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Top 10 Movies That Faced MAJOR Delays

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
Script written by Andrew Tejada. It’s a miracle that these films made it in front of audiences at all. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies that Faced Major Delays. For this list, we're looking at films that suffered major setbacks before getting in front of audiences.
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Top 10 Movies that Faced Major Delays


It’s a miracle that these films made it in front of audiences at all. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies that Faced Major Delays.

For this list, we're looking at films that suffered major setbacks before getting in front of audiences. We’ll only be talking about flicks that have been released or started shooting, so projects that have only been announced won’t be included.

#10: “Red Dawn” (2012)


In 2009, filming began for MGM Studios’ “Red Dawn.” This remake featured a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth fighting off a fictional Chinese army in Washington. Although it was set to debut in 2010, its premiere was canceled when MGM filed for bankruptcy. After a distribution deal was reached, “Red Dawn” was delayed again over concerns it would flop overseas if Chinese soldiers were the antagonists. As a response, the studio edited the movie’s dialogue, all Chinese imagery was removed, and the villains became North Korean soldiers. Unfortunately, the changes didn’t stop “Red Dawn” from being a financial bomb when it finally premiered in 2012.


#9: “The Cabin in the Woods” (2012)


Chris Hemsworth just couldn’t catch a break with MGM studios. After he finished filming “The Cabin in the Woods” in 2009, the horror satire was due for release in February 2010. However, the studio’s decision to convert the film to 3D caused them to miss the original premiere date. Later that year, MGM’s bankruptcy prevented “Cabin in the Woods” from hitting theaters again. It looked like the horror film was going to be buried indefinitely until Lionsgate bought the distribution rights and released it in 2012. Unlike “Red Dawn,” “The Cabin in The Woods” was a critical and financial success. Maybe MGM should’ve skipped the 3D version.


#8: “Take Me Home Tonight” (2011)


On the surface, “Take Me Home Tonight” seems like your average R-rated 1980s-set teen comedy. There’s a wacky sidekick, romantic subplot, a wild party, and Topher Grace. But the party may have been too wild for Universal’s Rogue Studios. Grace claimed that scenes of young people using cocaine fit the 80s setting, but made studio executives nervous. As a result, despite filming being complete in 2007, the movie only came out after a different studio made a deal to distribute it in 2011. While it’s unconfirmed if cocaine was definitively the cause for the delay, there’s definitely no shortage of it in the finished film.


#7: “Fanboys” (2009)


When a “Star Wars” fan is told that he will die of cancer before the release of “The Phantom Menace,” he and his friends journey to steal an unreleased copy of the movie from Skywalker Ranch. In 2007, early reactions to the comedy and its celebrity cameos seemed positive. However, the Weinstein Company thought the cancer subplot was too serious and decided to remove it from the film. Fans of the movie were outraged. After months of outcry and Darth Weinstein memes, the film’s original plotline was restored for a 2009 release. In the end, the story of “Fanboys” was fittingly saved by fans themselves.

#6: “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” (1986)


The controversy around this violent film almost killed its release. Based on the real-life anecdotes of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, the film was a graphic window into his twisted psyche and brutal crimes. After its initial screenings in 1986, the MPAA gave the movie an X, a rating normally given to pornographic films. This made it hard to find a studio willing to release the movie. Eventually, word-of-mouth about the film’s realism and strong performances from actors like Michael Rooker inspired Greycat films to see past the controversial rating. In 1990, they brought an unrated cut to theaters for a limited release.

#5: “Margaret” (2011)


Movie delays don’t always start with the studios. In 2005, Kenneth Lonergan finished shooting “Margaret”, which followed a teen’s life after witnessing a bus accident. But when editing began, he had trouble making a version that ran less than the studio limit of 150 minutes. After two years, producer Gary Gilbert hired another editor to edit the film. Lonergan rejected that version and made his own 2 ½ hour version. When Gilbert refused to pay to release it, he was sued and “Margaret” was further delayed. After courtroom battles and legendary director Martin Scorsese attempting an edit, the studio released Lonergan’s shortest cut in 2011.


#4: “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” (2006)


“All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” is a slasher film starring Amber Heard trying to avoid a mysterious killer in an isolated house. Despite the seemingly clichéd plot, the Weinstein Company quickly bought the film’s distribution rights in 2006. But after a test screening went badly, the movie was sold to Senator Entertainment US. Although the film got a 2008 release in Europe, the company’s financial troubles prevented a U.S. premiere. Years later, the Weinstein Company reacquired the rights and gave the movie a limited American debut in 2013. Judging by the mixed reviews, seven years was too long to wait for Mandy Lane.

#3: “Accidental Love” (2015)


Back in 2008, David O. Russell began directing a comedy entitled “Nailed.” The plot followed a woman who has trouble controlling her desires after accidentally being shot by a nail gun. This bizarre comedy stopped filming several times because a key producer didn’t pay their share of the budget. Eventually, financial issues forced everyone, even Russell, to leave the project. A new distributor later renamed the movie “Accidental Love” and tried to save it. However, since scenes like the nail gun accident were never shot, editing was difficult. When they completed the film for its 2015 release, they honored Russell’s requests by crediting a fake director.


#2: “Shortcut to Happiness” (2007)


Alec Baldwin’s massive acting success didn’t translate to his directing career. In 2001, Baldwin directed himself in a movie where a struggling writer sells his soul for success. Although filming went smoothly, the project ran into trouble when the movie’s investors were accused of bank fraud. Since the movie might have been funded by their fake finances, the FBI took the unedited movie footage as evidence. After the investigation, a new production company bought the footage and put it together for a 2007 release. Baldwin completely disowned the finished project. To this day, he hasn’t directed another film.

#1: “The Plot Against Harry” (1989)


In “The Plot Against Harry,” a mobster tries to reclaim his illegal business and family after he gets out of a long jail stint. If you don’t think that sounds like a comedy, you aren’t alone. When director Michael Roemer first showed his comedic film to investors in 1969, not many people found it funny. As a result, he gave up on releasing it. Nearly two decades later, Roemer asked a technician to put the footage onto VHS. After the technician laughed at the unfinished project, Roemer decided to submit the film for release in 1989. Despite the long delay, critics and audiences loved the comedy.
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