The original version of Wes Craven’s famously troubled horror movie Cursed still exists. The late Wes Craven is a legend in the horror genre, having directed landmark movies like A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes and Scream. Scream launched an entire subgenre of hip, self-aware horror movies, and the creative team behind the movie reunited for 2005’s Cursed. The movie starred Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg, but the version that hit cinemas bared little resemblance to the original script.
The first version of Cursed centred on three strangers who are attacked by a werewolf following an accident. The project was pitched as a bold reinvention of werewolf movies, but when filming was around 90% complete producer Bob Weinstein shut it down and demanded sweeping changes. It took a year for the reshoots to commence, with the new story making two of the lead characters siblings and the third – played by Scream's Skeet Ulrich – being cut completely. Due to the large gap in filming, several other actors like Mandy Moore, Robert Forster and Omar Epps had to drop out too.
Cursed went through more than one round of reshoots, the original, practical Rick Baker werewolf effects were mostly replaced with weak CGI and the studio cut it from an intended R-rating to a PG-13, much to Craven’s chagrin. The movie was released to weak reviews and was a box-office failure, with the director essentially disowning it. Most of the footage from his initial cut has never been released, but in an interview with Bloody Disgusting, former Dimension executive Cary Granat confirms the first version exists somewhere.
It still exists. I just don’t know if it went with The Weinstein Company. I left in 2000 to start Walden so it was in development after that.
Cursed was almost entirely reshot, so Wes Craven’s original version would likely drastically differ from the released cut. While it would be fantastic to see Craven’s cut released so the movie he intended can finally be seen, this version would likely need a lot of work – including additional editing and scoring – before release. There’s also the fact the original script wasn’t shot completely, so footage from the theatrical cut would probably be needed to fill in the gaps.
Sadly, Cursed wasn’t the original time a Wes Craven movie suffered at the hands of a studio. His 1986 movie Deadly Friend started life as a sci-fi drama about a teenager who brings his girlfriend back to life with a computer chip, but reshoots were ordered after negative test screenings. Craven was forced to add some nightmare and gore sequences, and like Cursed, the released movie barely resembles the director’s original intention.
Source: Bloody Disgusting