Most movies require a lot of work to get done. You need producers, actors, repetitions, hair and makeup, sunlight and a lot of talent. So we can understand it can take up to two years to finish a movie and finally shout “It’s a wrap, people”. But these movies took decades to be finished. Yes, decades as in multiple of ten. After “Boyhood” hit the screens last year, we were all wow-ed by how long it took and amazed how none of the actors got bored of each other over the years. Still, we’ve compiled a list that will blow your mind even further. And “Boyhood” is not even among our top five choices.
10. The Wicker Tree – Ten Years
This is a horror English movie that took a decade to write and shoot and thirty eight years since the original was released and the sequel appeared. Director Robin Hardy initially struggled to find funds for the movie, but managed to pull through and release it in 2011.
9. Boyhood – Eleven Years
The highly acclaimed movie of Richard Linklater started shooting back in 2003 with a clear vision in mind: follow a strict schedule and film a boy grow into an adolescent over the course of eleven years. Ellar Coltrane, who plays the main character in “Boyhood” was six years old when filming started and eighteen when he finally went to see his movie.
8. Roar – Eleven Years
Directed by Noel Marshall, this movie took so long to be finished because of the various injuries caused by the animals to the cast. The wild animals included tigers, elephants, over one hundred lions, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs. What was the cost of the movie, I hear you asking. “Roar” cost $17 million and on his release only managed to make $2 million in cinemas worldwide.
7. Blood Tea And Red String – Thirteen Years
Stop motion movies take teams ages to make because you have to move characters inch by inch to get the shots you want. And it literally took Christiane Cegavske ages: he completed the movie (the first one in the trilogy) on his own in thirteen years and raised some hype with his adult fairy tale.
6. Pakeezah – Fourteen Years
What stalled this Bollywood gem from hitting the screens? It was partly due to the fact that it involved a lot of synchronized dancing and various sets, but the main reason was another one. After the composer and cinematographer died while the movie was being produced, the stars of the film who were married, broke up and refused to continue with the movie. Many years passed before the two could work together again and finish shooting.
5. The Manson Family – Sixteen Years
Jim Van Bebber started working on his own movie in 1988 and managed to release it in 2004. It is a dark story of the Manson Family that was made up by Charles Manson, the leader, and his followers, revolving around their crimes and time spent in court.
4. Mad Max: Fury Road – Seventeen Years
“Mad Max” met with a lot of delays on its way to completion. The original idea was sparked back in 1998 and by the time George Miller got the right for the movie, 9/11 took anther stab at its moving forward. The original version of the movie was ultimately dropped. In 2009, with Mel Gibson on board, it was announced “Mad max” will still happen and shooting was restarted in 2012.
3. Tiefland – Twenty Years
This opera held the Guinness World Record for the lengthiest movie production, but it was eventually dethroned. The German producer started writing the script in 1934 but II World War interfered with his plans. Shooting begun in 1940, but the footage ended up being confiscated at the end of the war. The movie was recovered and released in 1954, with many missing scenes here and there.
2. The Thief And The Cobbler – Thirty One Years
Animator Richard Williams expected more from “The Thief and the Cobbler” than a simple animation. He started funding the movie with his own money in 1964, but by 1988 he already needed more funds. He also encountered some ownership issues, which delayed the movie even more. The final version of the animation was “completed” in 1995. Saying that it was completed is quite the overstatement, since this isn’t a proper film and it only exists as an unofficial version “Recobbled Cut”.
1. The Overcoat – Thirty Four Years (And Counting)
This animation is based on Gogol’s story with the same name. Director Yuriy Norshteyn started this project in 1981 and in 2004 he announced he has 25 minutes of the animation. Since everything is made in the animator’s house, the three decade delay can be (somewhat) understood. The release is nowhere in sight, so you can go ahead and read the story.