(Clockwise from bottom): "Shortcut to Happiness," "Margaret," and "The Other Side of the Wind"
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Film Longest production delays: Movies that have suffered major setbacks

Longest production delays: Movies that have suffered major setbacks

(Clockwise from bottom): "Shortcut to Happiness," "Margaret," and "The Other Side of the Wind"

There are many reasons a film’s release date can be pushed back, from COVID-19 restrictions to contract disputes. While a continuous timeline seems ideal for everyone involved, things don’t always go as planned. These obstacles test the resilience of creative teams as much as they test the patience of the public.

Pre-production, shooting, editing and release can be a seamless transition, but this is often not the case. There are times when a film collects dust, hidden away for months and sometimes years after shooting. Other times its creation is interrupted during filming or even before production begins, slowly pushing the project away from the finish line. Regardless of why a movie gets delayed, one thing can be agreed upon by any production crew: Getting things right is sometimes tough. The logistics of making a film that audiences will hopefully consider a work of art are challenging. Unfortunately for filmmakers, a myriad of factors come into play that weigh on the production. Whether it’s budget issues, script issues, safety issues, or another curveball not explained by the producers, something that appears to be a minor hiccup can drastically alter a film’s readiness.

At the turn of the decade, hopes of a film being released on time were bleak due to strict pandemic safety guidelines. It was truly an unprecedented time in Hollywood that shook up the entertainment industry. Until 2020, there was nothing stopping film projects like regulations on large gatherings and social distancing. Hotly anticipated productions like ‘The Batman’ and ‘Black Widow’ were put on hold as crews scrambled to adjust to a world in crisis.

Most films only face a year or two of delays, but others endure much longer suffering. Movies like “Accidental Love” were shelved three times more – seven years in that case – before reemerging. Some projects drift away only to be canceled before they are forgotten forever. It goes without saying that films are an investment and a bet. No matter how proactive a production team decides to be, there is no guarantee that their film will hit theaters. Not only is time and money wasted in these instances, but fixing a design that has gone off the rails can cause headaches and heartbreak for artists.

Read on for a list of movies that have significantly exceeded their initial deadlines. It is incomplete and will be updated over time. Also check out IndieWire’s guide to Nightmare Movie Shoots: The Most Grueling Films Ever Made.

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