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11 Famous People Who Apologized for Their Own Movies

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These 11 actors and directors just want to say how sorry they are for that movie they made.

1. and 2. George Clooney and Joel Schumacher // Batman & Robin (1997)

George Clooney has apologized repeatedly for the disastrous Batman & Robin, for everything from the film's campy tone to his portrayal of the Dark Knight to the batsuit's nipples.

"I always apologize for Batman & Robin," Clooney admitted on The Graham Norton Show in May 2015. "Let me just say that I’d actually thought I’d actually destroyed the franchise until somebody else brought it back years later and changed it." (That someone, of course, was Christopher Nolan, who directed a trilogy of Bat-films, starting with Batman Begins in 2005.) He continued, "I thought at the time that this was going to be a very good career move. Um, it wasn’t."

Like Clooney, director Joel Schumacher also apologized for the fourth installment in the Batman franchise. During a retrospective interview on the Batman & Robin special edition DVD, Schumacher said, "If there’s anybody watching this that, let’s say, loved Batman Forever and went into Batman & Robin with great anticipation, if I disappointed them in any way, then I really want to apologize because it wasn’t my intention. My intention was just to entertain them."

3. Shia LaBeouf // Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008)

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During a press conference for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, Shia LaBeouf publicly apologized for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. "You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg]," he said. "But the actor's job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn't do it. So that's my fault. Simple."

4. Oliver Stone // Midnight Express (1978)

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In 2005, Oliver Stone traveled to Turkey to personally apologize to the country’s Culture and Tourism Minister, Erkan Mumcu, for the portrayal of the Turkish people in 1978's Midnight Express. The film follows Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), an American on vacation in Turkey when he was arrested for trying to smuggle hashish out of the country. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, where he was beaten and tortured, but successfully escaped after five years. Stone won his first Oscar, for Best Adapted Screenplay, for the script (which was his first). Mumcu believes that Midnight Express is responsible for years of negative views and stereotypes against Turkey and its people.

"It’'s true I overdramatized the script," Stone told reporters in Istanbul. "But the reality of Turkish prisons at the time was also referred to … by various human rights associations. For years, I heard that Turkish people were angry with me, and I didn'’t feel safe there. The culture ministry gave me a guarantee that I would be safe, so I feel comfortable now."

After meeting with the director, Mumcu said, "Mr. Stone's expression of regret doesn't heal the wounds our nation [has suffered] but it's still important."

5. J.D. Shapiro // Battlefield Earth (2000)

When John Travolta commissioned screenwriter J.D. Shapiro to adapt one of L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction novels into a feature film, Shapiro pitched Battlefield Earth—but his version of the screenplay was darker and grittier than what eventually appeared on the big screen, a huge flop that was widely panned. Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 received the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture of the Decade in 2010, and Shapiro happily accepted the Razzie. He also penned an open letter in the New York Post, writing, "Let me start by apologizing to anyone who went to see Battlefield Earth. It wasn’t as I intended—promise. No one sets out to make a train wreck. Actually, comparing it to a train wreck isn’t really fair to train wrecks, because people actually want to watch those."

6. Eli Roth // Hostel (2005)

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In 2005, director Eli Roth formally apologized to the Icelandic Minister of Culture for the bizarre portrayal of Óli, the drunken sex-crazed, Icelandic college student in Hostel. "We had a premiere there (Iceland) and the Minister of Culture threw me a huge dinner," Roth told Dread Central. "I got to issue a formal apology to the Minister of Culture for ruining Icelandic culture, which he accepted." Additionally, the President of Iceland also issued Eli Roth an official presidential pardon for the horror movie. "Well, you know, your character is pretty accurate so I’ll give you the pardon," he joked.

7. Jeffrey Katzenberg // Envy (2004)

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"I apologize profusely for Envy," DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said during the press conference for Shark Tale during the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. Envy, which had been released just a month earlier, followed an inventor (Jack Black) whose his best friend (Ben Stiller) became increasingly jealous of his success. It was almost a straight-to-video movie, but the success of School of Rock, which starred Jack Black a year before, convinced DreamWorks to release Envy theatrically. It was a box office bomb, had very low critical ratings, and Stiller was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor. A trifecta of terrible!

