It’s common knowledge that all movies go through strenuous production processes that can take anywhere from weeks to months, to even years. A cinematic masterpiece isn’t developed overnight, and one of the most stressful parts of the production is filming. Numerous takes, trailers, makeup, costumes, and props are all strategically planned and every person involved in the process goes through some sort of stress. But what happens when a monkey wrench is thrown into the planning? Takes that need to be reshot, costumes restitched, and people scrambling to make things right again. It’s an accepted part of the road to developing a movie.
But sometimes, there are strings of bad luck that are so far out of the ordinary, one has to wonder whether there is something sinister behind the incidents. From satanic curses to bad luck to possible suicide pacts, these ten movies have had some of the most shocking curse conspiracies in the entertainment industry. Some are well known blockbusters while others succumbed to their curse and fell into obscurity. Because of the latter, the lesser known ones end up having some of the most fascinating curse stories, as they contributed to the failure at the box office.
Some of the movies on this list have obvious reasons for curses, thanks to the content and whether it included religious and spiritual story lines. But others have sinister curses with seemingly no explanation at all. If a movie’s content is exceptionally dark, perhaps it opens doors for darker forces to intervene and start affecting the people involved on the project.
10. Superman (1978)
The Superman Curse is just as famous as the iconic films. The curse is blamed for a series of misfortunes that have afflicted the actors who have played the Man of Steel. George Reeves, who played the lead in the show Adventures of Superman from 1952 to 1958 died from a suspicious gunshot wound. And of course, who can forget the sad circumstances of Christopher Reeve, who became a parapalegic from a horse riding accident. Other actors like Margot Kidder and Richard Pryor have blamed the curse for their misfortunes and deaths.
9. The Ghost of Goodnight Lane (2012)
The Media World Company owns a haunted movie set in Texas, which was the location for the filming of The Ghost of Goodnight Lane, which is ironically about a haunted movie set. The production crew even had paranormal investigators check out the location and confirmed it was haunted from evidence of disembodied voices. Set pieces were moved, one person was slapped, and some crew members even heard their names being spoken. Cast and crew were also experiencing visions of an unknown male. It seemed that fiction was really trying to emulate real life.
8. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
While the classic film is regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time and gave viewers one of the earliest looks into watching movies in color, it was also extraordinarily cursed. First, Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, had her face catch on fire during the iconic exit shot with fire and smoke. Turns out her green makeup was made with copper, which caught on fire. Then the original Tin Man, Buddy Epson, had to step down from his role after he got an eye infection from his makeup. Other members of the cast and crew also dealt with injuries from faulty equipment.
7. A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces is considered to be one of the most cursed movie projects in Hollywood. Based on the best selling book by John Kennedy Toole, producers have been trying to get this movie off the ground for years, but something weird keeps happening every time a leading man accepts the role.
First, John Belushi died soon after he accepted the role. Then, John Candy accepted the role and died soon after from a heart attack. Then the role passed to Chris Farley, who died of a drug overdose. Finally, the role then went to Harris Milstead, better known as “Divine”, who also died afterwards.
6. Waterworld (1995)
Waterworld initially had a budget of only $5 million, however, it would end up costing the production much more than that. For one, the movie ended up costing about $220 million, directors passed up opportunities to direct, and Kevin Costner‘s stunt double was nearly killed during a diving scene. Also, sets were floating away or sinking, winds were interrupting filming, and crew members were getting stung by jellyfish. Finally, the movie only cleared about $88 million in the box office and crew members sued for compensation for hazardous working conditions.
5. The Conqueror (1956)
The Conqueror starred John Wayne as Genghis Khan, who wanted to play the role as a gunfighter. Given the odd casting choice, the film was already headed toward some sort of disaster. The film’s lead actress, Susan Hayward, survived an attack by a black panther, and the cast and crew were almost killed by a flash flood on set. Also, the entire crew was exposed to high amounts of radiation while filming in Snow Canyon, near where the Army was testing atomic bombs. Over the following years, 91 out of the 220 crew members died of cancer.
4. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
When The Matrix came out in 1999, it was nearly an instant hit in the box office. But the process to get there and stay at the top seemed to be cursed. First, Keanu Reeve‘s girlfriend Jennifer Syme gave birth to the couple’s stillborn child. Then after they broke up, Syme died not long after they broke up in 2001. Then, Aaliyah died unexpectedly the same year in a plane crash, causing the cast and crew to be distraught as well as production being halted. Finally, beloved cast member Gloria Foster, who played The Oracle, died in late September of 2001.
3. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Mel Gibson‘s The Passion of the Christ depicted what Jesus Christ may have actually gone through during the time of his crucifixion and death. Jim Caviezel starred as Jesus, and it seemed like he was cursed for taking on the role. He had a piece of his own flesh get ripped out during the “fake” whipping scene, and he was struck by lightning while on the cross. He also suffered from pneumonia and hypothermia during filming. Perhaps it was a demonic attack to dissuade him from finishing the movie?
2. The Conjuring (2013)
When you have a movie that is about evil paranormal activity, you’re nearly sure to attract something just as sinister, whether it’s something new or the original demon that the movie is about. While working on the movie, James Wan said that his dog was growling at some unseen evil. The movie’s star, Vera Farmiga, wouldn’t read the script at night nor would she bring the script home with her, as it terrified her.
It was also reported that when she opened her laptop one day, there were three slashes across the screen. Additionally, the Perron family, who the movie was about, had a strange wind blowing around them. Finally, the hotel where the cast and crew were staying also caught on fire.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
The “Batman curse” has been buzzing among the media ever since the tragic death of Heath Ledger, who played The Joker in The Dark Knight. Rumor has it that Ledger was only sleeping about 2 hours a night while preparing and playing his role as a psychotic, schizophrenic mass murderer. But what many people don’t know is that The Dark Knight set was also plagued by the death of techie, Conway Wickliffe, who died after his truck crashed into a tree while filming a scene.