroyd, Ramis and Murray all needed to be on the same page to greenlight any further sequels, was signed, which would come into play in later years.
    • Filming began in November 1988 in New York with a scant 67-day shooting schedule. While filming of the live-action material progressed, Industrial Light and Magic (the FX studio hired for the sequel) found itself running into significant problems with many of the effects. The design for the Scoleri Brothers had to be adapted several times when the concept changed. Vigo the Carpathian saw his design shift multple times over the course of production, with his final look being worked on right up until the last minute. Much like the first film, ILM had nine units working overtime to try to get their original shots done, and eventually gave up and admitted that they couldn't do any more, and several planned scenes (including one where ghosts pour out of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House) were scrapped.
    • While principal photography was completed on time, the production crew realized they needed to go back for additional reshoots after test audiences complained that several of the concepts in the film (including "good and bad slime", Vigo and some of the ghosts) needed better explanations. With only three months before the film was set to hit theatres, Reitman and the crew went back for additional location shooting. According to the Ghostbusters: The Complete Visual History book, the final confrontation with Vigo was changed, literally at the last minute - the Art Museum set had already been 3/4 struck, necessitating some very complex shooting around the gaps in the set.
    • Not helping matters was a release date change to June 16th, 1989 — a week before the hotly-anticipated Batman (1989) was set to premiere. The final film was a box-office success (netting $215 million against a $37 million budget), but was later criticized by various groups, including Murray and Ernie Hudson, complaining that the material had been watered down and taken over via Executive Meddling to force more special effects and kid-related humor into the product. The film franchise would then go into a state of Development Hell, with various attempts at getting the franchise off the ground stalling out until...
  • Ghostbusters (2016): In spades.
    • More than 20 years of false starts, rejected pitches and casting announcements went nowhere after the release of the second film, with attempts by Columbia (and later, Sony Pictures) to push development forward stalling out due to Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis having long-standing veto contracts, which were put in place during the meeting with Ovitz in Los Angeles in 1989. As chronicled by Midnight's Edge, Ramis' death caused the power balance between the original trio of himself, Reitman and Murray to shift completely, and as detailed in leaked emails from the Sony hack, studio chief Amy Pascal essentially pushed Reitman out of the production process by courting Paul Feig in secret. Feig gave Pascal a pitch focusing on an all-female Ghostbusters team in a world where ghosts aren't fully known to the public, and Pascal agreed to start development.
    • Pre-production was officially announced in October 2014, and Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon were announced as the main stars, alongside a production slate that was intended to jumpstart a cinematic universe called Ghost Corps, similar to what Marvel had done with their comic properties. It was revealed soon after that Tom Rothman (who took over from Amy Pascal in the wake of the Sony hack) had cut the film's budget by $15 million just before the start of production. Further e-mail leaks showed that the original film's surviving cast were being aggressively courted by Sony, to the point of threatening to sue Murray if he didn't appear in a cameo role.
    • Although the progress of production was seemingly peaceful for a few months and filming was held through the summer of 2015, a series of leaks followed that shed light on the frustrations of both the studio and its stars. In February 2016, an anonymous production assistant (posting on the Encyclopedia Dramatica forums) wrote a post alleging that there were significant production problems occurring behind the scenes. The poster alleged that McCarthy was getting into fights on-set with Feig, largely because she was a huge fan of the source material and wanted something that was in-line with The Real Ghostbusters animated series. In turn, one of the (unnamed) lead actresses was getting into arguments with McCarthy, and the production crew had to pacify them by giving them equal screentime and lines. The anonymous poster also alleged that the script was reportedly terrible, that the cast and crew were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements to avoid a repeat of the Fantastic Four (2015) situation, and that Wiig and Feig were lamenting the situation they found themselves in.
    • All of this was a prelude to the release of the first trailer, which didn't go over well, causing it to become the most downvoted movie trailer in YouTube's history. As a back-and-forth battle began in the press between representatives from the production and fans, Feig (who was prone to encouraging the cast members to ad-lib their lines) went back for reshoots. According to Aykroyd in an interview after the film's release, Feig didn't shoot connecting scenes that were suggested to him and was forced to go back and shoot these scenes once principal photography was complete, adding an additional $30-40 million in reshoots to the budget.
    • The resulting product was a Box Office Bomb, making $229 million worldwide against a $144 million budget. While the movie did make back its budget in the international box office, it struggled to recoup the money spent on advertising, resulting in a $70 million loss for Sony.
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife, an attempt by Sony to Win Back the Crowd with a Distant Sequel to the original films, was another film that had an unhappy post-production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed its release from July 2020 to (so far) November 2021, and mixed-at-best response to what has been revealed so far in promotional materials. In January 2021, a clip from the Spanish version of MasterChef Junior (!) revealing the new ghost Muncher went viral for all the wrong reasons as fans criticized its design.

    Godzilla film series 
  • Godzilla (1954): Haruo Nakajima, one of the actors inside the Godzilla suit, could barely move the first suit at all, as the latex materials used for its construction weighed over 200 pounds. When he was able to move it, he would collapse from heat exhaustion within minutes. A lighter suit was made, but both Nakajima and fellow Godzilla suit wearer Katsumi Tezuka continued to have problems with heat exhaustion and breathing difficulties, and they also got blisters from the costumes' rough interiors. Even putting air holes in the costumes did not solve the problem due to the low air quality in the studio. Despite these problems, Nakajima greatly enjoyed the role, and continued to perform inside the Godzilla suit until 1972's Godzilla vs. Gigan.
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan had a very long and complex production compared to most of the other films in the series, going through at least three distinct phases which each would have resulted in a totally different finished product. From the beginning, the Toho Company planned for the movie to be a return to form after the extremely experimental and disturbing Godzilla vs. Hedorah baffled moviegoers and got its director banned from the series. The initial script, labeled Godzilla vs. the Space Monsters: Earth Defense Directive, was going to be epic in scale, featuring three established monsters (Godzilla, Anguirus, and King Ghidorah) alongside three brand new monsters (Gigan, Megalon, and Majin Tuol). Likely for budgetary reasons (making three new suits would have been extremely expensive), the Space Monsters script was thrown out and the project underwent huge changes to become The Return of King Ghidorah. This second draft again featured six monsters: Godzilla, Rodan, Ghidorah, and Varan, who were all established, as well as Gigan and Mogu, who were new. However, there was no longer a usable Varan suit, so this would have also required three new suits. The script underwent another huge revision, becoming Godzilla vs. Gigan, which featured Godzilla, Anguirus, Ghidorah, and Gigan, meaning only one new suit needed to be made. The movie relied heavily on monster footage from previous films in order to pad out its climax, and in general, it features low production values that do not hint at how much Toho had initially had planned for it. Megalon later showed up in the following film, which was actually even worse, but none of the other new monsters planned ever made it to the screen.
  • Godzilla vs. Biollante: After The Return of Godzilla, Tomoyuki Tanaka wanted a direct sequel to be made. However, after King Kong Lives bombed at the box office, Tanaka was cautious on how the series would be handled. Kazuki Omori, who became director of the film, had a Teeth-Clenched Teamwork relationship with him (he blamed Tanaka for the quality of the series in the 70s, as Ishiro Honda did, but Honda was more respectful about it. Akira Ifukube on the other hand...). They both settled on making a contest with five entries, and Omori then decided to modify the screenplay (which took three years) until the film became what it is.
  • A recurring problem from throughout the series concerns the fact that working with the monster suit was never not difficult. This article by Daniel Dockery for Cracked, detailing various production quirks from throughout the series, notes that, during the shots where Godzilla rises out of the sea, the actor inside the Godzilla suit was always at risk of drowning if they pulled him out too slow (in which case he ran out of air) or too fast (in which case his breathing apparatus might've gotten pulled out of his mouth). The water also made the 200-pound suit that much heavier. Furthermore, the suits were frequently stolen; this is why Godzilla had to be redesigned after The Return of Godzilla, and another suit was stolen during production of Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth and remained missing for several weeks before turning up at the bottom of a lake; fortunately, it was able to be repaired in time for use in the film.

    Halloween film series 
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers took six years to get made after the tepid reception of the last film in the Halloween series, The Revenge of Michael Myers in 1989. Its tribulations almost killed the series.
    • Series producer Moustapha Akkad had been intending to make a sixth Halloween film despite the tepid reception of Revenge, meeting with screenwriter and series super-fan Daniel Farrands in 1990. Farrands' ideas stoked Akkad's interest; he had compiled a notebook filled with research on the series, including a timeline, bios for every character, a "family tree" of the Myers and Strode families, and research on the runic symbol of Thorn that had appeared in Revenge. His intent was to bridge the first two films with the fourth and fifthnote , and also to explain why series villain Michael Myers keeps coming back: he had been put under an ancient Celtic curse that compelled him to murder his entire family, one that would be passed on to another young child after he completed his task.
    • Farrands was brought on to write the film, but a series of complicated legal battles held up production for years until Miramax Films (via Dimension Films) bought the rights to Halloween. Writing finally began in 1994; several screenplays by different writers were gone through and deemed insufficient until Farrands' final draft, dubbed Halloween 666, was finalized after eleven drafts. From there came casting. While Donald Pleasence reprised his role as Dr. Loomis, Danielle Harris did not return as Jamie Lloyd due to both salary disagreements and Creative Differences, namely how Harris resented the fact that Jamie was to be killed off in the opening, feeling that her character was no longer important to the series.note  As a result, Jamie was recast. Fred Walton was tapped to direct, but dropped out and was replaced with Joe Chappelle.
