The Story Behind David O'Russell's Lost Movie 'Nailed'

The reviews suggest David O' Russell will be celebrating multiple Oscar nominations for his black comedy American Hustle in early 2014. The movie boasts a glittering cast including Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and comes as Russell begins to approach something like a career peak. His last two efforts The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook were both big winners with the critics and all the talk suggests American Hustle is probably his best movie yet. You can check out the trailer here.

David O'RussellDavid O'Russell Filming 'American Hustle'

However, there's an oddity in O'Russell's oeuvre in the form of Nailed - a project that the director abandoned three years ago after financing totally collapsed. 

Russell first began work on the political satire in 2008 but financing fell through when there was just once scene left to be re-shot. Russell officially quit the project in 2010 after multiple delays.

Nailed follows the story of an uninsured waitress played by Jessica Biel who gets shot in the head with a nail. She travels to Washington D.C. as part of a crusade for health reform and meets an immoral congressman played by Jake Gyllenhaal. 

After the movie was shut down, producer Doug Wick told that there are good reasons why we'll likely never see it.

"...oddly enough the last scene that we had scheduled-partly because we thought this way [the financier will] have to finish the movie-is the scene where Jessica Biel gets a nail in her head. That's why it's called 'Nailed,' she doesn't have insurance and she can't get the nail out. So the last two days were getting the nail in her head, and we shut down so we didn't have the final scene that was the scene that was the premise of the movie," Wick explained.

"There was no way to cut the movie together without that scene, so I don't know what he was thinking by shutting us down then. At that point everybody was like, 'We can't cut the movie together, there isn't a movie.' And then [the financier] never came through with the rest of the money."

Jessica BielJessica Biel Is The Star of 'Nailed'

Essentially, there's probably a pretty good movie in the can though it doesn't have the most important scene.

One crumb of comfort for O'Russell fans is the news that Nailed has recently been given at PG-13 by the MPAA for "sexual contact and language" meaning it may well have been finished in some shape or form. 

We sort of feel sorry for Jessica Biel. She was always destined to be the next big lead actress in Hollywood though it just never happened for her. She probably assumed Nailed would be her big break - on paper it looks fantastic, O'Russell directing, Gyllenhaal supporting alongside the likes of Catherine Keener and Tracy Morgan. 

Jake GyllenhaalJake Gyllenhaal Also Stars in 'Nailed'

Perhaps Nailed will get a release in 2014, though we imagine anyone thinking of throwing in the extra cash will be awaiting the results of next year's Oscars. Should American Hustle win Best Picture, O'Russell's lost movie might just make it to the big sceen.


Tags: Jessica Biel - Jake Gyllenhaal


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