This curse is a weird one because it's basically the same as "Confederacy of Dunces." It's the rare case where a single curse is powerful to cover two unmade comedy films. Almost everything is the same: John Belushi was set to star in this satire about an Inuit hunter in New York City, but he died. John Candy and Chris Farley were also going to play Atuk at various times, but they died before production began.
The difference with "Atuk" is that the movie was about to be filmed with comedian Sam Kinison. Kinison himself demanded creative control of the project and wanted to rewrite major parts of the script, then allegedly threatened to intentionally do a bad job acting if he didn't get his way [source: Raouf]. There were lawsuits, but it all came to nothing when Kinison died in a car crash.
The message here? Don't mess with "Atuk."
Keep reading for more links to crazy Hollywood stories.
Author's Note: 10 Movies That Were Supposedly Cursed
This is such a fun topic undermined by the fact that curses don't actually exist. But it was a great excuse to tell a bunch of stories about weird things that happened on film sets. As every movie lover knows, things that happen to actors are a zillion times more important than things that happen to normal humans.
- Adams, Cecil. "Did John Wayne die of cancer caused by a radioactive movie set?" The Straight Dope. Oct. 26, 1984. (Jan. 6, 2015) http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/374/did-john-wayne-die-of-cancer-caused-by-a-radioactive-movie-set
- Appelo, Tim. "Natalie Wood, Christopher Walken's 'Brainstorm': How the Actress' Death Derailed Her Final Film." Hollywood Reporter. Nov. 18, 2011. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/natalie-wood-death-christopher-walken-brainstorm-263800
- Channel 4. "The Omen Curse." 2005. (Jan. 5, 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjVRHTzIpj8
- Corliss, Richard. "Oz Revisited – Part 2: How They Made It Wonderful." Time. Sept. 17, 2013. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://entertainment.time.com/2013/09/17/oz-revisited-part-2-how-they-made-it-wonderful/
- Didcock, Barry. "Curse of the OMEN and other Hollywood hexes." Herald Scotland. Oct. 23, 2005. (Jan. 9, 2015). http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/curse-of-the-omen-and-other-hollywood-hexes-from-the-omen-to-the-exorcist-and-rosemary-s-baby-there-are-tales-of-fatal-accidents-devil-worship-doomed-planes-and-car-crashes-barry-didcock-looks-at-some-of-the-most-cursed-films-of-all-time-and-find-1.39414
- Hyman, Peter. "A Conspiracy of Dunces." Slate. Dec. 14, 2006. (Jan. 8, 2015). http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hollywood/2006/12/a_conspiracy_of_dunces.html
- IMDb. "Curse of the Exorcist." (Jan. 9, 2015). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433544/
- Jackovich, Karen G. and Sennet, Mark. "The Children of John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Dick Powell Fear That Fallout Killed Their Parents." People magazine. Nov. 10, 1980. (Jan. 8, 2015) http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20077825,00.html
- McGasko, Joe. "The Superman Curse." Biography.com. June 18, 2013. (Jan. 7, 2015) http://www.biography.com/news/the-superman-curse-21259185
- Norman, Neil. "Dark side of Oz: The exploitation of Judy Garland." Daily Express. April 5, 2010. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/167269/Dark-side-of-Oz-The-exploitation-of-Judy-Garland
- Patterson, John. "Who Killed Superman?" The Guardian. Nov. 17, 2006. (Jan. 8, 2015) http://www.theguardian.com/film/2006/nov/18/features.weekend1
- Power, Ed. "The Wizard of Oz - Dark side of the rainbow." Irish Examiner. Sept. 15, 2004. (Jan. 7, 2015) http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/the-wizard-of-oz--dark-side-of-the-rainbow-286270.html
- Pringle, Thomas. "Photographed by the Earth: War and media in light of nuclear events." European Journal of Media Studies. Autumn 2014. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.necsus-ejms.org/photographed-earth-war-media-light-nuclear-events/
- Raouf, Neda. "The 'Atuk' Curse." Los Angeles Times. Feb. 21, 1999. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://articles.latimes.com/1999/feb/21/magazine/tm-10276
- Rennell, Tony. "The maddest movie ever: Why Apocalypse Now is the finest film of modern times." Daily Mail. Dec. 5, 2009. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1233293/The-maddest-movie-Why-Apocalypse-Now-finest-film-modern-times.html
- Romano, Lois. "Riding Accident Paralyzes Actor Christopher Reeve." Washington Post, June 1, 1995. (Jan. 7, 2015) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A99660-1995Jun1.html
- Sellers, Robert. "The strained making of 'Apocalypse Now'" The Independent. July 4, 2009. (Jan. 9, 2015) http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/the-strained-making-of-apocalypse-now-1758689.html
- Snopes.com. "Poltergeist Deaths." (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/poltergeist.asp
- White, Micah. "The Poltergeist Curse: 'It's Heeere...'" Biography.com. Oct. 22, 2013. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.biography.com/news/the-poltergeist-curse-its-heeere
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