    • Then production began, and the real problems hit. Shooting in Salt Lake City proved challenging due to an early winter that frequently interrupted production, and Chappelle and producer Paul Freeman had to rewrite the ending on the fly to meet deadlines. Furthermore, Freeman frequently inserted himself into production, rewriting dialogue and action scenes, removing a number of scenes from the script, taking it upon himself to direct second-unit shots, and sending the crew home when important scenes needed to be shot. Freeman's handling of the production was so inept that Miramax eventually stepped in, kicked him off the film, and ordered reshoots. Chappelle, meanwhile, had never been too enthusiastic about the project to begin with, as he found the Halloween series dull and had actually wanted to direct Hellraiser: Bloodline (which, in a twist of fate, he got to finish up after original director Kevin Yagher quit; see below for more on that one), leading to him making the reshoots much Bloodier and Gorier.
    • Post-production went no better. Lead actress Marianne Hagan described the test screenings in early 1995 as "consist[ing] primarily of 14-year-old boys" who disliked the ending and the Cult of Thorn storyline. This led to another round of reshoots to craft a new ending, but there was a big problem: Donald Pleasence could not be present for them on account of having died in February. Not only was a new ending shot anyway, but over twenty minutes of other footage was changed as well, leaving gaping plot holes that rendered the film nearly incomprehensible.
    • When it was released that September, Curse had the largest opening weekend out of the entire series but was ravaged by critics and fans, and plunged fast. One of its fiercest critics was Farrands, who hated the final film's deviations from his script. The film's failure resulted in the series getting a partial Continuity Reboot three years later in 1998 with Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, which took only the first two films as canon.
    • Eventually, when the film was shown on TV, someone unearthed the original Producer's Cut from before the reshoots. While it cuts the violence and profanity for TV airing, it otherwise retains most of the original content, and Farrands has given it his tepid (if still disappointed) approval. The full, uncensored, remastered Producer's Cut was finally released on home video (after having been a popular bootleg for years) in 2014 as part of the collector's edition box set of the entire series, with a standalone release the following year. The general reception of the Producer's Cut is that, while the film remains very uneven (mostly due to the Curse of Thorn storyline being divisive among fans), it's still at least somewhat redeemed from the incomprehensible theatrical cut.
  • Halloween II (2009) was also a stressful and torturous production for everyone involved, and sent the franchise back to the grave for almost a decade:
    • After the success of the 2007 reboot, The Weinstein Company wanted to quickly greenlight a sequel, but Rob Zombie wasn't interested in returning, citing the stress and Executive Meddling of the first film, and wanted to move on with his career. The studio went through about ten scripts and seven directors before he begrudgingly agreed to sign on again, assuming it would be a quicker and easier production than the first film, and worried about what another filmmaker would do to his version of the characters. He also saw the project as an opportunity to create something very different for the series, and wanted it to be the final film in the franchise.
    • While location scouting for the film in Atlanta, Zombie learned that the studio had commissioned another script with another writer behind his back, and he quit the production in anger, but they eventually convinced him to return. Then the day before the first day of shooting, they cut two weeks from the schedule. Since Zombie refused to cut anything from his script, filming was extremely rushed, usually with about twelve pages being shot every day, with the local crew unprepared to handle it, and the film ended up going over budget. Some scenes from the script ultimately couldn't be filmed, and countless scenes were written and rewritten during the course of production. At the very end of filming, Zombie even kept shooting into an extra day in secret without the studio's permission.
    • The film ran into difficulties with securing Malcolm McDowell to reprise his role of Dr. Loomis. His deal to return wasn't finalized until filming was well under way, and most of his scenes were rewritten and shot in a single day at a hotel. Daeg Faerch was also supposed to reprise his role of young Michael Myers, but it was obvious when he got to set that he had outgrown the role, so Chase Wright Vanek was brought in as a last minute recast. The studio also vehemently disagreed with Zombie's choice to cast Mary Birdsong as Loomis' assistant, feeling that the role should've gone to a better-known actress, despite the character being a small role. She was ultimately cast and flown in hours before filming her scenes.
    • Making everything worse was the winter weather in Atlanta, which was so rainy, the crew had to bring in rain machines to keep it consistent. At least one outdoor set was washed away by the rain, and one day a blizzard came through Georgia, forcing the crew to accommodate the foot of snow on the ground. The sequence of Laurie running outside the hospital was especially challenging for Scout-Taylor Compton, who was wearing little more than a hospital gown in the freezing rain, while Tyler Mane was wearing a wetsuit.
    • One entire day's worth of film stock was accidentally x-rayed at the airport, ruining the footage, and Zombie had no choice but to reshoot all of it with no extra time. This included all of Richard Brake's scenes, and he had to quickly fly back from London with just a few hours' notice.
    • The studio insisted on adding more gore at the last minute, and inserts were quickly filmed in Los Angeles during the editing process, in some cases just a couple weeks before the film opened. They also found the ending (where Laurie is fatally shot by the police) too downbeat, so they ordered it reshot to resemble a more traditional slasher ending (where Laurie surrenders to police and is confined to a mental institution). Because of the short schedule, Zombie could not complete his cut on time as intended, forcing the theatrical release to go out with a shorter cut and an almost incomprehensible story.
    • The film was panned by critics and polarized fans of the series. Some praised Zombie's ambition and fresh take on the franchise. Others found the film to be pretentious, excessively violent, nihilistic, and all around confusing, as well as too much of a departure for the franchise. The film disappointed at the box office, grossing only $33 million in the US and $39 million worldwide (on a $15 million budget). Fortunately, Zombie was able to finish a director's cut for the DVD and Blu-ray release, which was considerably better received for its improved character development, more coherent story, and more powerful ending, and it has amassed a cult following.note  However, Zombie was denied permission to include his four hour documentary on the film's production (a staple of his films, including his first Halloween) because it reflected negatively of The Weinstein Company. While a sequel was greenlit a few years later, Zombie once again refused to return, and it ultimately fell into Development Hell. The Weinstein Company lost the rights to the franchise in 2015 because it took too long to put a new film into production. Blumhouse ended up taking over, and produced a direct sequel to the orignal film in 2018.
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    Hellraiser film series 
The original Hellraiser (adapted from the novella The Hellbound Heart) was a surprise smash hit at the box office and came to be seen as a classic of the horror genre, spawning a wave of sequels in the process. However, as time went on, Executive Meddling and a Money, Dear Boy mentality crept their way into the production cycle, leading the series to be sent straight-to-video for many years. Needless to say, many of the productions ran headlong into this trope.
  • The original film's problems were largely caused by the fact that the production had No Budget and series creator Clive Barker had to find creative methods of dealing with issues. Shooting in a house with only a single camera to spare, Barker was forced to rely on overhead and zoom shots due to shooting constraints and limited areas to move in. Several of the effects (including Larry's blood being sucked into the floor and Frank's rebirth) were either reshot due to looking unconvincing or required additional funding from New World Pictures to complete because of cost overruns. Barker himself has said that the dodgy nature of the FX can be traced to him completing the majority of the work over a single weekend (while getting drunk with a Greek animator) after filming wrapped. The original soundtrack by industrial band Coil was also thrown out, with Barker commenting that it made "my bowels churn", and replaced with an orchestral score by Christopher Young. Barker also had to deal with the MPAA to get the rating down from an X to an R. Despite the hardships, the film was a major success, earning more than $14 million against a $1 million budget.
  • Hellbound: Hellraiser II fared marginally better from a production standpoint, but still had to deal with initial funding boosts from New World Pictures drying up and their initial screenplay (which would have seen Larry return in a major role) thrown out after Andrew Robinson declined to reprise his role. Some minor incidents (including the actor who played the Chatterer being injured by one of the flying hooks during the climactic confrontation, and the MPAA once again forcing cuts) also occurred, but the film was once again a success, bringing in $12 million against a $3 million budget. New World's funding problems led the production to transfer to the Weinstein-owned Dimension Films, which led to...
  • Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth:
    • The film was stuck in Development Hell for several years, largely due to the underperformance of Barker's then-recent film Nightbreed, New World's financial problems, and the actress who played Julia (who was set up to be the franchise's Big Bad) deciding not to reprise her role. It took former New World executives establishing new production company Trans-Atlantic Pictures before a deal could be struck, and even then, the executives initially refused Barker's asking fee for the project, claiming that they wanted a "cheap and nasty" film.
    • While Hellbound director Tony Randel was originally intended to direct the film, he was replaced after his vision was deemed "too bleak" (it would have ended with lead character Joey making a Deal with the Devil to become Pinhead's bride in exchange for getting her "star reporter" dream). He was replaced with Anthony Hickox, who had to deal with a breakneck six-week shooting schedule, cast concerns (Doug Bradley has gone on-record as saying the makeup used on the film was irritating and his least favorite in the franchise, while actress Aimee Leigh complained about having to go topless in a sex scene, requiring the production team to work around it by having another character cup her breasts during shooting). Hickox also had to deal with the cast pushing back against the "Black Mass" scene, with them complaining that it was sacrilege due to being shot in North Carolina (which runs socially-conservative).
    • After filming wrapped, Miramax agreed to distribute the film in the U.S., but ran into problems during the editing process. Depending on which source is to be believed, Hickox either received rave reviews from Bob Weinstein and gave additional money for him to reshoot the ending, or Weinstein was swayed by Barker (who was approached to give his opinion on the film) to fix the film, via suggesting additional scenes like the extended gore shots in the nightclub massacre scene, and Terri's "bondage" during the finale. It was enough to get Barker an executive producer credit for the film. In a repeat of what happened with the original film, the first version of the soundtrack (which was heavily rock-influenced) was thrown out after test screenings and replaced with another orchestral score, which was hurriedly put together in just three weeks.
  • Described by Doug Bradley as "the shoot from Hell", Hellraiser: Bloodline's production was so fraught with difficulties that it became the last theatrically-released film in the series for over two decades:
    • Originally intended to be an anthology film that would be set in three time periods, the script was greenlit by Miramax (who were now firmly in charge of the franchise) without needing an online. Soon after, though, the company refused to provide a budget to help realize the scope of the film, which would have included more special effects and violent encounters between new character Angelique and Pinhead. Just about the only thing that was problem-free were the makeup and character design provided by Gary J. Tunnicliffe, who worked on the previous film and began to take a larger role in the production, helping streamline Bradley's makeup for easier use and creating the design for Angelique's appearance as a Cenobite.
