“We’ll just fix that in post!” has always been the rallying cry for filmmakers in the middle of a troubled production. Unfortunately, sometimes things have a nasty habit of actually getting broken in post-production, usually thanks to studio interference. (via 5 Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes | Cracked.com)
- I Am Legend: In the film’s original ending, Neville is trapped as vampires break through his barricades and infiltrate his hideout (who would have guessed that locking yourself in an enclosed space in the middle of a city full of vampires would turn out to be a bad idea?). Because test audiences apparently didn’t like the original ending, the studio opted to go with a new one in which Neville fights back against the vampires to protect his new allies. He does so by igniting a grenade about two inches from their face, destroying the once-safe stronghold and severely injuring his companions. It should also be noted that going by the original ending, Will Smith just murdered scores of reasoning creatures who were attempting to rescue a little girl
- Superman II: Most of Superman II was actually shot at the same time as the original, by Donner. Donner was more of the Christopher Nolan school of superhero movies, rather than the Joel Schumacher one, meaning he didn’t see the need for a lot of goofball camp in his superhero movies. He even brought on his own writer on both films to smooth out the most retarded parts of the scripts. This all worked great, except for the fact that the producers hated Donner’s guts, though probably not as much as he hated theirs. He was booted off the project with 75 percent of the film shot. Is it unfair to say that everything that was good about Superman II was due to Donner, and that all of the goofy parts were Lester’s fault? Let’s put it this way: When Lester was finally given control of an entire film from the start, he gave the world Superman III.
- Dawn of the Dead: In this startling allegory, director George A. Romero decries America’s rampant consumption with his resounding message of, “If you insist on buying worthless crap, don’t be surprised if zombies break into your local mall and seriously mess you up. I’m just saying.” In the film’s original climax, the main characters, realizing that they will never truly be safe, choose to commit suicide rather than join the legions of the walking dead. The film was to conclude with a haunting final shot of our heroine Fran shoving her head into her helicopter’s propeller. This was of course an allegory for America’s failing educational system. Apparently, the studio opted to go with the less depressing ending, in which our heroes are condemned to spend the rest of their lives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland dominated by murderous reanimated cadavers.
- Live Free or Die Hard: Months into filming, the head honchos decided to trim the film behind the director’s back in order to get the magical PG-13 rating, which, according to producers, would attract a new demographic at the small cost of making the film suck. The result? The new McClane was so tame that he couldn’t even say his famous catchphrase. Blood splatters were digitally removed (and taking the blood out of a Die Hard movie is like taking the blood out of a vampire movie).
- Blade Runner: Blade Runner is Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s classic science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (a title rendered irrelevant since recent scientific studies have confirmed that robots actually dream about enslaving humans and forcing them to do their bidding). In the film’s original bittersweet conclusion, Rick Deckard chooses to harbor a renegade android, even though she will soon face an electric sheepless sleep of death. The original film also contains implications that the main character might himself be a replicant, a twist so creative and shocking that we can forgive it for not making any goddamned sense at all. The studio, upset with the film’s bleak tone, re-dubbed it with a new voice-over narration from Harrison Ford, who sounds like he’s reading his lines at gunpoint. The narration was intended to clarify some of the more confusing parts of the film using the unique storytelling tactic of having the narrator describe something entirely different from what’s happening on the screen.