8. Vincent Gallo // The Brown Bunny (2003)

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After audiences booed The Brown Bunny at its premiere during the Cannes Film Festival in 2003, its director, Vincent Gallo, immediately apologized for making the film, which he called "a disaster and a waste of time." He vowed never to make another movie, but not before apologizing to his producers and backers. "If no one wants to see it, they are right," he said. "I apologize to the financiers of the film, but I must assure you it was never my intention to make a pretentious film, a self-indulgent film, a useless film, an unengaging film."

9. Paul Newman // The Silver Chalice (1954)

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Paul Newman was so embarrassed by his acting debut in The Silver Chalice that he called the low budget film "the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s." In 1963, a local Los Angeles TV station was scheduled to air The Silver Chalice for several nights, and Newman spent $1200 on buying space in two local newspapers that read, "Paul Newman apologizes every night this week—Channel 9." Although he hoped people wouldn’t watch The Silver Chalice, his plea backfired—the broadcast attracted high ratings because of the extra publicity. 

10. Carol Burnett // The Front Page (1974)

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In Billy Wilder’s stage-to-film adaptation of The Front Page, Carol Burnett played Mollie Malloy, a prostitute who befriends a convict who escapes prison. She wasn’t very happy with her performance, and when on a Los Angeles to New York plane that was playing The Front Page as its in-flight movie, she used the airplane’s PA system to apologize to the other passengers. "This is Carol Burnett," she announced, as she recalled in her memoir This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection. "And I want to take this opportunity to apologize to each and every one of you for my performance in the film you just saw."

11. Bruce Willis // Striking Distance (1993)

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In 2004, Bruce Willis appeared on an episode of On The Record with Bob Costas where he publicly apologized for Striking Distance, saying, "it sucked."

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15 Fun Facts About Army of Darkness
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Universal Pictures

On February 19, 1993, Army of Darkness—the third installment in Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell's Evil Dead franchise—made its way into U.S. theaters. You probably know all about Ash’s boomstick, but on the occasion of the hilarious horror comedy's 25th anniversary, it's worth a closer look.

1. ARMY OF DARKNESS ISN'T THE ENTIRE TITLE.

The film’s title is stylized onscreen as Bruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness. This phrasing was Sam Raimi’s homage to the defunct Hollywood tradition of putting stars’ names in movie titles (like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)—but the studio feared the long title would confuse moviegoers, so it was shortened for official purposes to just Army of Darkness.

2. EVEN THE SHORTER TITLE WASN'T RAIMI'S FIRST CHOICE.

Army of Darkness is the third installment of the Evil Dead series and the first to take place during the Middle Ages. Raimi’s original title for Army of Darkness was The Medieval Dead.

3. BRIDGET FONDA FINALLY GOT TO WORK WITH RAIMI.

Bridget Fonda makes a cameoas Ash’s girlfriend Linda during the beginning flashback sequence. She is the third actress in three films to play Linda (following actresses Betsy Baker and Denise Bixler). Fonda—a huge Evil Dead II fan—had originally auditioned to be in Raimi’s previous film, Darkman, but didn’t get the part.

4. ASH'S CAR HAD A LOT OF SCREEN EXPERIENCE.

The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 allegedly appears in all of Sam Raimi’s films.

5. DARKMAN MADE ARMY OF DARKNESS POSSIBLE.

Raimi wanted to make Army of Darkness immediately following 1987’s Evil Dead II, but he struggled to find funding to finish his trilogy. The financial success of Raimi’s 1990 film, Darkman, eventually convinced Universal Studios to split the $12 million budget with executive producer Dino De Laurentiis.

