From Batgirl to Quentin Tarantino’s misplaced comedy: 9 movies that have been damaged throughout or after manufacturing

It goes without saying that making any film is a huge undertaking.

You have to put together a cast, a crew, a script, a director – and you have to make sure the money is even there to do it in the first place.

Sometimes, even if the various components manage to fall into place, something could still go wrong.

The history books are filled with projects that never made it to production. But what about the ones that made it as far as filming before being sent?

This could be the result of a catastrophic accident, a financial snafu, or a change in management at a studio.

On 2 August 2022, it was revealed that the a planned DC Comics adaptation Batgirl being pulled from release – despite having already been filmed in its entirety.

The blockbuster starred Leslie Grace, and would see the return of Michael Keaton in the role of Batman.

Here are 11 films that were scrapped during or after production.


Despite already being completed and costing $90m (£73.7m) to make, Batgirl was shelved this year, just months before its scheduled release.

Leslie Grace played the lead role of Barbara Gordon in the DC movie.

“The decision not to release Batgirl represents a strategic shift in our leadership as it relates to the DC Universe and HBO Max,” said a Warner Bros. Picture spokesperson. “Leslie Grace is an extremely talented actress and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.”

Batgirl has fallen victim to a changing regime at Warner Bros. It was originally made as an HBO Max release, but was reportedly set for a theatrical release.

Leslie Grace in ‘Batgirl’

(Discovery Warner Bros)

My best friend’s birthday

Quentin Tarantino’s first film was not really Reservoir Dogsbut My best friend’s birthdayan amateurish black-and-white comedy starring Tarantino and his old video store partner Craig Hamann.

The film was completed in 1987, five years earlier Reservoir Dogs hit screens.

Although it would not have been given a wide release anyway, the film was damaged in a fire in the development lab, which destroyed half of the film.

The entire script of the film and a compilation of the remaining footage are available on the internet for Tarantino obsessives to explore.

The Day the Cloister cried

Jerry Lewis’s hit film saw the circus comedy drama of a German clown who is arrested and sent to a concentration camp after mocking Hitler.

The few people who saw early cuts of the film were damning in their assessment; The Simpsons Star Harry Shearer once wrote: “This film is so wrong, its similes and humor so wrong, that you could not, in your fantasy, improve upon what is actually there.”

Copyright disputes involving producer Nathan Wachsberger meant that the film never saw the light of day.

Who Killed Bambi?

Revered film critic Roger Ebert teamed up with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren to write this punk-rock twist on A hard day’s night.

Russ Meyer was attached to direct, and the Sex Pistols themselves starred. However, filming was abandoned just a few days into production.

Various controversial reasons for the film’s demise have been cited by those involved, with protests from Fox studios, personal intervention from 20th Century Fox board member Grace Kelly, and – perhaps most likely – funding struggles variously attributed. abandon the film.

Number 13

It was Alfred Hitchcock’s first film of the 1922s Number 13, a socio-political drama. Clare Greet and Ernest Thesiger were attached to star as a husband and wife couple.

Filming was abandoned halfway through, however, after funding dwindled.

Alfred Hitchcock pictured in 1926

(Getty Images)


In 2017, Netflix canceled a biopic of the late writer Gore Vidal after its star, Kevin Spacey, was accused of sexual misconduct.

The film was already in post-production. Michael Stuhlbarg, Vidal’s longtime partner Howard Austen, later addressed the film’s abandonment in an interview.

“I understand what’s going on,” he said. “Honestly, we all have some hope that maybe… in time people will have a chance to see him in the light he was meant to be seen in.”

Bogart Slept Here

Mike Nichols was two weeks into directing this 1975 film, based on a script by Neil Simon, when production was halted.

The reason is said to be the film’s star, Robert De Niro, whose Method-inflected acting style failed to match Simon’s dialogue.

Bogart Slept Here reworked and subsequently filmed as The Good Girl two years later.

10 Things I Hate Most About Life

Few canceled movies have been as controversial as this one 10 Things I Hate About Lifespiritual sequel to Gil Junger’s 1999 hit 10 Things I Hate About You.

The film, which focuses on two characters who meet while trying to take their own lives and fall in love, starred Evan Rachel Wood and Thomas McDonell.

Two months of filming took place in 2012, but it had to be abandoned due to Wood’s pregnancy and management changes at the film’s production company.

Although production was supposed to resume in 2013, it never happened. Producers have sued Wood for breach of contract, with Wood’s lawyer alleging that he was never paid enough for previous work.

Evan Rachel Wood was to star in the now-abandoned project

(Getty Images)

1, Claudius

1937 Roman epic 1, Claudius remains one of the most infamous unfinished films ever made (almost).

Filming was canceled halfway through after one of the stars, Merle Oberon, was injured in a car accident. Some historians and commentators have speculated that the injury was used as an excuse to ease fierce creative differences between producer Alexander Korda and the film’s boss, Charles Laughton.

The film became the subject of a 1965 documentary The Epic That Never Was.

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