We're Going to Have to Shoot That Again!

November 16, 2017

Filming a movie is a very costly and time-consuming endeavor. And sometimes someone in the cast or crew messes up so badly that it eats up even more time and money.

Napoleon Dynamite

Shot on a relatively tiny budget of $400,000 and grossing $45 million, the quirky high school comedy Napoleon Dynamite was the surprise hit of 2004. It opened in June, but could’ve made more money had it been released in May, as was initially planned. Distributor Fox Searchlight delayed it at the last minute because it noticed a mistake in the opening credits that an executive said looked “unhygienic.” On a still shot of star Jon Heder holding a school ID card that read “Napoleon Dynamite,” the actor had a hangnail. The studio made filmmakers reshoot that scene.

Justice League

One of the most anticipated movies of 2017 is Justice League, a superhero team up movie set to feature Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash. Even though it’s set for release in November, it’s not yet completed. Original director Zack Snyder left the movie because of a personal tragedy, and The Avengers director Joss Whedon stepped in. He also is responsible for filming a bunch of new scenes so make the movie better. Not only is that going to cost Warner Bros. $25 million, but they’re going to have to spend money on special effects to digitally remove Henry Cavill’s facial hair. Not thinking he’d have to go back to clean-cut role of Superman so quickly, he grew a mustache for the role in the next Mission: Impossible movie, which he is contractually banned from shaving off.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

One of the most complicated, coveted—and expensive—LEGO sets available is the LEGO Death Star. It’s a representation of the gigantic, artificial weaponized planet from the Star Wars movies. It consists of 4,016 pieces, takes days to fully build…and costs $500. The play-set featured prominently in the recent movie Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the scene in which star Tom Holland reveals that he’s Spider-Man to actor Jacob Batalon, playing his best friend, Batalon was supposed to hold a completed LEGO Death Star and drop it to the ground in shock, shattering it. Except Batalon kept dropping the Death Star at the wrong time. A total of seven were pre-built for the scene, and Batalon went through all of them.


In the 1998 action movie Ronin, actor Skip Sudduth insisted on doing his own stunt driving. Director John Frankenheimer allowed it, provided that Sudduth wouldn’t hit the brakes, ever. Why? The brake lights would show up in the shot, and ruin the illusion of a reckless, high-speed car chase. That very expensive car chase scene had to be re-set and reshot over and over because Sudduth kept hitting the brakes.

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