#3. Cool World
The Brad Pitt/Kim Basinger animated/live action feature Cool World was an utter disaster, scoring a solid 3 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That's worse than Batman & Robin, Showgirls and Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot, which incidentally came out that same year.
Seriously, take that in for a couple of minutes.
It was supposed to be the world's first animated horror film (and it is pretty damn horrifying, just not in that way), but according to director Ralph Bakshi, the only horror was his experience working on the film with Paramount.
The Awesome Movie We Missed Out On:
It was supposed to be a "hard-R, gritty, sexy, noir horror/thriller." The original storyboards for Ralph Bakshi's script look like a mix between Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Sin City.
Oh, and the female lead up there wasn't supposed to be Kim Basinger -- Bakshi wanted Drew Barrymore.
Which would have worked out great since she's already a cartoon.
Everything seemed to be moving forward for that version of the film until Bakshi found a "surprise" waiting for him while on location. As Bakshi puts it, "Frank Mancuso, Jr. [the film's producer] had the script rewritten in secret. I had a huge fight with the guy and punched Mancuso, Jr. in the mouth."
He punched his hairline into a comb-over.
Also not helping were some even-less-welcome screenwriting suggestions from Basinger, who, according to Bakshi, decided she wanted it to be a PG movie (it wound up PG-13). The result, in Bakshi's own words, "was a total disaster."
Judging from the storyboards, we now want to fight the staff, too.
#2. Robin Hood
When most of us saw the ads for the Russell Crowe Robin Hood movie last year, the only reaction was, "What's the point?" This is a character that has been brought to the screen almost 100 times, according to IMDB, and the ads made it look like the same old shit. A blandly heroic Robin Hood shoots arrows at the evil soldiers who oppress the people while he presumably robs from the rich and gives to the poor. The only saving grace of Ridley Scott's contribution was that its artistic liberties did not include crazy shit like Morgan Freeman inventing the telescope in 1194.
So why did they even bother making it? Is this the best story to spend $200 million bringing to the screen?
Well, it got made because the original script was apparently freaking amazing. It turns out the production of Scott's Robin Hood is ultimately the story of two films: the movie you saw ...
Or more likely didn't see.
... and a wholly abandoned project called Nottingham.
The Awesome Movie We Missed Out On:
Nottingham would've been the single most original Robin Hood movie in history. The original script (written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris) so excited studios when it turned up in 2007 that it became the subject of a fierce bidding war (Universal wound up paying freaking $1.5 million for it). It was a totally different take on the story -- the Sheriff of Nottingham is the main character and protagonist. Shit gets real once the sheriff investigates a string of grisly murders in the area. The sheriff then pursues an assholish Robin Hood (Russell Crowe) for the crimes only to find out that Robin, while a dickhead, was actually being framed.
It was more than "Robin Hood has a bow."
The film was to climax with an epic siege of the city of Nottingham between Prince John and King Richard, all while the Sheriff tries to discover the identity of the real killer using 12th century detective techniques (Reiff is a history buff and researched how actual killings in that era were investigated).
Cue sunglasses and an inappropriate scream.
Then, director Ridley Scott came on board and said, "What is this shit? We're making a Robin Hood movie! Get all that standard Robin Hood stuff back in there. That's what everybody wants to see." The movie was renamed Robin Hood and lots more scenes with people shooting bows and arrows were added. A few rewrites later, very little of the original screenplay remained. Today, Nottingham is a cautionary tale for every young, aspiring screenwriter out there. It doesn't matter what you write: the director and the star will decide what makes it onto the screen.
Did they mention he had a bow? Because he totally did.
#1. The Godfather: Part III
It's the Rocky V of the Godfather trilogy, and for more reasons than just the poorly acted, painfully unwelcome supporting characters forced onto the audience at gunpoint.
She must have known someone in the film crew. But who?
All talk of Sofia Coppola's horrible acting aside, perhaps the biggest blow to The Godfather: Part III was the notable absence of Robert Duvall's consigliere Tom Hagen from the whole damn affair. The short story is that Robert Duvall's price to reprise his role was too high, but the more accurate story is that Sonny and Fredo's deaths had pretty much put Tom Hagen on equal footing with Michael for the male lead, a fact which the corresponding actors' proposed salaries didn't reflect. Duvall later said, "If they paid Pacino twice what they paid me, that's fine, but not three or four times, which is what they did."
Also, we're pretty sure Duvall looked this awesome when he said that.
Add it all up, and The Godfather: Part III was released to a chorus of boos, to the point that it's a massive understatement to say it's the worst of the Godfather films.
The Awesome Movie We Missed Out On:
The Godfather: Part III was supposed to be such an ostentatious Greek tragedy that Coppola originally wanted to title the movie The Death of Michael Corleone.
Probably at the hands of Al Pacino.
The film would have chronicled the fall of one of the greatest cinematic characters of all time, centering on a civil war between Michael Corleone and the last moral fiber left in the family, good ol' Tom Hagen. How do we know this? Because this is precisely the spectacular ending that the first two films had been hinting toward all along. Coppola would later lament in his DVD commentary that Duvall's absence "was a profound loss ... to this movie," adding that the film seemed "incomplete" without the crucial inclusion of Tom Hagen.
Then again, perhaps Duvall simply saw Sofia Coppola approaching the film like an iceberg.
To learn more about horribly misunderstood masterpieces, Jacopo asks that you pick up a copy of his latest book Go @#$% Yourself!": An Ungentlemanly Disagreement by Filippo Argenti and check out its topic page.
For films where a lack of knowledge was a good thing, check out 11 Movies Saved by Historical Inaccuracy. Or find out where some of your favorite shows came from in 7 Classic Kid's TV Shows Clearly Conceived on (Bad) Acid.
And stop by LinkSTORM to get some motivation to not do any work whatsoever.
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