Sometimes you have to go through hell to make a great movie. Just ask Alexander Skarsgard, who said that the grueling shoot for Robert Eggers’ “The Northman” left him “so exhausted that you want to cry.”
Eggers left no stone unturned in his quest for historical accuracy, making his actors do dozens of takes of long, complex shots in grueling outdoor conditions. Fortunately for both gentlemen, “The Northman” became a critical sensation, cementing Eggers’ status as one of the top directors working in independent film. Like “Jaws,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “Titanic” before it, “The Northman” overcame filming hardships to earn rave reviews, and the brutal production anecdotes only added to its legacy.
But not every movie with a hellish production history is so lucky. Just ask the cast and crew of films like “Heaven’s Gate” and “Waterworld,” who were put through hell only for their films to become notorious box office flops.
Here are 28 of the most taxing, miserable film productions ever mounted.