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Notable participants: Kenneth Lonergan, Gary Gilbert, Fox Searchlight
What happened: Okay, so this wasn't a contentious shoot per se: the shoot, as far as we know, was relatively drama-free. It was in post-production that things veered severely off-course for Kenneth Lonergan's weighty sophomore feature. “Margaret” was shot in 2005, and should have been out the following year – but whether due to prohibitive perfectionism or creative blockage, Lonergan simply couldn't tame his sprawling moral drama into a final cut satisfactory to him, producer Gary Gilbert and distributor Fox Searchlight. As the years ticked by – with Scott Rudin, Sydney Pollack and Martin Scorsese's editor Thelma Schoonmaker all attempting to help Lonergan toward a releasable edit – things got ugly. With his finances cut off, Lonergan was forced to borrow money from actor Matthew Broderick to keep the project on the boil, and a triangular series of lawsuits arose between the director, Gilbert and Searchlight. With its legal troubles still unresolved, “Margaret” finally shuffled onto screens in September 2011 – exactly six years after it started shooting – only to find a fiercely devoted band of critical champions. With Lonergan's extended cut later made available on DVD, one of the most tortured narratives in post-production history found its happy ending.
- Guy Lodge