6. A SUBTLE SCIENCE FICTION REFERENCE PLAYS A KEY ROLE.

The words Ash must utter to safely retrieve the Necronomicon (“Klaatu verata nikto”) are actually a variation on a phrase from the original version of The Day the Earth Stood Still. In that film, “Klaatu barada nitko” is the phrase one must say to stop the robot Gort from destroying Earth.

7. THE SKELETON DEADITES WERE AN HOMAGE.

Their design is a tribute to visual effects legend Ray Harryhausen.

8. THE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN MAKES AN APPEARANCE.

Billy Bryan, the actor who portrays the second monster in the medieval pit, also portrayed the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters.

9. SAM RAIMI'S BROTHER WORE A LOT OF HATS.

Ted Raimi—who makes cameos in all of his brother’s films—appears as three different background characters in Army of Darkness. He is first seen as a sympathetic villager, then as a dying soldier during the final battle, and, finally, as an S-Mart employee in the last scene.

10. RAIMI HAD TO FIGHT FOR AN R-RATING.

In keeping with the gory first two films in the series, Army of Darkness received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA. It was subsequently bumped down to an R rating after the filmmakers pointed out that the ostensible gore in the film was happening to skeletons.

11. PLAYING EVIL ASH WAS TOUGH FOR CAMPBELL.

It took makeup artists three hours to get Campbell ready for shooting.

12. RAIMI STORYBOARDED EVERY SINGLE SHOT IN THE MOVIE HIMSELF.

About 25 shots in the final battle are taken from storyboards originally used in the 1948 Victor Fleming film Joan of Arc, which were brought to Raimi’s attention by visual effects supervisor William Mesa. Mesa got them from a friend, who got them from Fleming himself.

13. THERE'S AN EASTER EGG FOR TREKKIES.

Star Trek fans will recognize the location where Ash learns the “Klaatu verata nikto” incantation. The scene was shot at the iconic Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce, California, where the famous “Arena” episode from Star Trek was also shot. The movie also shot in the Bronson Canyon area of Griffith Park in Los Angeles that served as the Batcave for the 1960s Batman television show.

14. THE STUDIO CHANGED THE ENDING.

Bruce Campbell stars in 'Army of Darkness' (1992)
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The original conclusion of the film—which Universal Studios deemed too negative—featured Ash taking too much potion to get back to the present day and waking up in a future, post-apocalyptic London. The ending can be seen on subsequent director’s cuts of home video versions of Army of Darkness.

15. EVEN AFTER YEARS OF TRYING, A SEQUEL NEVER MATERIALIZED.

Beginning in 2015, Bruce Campbell reprised his role as Ash in the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series. While fans of the Evil Dead franchise love it, Raimi spent years trying to get a sequel to Army of Darkness off the ground. On the commentary track for the first season of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Raimi even shared a few of the discarded ideas he had for the film.

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6 Times There Were Ties at the Oscars
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Only six ties have ever occurred during the Academy Awards' near-90-year history. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) members vote for nominees in their corresponding categories; here are the six times they have come to a split decision.

1. BEST ACTOR // 1932

Back in 1932, at the fifth annual Oscars ceremony, the voting rules were different than they are today. If a nominee received an achievement that came within three votes of the winner, then that achievement (or person) would also receive an award. Actor Fredric March had one more vote than competitor Wallace Beery, but because the votes were so close, the Academy honored both of them. (They beat the category’s only other nominee, Alfred Lunt.) March won for his performance in horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Beery won for The Champ (writer Frances Marion won Best Screenplay for the film), which was remade in 1979 with Ricky Schroder and Jon Voight. Both Beery and March were previous nominees: Beery was nominated for The Big House and March for The Royal Family of Broadway. March won another Oscar in 1947 for The Best Years of Our Lives, also a Best Picture winner. Fun fact: March was the first actor to win an Oscar for a horror film.

2. BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT // 1950

By 1950, the above rule had been changed, but there was still a tie at that year's Oscars. A Chance to Live, an 18-minute movie directed by James L. Shute, tied with animated film So Much for So Little. Shute’s film was a part of Time Inc.’s "The March of Time" newsreel series and chronicles Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing putting together a Boys’ Home in Italy. Directed by Bugs Bunny’s Chuck Jones, So Much for So Little was a 10-minute animated film about America’s troubling healthcare situation. The films were up against two other movies: a French film named 1848—about the French Revolution of 1848—and a Canadian film entitled The Rising Tide.

3. BEST ACTRESS // 1969

Probably the best-known Oscars tie, this was the second and last time an acting award was split. When presenter Ingrid Bergman opened up the envelope, she discovered a tie between newcomer Barbra Streisand and two-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn—both received 3030 votes. Streisand, who was 26 years old, tied with the 61-year-old The Lion in Winter star, who had already been nominated 10 times in her lengthy career, and won the Best Actress Oscar the previous year for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Hepburn was not in attendance, so all eyes fell on Funny Girl winner Streisand, who wore a revealing, sequined bell-bottomed-pantsuit and gave an inspired speech. “Hello, gorgeous,” she famously said to the statuette, echoing her first line in Funny Girl.

A few years earlier, Babs had received a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical Funny Girl, but didn’t win. At this point in her career, she was a Grammy-winning singer, but Funny Girl was her movie debut (and what a debut it was). In 1974, Streisand was nominated again for The Way We Were, and won again in 1977 for her and Paul Williams’s song “Evergreen,” from A Star is Born. Four-time Oscar winner Hepburn won her final Oscar in 1982 for On Golden Pond.

4. BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE // 1987

The March 30, 1987 telecast made history with yet another documentary tie, this time for Documentary Feature. Oprah presented the awards to Brigitte Berman’s film about clarinetist Artie Shaw, Artie Shaw: Time is All You’ve Got, and to Down and Out in America, a film about widespread American poverty in the ‘80s. Former Oscar winner Lee Grant (who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1976 for Shampoo) directed Down and Out and won the award for producers Joseph Feury and Milton Justice. “This is for the people who are still down and out in America,” Grant said in her acceptance speech.

5. BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) // 1995

More than 20 years ago—the same year Tom Hanks won for Forrest Gump—the Short Film (Live Action) category saw a tie between two disparate films: the 23-minute British comedy Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and the LGBTQ youth film Trevor. Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi wrote and directed the former, which stars Richard E. Grant (Girls, Withnail & I) as Kafka. The BBC Scotland film envisions Kafka stumbling through writing The Metamorphosis.

Trevor is a dramatic film about a gay 13-year-old boy who attempts suicide. Written by James Lecesne and directed by Peggy Rajski, the film inspired the creation of The Trevor Project to help gay youths in crisis. “We made our film for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider,” Rajski said in her acceptance speech, which came after Capaldi's. “It celebrates all those who make it through difficult times and mourns those who didn’t.” It was yet another short film ahead of its time.

6. BEST SOUND EDITING // 2013

The latest Oscar tie happened only three years ago, when Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall beat Argo, Django Unchained, and Life of Pi in sound editing. Mark Wahlberg and his animated co-star Ted presented the award to Zero Dark Thirty’s Paul N.J. Ottosson and Skyfall’s Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers. “No B.S., we have a tie,” Wahlberg said to the crowd, assuring them he wasn’t kidding. Ottosson was announced first and gave his speech before Hallberg and Baker Landers found out that they were the other victors.

It wasn’t any of the winners' first trip to the rodeo: Ottosson won two in 2010 for his previous collaboration with Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker (Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Sound Mixing); Hallberg previously won an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing for Braveheart in 1996, and in 2008 both Hallberg and Baker Landers won Best Achievement in Sound Editing for The Bourne Ultimatum.

Ottosson told The Hollywood Reporter he possibly predicted his win: “Just before our category came up another fellow nominee sat next to me and I said, ‘What if there’s a tie, what would they do?’ and then we got a tie,” Ottosson said. Hallberg also commented to the Reporter on his win. “Any time that you get involved in some kind of history making, that would be good.”

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