Back in the day Arnold Schwarzenegger was about to make an epic project called Crusade. The movie was going to be directed by Total Recall director, Paul Verhoeven, and it was described as being a Middle Ages epic with a mix of Spartacus, and Conan.
In the most recent issue of Empire Magazine, which focuses on Schwarzenegger's comeback, they explain that the movie didn't shy "away from the anti-semitism and anti-arabian sentiments of the crusaders in question, it was going to be full-on, frank, vintage Verhoeven, with sets already built in Spain and cast ready to roll – including Robert Duvall, Jennifer Connelly, John Turturro, and Christopher McDonald –before it all disappeared into a lick of development hellfire."
So what in the hell happened to this project? Why didn't it ever get made? Schwarzenegger explained that Verhoeven had a breakdown in the middle of a meeting that killed it. Here's the story as described by the actor...
It was all written and ready to go but then Paul started going crazy. We had the final meeting with the studio and we were all sitting at this boardroom table. They said, 'So the budget is $100 million. That's a lot of money. What kind of guarantees do you have that we will get it for 100 and it won't go up to 130?'
He [Verhoeven] says, 'What do you mean, guarantees'? There's no such thing as guarantees! Guarantees don't happen and if anyone promises you guarantees, they're lying! We don't even know that if you want out of the building here you won't get hit by a truck. There's no guarantee that we're going to make it 'til tomorrow! I cannot have ocntrol over God – I don't even believe in God, why am I talking about God? But someone, nature, could just rain for three months and then what do we do? How can I give you a guarantee? This is ludicrous!"
I kept kicking him under the table and trying to tell him to shut up while we're ahead. But he just wouldn't, and that was it. That was the end of that movie. Paul always tried to be honest, but you can be a little bit selective about when to be honest and when to just move on with the project. It was a shame.
That doesn't seem like the best time to self destruct and kill your own passion project! It would have been great to see what Crusade could have been. It had an incredible cast and could've ended up being a classic movie. I imagine Verhoeven was kicking himself in the ass after than meeting.
Crusade goes down as one of the most interesting blockbusters to never get made.