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In the film industry, a film is considered shelved if it is not released for public viewing after filming has started, or even completed.

A film can be shelved for a number of reasons:

  • Some films reside in what's termed development hell.
  • Sometimes, a film will receive poor reaction from test audiences and other critics, prompting film producers to choose to never release the film, instead of spending additional money to print and promote it.
  • A film may also go over budget and not find funders, causing the film's producer to abandon the film instead of completing it.
  • In other cases, a film may be considered too controversial for a release, and is unable to find a distributor.
  • Sometimes, a film may be become embroiled in legal battles, such as illegal funding means.

The term "shelved" may refer to other entertainment media, such as music albums (e.g. Extraordinary Machine) and novels.

Famous shelved films

The Day The Clown Cried, an early 1970s film about Nazi concentration camps directed by Jerry Lewis. Some bits of behind-the-scenes-footage have been found, as well as production stills.
The Devil and Daniel Webster (2002) was eventually screened at film festivals but as of 2005 has never been broadly released due to financial problems.
Fantastic Four, a 1994 film produced by Roger Corman that was never intended to be commercially released. Bootlegs of the film, however, leaked onto the internet and are available on VHS.
House of 1000 Corpses was completed in 1999 or 2000, but was unable to find distribution until 2003 due to its violent subject matter.
Knockaround Guys was completed in 1999, but was not released until 2001, to capitalize on actor Vin Diesel's popularity.
O, completed in 1999, but was not released until 2001 because of the Columbine High School massacre.
Dark Blood was cancelled halfway through filming due to the death of its star River Phoenix.
Arrive Alive was supposed to be a comedy film starring Willem Dafoe as a hotel manager mixed up in various scams and Joan Cusack as his girlfriend, but was cancelled after a week's filming when the producer Art Linson decided it wasn't as funny as he thought it would be.
Something's Got to Give, a film left unfinished by the death of Marilyn Monroe.
Robotech the Movie: The Untold Story, a film that splices together footage from the OAV Megazone 23 and the Southern Cross segment of the Robotech TV series, this was intended as a side story in the Robotech Universe. Producer Carl Macek, initially intended to create a straight adaptation of Megazone 23 which would have been slightly rewritten to take place in the Robotech Universe. He was reportedly pressured by Cannon Films into including more action scenes, thus the decision to splice Southern Cross battle footage into the final product. This movie showed only for two weeks in Mesquite Texas and was shelved.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was a film which commenced filming in 2000 but was shelved after 2 weeks. It was going to be directed by Terry Gilliam but was cancelled when star Jean Rochefort was injured. The "behind the scenes" featurette for the DVD became the basis for the documentary Lost in La Mancha.
The Adventures of Pluto Nash, a comedy film starring Eddie Murphy, was completed in 2000. Warner Bros. shelved the film for nearly two years before finally releasing it in August of 2002. Pluto Nash soon gained infamy as one of the most expensive flops in Hollywood history.

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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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