The process of making, producing, starring in and distributing a film rarely reflects the glitz, glamour and polish of what we see on screen. In fact, sometimes the process can be downright torturous. Directors rebel against producers, actors rebel against directors, and critics rebel against the artistic process that sometimes sees the blood, sweat and tantrums of so many turned into an ultimately, unsatisfying end product.
This can be the fault of a single creative force, or the by-product of many smaller failings on set, in the editing suite or during marketing campaigns designed to sell films to millions, but which occasionally only really sell them to a select few. Sometimes a picture even manages to achieve success despite the factors that have warped, doomed and destroyed it and, as bent out of shape as it may be, the curious world of cinemagoers can defy expectations and eat it up regardless.
Whether accidentally or on purpose, whether measured by box office or critical consensus, certain films are the harbingers of their own doom. Here are 10 of the best (or, you know, worst), which needed no help from fans or critics in destroying themselves.
10. Fantastic Four (2015)
One might assume any studio that had overseen the travesty that is 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which was both a box office and critical disappointment, might never return to such sullied ground. But not if that studio is 20th Century Fox.
Fox exhumed the Fantastic Four property only two years after its demise, and spent the succeeding six years dragging it, limping and screaming, towards our screens. Returning to the fray in 2015, the Josh Trank-directed reboot was dark, scattered, humourless and poorly developed. While this may have been allowed before superheroes went mainstream, there was no way audiences were settling for it in the uber-polished MCU era.
Suffice to say, the film pulled itself apart in the making. Trank drew from wholly inappropriate infleunces, including David Cronenberg; he and screenwriter Jeremy Slater clashed; and Fox rejected his initial cut, editing the theatrical version without him. But Trank was a largely untested indie director, so the buck stops with the studio for assigning him to such a high profile project.
To add fuel to the flames, however, Trank unleashed a now-infamous Tweet on the eve of the film's release, lamenting "A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would've received great reviews. You'll probably never see it." Whether it actually cost the studio $10 million or not is up for debate, but it certainly didn't help things.