Hollywood budgets are sometimes the size of a small country’s GDP and can quickly bloom upwards if things go wrong – which can happen fairly often when you deal with the unpredictability of a film set and all the moving parts.
Most of the time, if a mistake is made while filming, the director will say cut and the entire scene will be done again. While this costs time and money, it is an expected part of filmmaking. Unfortunately, occasionally some mistake won’t be caught until much later when the film has wrapped which can mean costly reshoots or extensive edits.
We have put together a list of some of the biggest Hollywood bloopers that were made, some of which even made it into the final cut.
Battlestar Galactica: model destruction
The television show Battlestar Galactica proved to be a big hit with sci-fi fans. It ran for four seasons and in one expensive blooper in an episode in the third season Admiral Adama has a very old model ship in his office. The actor playing Adama smashed the model in an impromptu piece of acting, thinking it was a prop. It wasn’t. The model was actually worth $200,000. Ouch!
The Bond adventure Skyfall had to deal with some unplanned expenses because star Daniel Craig wore a pair of leather gloves at the wrong moment. Craig asked director Sam Mendes if he could wear the gloves in a particular scene and Mendes agreed, not thinking anything about it. The cast and crew got down to work filming a sequence. However there was a pickle. In the sequence of scenes Bond uses his handprint to test his gun's fingerprint scanner in a car, then rides up an elevator, still gloveless. When he spots an assassin, 007 hides his gun and continues the scene wearing gloves.
Months later in the editing room, the editor noticed a problem: how would Bond himself have used his fingerprint-activated gun while wearing gloves? After considering the costs of a reshoot, the filmmakers decided it would be cheaper to digitally remove the gloves from Craig's hands for the entire sequence.
Brad Pitt suffered a nasty injury on the set of Seven while playing a detective. During one scene that called for Pitt to chase the suspect in the rain, he slipped and smashed his hand into a windshield, severing a tendon. Making the best of a bad situation, the director, David Fincher managed to incorporate Pitt's injury into the story of Seven. It added time and expense to the production schedule, but it was probably cheaper to explain why one of the film's main characters was suddenly wearing a cast than it would have been to delay shooting long enough for Pitt to recover.
Hateful Eight: broken guitar
In the film, outlaw Daisy Domergue plays a guitar. While she was playing, co-star Kurt Russell was supposed to grab it. The scene would cut and the vintage guitar would be traded out for a cheaper prop guitar, which Russell would smash when the cameras started to roll again. But that isn't what happened. Instead, Russell grabbed the vintage guitar from Leigh and smashed it, all in one fell swoop. That take was used in the final cut of the movie, and Leigh's horrified cries of "Whoa!" are real. How much was the vintage guitar worth? A cool $40,000.
Jack Reacher: injury
In the 2012 blockbuster Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise plays an investigator tracking a deadly serial sniper. As in many of his other movies, Cruise performed many of his own stunts in Jack Reacher, including one that would end up costing the production money.
In one scene he had to kick a man in the groin, but for some reason the filmmakers made Cruise shoot the scene over 50 times. It was actually Cruise who had to stop filming as he had kicked the guy in the groin so much he hurt his foot, needing time away from the set to recover after his foot became swollen. The delay while Cruise’s foot healed cost the movie thousands of dollars.
Apocalypse Now: replacing an entire village
Apocalypse Now is now considered a classic but at the time it was plagued with delays and budget overruns. Part of the problem was that Director Francis Ford Coppola insisted on filming everything in the Philippines instead of building a village in a film studio in Hollywood. The film was forced to stop after a typhoon hit, causing major damage to the village. It would cost around $1.5 million to rebuild the set, probably winning (or losing) as the most costly mistake ever made.
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