25 Big Movies With Production Nightmares Most People Don’t Know

Several big movies with significant nightmare productions have some seriously delicious tea. After a recent poll on the internet, here are twenty-five films with disasters that made filming difficult.

1. The Eagle (2011)

Image Credit: Focus Features

The movie The Eagle stars Channing Tatum. There’s a scene in a river shot in freezing temperatures. To keep the actors warm, the crew would pour warm water over them. To make warm water, you mix boiling water with cold water.

One highlights, “Unfortunately, someone forgot to add cold water, and boiling water was poured down Tatum’s pants, severely burning his groin. Production had to stop completely and then work around Tatum’s injury,” one replied.

2. Chaos Walking (2021)

Image Credit: Lionsgate

Another answered, “Chaos Walking comes to mind. The movie is unwatchable, which is very disappointing, considering Doug Liman directed it. The movie premiere was postponed numerous times because of the ongoing pandemic and had some reshoots under the direction of Fede Alvarez.”

3. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Bohemian Rhapsody,” one shared. “Director Bryan Singer, an alleged mean and awful human being, was fired during production, and the movie was finished by Dexter Fletcher, who refused to be credited.”

4. The Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Twilight Zone: The Movie. Steven Spielberg was the executive producer of this anthology film, and John Landis directed one of the stories. It was a nightmare and filled with violations of safety protocol. Shockingly Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed filming a scene in which they were running from a helicopter,” stated one.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

“There were a few testy moments between Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy on Mad Max: Fury Road. Shooting complicated fight choreography in the desert with a method actor does not make for a good time,” another suggested.

6. The African Queen (1951)

Image Credit: United Artists

The African Queen is another that comes to mind,” confessed one. “Most of the cast and crew got ill eating ethnic cuisine and drinking local water. Katharine Hepburn had sick buckets off-camera for part of the film. Humphrey Bogart joked that he and John Huston were the only ones to avoid the bug because they only drank whiskey.”

7. The Abyss (1989)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

The Abyss was an absolute nightmare to shoot; combining James Cameron’s demanding perfectionism with shooting underwater in a large tank, something is going to give. Ed Harris almost drowned in one scene, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn described it as the hardest shoot they had ever done,” another replied.

8. The Jackal (1997)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Someone shared “The Jackal with Bruce Willis. The scene where Bruce is supposed to kill Jack Black’s character. During the lunch break, Bruce flies to France to get the crepes he is craving. They waited 3-4 hours on him to shoot the scene before Jack Black questioned finishing for the day.”

9. Doctor Dolittle (1967)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Doctor Dolittle was a nightmare to make,” another explained. “From Wikipedia: Over 1,200 live animals were used in the film, including dogs, pigs, birds, and even giraffes, all of which required understudies.”

“There are anecdotes of a goat who ate Fleischer’s script and a parrot that learned to yell ‘cut.” Animals also bit and defecated on the cast and crew, including lead actor Rex Harrison.”

10. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

Image Credit: Disney Enterprises

The Emperor’s New Groove was initially intended as a South America-themed musical called Kingdom of the Sun with songs by Sting and explorations of some dark themes, including human sacrifice,” shared one. “There’s an excellent documentary called Sweatbox about it. One of the silliest and underrated Disney movies was almost one of the darkest.”

11. Titanic (1997)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

“Everyone on the set of Titanic got dosed with PCP,” explained one. “It’s a crazy story! Someone had laced the lobster chowder with phencyclidine, also known as PCP or angel dust. It’s still a mystery who did it. Nobody was seriously hurt, but the cast and crew experienced everything from anxiety to laughter to vomiting.”

12. Taxi Driver (1976)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Taxi Driver,” shared another. Cybill Shephard had to be fed line readings by Scorsese. He hired her based on her appeal and paid the price when he found out she couldn’t act. As a result, it took a LOT of work to get the stiff, one-note performance you see in the film.”

13. The Revenant (2015)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

The Revenant had a nightmarish production due to running late on schedule. The snow melted, and they had to relocate to Argentina ultimately. So the film budget went from $60 million to $135 million. Many crew members left or got fired due to working in harsh conditions,” stated another.

