Tales of cinematic catastrophes often make for more engaging entertainment than the movies they're inspired by. For instance, what the fuck is John Carter? Would Michael Cimino have ever recaptured his The Deer Hunter form if he'd never directed Heaven's Gate? Is Dune actually a real movie, or just a dream that David Lynch implanted in our collective consciousness to sabotage Kyle MacLachlan's career? These stories are all sweeping epics in their own right, fulfilling all the pretentions harbored by their moving picture progenitors. If the story of how producers connived to make Movie 43, the universally loathed skid mark on the underpants of some of Hollywood's brightest current stars, proves any less interesting, it's probably because everyone associated with seems either deeply ashamed or pathologically cynical.
The Telegraph, taking its cue from every other media outlet that had the misfortune of reviewing Movie 43, thinks readers would like to know just how the fuck so many bankable movie stars — Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Watson, Halle Berry, etc., ad infinitum — signed on for such a shitpile of a movie. Does this not totally mystify you? (Do you really believe that Halle Berry is still, like, a movie star?) Wouldn't you like to know how such an obviously bad movie attracted so much talent? Sure you do!
It all started, according to the Telegraph ten years ago, when Hollywood angler fish Charlie Wessler had an idea to make a stupid movie. For a while, nothing happened. Things were pretty dull for Chaz, preeeettty dull. Sigh. Then he managed to convince Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet to sign on for the project. They filmed their sketches (the entire movie is split into 12 sketches loosely tethered together by the story of three teenagers trying to download Movie 43) four years ago, and that would have been the end of that, just another few reams of oddly disjointed Hollywood footage, if it were not for Wessler's ability to sell other big stars on Movie 43 based on Jackman and Winslet's involvement:
Their sketch was filmed four years ago and Wessler used their involvement to stitch together his all-star cast. Several tried to back out when they realised what their roles entailed, but by then were already contractually committed.
"They clearly wanted out, but we wouldn't let them," noted Peter Farrelly, the director and one half of the brotherly duo behind the hits There's Something About Mary and Dumb & Dumber, as he outlined the filmmakers' strategy in an interview before its release. "Wait for them. Shoot them when they want to shoot. Guilt them to death."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the real Hollywood magic happens.