'Nailed': The David O. Russell Film That Never Was

I Heart Huckabees David O. Russell Inset - H 2014
Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection; Tonya Wise/Invision/AP

I Heart Huckabees David O. Russell Inset - H 2014

The story behind the 2008 follow-up to "I Heart Huckabees" that never got made.

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

A "Lost" movie from the director whose films have back-to-back Oscar nominations? Believe it. In 2008, as his follow-up to I Heart Huckabees, David O. Russell tackled Nailed, an adaptation of Kristin Gore's book about a woman who gets a nail in her head, which kicks off peculiar behavior and a crusade to Washington, where she meets a congressman who uses her for his own ends.

PHOTOS: The Endlessly Entertaining Mouth of David O. Russell

The movie was cast with Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal but suffered an array of shutdowns because of cash-flow problems faced by David Bergstein and his Capitol Films. All but one scene -- the crucial one where the nail goes into Biel's character's head -- was completed by Russell, but the movie sat on the shelf as Ron Tutor, another rights holder, tried unsuccessfully to get Russell to finish it. The director washed his hands of the project in 2010.

THR COVER: David O. Russell says He Was 'Meant to Tell Stories That Exhilarate and Give Life'

Nailed then fell to Kia Jam, a producer who cobbled together a cut that was test-screened in 2011 and submitted to the MPAA in November 2013 -- all for a release that may never come and done without Russell or the actors. Jam did not return a call asking for comment.


Linklater, Dazed and Confused, that was a job interview for me, right? So I tucked in my shirt, man, shaved my hair, pressed my jeans and went in 'cause it was a job interview. And he was like: 'Hey, OK. Let your hair grow out, and maybe, uh …' And I was like, 'I can do that?' (Laughs.)"