10 Ridiculously Long-Delayed Movies

This Friday is a day that Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, and Allison Janney probably thought would never come: the release date of Margaret, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan’s long, long, long awaited follow-up to his 2000 debut film, the Oscar-nominated You Can Count on Me. Shot clear back in 2005 (and capturing Paquin pre-True Blood and Damon at around the time he shot The Departed), the picture has spent the last six years in a perpetual state of post-production, with most parties involved blaming the perfectionist writer/director, who has seemed unable or unwilling to settle on his contractually-guaranteed final cut.

Meanwhile, Fireflies in the Garden, the familial drama starring Ryan Reynolds and Julia Roberts, is finally getting a release as well this fall — three years after its debut at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival. (Its extended delay appears to be the collateral damage of its original production company’s shutdown.) With both of those dawdling dates finally coming into view, we thought we’d take a look at a few other movies that took (or are taking) a bit longer than the standard one-to-two-year gestation period to make it to the big screen (or to your television).


David O. Russell’s Best Director nomination earlier this year for The Fighter marked (in parallel to the picture) a bit of a comeback for the filmmaker; his reputation before its release was rather tarnished by a certain viral video sensation (above), and his ongoing battles to finish Nailed. This black comedy (starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, James Marsden, and Catherine Keener) went before cameras clear back in 2008, and production started and stopped several times due to the somewhat shaky financial dealings of producer David Bergstein. It is still incomplete — a key scene remains to be shot (reports say it would take a day or two), though a very rough assemblage was screened to an LA test audience early this spring. The actors are contractually obligated to return for the reshoots, should they happen, but Russell has washed his hands of the project and has indicated that should it ever surface, his name will not be on it.