These days, every movie fan knows the one word that can spell disaster, or pull of a miracle: reshoots. But reshoots are a lot more common than you might think. And even if some tend to be exaggerated, there are plenty of hit movies that really WERE drastically changed due to studio concerns, or saved by a director’s second pass. Here are 10 Movies Completely Transformed By Reshoots.
Thor: The Dark World
It may not be Marvel’s biggest hit, but ask fans of the second Thor movie what saved the day, and they’ll probably agree it had a lot to do with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki playing a major role. From the opening scenes that pick up right after Avengers, to Loki’s impression of Captain America, he made sure to deliver the best laughs, and help set off the ultra-stoic Thor. But nearly all of those scenes were added for fear it was getting a bit dry – and were just a few of the many action scenes heightened to keep things moving.
I Am Legend
It might be the most famous example of a re-shot ending that actually got things completely wrong. The original ending for this tale of a vampie-zombie apocalypse was a shocker, revealing that the monsters weren’t just intelligent, but willing to let the hero live if he returned the leader’s mate. But that ending – which saw mankind basically drop down the food chain – got the studio nervous. Instead, an ending was reshot to have the hero find a cure, then blow everyone up. Basically, the opposite message – and an ending few fans would actually have chosen.
Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller relied on action and landscapes, more than dialogue to build his post-apocalyptic world, and – no surprise – the studio had a hard time seeing what he did. Once he turned in his first cut, Warner Bros. was blown away. So impressed, they agreed to give Miller the extra money needed to film the scenes from the script that they had forced him to cut: the opening and closing sequences set in Immortan Joe’s massive Citadel. It’s hard to imagine the film without those landmarks, which is probably a sign that the studio made the right call, giving Miller the reshoots needed to bring his ENTIRE vision to life.
Okay, so you can’t technically reshoot a CG animated film, but Pixar’s insane hit Finding Nemo could have turned out completely different, since the role of Marlin – Nemo’s dad, and the movie’s star – was originally completely voiced by actor William H. Macy. Pixar’s bosses sensed it wasn’t quite working, and Albert Brooks was brought in instead. Since Brooks’ performance is a major reason the film works as well as it does, Macy’s role, no matter how good, would have resulted in a different star, and a different movie.
Men in Black
Everyone knows the movie’s story, but it changed even after key scenes had been filmed. For starters, the two aliens who meet on Earth to make sure the “galaxy on Orion’s belt” is safe? They were originally enemy races, trading the galaxy to end an ancient war between them – with the movie’s villain wanting it to continue. When the story changed, the entire scene – performed in English – was dubbed over in alien, with completely different subtitles. It’s also a talking pug who lays out the plot – the new one, since his lines were completely re-written after the scenes had been shot.
Suicide Squad/Rogue One
Just because a movie has yet to be released, that doesn’t mean fans aren’t ready to shout disaster or just celebrate. When DC’s Batman V Superman took hits from critics over its dark, not-so-fun story, one word of reshoots on Suicide Squad was all some needed to call it damage control, claiming new scenes were being filmed to lighten the mood and add humor. The cast and director laughed off that story, claiming the studio was so impressed, they’d been given the chance to add even more action – meaning the bad news was… good, actually. The same happened when Star Wars: Rogue One added reshoots, with claims that half the movie was being remade and rewritten, and director Gareth Edwards replaced – all shot down just as soon as they were made. We’ll just have to wait and see…