With the holiday season in full swing, the 1990 classic “Home Alone” will be omni-present on your favorite streaming services including for rent for $3.99 on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu. But did you know the movie almost didn’t get made? Two weeks before filming was to begin in Chicago, Warner Bros. pulled the plug on the production, not believing it would be a hit. Twentieth Century Fox swooped in at the last minute with the budget, and a billion dollar franchise was born.
It’s not the only hit movie to suffer labor pains.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street”
“A Nightmare on Elm Street,” available on Hulu, proved a nightmare for Hollywood during its infancy as it juggled between three different studios (including Disney!) before being made.
“Back to the Future”
Columbia Pictures rejected “Back to the Future” (they didn’t think it was sexy enough) before Steven Spielberg saved it, but not before dropping actor Eric Stoltz in favor of Michael J. Fox. It left Netflix in 2017 but you can still catch on Hulu and on Amazon Prime through a Starz subscription.
Some films just don’t want to be made, like “The Omen,” the occult movie starring Gregory Peck. While filming, the screen writer’s plane was struck by lightning, Peck’s son shot himself, the IRA bombed a hotel where cast and crew were staying, a lion killed one of the animal handlers and a special effects consultant was cut in half in a car crash on Friday the 13th. Still want to watch? It’s on Amazon Prime.
Most famously, “Star Wars” was riddled with so many production problems it faced the ax from the start. A sand storm during its first week of filming in Tunisia ruined much of its filming and set it back weeks; director George Lucas was diagnosed with hypertension, the cast thought the script was so farcical they didn’t take it seriously, and the studio, 20th Century Fox, believed so little in the movie they constantly threatened to pull the plug (they also let Lucas keep rights to sequels and merchandising, not believing any would ever be made). Now under the Disney empire, the movies are being pulled to be part of the Mouse House’s new streaming service Disney +.