Those who’ve held out hope to see David O. Russell‘s Nailed — if such people actually do exist, that is — might want to turn back and pretend the following story just doesn’t exist. But, here we go: Collider spoke to the film’s producers, Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, who helped pinpoint where, exactly, things went wrong with their production.
Problems kicked off when financiers David Bernstein and Ron Tutor ended up being financially incompetent, unable to keep the lights on; they claim to have gone “with a financier of questionable integrity that turned out to be of no integrity whatsoever and just had no intention of paying the bills, and he didn’t.” It led to fourteen (fourteen!) halts in production and post-production, with the final stop taking place right before the most important scene could be done.
Read a quote on it below:
“To spite himself, oddly enough the last scene that we had scheduled—partly because we thought this way [the financier will] have to finish the movie—is the scene where Jessica Biel gets a nail in her head. That’s why it’s called Nailed, she doesn’t have insurance and she can’t get the nail out. So the last two days were getting the nail in her head, and we shut down so we didn’t have the final scene that was the scene that was the premise of the movie. There was no way to cut the movie together without that scene, so I don’t know what he was thinking by shutting us down then. At that point everybody was like, ‘We can’t cut the movie together, there isn’t a movie.’ And then he never came through with the rest of the money.”
However, a test screening report claims the sequence was shot — the problem being, it doesn’t “look” very good or aide the final result. As is explained above, Nailed hinges on this scene — the rest of the film follows her character’s trip to Washington, D.C., whereat she’s exploited by a sexually hungry senator (Jake Gyllenhaal) — and, without it, the movie doesn’t work. (I’ve always suggested they just put a card which explains the scene through simple text, but it would appear that idea isn’t being shopped around.)
Bernstein tried to assemble his own version in the post-production process, but what came out of that is apparently a huge mess. That might be it for Nailed, unfortunately, as Wick claims “everyone’s lives have moved on, I don’t foresee particularly, in the polluted circumstance, anyone just coming in and doing the careful three or four months of work.”
So, there you have it. Being a huge optimist and whatnot, I can envision a scenario in which Nailed gets some kind of home video release years and years from now in a rough, unfinished, but still “watchable” form not entirely different from Margaret. (The parallels between these two projects are awfully hard to deny.) Until then, David O. Russell‘s fifth film will remain unseen.
Does the saga of Nailed leave you disheartened?
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, Danny King, Amanda Waltz, and I discuss Don Hertzfeldt’s new short film World of Tomorrow, which will be released on March 31st on VOD (or stream below). Then we dive into a feature review of David Robert Mitchell‘s horror film It Follows, which […]
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