15 Very Painful Movie Set Experiences

Jordan Claes
Roy Schieder in 'Jaws'.
Universal Pictures | Universal Pictures

Making a successful Hollywood movie is the shared dream of any true filmmaker/actor. But sometimes, if left unchecked, that dream can quickly dissolve and turn into a living nightmare.

Ironically, many of the most iconic and revered films in the history of cinema were an absolute travesty to create. Have a look below and check out these 15 very painful movie set experiences.


Jason Momoa in 'Aquaman'.
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

Director James Wan wanted to make the underwater kingdom of Atlantis look as real as possible, which is why he opted to shoot much of the movie underwater as opposed to relying on CGI. The visual effect was fantastic, but the working conditions were a little wet.


Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in 'Titanic'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Titanic may as well have been called "Macbeth" because it seemed as if the production was truly cursed. The production was wrought with delays, wildly over-budget, and to top it all off — the cast and crew were poisoned with PCP powder.

'The Northman'

Scene from 'The Northman'
Giphy | Regal

When Alexander Skarsgård was asked by Interview magazine to describe what working on the set of The Northman was like, he told them "You’re so exhausted that you want to cry." Not only was the cast forced to do multiple takes, but they had to do so in the most brutal of weather conditions.

'The Shining'

Working on the set of The Shining was so horrific that it broke a Guinness World Record. Director Stanley Kubric forced Danny Lloyd and Scatman Crothers to shoot the "Shine" scene in the kitchen an astounding 148 times!

'Suicide Squad'

Will Smith as Deadshot in 'Suicide Squad'.
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

The first Suicide Squad film essentially had to be completely redone upon completion due to the mediocre reviews of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Also, director David Ayer made the cast literally punch each other in the face, as a bonding exercise.

'World War Z'

Scene from 'World War Z'.

Brad Pitt's sociopolitical zombie epic wound up falling flat on its face. The director was inexperienced, and as a result, there were massive delays, script rewrites, and a cacophony of other issues that all took place.

'The Revenant'

Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

Much of The Revenant was shot in Calgary, Alberta, and the production was forced to contend with bone-chilling temperatures and incredibly harsh weather. Several crewmembers quit, calling the experience "a living hell" and easily the worst decision of their professional lives.


Rust was a forthcoming American western that has been shut down indefinitely, pending an investigation. The film's star Alec Baldwin was given a prop gun on set that accidentally misfired, resulting in the death of Halyna Hutchins — the film's director of photography.

'The Passion Of The Christ'

Jim Caviezel in 'The Passion of the Christ'.
Icon Productions | Icon Productions

Call it divine intervention or plain dumb luck, but Jim Caviezel should be dead, by all accounts. While filming, Jim was struck by a direct fork of lightning that wound up setting his hair on fire.

'Fantastic Four (2015)'

Doom from 'Fantastic Four'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

The rebooted version of Fantastic Four was so bad, that even director Josh Trank has washed his hands of it. Production was mired in reshoots, budget cuts, and an overwhelming sense of indifference. "There was no path out of hell," Trank told Digital Spy.

'The Crow'

Eric Draven in 'The Crow'.

While filming one of the pivotal gunfight scenes for the movie, The Crow's budding young star, Brandon Lee, was killed when one of the prop guns on set accidentally misfired. To this day, it is considered to be one of the most infamous cursed productions.


Kevin Costner in 'Waterworld'.
Universal Pictures | Universal Pictures

The entire set of Waterworld was literally destroyed in a hurricane. This led to huge production overruns and budget over expenditures. That, combined with the fact that Kevin Costner and director Kevin Reynolds were constantly at each other's throats, made making this movie a largely regrettable experience.

'The Lighthouse'

Robert Pattinson in 'The Lighthouse'.
Giphy | TIFF

While speaking with Interview magazine, Robert Pattinson was asked about his experiences making the arthouse horror/drama The Lighthouse. He emphatically replied, "That's the closest I've come to punching a director." Robert was so miserable that he hardly talked to anyone on set.

'Apocalypse Now'

Robert Duvall in 'Apocalypse Now'.
United Artists | United Artists

The horror...everything that could possibly go wrong with making Apocalypse Now inevitably did just that. Lead actor Martin Sheen suffered a near-fatal heart attack and Marlon Brando showed up to set weighing nearly 300 lbs, not knowing a single one of his lines.


Scene from 'Jaws'.

The reason why you hardly see the shark on film at all in Jaws was, in some ways, done out of necessity. This is because the giant animatronic shark wasn't working and would constantly break down. There was also uncomfortable tension between Richard Dreyfus and Robert Shaw.