    • Despite shooting being completed on-time and within budget, the production was fraught with issues, including key personnel either leaving or unable to work due to personal emergencies, sets being damaged by sprinkler malfunctions, several crew members falling sick and (according to Bradley) the camera crew and art department all being replaced within the first week. Director Kevin Yagher (who had success with films like Child's Play and the Tales from the Crypt' series) was called in to direct — according to Tunnicliffe, despite his love for the outline and vision for the film, he ran afoul of executives due to his behavior and shooting style.
    • According to a documentary produced by Youtube creator Midnight's Edge, tensions boiled over after filming wrapped, with Yagher refusing to show footage from the film to Bob Weinstein, citing Director's Guild of America guidelines over a clause that allowed him to take up to 12 weeks to edit the film before showing his work to the production company. This caused no end of strife, with Weinstein reportedly planning to can him and seemingly getting into at least one physical altercation over the disagreement (which was an open secret on-set).
    • Miramax executives asked for several script changes, including Pinhead being introduced earlier in the film and a Framing Device where third-act protagonist Paul Merchant narrates his ancestors' tales. Additional reshoots were scheduled, and Yagher walked away from the production, claiming he was burned out. In his stead, Joe Chapelle (of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers fame, which is also an example of this trope) was brought in to helm reshoots. In all, what was originally intended to be a six-week shoot ballooned to twice that amount, via three additional sets of two-week shoots that occurred over the next three months. Large swaths of the past and future segments of the film (including more focus on Angelique, a greater explanation of Paul Merchant's identity and philosophy and a different ending) were excised from the final cut. Incensed over the situation, Yagher removed his name from the film and an Alan Smithee credit was used in his place.
    • The film was Not Screened for Critics and only made $9 million against a $4 million budget (not counting reshoots). The experience led to the franchise going Direct to Video for many years and started the trend of the franchise's budgets being slashed for each film.
  • While Hellraiser: Inferno didn't have anywhere near the kind of contentious problems Bloodline had faced, it still faced funding problems that led Tunnicliffe (who had rejoined the prodution team after being asked) to forego payment for his services in favor of paying his staff members, after he learned that the project only had a scant $50,000 for special effects (leading to plenty of issues designing and implementing FX shots). While filming did run smoothly otherwise, Barker had a falling-out with director Scott Derrickson over the film's tone.

    James Bond film series 
The James Bond films have had cases of this - in particular, every Bond's second movie gets hit badly by these. Some notable examples include:

  • From Russia with Love had to undergo a Ridiculously Fast Construction because the producers had already set a release date, and they had to face problems such as a boat full of cameras sinking into the Bosphorus, a helicopter falling into a lake (with the director inside!) while location scouting, and co-star Pedro Armendáriz being diagnosed with terminal cancer and then committing suicide during the shoot.note 
  • Most of the problems with You Only Live Twice had to do with the scope of the production, and the technical difficulties that went along with it. However, the press intrusion into Sean Connery's life started to become a serious issue, as did the deterioration of both his marriage to Diane Cilento and his relationship with producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli, resulting in Connery often being surly on set and frequently snapping at director Lewis Gilbert and the crew with little provocation. Saltzman hired Jan Werich to play the part of Blofeld without consulting Gilbert or Broccoli, and though Gilbert perservered with Werich, it soon became obvious that he was completely miscast, leading to the role being hastily recast with Donald Pleasence. In post-production, the cut that Gilbert and editor Thelma Connell came up with ran at an absurdly long three hours and got universally negative feedback from a test audience. The producers, realizing they had a potential Franchise Killer on their hands, begged former series editor Peter Hunt (who had moved away from editing into handling the second unit, as a stepping-stone to becoming a director in his own right) to re-edit it into something much more manageable, and Hunt agreed, so long as he was allowed to direct the next entry in the series. The end product once again proved a critical and commercial hit, but Connery decided enough was enough and temporarily retired from the James Bond role until he came back for Diamonds Are Forever.
  • While not part of the official film series, the 1967 adaptation of Casino Royale was a trainwreck of epic proportions that had long-standing ramifications on the greater Bond franchise.
    • Eon Productions (who are behind the film series) did not have the rights to the novel as Ian Fleming had sold the film rights to Casino Royale seperately to Gregory Ratoff, who died in 1960 before he could find backers to fund the film; the film rights then ended up in the hands of producer Charles K. Feldman, who contacted Eon producer Albert R. Broccoli in an attempt to make the film a co-production, but Feldman and Broccoli butted heads over profit divisions and production dates. Feldman broke off talks to seek different backers for the film. Feldman also attempted to sign on EON Bond star Sean Connery, but balked when Connery demanded one million dollars for the role - a significant sum at the time.
    • With a script written by Scarface (1932) screenwriter Ben Hecht, Feldman brought the film to Columbia Pictures who agreed to take on the project. Hecht had initially written a straightforward adaptation of the novel but later drafts reportedly differed significantly from the novel. Hecht died in 1964, just two days before he was due to present his final script. With the spy film craze beginning due to the success of EON's Bond films, Feldman opted to change the film into a parody of Bond to seperate it from the pack, bringing in several writers (among them Wolf Mankowitz and Billy Wilder) to rewrite the script before and during shooting, while Peter Sellers ended up in the role of James Bond.
    • When filming began, Sellers became increasingly uncooperative toward the production. Alledgedly, Sellers had signed onto the film believing it was a serious adaptation of the novel but arrived to the set to find out it was a spoof, greatly upsetting him. Among his antics was having actor John Bluthal fired, ordering a set torn down over a dream he had, bringing in Terry Southern to rewrite his character's dialogue in an attempt to outshine his co-stars, and leaving the set for days or weeks at a time.
    • Fanning the flames was the Hostility on the Set between Sellers and Orson Welles, who had been cast as the film's villain. Sellers vocally complained that Welles wasn't taking scenes seriously while Welles refused to shoot scenes with "that amateur". Sources disagree on what caused the rift between the two,note  but the production had enough with Sellers and fired him. A number of his scenes were still unfilmed, including the film's ending, and as a result his character in the film was killed off via being gunned down using a Fake Shemp.
    • The production scrambled as the plot was hastily rewritten to account for missing and unfinished scenes. 5 directors would be credited for the final film (John Huston, Val Guest, Ken Hughes, Joseph McGrath and Robert Parrish. Richard Talmadge also did uncredited directing). David Niven was brought in for new scenes that would wrap around scenes Sellers had been in while other sequences were either cut, dropped or replaced entirely, which eventually led to the film having a bizarre plot about an older, retired Bond (Niven) assigning multiple agents the name "James Bond". The resulting chaos caused the film's budget to run far over what it had began with.
    • When the film finally released in April 1967, it was blasted by critics for a long list of reasons, among them being its nonsense plot and choppy editing. While it made roughly three times its budget back, virtually nobody involved in the production had nice things to say about the experience and many who worked on the film saw their careers derailed or killed; of the film's directors, John Huston was mostly unscathed while Val Guest, who handled Niven's scenes, was scapegoated for the mess and reduced to directing films like the Awful British Sex Comedy Confessions of a Window Cleaner for the rest of his career. Charles Feldman develped heart issues as a result of the stress incurred by the film and died two years after the film's release. The reputation of Peter Sellers suffered thanks to his actions on the set, which led some studios to simply not deal with him at all, though he would bounce back after a string of failures with The Return of the Pink Panther.
    • And as for EON Productions? While they couldn't take direct legal action against the film, it caused them to take a much more aggressive stance in protecting their hold of the Bond franchise. It was also a key factor in EON's decades-long feud and legal entanglments with Kevin McClory, who held certain rights to the Bond novel Thunderball (and who would use those rights to make his own unoffical Bond film with Never Say Never Again). The film's reputation along with legal issues kept the rights out of EON's hands until 1999, and in 2006 they would finally make an official adaptation of Fleming's novel.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service had a few stuntmen accidents (including one guy losing a foot), and leading man George Lazenby had conflicts with the director and the producers. On top of that, the press had a field day with the production and created huge stories out of the most innocuous events; lead actress Diana Rigg's off-hand quip about eating garlic prior to a scene resulted in stories that the two leads could barely even stand to work together (which, to be fair, wasn't completely untrue), while the news that George Baker would be overdubbing some of Lazenby's lines — specifically the ones where Bond was impersonating Baker's character, Sir Hillary Bray — ended up being interpreted as Lazenby having proven to be such a terrible actor that the producers had been forced to have Baker overdub his entire performance. These stories naturally made the already-strained mood on the set even worse, and played a part in Lazenby's decision not to return to the role.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun saw initial plans to film in Iran abandoned after the Yom Kippur war, and writer Tom Mankiewicz was forced to leave "feeling really tapped out on Bond", bringing back recurring screenwriter Richard Maibaum.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me was fraught with problems, being developed and released in the midst of a falling-out between producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman,note  and EON Productions nearly going into liquidation. Spy was rushed into production after another producer, Kevin McClory, decided to create a rival Bond film (which would eventually become Never Say Never Again).
    • The original script treatment for Spy was rejected, and a new screenplay was commissioned that prominently featured Bond's archnemesis Blofeld. Unfortunately, McClory still held the rights to the Blofeld character, forcing the screenwriters to pop in a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in the form of Stromberg. Several writers, including Anthony Burgess, John Landis, and Gerry Anderson, worked on the script at different times.
    • When Ian Fleming originally gave EON Productions the film rights for the Bond books ten years earlier, he told the producers that where The Spy Who Loved Me was concerned, they could use his title but no other aspect of the novel since he wasn't very proud of it, the first time that happened in the series. For that, his name was moved down in the credits. However, this led to one of the few decisions that helped the film: the writers chose to write Bond more as Fleming had envisioned him (as they described it, "Very English, very smooth, good sense of humour") and less like the way Connery had been playing him. This helped Moore come into his own in the part.
