Making movies isn’t easy. It is a pretty glamorous business once the movie’s done and the box office money starts rolling in, but in the thick of making a movie, things get pretty chaotic. So here’s a list of movies that cut things pretty close in one way or another. Some were rushed to completion, and some of them were still being worked on hours before they premiered. In any case, these movies cut things pretty close.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Okay, this one isn’t exactly a big secret. Word got out that
Rogue One was heavily re-shot leading up to its release, but just how much was shot at the last minute is pretty stunning. Namely, one of the best scenes in the film was shot only a few months before the movie released: Darth Vader’s rampage.
I don’t know about you guys, but this scene in
Rogue One was damn near my favorite scene, and it was one of the last things shot for the movie, basically created across a couple of weeks by an enthusiastic crew and stunt team. For such an effects heavy scene, it’s wildly impressive they pulled this off in such a short timeframe.
So, this is a weird one.
The Avengers was a complete movie when it premiered. And it was finished on time. But this is the story of how a joke got out of hand, so out of hand that they filmed a scene between the premiere and the film getting to theaters. In less than a week. The scene in question is the final post-credits scene where The Avengers eat Shawarma.
Tony Stark’s joke at the end about eating Shawarma was just a joke originally, but the idea of filming a scene where they actually eat Shawarma happened practically on the spot. If you watch the scene again, you’ll notice that Captain America has his hands up to his face. It’s not because he’s tired, it’s because Chris Evans was holding up a fake face to cover the new beard he’d grown for another movie he was shooting.
It’s funny how the little things are the things that (sometimes) fuck you over. Such was the case for
Fight Club, a movie that barely finished one of its scenes on time. You’d think it might be one of the fight scenes, maybe the finale, something like that. But no. It was a shot of a trash can.
Now, by modern digital effects, that’s not a super complicated shot. In 1999 though, it was wildly complicated, so complicated that it was one of the final shots to be put in the movie. It almost didn’t make it in, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know if it needed to be there? But the director of
Fight Club, David Fincher, is a notorious perfectionist, so I’m sure he pushed hard to keep it in at all costs. A shot of a trashcan.
Unlike the last several movies,
Ghostbusters doesn’t really have “just one part” that barely didn’t make it. The whole movie was a clusterfuck behind the scenes, due to the demand to make sure the movie came out by the summer of 1984.
Now, to be fair, I don’t exactly blame the studio for pushing this so hard. They knew they had gold on their hands, but there are wires visible in effects shots, unfinished effects shots, and more left in the final movie. It worked out in the end though and made everyone involved very fucking rich, but it barely made it across the finish line.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
But nothing compares to the final Lord of the Rings movie. This monster of a movie almost missed its own premiere. The film was so heavy on visual effects, sound mixing, and all sorts of technical stuff that takes a LONG time to pull off, that the movie barely made it out the door.
And when I say barely, I really mean it. The final print of the film was completed less than 24 hours before it premiered. They had less than a day left to finish one of the biggest film trilogies of all time, and they just managed to pull it off by the smallest margin.
To be fair, I imagine more movies are made like this than Hollywood likes to admit. These just happen to be the movies where we actually know what went down, so who knows how many more movies you could include in a grouping like this.
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