10 Insane Reasons Movies Were Nearly Shut Down

James Bond's greatest foe? Physical stuntwork.

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Movies are complicated products that often require hundreds of thousands of hours to complete. A modern CGI-laced film can employ thousands of people, and be filmed all over the world. There's far more going on than what is shown on the screen, and not every movie makes it from beginning to end.

The ones that do are clearly far better off than the ones that didn't, but that doesn't mean they didn't have an easy production. Movie productions run into problems all the time, and they run the gamut from sick stars to typhoons sweeping through, and destroying expensive sets.

Whatever the cause, there are plenty of tales in Hollywood of movies going the distance, but nearly getting shut down along the way.

When that happens, it's often because someone at the studio has had enough of a ballooning budget, or the director they hired isn't doing what they asked.

Movies are, after all, incredibly expensive to make, and the studio needs to see a return on its investment. When a movie tanks at the box office, that investment can cause serious problems for the bottom line. Still, there are some insane reasons a studio nearly shut down some of Hollywood's greatest films.

10. Cutthroat Island - Sets Were Destroyed & Everyone Got Sick

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Cutthroat Island was one of those movies that should have been a massive hit, but the reality of the production and its final product fell far from expectations. The movie was directed by Renny Harlin, and the studio gave him a ton of freedom to realize his vision.

The production was plagued with serious problems, many of which cost millions of dollars to overcome. The pirate ships that were constructed for the sets came in at $1 million each, and when one of them caught fire, they needed to build another one. Other sets required rebuilding because Harlin didn't like them, and the costs kept rising.

The biggest problem that nearly got the whole production shut down was an ongoing infection of tropical diseases and food-borne illnesses that kept most of the crew sick during production. Essentially, everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and it nearly killed the movie.

The thing about Cutthroat Island's production that makes it different from the other movies on this list is, it really should have been shut down. It is one of the biggest disasters in film history, and when its losses are adjusted for inflation, the movie ended up losing $147 million, resulting in the demise of Carolco Pictures.


Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com