    • The producers cast about for a director and settled on Steven Spielberg, who was still finishing Jaws (itself famously troubled) at that point; he decided to wait and see how that turned out for him instead. Guy Hamilton, who had directed the previous three Bonds, then got the job but left to direct Superman.note  So it ultimately fell to Lewis Gilbert, who had directed You Only Live Twice, of which the film is essentially a remake (both films involve the villain stealing military technology from both sides in the Cold War to bait them into going to war against each other, and both climax with an assault against a lair protected by steel shutters).
    • To accommodate the set for the interior of the supertanker, a completely new stage had to be built at Pinewood Studios outside London, along with a giant water tank. It was so huge that cinematographer Claude Renoir,note  who was losing his sight to begin with, couldn't figure out how to light it and had to secretly bring in Stanley Kubrick for help.
    • To film the opening stunt, the second unit travelled all the way to Mount Asgard near the northern tip of Canada's Baffin Island. The fall and parachute jump cost $500,000—the most expensive stunt at that time.note 
    • Shell offered to loan the production a tanker, but between the insurance costs and the very real safety risks it was too expensive to use and miniatures had to be built instead. Miniatures were also used for the scenes in Giza when the pyramids proved too large to light effectively.
    • During filming in Egypt, the cast and crew were upset with the poor quality of food being served to them. So, producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli was able to get a refrigerated truck to bring in food from England. Unfortunately, by the time the truck made it to Egypt, all the food was either spoiled or stolen. But Broccoli came through in the clutch. He sent assistants out to round up tomatoes, cheese, bread, and imported pasta from Cairo. Then Cubby (something of an amateur chef in his free time) cooked up a massive spaghetti feast for the cast and crew. In his honor, the mess hall at the studio was renamed "Trattoria Broccoli" and many involved remember the makeshift pasta night as one of the high points of filming.
    • Thankfully, the film was critically well-received, and is still considered one of the franchise's high points.
  • Filming of Moonraker wasn't too troublesome compared to its predecessor, but production had to be moved to France due to the crippling taxation being imposed on UK film productions at the time, with production designer Ken Adam being dismayed to find that the French studio workers' unions were even more militant than their UK counterparts. The eyesight of initial cinematographer Claude Renoir, which had already caused problems during production of the previous film, ended up failing completely only a few days of shooting, putting an unfortunate end to Renoir's career, and necessitating his replacement with Jean Tournier.
  • Octopussy had problems in the writing phase after initial writer George MacDonald Fraser's draft contained several scenes that were ludicrously unfeasible to film, in addition to generally lacking the feel of a Bond film, necessitating a rushed overhaul of the screenplay by veteran Bond writer Richard Maibaum and producer Michael G. Wilson. Casting the title character also proved difficult, with close to two dozen actresses being screen-tested — reportedly their original choice was Sybil Danning, but they decided against it after she gave a terrible performance in her screen test — before the producers finally threw their hands up and cast Maud Adams, who had previously been the secondary Bond Girl in The Man with the Golden Gun, while lifting some details from the original Ian Fleming story (the script having been an In Name Only adaptation until that point) to explain her non-Indian appearance. Then, during filming Roger Moore's stunt double was severely injured after an accident while filming the train sequence, which affected morale for the rest of the shoot. Filming also got held up for a few days when Moore collapsed on-set and was mistakenly diagnosed with a heart problem, before Adams brought in her boyfriend, a top cardiac surgeon, who found that Moore actually just had heatstroke.
  • The non-EON produced Never Say Never Again went off the rails to the extent of Sean Connery taking on many of the production duties with assistant director David Tomblin. Director Irvin Kershner was critical of producer Jack Schwartzman, saying that, while he was a good businessman, "he didn't have the experience of a film producer". After the production ran out of money, Schwartzman had to fund further production out of his own pocket and later admitted he had underestimated the amount the film would cost to make. There was tension on set between Schwartzman and Connery, who at times barely spoke to each other. Connery was unimpressed with the perceived lack of professionalism behind the scenes and was on record as saying that the whole production was a "bloody Mickey Mouse operation!" The delays mean that dispite being generally warmly recieved by critics (with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 67% compared to 42% for the contemporary Octopussy) it did not premiere until the autumn, a much weaker relase time compared to the summer release of Octopussy which lead to the EON production outgrossing it.
  • Licence to Kill was hit by a writers' strike, tax issues making it too expensive to film in the UK, and severe heat while filming in Mexico.
  • The pre-production phase of GoldenEye was defined by a deep journey into Development Hell that resulted in a six-year gap between films.
    • Pre-production on the seventeenth Bond film had started in 1990 with the alledged title Property of a Lady, but ceased when MGM and Eon Productions became entangled in lawsuits caused by new MGM owner (and notorious fraudster) Giancarlo Paretti's intent to sell the broadcasting rights to the Bond franchise at cut-rate prices. The legal wrangling took over two years to sort out, with Paretti getting ousted from MGM and eventually sentenced for fraud. Pre-production on the film finally restarted in 1993 with a new screenplay written by Michael France, while Albert R. Broccoli stepped down from his long-time position as producer due to declining health, leaving Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson to take over lead production duties.
    • Pre-production hit further snags; Bond actor Timothy Dalton, whose contract had expired in 1993, opted to retire from the role. While Dalton was very interested in coming back for one film, he was unwilling to commit to the multi-film deal Albert Broccoli insisted on. Production was pushed back to recast the Bond role, eventually settling on Pierce Brosnan. Michael France's screenplay went through multiple hands, being rewritten by Jeffrey Caine with further work by Bruce Feirstein and an uncredited Kevin Wade, which resulted in France getting a mere "Story By" credit in the final film. France would later grumble about the process, feeling that he was not properly credited and that the rewrites did not improve on his draft.
    • Thankfully, when the film entered production it was a fairly smooth ride, and the film went on to sucessfully revitalize the franchise.
  • According to an interview with Michael G. Wilson, Tomorrow Never Dies (like From Russia With Love) was given a release date with no pre-production work completed (and intended to coincide with the release of the company's public stock offering), and things went downhill from there. The script wasn't ready to shoot on the first day of filming, actors supposedly weren't speaking with each other, verbal sparring between director Roger Spottiswoode and writer Bruce Feirstein persisted and the entire production (from the first day of shooting to its release) took a scant six months. One British newspaper summed it up saying, "All the happiness and teamwork which is the hallmark of Bond has disappeared completely," and Pierce Brosnan said that making this film was like pulling teeth.
  • Quantum of Solace was stalled in pre-production by a writers' strike. Based on various accounts, screenwriter Paul Haggis was frantically finishing a first draft hours before the strike deadline and/or Daniel Craig and director Marc Forster rewrote script pages themselves during production. In addition, the fragmented nature of the production (due to the strike) led to a rushed and nearly incoherent plot.
  • The Sony Pictures leak in late 2014 revealed that Spectre suffered from a ballooning budget and serious production problems, which made it an infamous case of this before it came out.
    • The genesis of the film only came about after copyright issues were settled with Kevin McClory in November 2013 for the film rights to Thunderball. Although Sam Mendes had previously stated his intent not to return for the next film after the success of Skyfall, he and production designer Dennis Gassner stated their intent to helm the film just a few months prior. The cast and crew quickly ballooned to more than 1,000 people.
    • Though most people in the public eye assumed production was progressing normally, the November 2013 Sony hack revealed that there were significant production problems — namely, screenwriter John Logan's early script. According to leaked e-mails, the executives were having significant problems with the film's third act, which involved Bond and Madeleine being held in a desert prison by the villain, Heinrich Stockmann (a.k.a. Hans Oberhauer). Discussions over the third act's problems persisted for months (and well into filming), with Skyfall writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade still running into problems. The final script would include contributions from both men, along with Mendes and British playwright Jez Butterworth.
    • As a result of this, the film began to balloon over budget. Not helping matters was that a discussion about Product Placement (namely, a Sony Xperia phone) resulted in arguments between Mendes (who was resistant to the idea), co-owner Barbara Broccoli and Sony Pictures executives. This eventually culminated in Sony Japan CEO Kaz Hirai having to step in personally and order them to include the placement.
    • Filming began in earnest in December 2014, but several accidents occurred that caused slight delays on production. Daniel Craig suffered a knee sprain while shooting a fight sequence, while three crew members were injured by a filming vehicle (one seriously).
    • Going into 2015, filming continued to progress, but the crew faced difficulties from authorities and special interest groups in Rome when they attempted to film a car chase scene in the city, as well as reports from media outlets in Mexico that the script had to be altered to accommodate the needs of Mexican authorities (in order to portray the country in a positive light and thus get some funding from there).
    • The final production budget was roughly $245 million (though some sources estimate it to be more than $300 million), making it the most expensive Bond film ever made. However, the film did gross $880 million worldwide at the box office. In the publicity junket, Craig joked that he would rather slit his wrists than make such a film again (he later had to make clear that this was very much his exhaustion talking).
  • No Time to Die:
    • The troubles began surfacing with Danny Boyle's abrupt departure from the project over reported Creative Differences with Craig and the producers. The film's release date was pushed back twice from October 2019 to April 2020, and the script was repeatedly being re-written by committee well into shooting in what one anonymous source described as a "well-polished shitshow."
    • Furthermore, Craig injured his ankle during filming in Jamaica (after a reported argument with director and co-writer Cary Fukunaga), which led to the London shoot being delayed. Then, Grace Jones' planned cameo had to be nixed after she quit within minutes of arriving on set upon discovering how small her part was. In post-production, Fukunaga's regular composer, Dan Romer, was fired due to a reported dispute with the producers, with Hans Zimmer being hired to re-score the entire film in just a couple of months.
    • And then, its premiere was hastily pushed back six months to November 2020 over concerns about the COVID-19 Pandemic, as the most affected countries accounted for almost half of the previous film's worldwide box office. It was pushed back to the following April as the pandemic continued, and pushed back again to October 2021, meaning that if that release date holds, it will be two years late. Rumors claim that before the shift to October 2021, the studio offered the film to streaming services such as Netflix, but none of them would pony up the $600 million asking price.
