Some movies are so iconic that it’s hard to imagine what cinema would be like if they never existed. The legacies left in their wake can be seen across genres, and form the basis of more stories than we realize. It is thanks to the persistence and hard work of these pioneering crews that some of our favorite movies were ever finished. These are 10 Famous Movies That Almost Didn’t Get Made (For Shocking Reasons).
When George Lucas set out to tell the story of a galaxy far, far away, it seems the whole universe united against him. The director had an impossible time finding a studio to fund 1977’s Star Wars. And when he did, they didn’t exactly give him enough money. The actors weren’t into it either, and thought the movie was going to be for kids. Plus, huge storms on set in Tunisia not only wrecked a ton of the equipment, it also delayed production. Somehow though, Lucas got it done. It’s one of the most beloved franchises of all time, and he’s got the legion of fans to prove it.
Mad Max: Fury Road
What started out as a drawing snowballed into a two hour, high octane offering from director George Miller. Sidelined due to flooding, skyrocketing insurance rates, and shipping delays in the post-911 climate, Mad Max: Fury Road was ten years in the making. Never one to sit idle for too long, Miller used his time to consult with experts and develop his vision. The delays in production turned out to be kind of a blessing. The film’s every element is accounted for, and designed to a T. Plus, the stunt team had the opportunity to practice their moves so much, that they were able to execute them without CGI.
The Wizard of Oz
In every conversation about Hollywood classics, film buffs always pay homage to 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, with some even speculating that it’s the most watched movie in history. Good thing, too, since the cast went through hell to get it made. The adorable little Toto was hard to keep on cue, and had to be replaced after an injury. Two of the actors even had to be hospitalized because of their costumes. The original actor signed on to play the Tin Man almost died when the aluminum dust in his makeup coated his lungs and caused an allergic reaction. And Margaret Hamilton, a.k.a The Wicked Witch of the West, was burned by the copper in her face paint after getting trapped on a fiery set piece.
Hollywood presents itself as all glitz and glam, but the behind the scenes challenges of getting a movie made can sometimes be, well, boring. Take Deadpool for example. Despite the character’s insanely loyal fanbase and box office potential, it took way longer than it should have for the merc with a mouth to get a proper movie. Why? Because the project kept changing hands. Ryan Reynolds was always on board to play the character, and even got to in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But everyone knew Wade Wilson deserved better, and in 2016, patience paid off and fans got what they were waiting for.