David O. Russell’s lost film ‘Nailed’ revived as ‘Politics in Love,’ recut for UK release

“Nailed” haunts writer-director David O. Russell. A health care satire starring Jessica Biel suffering from a near-fatal nail gun shot to the head, the film went into production before “The Fighter” and imploded before making it through post-production. Russell moved on, for the clear better, but onlookers anxious for a taste of the writer”s sardonic humor kept wondering if the film would ever surface. Whether he was talking about “The Fighter,” “Silver Linings Playbook” or “American Hustle,” nearly ever interview steered towards “Nailed” out of due diligence. When our own Drew McWeeny spoke to Russell in 2011, he summed up the experience he was happy to distance himself from: “['Nailed'] was supposed to be a fresh page and comeback and it turned out to be disappointment, another notch on my belt in this business.”

Fans would never see “Nailed.” Or fans were resigned to never seeing “Nailed”… until now. 

Screendaily reports that Arrow Films has acquired UK and Ireland rights to “Nailed” from Voltage Pictures, the company behind Terry Gilliams” “Zero Theorem” and Andrew Niccol”s drone strike drama “Good Kill.” According to the press release, Russell”s film has been retitled “Politics of Love” and will hit UK theaters in 2015.

Along with Biel, “Politics in Love” costars Jake Gyllenhaal, Catherine Keener, Paul Reubens, Tracy Morgan, James Brolin, and Kristie Alley. The report makes it clear that Russell is not involved with the final theatrical cut of the film. Producer Kia Jam is behind the UK re-edit and there”s no word on whether his version will wash up on American shores.

In 2010, The Hollywood Reporter delved into “Nailed”s” troubled saga, a financial Hell from beginning to end. During shooting, the movie was shut down four times by the guilds when money was not paid on time and again with two days left to shoot. It remains unclear whether “Nailed” ever wrapped production. Russell eventually bailed from the $26 million production after negotiations to re-cut and reshoot portions of the film broken down with financiers. The whole thing was a mess, albeit an intriguing one.

In January 2014, Collider spoke to Jessica Biel about her experience on the film:

I never would have guessed that that was going to be the experience. I never could have understood the craziness that would have ensued over the last five years with that film. You work so hard on something and to not finish it is a map of heartbreak. To this day, it”s not finished, in the way that David [O. Russell], Catherine Keener, Jake Gyllenhaal and all the cast who worked their butts off would have liked to have seen it be finished, and to respect what we did. It”s tough. It”s a tough thing to swallow.

For better or worse, some version of the film will surface next year, putting “Nailed”-related questions to rest once and for all.

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