Any seasoned film fan worth their salt knows that a troubled production doesn’t always necessarily spell bad news for the quality of a film, and sometimes doesn’t even mean the flick’s box office returns will suffer. Sure, not every movie which languishes in development hell ends up becoming a gem once exposed to the cold light of multiplex showings.
But often times classics may be delayed through no fault of their own, and when these films make it to the screen the extra wait time is easy to bear once the audience sees how great the flick in question is. Just look at The Cabin in the Woods, filmed in 2009 and not released until 2012—not that this made the flick any less great.
However, sometimes a troubled production is evidence that too many cooks have been interfering with a delicate recipe, and the balance has been thrown off for good. In the examples we’ve listed here, these projects were delayed pre-release just to ensure that the eventual release would be as good as possible—only for said release to flop and prove that the delay did it no good after all.
10. Accidental Love - 6 Years Of Delays Can't Save A Half-finished Laugh-free Rom Com
This one is probably more famous for being a tortured production than the film itself, a deeply flawed attempt at mashing up romantic comedy and satire—that classic combination, as popular as peanut butter and broken glass. Based on a timely (way back in 2008, that is) satire of the US healthcare system, the film would have followed Jessica Biel as a woman who becomes a nymphomaniac after a nail is accidentally lodged in her head—except that scene was never filmed, leaving the film a confusing mess.
Financed by a known embezzler, the film’s production was halted over a dozen times before being cancelled altogether, though not before the film’s controversial director could alienate star James Caan enough for the actor to leave the project.
The US healthcare system may never have improved, but this didn’t help Nailed’s chances of securing a distributor as an unfinished project. That is until 2014, 6 long years after the production was first halted. Bolstered by the success of Russell’s then-recent Silver Linings Playbook and renamed, the studio threw out a cobbled-together cut which finally appeared in cinemas as Accidental Love—to universal derision, with critics hating the flick and audiences avoiding it