It has not been a good last few days for directors. On Friday came word that Pete Travis had been ousted from the “Dredd” reboot during post-production.
Now, over the weekend, it has been revealed that the much-panned horror thriller “Dream House” was so bad that the film’s director sought to have his name pulled from it.
Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan rose to fame on the back of acclaimed works like “My Left Foot,” “In America” and “In the Name of the Father”. In recent years however his turnout has received more of a lukewarm reception such as the 50 Cent biopic “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” and the “Brothers” remake.
Sheridan began filming “Dream House” in Toronto in February last year along with a stellar cast that included Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz. At the time a very early 2011 release was planned. Suspicions were aroused mid last year when reshoots were ordered after a disastrous test screening, reshoots that couldn’t be completed until months later due to Craig’s busy schedule.
The film finally hit cinemas a week ago following a rather quiet promotional push. Reviews were horrendous, the film scoring an 8% and 3.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 35/100 on Metacritic, akin to such other stinkers as “Couples Retreat” and “Season of the Witch” but oddly enough not the worst wide release in cinemas right now (which would be the Taylor Lautner-led thriller “Abduction” with a 5% & 3.3/10).
“Dream House” has also financially flopped with a measly total gross of just $14.5 million at the end of its second weekend.
Now, The Los Angeles Times reports that Sheridan went to the Directors Guild of America over the Summer with the aim of striking his name from the credits. If his bid had gone to term the film would’ve had an Alan Smithee director’s credit. However the bid was dropped due to several factors including Morgan Creek Productions agreeing to finance some reshoots.
Sheridan reportedly began deviating from David Loucka’s script early on which lead to the aforementioned test screening. Morgan Creek panicked and took control of the film in the edit room meaning the theatrical version is not Sheridan’s cut of the film. Understandably Sheridan declined to do any publicity for the film.
While fingers are being pointed at Morgan Creek for interfering with a director’s process, Sheridan himself isn’t faultless. There’s an almost “Exorcist” prequel-like scenario here with Sheridan’s earlier version possibly as bad as the one that ended up in theatres. Unlike those films though, we likely won’t get to see the earlier version of this and judge for ourselves.