20 notoriously troubled movie sets
'The Island of Dr. Moreau' (1996)
Notable participants: Richard Stanley, Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando
What happened: Richard Stanley made a name for himself with the low-budget genre movie "Hardware," and his script for an updated version of the classic H.G. Wells novel was a hot property when New Line greenlit the film for Stanley to direct. Within the first week of production, though, Stanley faced his first major test when Val Kilmer decided he wanted to switch roles with Rob Morrow. Morrow refused to do it, and New Line decided to back Kilmer instead. They flew in David Thewlis to take over in the lead role of the film, and shooting resumed. By the time Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando finished tormenting Stanley, the director essentially had a breakdown, vanishing into the jungles surrounding the film's location. John Frankenheimer was brought in to continue the shoot, and Stanley eventually returned to the set in full make-up, disguised as one of the animal men, watching in misery as they gutted the script that got the film produced in the first place. Even in post-production, things were crazy, with New Line spending extra money on a digital unit that was hired simply to erase Brando's ass crack from every scene in the movie, grafting on CGI underwear.
- Drew McWeeny