Gigli was such a notorious flop that director Martin Brest can’t even bring himself to say the name of the Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez movie.
Martin Brest directed Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, Scent of a Woman, and Meet Joe Black, but his last movie was such a flop that it brought his career to a grinding halt — Of course, I’m talking about Gigli.
Gigli was a romantic comedy crime movie starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. As the pair were romantically involved at the time, the movie generated an enormous amount of interest but it wound up becoming a box-office bomb that some consider to be one of the worst movies ever made. Woof. The failure of Gigli affected Martin Brest so much that he told Variety he can’t even bring himself to say its name.
Of all the movies that I’ve worked on, I know them inside and out. I don’t even know what that movie looks like, frankly, because of the manner in which it took shape. Even the name… I refer to it as ‘the G movie.’ Probably the less said about it the better.
Martin Brest went on to explain how studio interference gutted the movie to the point where he didn’t recognize it. “The entire context of the film was upended so profoundly, the original intention was pretty much obliterated,” Brest said. “I wonder if ever a movie had been changed that much… I’m sure it has in the history of Hollywood, but it was changed so radically.” Brest continued, “The themes of the movie were radically different. The plot was different. The purpose of the movie was different. But I can’t escape blame. [But] it’s so weird — I literally don’t remember the movie that was released, because I wasn’t underneath it in the way I was under the hood of all my other movies. So it’s really a bloody mess that deserved its excoriation.“
At the end of the day, Brest wishes that he had just taken his name off the movie. “Extensive disagreements between the studio and myself got to the point where post-production was shut down for eight months while we battled it out,” Brest explained. “In the end I was left with two choices: quit or be complicit in the mangling of the movie. To my eternal regret I didn’t quit, so I bear responsibility for a ghastly cadaver of a movie.“
Although he hasn’t directed a movie since Gigli, Martin Brest does still have projects he wants to make… if anyone will let him. “I wrote one script and then I put that aside, and then I wrote another script that I have been burning for a few years to do, but I’ll just have to burn because nobody else seems to be wanting to burn along with me,” he said. “It seems like a consistent theme that directors who are no longer in the business always have their pet project that they want to do. I guess that’s mine.“
I’ll admit to never having seen Gigli (perhaps that’s for the best), but was it really so bad that Martin Brest deserved to be driven out of Hollywood?