14. Back to the Future (1985)

Image Credit: Universal Studios

One person volunteered, “Much of Back to the Future had to be reshot with a new Marty McFly because they didn’t like how the first actor McFlied. Also, the story goes that Fox would sleep in the back of a station wagon, driving him from shooting Family Ties during the day to the set of Back to the Future filming at night.”

15. Miami Vice (2006)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Miami Vice from 2006. Jamie Foxx acted like a supreme jerk during production. The movie almost didn’t get completed because he was such a primadonna,” shared one. Another added, “And because of Colin Farrell’s addiction problems.”

16. Roar (1981)

Image Credit: Filmways Pictures

Roar. At least 70 members of Roar’s 140-person crew were injured during production. Imagine making a Born Free type captivity narrative with very wild zoo animals, many untrained. I put that film production in the ‘It’s a miracle no one was killed’ category.”

17. Stalker (1979)

Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures

Stalker.” The whole movie production was disastrous, besides the fact the finished product is superb,” one noted. “The original film location was to be in the desert of Tajikistan, but there was an earthquake that made production there impossible.”

“They were exposed to chemical waste from a nearby chemical plant. There is one shot of a strange frothy mass on the river and a scene with what appears to be snow, both of which were chemical waste. Since the director, assistant director (Tarkovsky’s wife), and one of the lead actors (Anatoliy Solonitsyn) died of a rare form of lung cancer.”

18. The Conqueror (1956)

Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures

“Here’s an old one,” another replied. “The Conqueror, an old John Wayne film, was shot near several nuclear test sites in Utah. Of the 220 film crew members, 91 (comprising 41% of the crew) developed cancer during their lifetime, while 46 (or 21%) died from it. Many of these people developed cancer at an unusually young age.”

19. Blade: Trinity (2004)

Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Blade: Trinity. Wesley Snipes did not get along with the director or anybody else,” explained one. “He’d stay in his trailer all day smoking weed. He was so difficult to work with, so much so that he refused to open his eye’s in one scene out of defiance against director David S. Goyer. So they used CGI to put eyes over his eyelids!”

20. Streets of Fire (1984)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

“If anyone else loves the 80s classic Streets of Fire, Michael Pare was such a lousy actor he was supposedly bullied on the set repeatedly by Rick Moranis,” another volunteered. “Yes, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Rick Moranis. Everyone on the set was under 30. If you watch the movie, it is fantastic, but the lead is bad.”

21. The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

Image Credit: Warner Bros

Bonfire of the Vanities with Melanie Griffith and Tom Hanks. They thought it was surefire Oscar bait, so they allowed a journalist to embed herself through the production process and filming, and then the film was a massive bomb. She wrote a book about the whole thing–The Devil’s Candy by Julie Salamon.

22. The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen (1988)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Someone mentioned “The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen. Sarah Polley has a chapter in her book about all the awful stuff she endured as a child actor in that film. Just lots of hazardous stunts, recasting, director issues, over budget, then bombing at the box office.”

23. Jaws (1975)

Image Credit: Universal

A moviegoer explained, “Everything that could go wrong went wrong on Jaws. The weather wasn’t what it was supposed to be. The mechanical shark repeatedly malfunctioned, so the team had to work around it. That’s why you barely see the shark when it was intended to appear more onscreen.

They’d have to delay up to an hour because they shot some of it in a lake and tried to make it seem like the vast isolation of the open ocean only to have sailboats come in a frame far enough away that it would take that long for them to move out of frame.

So it’s a miracle the movie turned out to be the best shark movie of all time. It showed how great a filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, is to adapt to deal with everything.

24. The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Charge of the Light Brigade. For the filming of the climactic charging, 125 horses were trip-wired. Unfortunately, production led to the deaths of 25 horses, which caused so much outrage that it led to congressional action. It’s why you see, “No animals were harmed during the making of this film,” announced another film buff.

25. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Image Credit: United Artists

A final commenter shared, “Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. He showed up to set around 40 pounds heavier than he was supposed to be. It made Coppola have to rewrite the film’s ending, use only close-up shots of his face, and keep him in the dark clothing in dimly lit sets.”

“On top of that, Brando apparently could not get along with Dennis Hopper and refused to be on set at the same time as him, so they had to scrap scenes from the script that were supposed to be in together.”

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