Warner Bros’ recent announcement that Batgirl Has Been Completely, Unmistakably, Comprehensively Archived came as a shock.
While it wasn’t exactly one of the studio’s highest-profile DCEU titles (in fact, it was planned as a feature for the streaming platform HBO Max), this was still a robust production, with a reported price tag of $90 million and parts to spare. a return of Michael Keaton. as Batman and JK Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.
While we are used to studios rethinking movie release plans (coming 2 america, From 5 Blood and Borat 2 were all originally intended for the big screen, only to debut on streaming), this is a rare thing for a studio to completely kill off a movie.
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Therefore, there will be no multiplex launch for batgirlnor will it have life on streaming or DVD. batgirlto paraphrase Monty Python, ‘no more, no more’.
It is rare, then, but not unique. There are many movies that have been made, completed, and yet, for a multitude of reasons, are still gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.
Here are just a few of the movies archived by Hollywood.
The fantastic Four (1992)
Preceding Tim Story the fantastic four The 11-year long is this shonky, curio de loja, produced by B-movie ledge Roger Corman, alongside German filmmaker Bernd Eichinger. Eichinger had purchased the film rights for the the fantastic four outside of Marvel for a bargain price of $250,000 in 1986, the option alone had a six-year shelf life.
If the producer did not put a film into production by December 31, 1992, he would lose the rights, and any renegotiation would mean spending more money.
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Then, in September 1992, Eichinger approached Roger Corman, a producer with a keen eye for budget films, with the aim of rushing into production on a $1 million film version of The fantastic Four. Except it was never planned to be released, a fact that was kept a secret from its director, Oley Sassone, and the cast.
“I was quite stunned,” reflected Joseph Culp, who played Dr. Victor von Doom in the film, “because we were doing press conferences at comic book and magazine conventions and it looked like we were going to have a small release.”
Alex Hyde-White, who played the lead role of Reed Richards, later claimed that he went into denial mode, while Sassone felt it most deeply of all.
“All of us who worked on the movie felt like someone stuck an ice pick in our heart,” he said. The full macabre story is told in the documentary, Condemned!: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four.
Shake Hippie Hippie (2007)
Shake Hippie Hippie is proof that it is possible for even the most star-studded stars to have an unreleased movie on their IMDB page. This big-screen adaptation of 1960s counterculture journalist Richard Neville’s autobiography headlined Cillian Murphy, while Sienna Miller, Hugh Bonneville, Max Minghella, Chris O’Dowd and Daniel Mays are all listed as cast members.
It was a troubled production from the start, having burned through a succession of writers, before settling in Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Director Beeban Kidron (Bridget Jones: At the Edge of Reason) then departed during post-production, telling The Times, “I worked on the film as hard as I could and as much as I could and then I had to walk away. It was very painful.”
Working Title never commented why Shake Hippie Hippie It’s still on the shelf, but even Neville, before his death, was barely talking about the movie, saying, “‘We’ve seen the first cut of the movie – Jim, me and other Oz [magazine] people – and there was a lot of disappointment… We made a lot of suggestions to the producers… the final cut turned out much better. It wasn’t a work of genius, but it was a watchable movie.”
The day the clown cried (1972)
This film, about a circus clown who is imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp and used to lure Jewish children to their deaths in gas chambers, was a left turn for its star and director, Jerry Lewis.
Known primarily for improvised comedies, this tonally uneven drama was beset with problems almost from the start. First, it ran out of money, only for Lewis to dig into his own pocket (worth $2 million) to complete it, while, upon seeing the final product, screenwriter Joan O’Brien declared that it could not be released.
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An avalanche of rights problems caused The day the clown cried It was never publicly screened, but to Lewis, it felt like it had as much to do with the quality of the film as anything else, telling Entertainment Weekly in 2013, “Nobody will ever see it because I’m embarrassed by the bad work.”
One of the few keeping an eye on him is simpsons voice actor Harry Shearer, who said of the film: “This film is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so misplaced, that you couldn’t, in your fantasy of what it could be, better what it really is. ‘Oh my God!’ – that’s all you can say.”
David Schneider hosted a BBC documentary about the film in 2016, revealing even more about the most infamous film in Hollywood history.
Cocksucker Blues (1972)
These days, any supposedly no-holds-barred documentary about a pop star is micromanaged in milliseconds by the label, should something unfavorable appear on screen.
Even considering how different things were five decades ago, it’s still hard to imagine what the Rolling Stones were thinking when they hired photographer Robert Frank to chronicle their 1972 American tour. They soon realized their folly, however, when they saw the resulting documentary. , taking Franks to court to prevent him from being aired.
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Fifty years after its completion, those who saw Cocksucker Blues describe a film that is even more shocking today than it would have been in ’72. One scene, on the band’s private jet, shows, in The New Yorker’s words, “a sex party that makes the plane scene in the wolf of Wall Street look starched.”
The film was shown occasionally over the next few years, but never had an official release, and probably not, as long as Jagger, Richards and Wyman are still alive.
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