I don’t know about you, but the recent firing of James Gunn really bummed me out. But, hey, guess what, turns out he wasn’t the first or the last director who got fired before finishing the movie. There are at least 6 more!
1. Richard Donner – “Superman II” (1980)
Why would you fire the man who directed the first Superman movie, seeing as it was such a huge success? The answer is simple: the studio demanded from Donner the impossible – they asked him to make 2 movies back-to-back in the same year. The sad part is the second movie was 75% done, but due to the delays, budget issues, and other stuff, Donner was ultimately fired.
2. Richard Stanley – “The Island of Dr. Moreau” (1996)
Aside from being a huge fan of H.G. Wells, Richard Stanley had been waiting for 4 years to get his own vision of this classic novel made. Sadly, the Universe made everything possible to stop him. Actors came and went; Marlon Brando was not in the best physical and mental state after he heard of his daughter’s suicide; the weather was horrible all throughout the filming; the budget ran out much faster than expected, and so on, and so forth. So the studio fired Stanley and replaced him with John Frankenheimer.
3. Alex Cox – “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998)
If you’ve watched “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” you may have noticed it’s not a very coherent story, but it’s cool, the movie’s about drugs, so what else would you expect. As you can imagine, the whole filming process looked and felt as disjointed as the finished product. But at some point Alex Cox got into a big fight with the producer over his creative vision, which lead to the movie company replacing Cox with Terry Gilliam.