    • The chronic delays wreaked havoc with the film's marketing and Product Placement deals. In January 2021 it was reported by insiders that because of the contracts that various companies signed with the film, scenes were having to be digitally edited or reshot to account for now-obsolete products.

    Jaws film series 
  • The first film became Hollywood's first true Summer Blockbuster and the Trope Codifier for the Threatening Shark trope, but its production is legendary for its many troubles.
    • Richard Dreyfuss summed it up as follows: "We started the film without a script, without a cast and without a shark." Principal photography began without a completed script or shark props, and Carl Gottlieb frequently wrote script pages on the night before shooting. Steven Spielberg, inexperienced with large-scale filmmaking at the time, insisted on shooting in open waters. This decision created many of the headaches experienced during shooting.
    • The problems from shooting in open waters included soaked cameras, ruined takes because unwanted sailboats drifted into frame, cast and crew having to make long journeys to and from the sea, and at one point the ship began sinking with the actors aboard. Out of a 12-hour working day, only four hours would be spent actually filming... and that was on a good day. On a bad day there would be no filming at all.
    • Many days of filming were ruined by problems with the shark props. Three full-size mechanical sharks were built for the film at great expense, and one sank to the bottom of the ocean on its first day, forcing a team of divers to retrieve it. All three models frequently malfunctioned due to exposure to salt water, forcing Spielberg (who had initially considered the shark effects to be the film's true star) to work around the issues and only hint at the shark in many scenes. He latered credited the shark problems for the film's suspense, saying "It made me become more like Alfred Hitchcock than like Ray Harryhausen.".
    • Robert Shaw had taken the role of Quint mainly to pay off his tax debts, and he frequently flew back and forth to Canada from Martha's Vineyard during filming to avoid further attention from the IRS. While said to be pleasant while sober, his frequently drinking on the set brought out his irascible and competitive worst, and he quickly found an enemy in Richard Dreyfuss; Shaw regularly taunted Dreyfuss as cowardly (at one point he dared Dreyfuss to climb to the top of the ship's mast and jump from it) and even sprayed him down with a firehose. Meanwhile, Dreyfuss threw Shaw's drinking glass into the ocean between takes.
    • Jaws had been assigned a budget of $4 million, but wound up $5 million over budget for a total of $9 million (that was a lot back in 1974). Filming had fallen over 100 days behind schedule - what was initially meant to be a 55-day shoot ended up at 159 days. Spielberg thought he would never work again, and refused to show up to the final day of filming as he felt that the exhausted and disgruntled crew would throw him in the water as payback for the miserable shootnote .
  • Jaws 2 was only less troubled by comparison:
    • Spielberg refused to return for the sequel, at first because he was completely against the idea, and later because he (along with Richard Dreyfuss) was busy with Close Encounters of the Third Kind. John D. Hancock was hired as director, but Universal executives disliked his character-driven take on the film and the slow pace of filming. One month in, Hancock was fired and production shut down for weeks while a new director could be found and the script could be rewritten. The obvious choices for director were blocked by the Director's Guild of America due to their rules regarding promoting crew members to directornote . They eventually settled on Jeannot Szwarc, a prolific television director who had little film experience.
    • Roy Scheider reprised his role of Chief Brody, but utterly hated doing so. He had recently backed out of a role in The Deer Hunter at the last second due to Creative Differences, putting him in a contract dispute with Universal. He bitterly fought against being cast in Jaws 2; His biographer claimed he even tried to plead insanity, but ultimately agreed to the film when Universal offered a $500.000 paychecknote  and to count Jaws 2 as his final contractual obligation to the studio.
    • Nevertheless, Scheider's distaste for the film led to a tense shoot. He got into heated arguments with Szwarc, claiming that Szwarc was spending more time directing the child actors and effects than the leads, and he threatened to walk out of the film multiple times. Things became so sour between the two that Producer David Brown and Verna Fields tried to get them to air out their differences privately, only for a fistfight between Scheider and Szwarc to break out.
    • And the film ran into many of the same troubles the first one had with the mechanical sharks frequently breaking down. And there were protests by locals that forced the production to move from Martha's Vineyard to Florida. And there was the rough weather and winds that regularly held up filming. And while filming the finale, the actors found themselves menaced by real sharks. The final budget was $30 million, more than three times that of the first film. It still made a tidy profit.
  • Jaws 3D proved less troublesome than the two prior films, but still had its share of problems.
    • David Brown and Richard Zanuck, who had produced the first two films, originally pitched it as a National Lampoon spoof named Jaws 3, People 0. John Hughes was attached as writer and Joe Dante as director, but Steven Spielberg vocally denounced the idea as disrespectful and Universal nixed it before it got to production. The 3D film resurgence in the early 1980s convinced Universal to revisit the film to take advantage of the trend.
    • The script was a messy affair. Richard Matheson was asked to write the script, but while he was given a co-credit in the final film, Matheson said that a slew of uncredited script doctors had their way with the script and his contributions were rewritten under murky circumstances, and he would disapprove of the final film. The story was credited to Guerdon Trueblood, who had reportedly written an outline for a different film about a shark that was bought out and refitted for this film.
    • Most of filming was a fairly smooth process, aside from Dennis Quaid's behavior where he tried to pick a fight with an extra and later claimed he was strung out on cocaine during the shoot. The first days of shooting were done using obsolete 3D cameras from the 1950s, though director Joe Alves had anticipated this and stuck to filming shots that could easily be redone. The 3D shots proved to be complicated even with modern technology, with some scenes like the shark's death requiring many reshoots to get right.
    • It took a turn for the worse in post-production, however, as the initial effects company had tried creating all the 3D effects shots using video. The results were so poor that the producers to hired another company to hastily redo the effects in the then-traditional manner... only for the new shots to turn out hardly any better than the originals. By this point they had no choice but to release the film as it was, resulting in the film being heavily derided for its clunky 3D effects and general Special Effect Failure.
  • Surprisingly enough, Jaws: The Revenge almost managed to avert this trope... almost.
    • Universal was in a financial rough patch after a disastrous slate of films during 1986, headlined by Howard the Duck. CEO Sid Sheinberg, who noted the strong box office of Jaws 3D despite tepid reviews, ordered a new Jaws film fast-tracked into production to hopefully give a boost to the company's financial position.
    • The problem was that producer-director Joseph Sargent was only given ten months from pre-production to release date. This resulted in a hastily written, hastily filmed production that Sargent later described as "a ticking time-bomb". While the process of filming was mostly free of trouble (and unlike prior films, within the budget), it still went over the allotted time due to storms and prevented Michael Caine from accepting an Oscar he won for Hannah and Her Sisters.
    • Then the studio demanded the ending be reshot for international releases and home video due to test audiences having a negative reaction to the original US theatrical ending, allegedly refusing to give the production money to do so properly. This resulted in the infamous and widely mocked exploding shark ending, along with a big case of Not Quite Dead from a character last seen being chewed on by the shark.

    A Nightmare On Elm Street film series 
The A Nightmare on Elm Street films are famous for Robert Englund's master class performance as its lead villain Freddy Krueger... and also having some pretty troubled production histories, at the time being an actual nightmare to experience.

  • During production of the first film, a major investor pulled out two days before filming began, and Robert Shaye had to raise the money elsewhere. Two weeks into production, they had no money to pay anyone - and the Line Producer had to use his credit card. Eventually, Robert Shaye cut a deal with the original investor to supply about $200,000. What's more, is that the processing lab wasn't paid and threatened to keep the film until they were.
  • Freddy's Revenge, the second film in the franchise, had it even worse.
    • It started with the fact that the movie was greenlit the very weekend the first Nightmare came out. This may seem like standard procedure for sequel greenlighting nowadays, but back then, it was virtually unheard of, especially if this was an R-rated horror film.
    • Then there was Wes Craven not wanting to return, admitting to never wanting to direct a sequel of the first movie. He did at least agree to consider directing the second film, but eventually backed out after hating the script that had been written without his involvement (for good measure, returning production designer Gregg Fonseca quit with Craven, and wasn't replaced, leading to an art director being hastily promoted to take his role); he was replaced by Jack Sholder, who had acted as the de facto second unit director on the first film.
    • Heather Langenkamp was never asked to return to this sequel, and according to the producers, they had not even considered bringing Nancy Thompson back to this movie at any point in pre-production. She would finally return to the franchise in parts 3 and 7.
    • Sholder nearly got fired before filming even began, after producer Robert Shaye decided he wanted to play the main character's father despite having no acting experience, and Sholder understandably balked. Eventually, Sholder resorted to claiming that he had already offered the role to Clu Gulager (who he actually did have in mind for the part, but hadn't yet approached) and half-jokingly suggested that Shaye play the role of the bartender in a leather bar. Much to his shock, Shaye agreed — just so long as Sholder accompanied him on a trip to buy some S&M gear so that he'd look the part. This ended up starting a tradition of Shaye making a Creator Cameo in each film.
    • Not making matters better was that Robert Englund also wasn't even asked to return as Freddy. A random extra was hired... But within a week of filming, it was clear that the stuntman in question was not up to the task; his movements have been described as more akin to Frankenstein's Monster than Freddy, and absolutely lifeless. He was fired and replaced with Englund, but a small bit of his footage remains in the shower scene. Englund also admitted that although he liked some parts of the movie, he also had problems with the script.
    • Actual filming went smoothly for the most part, although Mark Patton had large objections to the infamous "Touch Me" dance scene. While Patton was himself gay, he thought the scene was too gay even for him. He did his own choreography, which was far less campy than originally planned. Additionally, the climactic pool party massacre had actors not knowing when explosions were to go off — nobody was acting in that scene, their scared reactions were absolutely real.
