Cursed (lost original version of Wes Craven horror film; 2005)
Wes Craven's teen horror-comedy Cursed starred Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg as a brother and sister who, after surviving an attack by a werewolf, must find and kill the creature before they become werewolves themselves. The film opened in February of 2005 to overwhelmingly negative reviews and is widely regarded as Craven's worst. However, it began its history as an extremely different movie from what was eventually seen in theaters.
Production[edit | edit source]
Cursed was announced in October 2002 and was planned for release the following summer. The production would reunite Craven with Scream and Scream 2 screenwriter Kevin Williamson, and acclaimed horror makeup artist Rick Baker would design the monster. Filming began in March 2003 and by early summer was around 90% complete. In this version, Ellie Hudson (Ricci), Jimmy Myers (Eisenberg), and Vince Winston (Skeet Ulrich) are total strangers who are all attacked after their cars crash in the Hollywood Hills. In Williamson's original screenplay, the mystery centers on a rampaging serial killer who is revealed only in a twist ending to have been a werewolf.
Unhappy with the film in progress, producer Bob Weinstein shut down production until December, when shooting resumed with a brand-new script. The serial-killer storyline was changed to bring the werewolf to reveal to the forefront; Ulrich, whose character had been drastically altered in the rewrite, quit the production, requiring an additional rewrite that removed him entirely. Costar Mandy Moore was unable to return for the reshoots, and her role was recast. Previously filmed scenes featuring Illeana Douglas, Omar Epps, Corey Feldman, Scott Foley, Robert Forster, and Heather Langenkamp were also scrapped. Three weeks of reshoots, followed by another 10-day reshoot with a rewritten ending, pushed filming into mid-2004, and the release was rescheduled for that October.
By then, however, Weinstein was still unsatisfied with the film and ordered the gory effects cut down so that it could receive a PG-13 rating. Nearly all of Rick Baker's practical werewolf costumes and other special effects were all deleted and replaced with CGI.
Current Status[edit | edit source]
Cursed was released by Dimension Films, a sub-label of Miramax. Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein separated from Miramax in October 2005, forming The Weinstein Company, and took the Dimension Films label with them. It was purchased by ViacomCBS in 2019 after The Weinstein Company shut down in 2018. At least one former Dimension executive is certain the uncut film still exists, although who might actually have it is unknown. An Entertainment Tonight report on the movie was made during production of the original version and various glimpses of the original version can be seen in the report. Wes Craven himself notably disliked the released version and, as of his death in 2015, he had no plans to recut or rerelease it.
In July 2021, the film's editor Patrick Lussier stated a release of the original version is very unlikely due to the ending not being filmed and the lack of popularity for the film and also stating he has no idea who owns the rights to the film, given that the film's original owner Miramax reverting the rights to a large majority of their film's to other companies. Making an official release of the original version unlikely.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
See Also[edit | edit source]
- Wolfman vs. Godzilla (partially found footage from unfinished fan film; 1981)
- Nights of the Werewolf (lost horror film; existence unconfirmed; 1968)
- The Werewolf (lost silent horror film; 1913)
- An American Werewolf in London (lost footage from uncut version of movie; 1981)