1. Morgan Creek Couldn't Decide Which Exorcist Prequel They Wanted...So They Made Both
Alright, brace yourself for this one, because it gets a bit confusing.
Production company Morgan Creek initially hired Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader to helm an Exorcist prequel, Exorcist: The Beginning. However, when he turned in largely bloodless footage against their wishes, they fired Schrader deep into production and hired Die Hard 2's Renny Harlin to shoot a whole new version with some major script changes.
Harlin's version of the movie was released in the summer of 2004 and thoroughly pilloried by critics and audiences alike, bombing at the box office before landing two Razzie nominations.
The studio was apparently undeterred by already blowing $80 million on the entire production and gave Schrader another $35,000 to edit his original footage into a second movie, another prequel project eventually named Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. It made just $251,495 worldwide, bringing the two movies' combined profit to just shy of the $80 million price tag. All that effort for nothing.
So, to recap: an Exorcist prequel started production, but it was scrapped and a new movie was created in response to it. When the new movie sucked, they reconstituted their original version in response to that one. Just...why?
What do you make of these cinematic retorts to other movies? Got any of your own to add? Shout them out in the comments!