From Batgirl to Quentin Tarantino’s Lost Comedy: 9 Movies Abandoned During or After Production

It goes without saying that making a film is a pretty colossal undertaking.

You have to put together a cast, a crew, a script, a director – and you have to make sure the money is there to do it in the first place.

Sometimes, even if all the different components manage to fit into place, something can still go wrong.

The history books are littered with projects that never came to fruition. But what about those who managed to film before being buried?

It could be the result of a terrible accident, a financial glitch, or a change in management at a studio.

On August 2, 2022, it was revealed that the planned DC Comics adaptation bat girl was removed from the release – although it has already been filmed in its entirety.

The blockbuster starred Leslie Grace and would have featured a return of Michael Keaton as Batman.

Here are 11 movies that were scrapped during or after production.

bat girl

Although it has already been completed and costs $90m (£73.7m), bat girl was dropped this year, just months before its scheduled release.

The DC film starred Leslie Grace in the lead role of Barbara Gordon.

“The decision not to release Batgirl reflects the strategic shift in our leadership as it relates to the DC Universe and HBO Max,” a Warner Bros. Picture spokesperson said. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actress and this decision does not reflect her performance.”

Batgirl was the victim of regime change at Warner Bros. It was originally made as an HBO Max release, but should have hit theaters.

Leslie Grace in ‘Batgirl’

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Leslie Grace in “Batgirl”

(Discovery from Warner Bros.)

Birthday of my best friend

Quentin Tarantino’s first movie actually wasn’t reservoir dogsbut Birthday of my best frienda black-and-white amateur comedy starring Tarantino and his former video store associate Craig Hamann.

The film was completed in 1987, five years before reservoir dogs hit the screens.

Although it wouldn’t have been widely released anyway, the film was damaged in a fire at the development lab, destroying half of the footage.

The film’s full script and a compilation made from the surviving footage are available on the internet for Tarantino obsessives to explore.

The day the clown cried

The legendary lost Jerry Lewis film saw the comedian play the German circus clown who is arrested and sent to a concentration camp after ridiculing Hitler.

The few people who saw the first cuts of the film were overwhelming in their assessments; The simpsons Star Harry Shearer once wrote: “This movie is so radically wrong, its pathos and comedy so misplaced, that you couldn’t, in your fantasy of what it might look like, improve on what it is. really.”

Copyright disputes involving producer Nathan Wachsberger meant the film never saw the light of day.

Who killed Bambi?

Revered film critic Roger Ebert teamed up with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren to pen this punk-rock take on A hard day’s night.

Russ Meyer was attached to direct, with the Sex Pistols themselves starring. However, filming was scrapped just days after production began.

Various disputed reasons for the film’s collapse have been advanced by those involved, with objections from Fox studios, a personal intervention from 20th Century Fox board member Grace Kelly, and – perhaps most likely – financing difficulties, all attributed in various ways to the abandonment of the film.

Number 13

Alfred Hitchcock’s first film was in 1922. Number 13, a socio-political drama. Clare Greet and Ernest Thesiger were attached to star as a husband and wife couple.

Filming was however abandoned halfway through, after funding failed.

Alfred Hitchcock pictured in 1926

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Alfred Hitchcock photographed in 1926

(Getty Images)


In 2017, a biopic by the late writer Gore Vidal was canceled by Netflix after its star, Kevin Spacey, was accused of sexual misconduct.

The film was already in post-production. Michael Stuhlbarg, who co-starred as Vidal’s longtime partner Howard Austen, later addressed the film’s abandonment in an interview.

“I understand what’s going on,” he said. “Honestly, we all have a hope that maybe…in time, people will have a chance to see him in the light he was meant to be seen in.”

Bogart slept here

Mike Nichols was two weeks away from making this 1975 film, based on a screenplay by Neil Simon, when production was shut down for good.

The reason reportedly had to do with the film’s star Robert De Niro, whose method-influenced acting style failed to mesh with Simon’s dialogue.

Bogart slept here was later reworked and filmed as The goodbye girl two years later.

10 things i hate in life

Few canceled movies have proven as controversial as 10 things i hate in lifea spiritual sequel to Gil Junger’s 1999 hit 10 things i hate about you.

The film, which centers on two characters who meet as they attempt to kill themselves and fall in love, was set to star Evan Rachel Wood and Thomas McDonell.

Two months of filming took place in 2012, but had to be scrapped due to Wood’s pregnancy and management changes at the film’s production company.

Although production was supposed to resume in 2013, it never did. The producers sued Wood for breach of contract, while Wood’s attorney alleged that she was never properly paid for work already completed.

Evan Rachel Wood was set to star in the now-abandoned project

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Evan Rachel Wood was to star in the now-abandoned project

(Getty Images)

1, Claude

1937 Roman epic 1, Claude remains one of the most infamous unfinished films ever (almost) made.

Filming was canceled midway through after one of the stars, Merle Oberon, was injured in a car accident. Some historians and commentators have speculated that the injury was used as a pretext to excuse fierce creative divisions between producer Alexander Korda and the film’s lead, Charles Laughton.

The film became the subject of the 1965 documentary The epic that never was.

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