    • Fortunately, the film was a box office success and managed to gross more than its predecessor, but wasn't anywhere near as well received, with fans claiming the film broke a lot of what was set as rules in the first, namely that Freddy spent too much time in the outside world and that Freddy using others to kill for him went against the idea of his character. Fortunately, this forced Wes Craven to return for the next film, albeit as a writer.
  • Dream Warriors was much smoother but still wasn't completely trouble-free. The film began as a satirical meta-film about Freddy haunting the lives of people who worked on the film, but the studio didn't like it (Ironically, this ended up being the basis for Wes Craven's New Nightmare). Wes Craven was hesitant to return as a writer, as he had vowed never to do another sequel after his thoroughly miserable experience working on The Hills Have Eyes Part II. Additionally, people weren't fond of the newer cast in the previous film, requiring Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon to return in side roles. Fortunately, when it came to finalizing the script and shooting, things went well for the most part. Producer Robert Shaye also found it hard to supervise filming, due to New Line having expanded into a bona fide studio by this point, eventually forcing him to acknowledge that he was being too much of a control freak and hand most of his producer's duties over to production manager Rachel Talalay. The film thankfully did well at the box office, keeping the franchise running strong and was even seen as the second best of the series. Patricia Arquette became a star thanks to the film.
  • The Dream Master wasn't quite as angsty as the first movie or Freddy's Revenge, but getting it made still wasn't an easy feat.
    • For unspecified reasons, Patricia Arquette decided not to return. To this day, nobody knows why exactly.note This led to Tuesday Knight being cast in her role. This proved to be a problem, given the film continued the previous entry's story: Few reviewers (if any) knew who she was, and they weren't fans of her acting style. Many of them also complained that because of the recasting, when Kirsten, Kincade, and Joey all reunite in the film's opening nightmare scene, the emotion wasn't quite as palpable as it should've been (and that even Dull Surprise reactions could be seen from the actors).
    • Renny Harlin, then an unknown director from Finland, was incredibly enthusiastic about directing and wanted the job so badly - mainly because he was so impoverished and had a hard time adjusting to life in the US, but also because he was a huge fan of the series. Bob Shaye, on the other hand, didn't want him directing, and was also iffy about a Finnish director getting the job. This may seem like petty xenophobia, but when one considers the first movie was banned in Finland for a number of years, this was more reasonable.
    • This led to a war of the minds between Shaye and Harlin. Harlin was so passionate that he absolutely refused to take no for an answer. He went so far as to show up to New Line's office every day and chill with a number of employees just to annoy him into letting him direct. This worked, but considering Shaye had a number of people he wanted to direct the film over Harlin, he let him begrudgingly.
    • Getting a screenplay proved a big challenge for various reasons. William Kotzwinkle was the first writer to try his hand, but only managed to turn in a rough story outline before being forced to bow out for personal reasons, resulting in Shaye turning instead to future Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland, who had a very short deadline to avoid an impending writer's strike. Against all odds, the inexperienced Helgeland managed to get a completed script submitted the day before the strike began... and then Shaye and Harlin found themselves in the nightmare scenario of having a script that, while workable story-wise, would have been far too expensive to produce on the budget typically afforded to the series. Because the writer's strike effectively precluded them from hiring any professional writers, Shaye, Harlin, co-producer Rachel Talalay and damn near everyone else at New Line had a part in throwing the script together — some reports also claim that the duo of Jim and Ken Wheat broke the WGA strike and got the final draft thrown together right before shooting — with the end product being credited to Helgeland and the fictitious "Scott Pierce".
    • Shooting was mostly smooth, but the tensions between the two did complicate things. Shaye was more heavily involved in shooting than he was on previous films in the series. He would show up to set every day to monitor Harlin. Harlin was extremely stressed because of this - he showed up to set every day basically "expecting to get fired at any given moment". When it came time to film Shaye's obligatory Creator Cameo, the two were barely even speaking to each other, thus making a small few seconds of film extremely difficult to shoot.
    • When it came time to film Rick's death scene, the production had already run out of money, and since they had already filmed his funeral scene they had to kill him off somehow. This led to the infamous sequence of Rick fighting and getting murdered by an invisible Freddy (represented only by a disembodied finger-knife glove) in a tacky-looking dojo.
    • Fortunately, things did get easier during post-production. Shaye liked what he saw during editing and relented his control over the final product. Additionally, when he saw the final product, he liked it enough to admit he was wrong. The two have since made up and are on good terms. The film itself did very well at the box office and helped launch Harlin's career in the US, even earning him the job of directing Die Hard 2.
  • The Dream Child, on the other hand, was just as stressful to make as Freddy's Revenge, if maybe even worse.
    • With Harlin being gone due to having become the first in the revolving door of directors on Alien³, Robert Shaye and co had less than a year to make the film. The title was the first thing thought up for the film, as was the poster. Nobody had any idea what a "dream child" was, or why the poster had Freddy levitating a crystal ball with a foetus inside - this was because the story hadn't fully taken shape yet.
    • The idea of Freddy using someone's to-be-born child to get into the real world was an idea that was considered for the third film, which they decided to go with this time simply for the lack of any better ideas. Two writers, John Skipp and Craig Spector were brought in to write a story that had Alice and Dan's unborn child being taken over by Freddy. Producer Rachel Talalay hated their script and brought another writer, Leslie Bohem in, who ended up rewriting almost all of it. The only thing from Skipp's and Spector's script that made it into the final version was Freddy's infamous line "It's a booooooy!!!". The two have since come to regret wasting their time.
    • It then turned out that Bohem's screenplay wasn't entirely to Shaye's liking either, and with the writer unavailable for rewrites, William Wisher Jr. came along and did a further draft, which Shaye also didn't like. Yet another writer, David J. Schow was hired and managed to create a screenplay that most of the key players were happy with, though a few further last-minute revisions were done by co-producer Michael de Luca due to Schow having been assigned to work on the screenplay that would eventually become Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.note 
    • The character of Greta was originally to be played by a different actress, but like the character herself, she was bulimic, and was horrified by how tasteless her death was, and left.
    • The infamous scene where Freddy's amputated arm turns into a number of red and green tarantulas became a literal nightmare to shoot; the tarantulas used for the scene were painted red and green, and trained to move in certain ways. Problem was, only one take was filmed because the tarantulas became angry and aggressive. It doesn't help that nobody knows what happened to the spiders after because they soon disappeared, with some even believing that they disappeared into the studio office.
    • Shooting itself was a stressful mess. Director Stephen Hopkins had only four weeks to film, and a further four weeks to edit, with only two stages to do it on. Although he did get everything done on time, the experience left him so stressed and burnt out that he almost said no to directing Predator 2, despite the higher pay and more relaxed shooting schedule.
    • During post-production, test screenings had scenes that were considered so disgusting that they had large chunks of them left on the cutting room floor. The Freddy Bike scene had even more shots of Dan's skin being ripped away graphically, and the infamous scene where Freddy force feeds Greta tons of disgusting food made of her innards had a shot that panned down to reveal Freddy ripping her insides out as she ate. The scenes still haven't shown up on Blu-ray or DVD today. Heavy cutting was needed to keep the film from receiving the then-new NC-17 rating.
    • When the film was released, though getting bad reviews from critics was basically expected, fans on the other hand criticized the film heavily for being needlessly mean-spirited and downright cruel in an attempt to be Darker and Edgier - to emphasize, the movie begins showing how Amanda Kruger, Freddy's mom, was gang-raped in the asylum she worked at, and at 25 minutes into the movie, Dan got killed off in a graphic and cruel fashion - which wouldn't have mattered as much had he not been the father of Alice's unborn child, and Freddy kills a bulimic girl by force-feeding her her own innards. Others, on the other hand, found it boring and not nearly as fun as the other films. The film, as a result, was a box office failure - it opened at #3 and disappeared soon after. Despite this, the film still performed better than the other two slasher film instalments that came out that year, but it still was bad enough to make the producers decide to kill Freddy for good in the next one.
  • Downplayed, almost to the point of complete aversion, by Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Once again they had trouble with the screenplay; a young Peter Jackson was sounded out about writing the film, but disagreements between him and New Line caused him to back out in favor of writing and directing BrainDead. Michael Almereyda wrote the first actual screenplay, but it was rejected almost immediately — Robert Shaye later claimed to have thrown the script in his trash can after reading the first thirty pages — due to its fan fiction-esque storyline, effects sequences that were far beyond the scope of the budget, and the fact that they'd have needed to track down the entire cast of the third through fifth films, most of whom would just have gotten small cameos. Eventually, Michael de Luca, who had done a last minute rewrite on the previous film, stepped in at short notice and created a screenplay everyone was happy with, causing Shaye to admit to de Luca that they should have just hired him from the get-go. After that, production flew by largely without any problems thanks to long-standing producer Rachel Talalay — who knew from personal experience all the things that could go wrong in a shoot — stepping up to direct, with the only major problem coming up near the end of filming when she was taken ill with pneumonia, forcing co-producer Aron Warner to step in for the final day or so of filming.

    Scream film series 
Every film in the Scream franchise had some sort of problems making it to the big screen.

  • The original Scream had a smoother production compared to its two sequels, though that's not to say it was entirely rosy.
    • Wes Craven was often at odds with the Weinsteins and the MPAA. Among other things, Bob Weinstein felt that the Ghostface mask wasn't scary, and that Drew Barrymore's wig in the opening looked terrible. At various points, the Weinsteins considered replacing Craven, forcing him and editor Patrick Lussier to assemble a workprint version of the opening scene to prove that they were on the right track. After seeing the footage, the Weinsteins came around.
    • Speaking of the Ghostface mask, it was a lucky break that it was used at all. On top of Bob Weinstein not liking it, there were initially legal questions concerning whether it could be used in the film, as it was a mass-produced Halloween mask and the producers were having trouble tracing the mask's origins. In order to avoid a licensing dispute, Craven had KNB Effects create their own, slightly modified version. He didn't like the look of it, but it wound up being used in a few scenes before the producers finally found the company that had made the original mask and secured the rights.
