[Editor’s note: The following list was originally published in November 2017 but has been updated accordingly.]
From Stanley Kubrick to David Lynch, Noah Baumbach, and Alfred Hitchcock, even the best directors will admit when a movie just didn’t work out the way they planned. In some cases, a director will go as far as removing his filmmaking credit from the movie. Such was the case with Baumbach on “Highball,” a movie shot in six days that proved a bit too ambitious for the director after the breakthrough of his feature debut “Kicking and Screaming.” Lynch tried to get his name removed from “Dune” but he only succeeded in a few territories where the movie was credited to the pseudonym Alan Smithee.
“It wouldn’t be fair to say it was a total nightmare, but it was maybe 75 percent a nightmare,” Lynch once said about his experience making “Dune.” “I had such a great time in Mexico City, the greatest crew. It was beautiful. But when you don’t have final cut, why did I do it? I don’t know. When you don’t have final cut, total creative freedom, you stand to die the death. Die the death. And dying I did.”
Lynch is far from the only director to get brutally honest about an experience in Hollywood he wishes he could forget. Check out over 15 more filmmakers who spoke out against their own work in the list below.