Director Martin Brest has recently reflected on the notorious box office bomb, “Gigli,” which was released in 2003. The romantic crime comedy starred Ben Affleck as a bumbling mobster and Jennifer Lopez as a tough, seductive enforcer, tasked with kidnapping the mentally challenged brother of a federal prosecutor. The film received scathing reviews from critics and is widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, becoming one of the biggest box office failures in history.
In a new interview with Variety, Brest discusses the film, which remains a sore spot for him to this day. He reveals that he still can’t bring himself to say the title of the movie and refers to it as “the G movie.” The director opens up about the extensive studio interference that drastically changed the film from its original vision. He admits that while he bears some responsibility for the movie’s failure, he doesn’t even recognize the final product due to the significant alterations made during post-production.
The disagreements between Brest and the studio escalated to the point where post-production was halted for eight months. Eventually, Brest faced a difficult decision: to quit or to be complicit in the film’s misguided direction. He chose the latter and regrets not walking away from the project. As the film underwent extensive reshooting and re-editing, it lost its coherence and purpose, leaving Brest feeling like a true collaborator with occupying forces rather than a creative director.
The impact of “Gigli” on Brest’s career was profound. Before the film’s release, he was a highly respected director known for helming successful movies like “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Midnight Run,” “Scent of a Woman,” and “Meet Joe Black.” He even earned an Academy Award nomination for directing “Scent of a Woman.” However, “Gigli” changed everything, and the film’s catastrophic failure effectively ended Brest’s career in Hollywood. Despite his previous successes, he struggled to find opportunities to direct again, and “Gigli” became a tarnishing mark on his once-promising career.
Many other accomplished directors have faced failures, but they were often given second chances and went on to create successful films. However, Brest’s experience with “Gigli” seemed to be different, leaving him sidelined from the industry. It remains unclear why he hasn’t been given the same opportunities as his peers, especially considering the circumstances that led to the film’s failure were beyond his control.