    • Craven was adamant about filming in the US, as he wanted the setting to look like an all-American, suburban small town. Locations in North Carolina were initially considered, but rejected due to the fact that the sites that looked promising would've required costly modification and repairs to be usable for a film production.
    • They eventually settled on the Wine Country in northern California, but even there, unforeseen problems cropped up. Plans to film the school scenes in Santa Rosa High School provoked a firestorm of controversy in Santa Rosa, as the nearby town of Petaluma had been the site of the Polly Klaas murder just three years prior, with the killer's trial slated to begin while Scream was in production. A fierce, three-hour town hall debate, scheduled for the day after filming was to begin, ended with the production being denied permission to film in the high school, forcing them to shoot the school scenes at the nearby Sonoma Community Center instead. Knowing that there would likely be delays due to the controversy, Craven began production by filming scenes at locations outside Santa Rosa. The credits to the film contain a Take That! towards the Santa Rosa school board as a result, though Craven later regretted putting it in once he came to realize just how touchy a subject it was in the town.
    • At one point during the filming of the opening scene, somebody forgot to unplug the phone that Casey used to try and call the cops. This resulted in real, puzzled 911 operators hearing Drew Barrymore screaming for her life on the other end.
    • The third act of the film (known as Scene 118) was difficult to film since it took place entirely at night, and the hours were limited. Furthermore, it all took place at a single location, yet featured the stories and deaths of nearly all the main characters. It took 21 days to film. It was so exhausting, the production crew was given T-shirts that read "I Survived Scene 118!"
    • Mark Irwin, the director of photography, was fired a week before shooting was to end. Craven, upon reviewing the dailies, found that the footage was out of focus and unusable, and Irwin was ordered to fire and replace his camera crew. When Irwin responded that they'd have to fire him too, they did just that.
  • Scream 2 ran into issues after one of the extras leaked its script to the internet (one of the first major film leaks in the digital age). As a result, the film's script was almost entirely rewritten, with pages often being completed the day they were to be filmed. Security was tightened, with everyone required to sign non-disclosure agreements, and the film underwent many reshoots.
  • Scream 3 had it the worst of the original trilogy:
    • The Columbine High School massacre had recently occurred, and the producers were pressured into not only toning down the violence but also abandoning writer Kevin Williamson's original idea for the film. Williamson's outline would have had one of the killers from the first film turn out to be alive and in prison, where he leads a group of obsessive fans of the Stab films (the Scream series' in-universe version of itself) to carry out a new Ghostface killing spree. (Williamson would later recycle this idea for the TV series The Following.) Given how violent media was being widely scapegoated at the time for warping the minds of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and turning them into murderers, a film like that was never going to fly, and so Scream 3 was turned into a Hollywood satire with less violence and a greater focus on comedy — a decision that conveniently allowed them to shoot on their own backlot without having to take time to schedule new locations. Dimension originally didn't want to make it a horror movie at all, and wanted Wes Craven to do it as a straight comedy with no blood or violence; Craven put his foot down and said that it would either be an R-rated horror movie or it wouldn't be called Scream.
    • Series creator Kevin Williamson was unavailable to return to writing duties and write a new script, as he was working on Teaching Mrs. Tingle and the short-lived ABC series Wasteland at the time. As a result, Ehren Kruger was brought in as a replacement with only a few weeks to put together a brand-new script. As a result, his script was written mostly on the fly, with pages usually completed the day they were to be filmed. The characters bore so little resemblance to their appearances in the prior films that Craven himself did rewrites. Kruger himself later admitted that not having worked with the actors on the previous two films hurt his ability to get the characterization right.
    • The actual filming was difficult since Neve Campbell (who played lead character Sidney Prescott) was only available for a handful of days, resulting in her role being greatly reduced and more emphasis put on the supporting characters. Nobody was sure about the direction some scenes were to take, and a few were shot several times to allow for multiple possibilities later in the editing room.
    • The film once again ran into issues with the MPAA, and it almost resulted in Wes Craven leaving the horror genre. The resulting film had a tepid reception and only decent box office (in contrast to the critical acclaim and massive commercial success of the previous two films).
  • Scream 4 was stuck in Development Hell for a long time, and Williamson had repeated clashes with the Weinsteins, resulting in them once again hiring Kruger and Craven for rewrites, and the script varied heavily from the original drafts. Also, Cathy Konrad (who produced the first three films) sued the Weinsteins over not approaching her for the film. Filming itself went relatively smoothly, though it ran on a couple of weeks longer than planned, and there was tension on set between David Arquette and Courteney Cox, whose real-life relationship (which had ironically started as a Romance on the Set of the first two films) was falling apart (and subsequently ended in divorce). The film was released to mixed reception and disappointing box office, putting Williamson's plans for a new trilogy on hold and leading to the franchise being rebooted as a television series on MTV.
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    Terminator series 
The Terminator franchise may have spawned some of the most memorable sci-fi scenes in cinema, but it was also fraught with issues that just might have made its creators beg for a time-travelling robot to erase it.

  • The Terminator may be an enduring sci-fi classic, but it's clear that until it was actually released, very few people had faith in it:
    • After a famously-awful experience making Piranha Part Two: The Spawning, director James Cameron had a vivid fever dream while sick in Italy, and imagined a robotic being dragging itself out of an explosion while carrying kitchen knives. Convinced he had a winning idea for a new film, he brought the idea to his agent... who told him to forget it and write something else, leading Cameron to sack him. Heading back to California, he hashed out a rough draft of the idea, dubbed The Terminator, and worked with writer William Wisher (despite some distance from each other - they had to convey their ideas through spoken tapes played through the telephone) to turn the draft into a script. After being introduced to Gale Anne Hurd, who worked at New World Pictures as an assistant and was interested in the product, Cameron sold the rights to her for a dollar on the condition that she help produce the film if he directed (a detail that would become critical in later years). The project was picked up by Hemdale Film Corporation, and was taken to Orion Pictures, who agreed to back the film as well.
    • Casting began in earnest, with potential leads like Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone turning down the project. Cameron was also looking to cast the pivotal Kyle Reese character. He was introduced to Arnold Schwarzenegger by Orion co-founder Mike Medavoy... and didn't care for him at all, trying to devise a plan to avoid hiring him in the role. Despite that, he warmed up to the Austrian actor and decided to cast him in the titular role of the robotic killer with human skin. For his part, Schwarzenegger didn't care for the project, and was overheard during an interview for Conan the Destroyer that he needed a certain pair of shoes for Terminator, which was "some shit movie I'm doing". Schwarzenegger would later admit as much in his autobiography, Total Recall, claiming that the film was low-profile enough that it wouldn't hurt his career if it bombed. Michael Biehn (who would be cast as Reese) had similar misgivings about the project, but agreed to do it.
    • The project was initially planned to begin filming in early 1983 in Toronto, Canada, but filming was pushed back nine months when producer Dino De Laurentis exercised a clause in Schwarzenegger's contract to have him film Conan. During the interim, Cameron would work on other scripts and bat ideas around with Orion before filming commenced in 1984. A week before filming was set to begin, Linda Hamilton (playing Sarah Connor) sprained her ankle, requiring that she spend the entirety of the shoot walking with a taped ankle and dealing with constant pain. Additionally, Schwarzenegger allegedly held up the start of production by a further two days by complaining that the leather jacket the character wears wasn't "manly enough".
    • Terminator is the project where Cameron's Control Freak tendencies started to show, leading to T-shirts being printed with the iconic in-joke, "I work for James Cameron. You can't scare me." An early example of this is when Schwarzenegger, who was struggling with the pronounciation of some lines, wanted to change the character's iconic catchphrase to "I will be back", seemingly because he thought it was too feminine and would be more "machine-like" without an contraction ("I'll be back"). In response to this, Cameron reportedly told him, "I don't tell you how to act, so don't tell me how to write."
    • Filming went relatively smoothly, though hampered by the fact that the crew were unused to night shoots and Cameron's perfectionist tendencies. The blue tinge the film has wasn't a stylistic choice, they couldn't afford lights and only shot in locations where the street lights were strong enough to act as a replacement. Several critical scenes, including the Terminator breaking into a station wagon, the Terminator jumping on a motorbike to pursue Kyle and Sarah as the third act begins, and the final scene in the desert(!) were filmed with a skeleton crew, as there was either No Budget left or they couldn't afford a permit to film the scene. They were constantly on the lookout for cops and often had to lie about being film school students working on a class assignment and occasionally just had to make a run for it.
    • The Terminator endoskeleton ended up being heavy and hard for Stan Winston's team to carry. They found out the hard way that while building a prop robot out of metal is realistic, it's not practical.
    • Post-production is where a number of problems reared their head. John Daly, the producer, tried to shorten the film by insisting it end when the truck the Terminator is driving blows up, eliminating the whole scene with the now-skeletal Terminator chasing Sarah and Reese through the factory. Cameron physically threw him out of the editing suite. Additionally, Cameron and Hurd had to fork out $40,000 of their own money to finish a number of insert shots in a scant few days before the film could be screened. Tellingly, Cameron admits that "every other shot or every third shot" of the last reel of the film was an insert.
    • But you would think Orion would be amazed at the end result, right? To quote the Terminator, Wrong. The test screening was a disaster, with Orion executives realizing it was what they didn't want — an exploitation-style film in the vein of Roger Corman. They initially refused to screen the film for critics and did little press to promote it, and may have gone even further had certain Hollywood agents not called the studio to voice their support for it. Mike Medavoy (an executive at Orion who'd initially fought for it) thought the project would be a flop, though he quickly changed his tune in later years. Even after the film was released, Orion refused to give it additional funding for publicity campaigns, which led to Hemdale funding it themselves (and leading Schwarzenegger to harbor resentment for them permanently afterward).note 
    • Despite the challenges, the film was a box-office smash, grossing $78.3 million on a $6.4 million budget, and being hailed by many as one of the top films of the year. Despite that, the problems didn't end there — Harlan Ellison, who watched the film at release, noticed similarities between the subject matter and a story he wrote for The Outer Limits titled "Soldier". Ellison then learned from a source at Starlog magazine that Cameron had given them an interview where he admitted that he "took a couple of Outer Limits segments" for inspiration, and threatened to sue Hemdale and Orion for copyright infringement. While the exact amount of the resulting deal isn't known, Ellison and Hemdale settled the matter out of court, and Ellison was given a special credit in the home video releases of the film acknowledging his contribution.
  • While the actual filming of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines went off without a hitch and the film was a resultant success, it only occurred after a decade-plus wait, with the franchise languishing in Development Hell as various parties vied for control of both the franchise and sequel rights. Though Cameron was initially interested in pursuing a third film, a number of factors including the technology not being where he wanted to be, Carolco Pictures (the studio that picked up the sequel rights from Hemdale) going bankrupt in 1995, 20th Century Fox vying for franchise rights, a botched liquidation auction and Cameron's involvement on Titanic (1997) led him to abandon the franchise. Co-producers Andrew Vajna and Mario Kassar eventually purchased the sequel rights and Gale Anne Hurd's share of the franchise rights (which were now worth $8 million) to gain control over the franchise, but it would still take another two years in pre-production before the film would finally be greenlit, with Schwarzenegger only deciding to reprise his role (which he was paid very handsomely for) after speaking with Cameron, who urged him to go for as much money as he could.
  • Terminator Salvation aimed to finally show fans what the Future War was like, but it took a beating getting to theatres:
    • The film was stalled out for several years as Vajna and Kassar (the franchise rights holder) originally planned to create a sequel to Rise of the Machines (with Nick Stahl and Claire Danes reprising their roles as John Connor and Catherine Brewster) before shopping the franchise to prospective buyers, eventually culminating in the rights being sold to The Halcyon Company in 2007. Warner Bros. agreed to distribute stateside while Sony Pictures handled international distribution.
    • The writing process was muddled and confused, with various parties contributing additions in the weeks leading up to filming (and even on-set). Though the original script treatment was written by T3 writers Michael Ferris and John Brancato, later revisions were made by Anthony Zuiker and Shawn Ryan. Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan (the brother of Christopher Nolan) reportedly contributed heavy rewrites to the script and was characterized more than once as the "lead writer", up to an including dialogue written on-set, but had to leave the project for another commitment after the 2007-08 Writers' Guild of America strike. Things were so confusing that novelization author Alan Dean Foster had to rewrite his entire book after learning that the final shooting script was completely different from the script he was given in early production.
    • Christian Bale, who would later refer to the production of the film as "troubled" was the first actor hired for the film — but it took multiple attempts for him to agree. He later admitted in an interview that he took the role of John Connor to get back at a number of people who insisted he wasn't the right fit for the part, and told McG he would only do so if the John Connor role was beefed up, bringing in Nolan to help write as a result.
    • An early script summary, which would have seen the half-human/half-Terminator Marcus Wright switch faces with a mortally-wounded Connor to keep his legend alive, before massacring the leadership of the Resistance (including Kyle, Star, Marcus and Kate), was leaked online to vehemently-negative feedback, prompting additional script changes.
    • Filming was no walk in the park, either. Shooting was delayed by four months after cast member Helena Bonham Carter lost members of her family in a car crash, and had to go back to England to tend to her relatives, thus necessitating major changes to her role (as Serena and the human avatar shown by Skynet). Stan Winston (who was also contributing Terminator designs) was originally intended to have a cameo, but his worsening health prevented this, and he died during production — the film would be dedicated to his memory. Bale's clashes with the crew led to other storylines, like those of General Ashdown (Michael Ironside) and Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) being trimmed down. Most infamously, Bale lost his temper after the film's director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, walked into his field of view during shooting of a scene with Bryce Dallas Howard, causing Bale to dress him down and swear repeatedly in front of the crew. Unfortunately, someone on the crew recorded and posted audio of the rant online, to scathing critical reaction, and forcing Bale to pen a lengthy apology for his remarks.
    • The resulting film debuted to mediocre reviews and middling box office, coming in second in its opening weekend and grossing $371 million against a $200 million budget (not counting advertising). Despite Brancato and Ferris alleging that elements of the production team deliberately made the film a Springtime for Hitler-esque Failure Gambit to bankrupt the production company so they could swoop in and scoop up the company's assets for cheap, McG largely enjoyed the experience making the film, and wanted to make a T5, though he would eventually go on to blame the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series for impacting the film's financial performance. What happened next, however, made Salvation's production look like small beans...
  • Terminator Genisys, a film so mired in difficulties and such an open secret in Hollywood that the production team of Fantastic Four (2015) (itself an infamous example of this phenomenon) wore t-shirts which claimed "At Least We're Not On Terminator 5". While the full details still aren't fully known, enough information has leaked to paint a damning snapshot of the chaos:
    • Production of a sequel to Salvation was stalled out after The Halcyon Company went bankrupt in late 2009. The rights were once again put up for auction, but failed to elicit any serious offers (with the only offer received being from Joss Whedon, who offered $10,000, whereas the producers wanted $60-70 million). Pacificor, a hedge fund which had driven Halcyon into bankruptcy, purchased the rights for $29.5 million. Confusion and speculation followed, with one studio's (Hannover House) plan to create an animated reboot of the franchise being shot down by Pacificor and Universal considering a fifth film directed by Justin Lin and brining back Schwarzenegger. Finally, in May 2011, Annapurna Pictures (led by Megan Ellison) was rumored to have paid $20 million for the rights to make a fifth and sixth film.
    • Further changes followed. Lin dropped out of production to helm Fast & Furious 6, while Annapurna dropped their financing deal after Paramount Pictures (which had a distribution and financing deal with Skydance Entertainment, owned by Ellison's brother, David) agreed to provide funding and distribution. Casting quickly followed, with Emilia Clarke, being cast in the lead role of Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney playing Kyle Reese and Schwarzenegger playing a new Terminator named "Pops".
    • The reveal of a handful of character portraits, shot in early production and featuring Clarke, Jason Clarke (as John Connor), Courtney and Matt Smith, elicited laughter from viewers online, while production began with different departments having different ideas about the various timelines that made up the film's plot (which saw Sarah and Kyle encounter more-advanced Terminators in their timeline, and jump forward through time from 1984 to 2015, in an attempt to stop a new version of Skynet, called "Genisys", from being activated).
    • While the film was completed on time, marketing efforts led to a case of Trailers Always Spoil, where The Reveal that John Connor is a Terminator was played up in the second trailer, causing no end of complaints from fans and leading director Alan Taylor, to speak out about the poor planning.
    • The film became the second-highest grossing film in the franchise ($441 million), but was a domestic dud, only earning $90 million stateside. In an interview conducted years later, Clarke claimed that she was "relieved" that she wouldn't have to do any more sequels, claiming that "no one had a good time" and suggesting that Paramount subjected Taylor to Executive Meddling.
  • Sadly, the same can be said for Terminator: Dark Fate, which also became a Box Office Bomb and led to even more uncertainty over the franchise's future, not helped by an acrimonious production process and battles between its director and executive producer. Various features have covered the production problems:
    • Skydance Productions had originally planned to shoot a trilogy of films, with Genisys being the first in the new timeline, but re-adjustments and market research eventually led them to cancel the planned installments, despite the overall solid box office. David Ellison (who founded Skydance) got in touch with Tim Miller, who had just stepped away from directing Deadpool 2, while James Cameron, who had a clause in his contract that the rights would revert back to him in 2019, rejoined the franchise, but this time as only an executive producer. Together, they intended to create a new trilogy of films, with Schwarzenegger returning to reprise his role at least once more and a new cast of characters being introduced.
    • Tensions arose in the writing process, with various contributors coming in to try and polish a script treatment. In total, five writers (Cameron, Josh Friedman, Charles Eglee, David Goyer and Justin Rhodes) were credited with story contributions — Goyer walked early in the writing process to take on other projects, while Cameron suggested that Miller integrate a list of ideas for action scenes he had compiled over the years into the film, including a fight at a dam. Miller and Cameron would start butting heads at this point, along with Miller getting into disagreements with Ellison.
    • Both Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton agreed to reprise their roles, while actor Jude Collie appeared as a stand-in for Edward Furlong as John Connor (with a younger Furlong's face digitally edited over Collie's). Filming was also delayed three months over casting concerns and roles not being filled yet.
    • Despite eventual speculation that Miller was to blame for making the decision to kill off John Connor, it was actually Cameron's idea, who subsequently promoted Furlong as returning to the film, causing confusion and uncertainty when Furlong later tried to dial down expectations by saying his part was small. After the film's release, Furlong revealed that he only appeared for a day of work, and lamented his role being played up when it was small in the film.
    • While media reports suggested Cameron was on-set overseeing production, he later admitted that he never stepped foot on-set. Despite that, Cameron ran into Creative Differences with Miller, using his producer role to make further changes to the script, even when it was only a day before filming was to take place.
    • The marketing effort also ran into problems. Much like Genisys, the reveal of a cast photo showing the three principal female leads led to widespread backlash, with Miller later claiming that the negative response was caused by "misogynistic internet trolls", which only provoked the fanbase even more.
    • Things didn't get much better in post-production, with Miller and Cameron battling over final cut of the film. Cameron mostly believed the initial cut of the film was far too long and tried to use his editing experience to give advice, which was typically ignored. When asked later if he would work with Cameron again, Miller said he would not. A series of leaks regarding script details along with the reveal that John Connor would be killed in the opening scene also led to uncertainty and negativity from some fans.
    • Despite the vastly improved reception of this film at release by critics when compared to its three predecessors, Dark Fate suffered a miserable $29 million opening weekend (against a rumored $325 million budget with advertising), the incredible hold of Joker not helping matters. And because the movie made only 7 to low 8-figures in every country (only barely making back its production budget, not counting advertising costs, by the time of its second week of screening), it lost around $100-130 million at the end of its run.


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