There are tons of obstacles the can derail a movie, and it can happen at any time. Saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can sometimes be all it takes to get shut down. Other productions are difficult from the get-go, with cast and crew battling the elements, and each other over the course of a shoot. And even if everything goes smoothly during production, some last minute players call “foul” and interrupt the whole game.
These are the 10 Most Controversial Movies You Almost Didn’t Get To See.
The Wolf Of Wall Street
When Scorsese sets out to do a movie about excess, he thinks big. The Wolf Of Wall Street is a twisted ode to extravagance, and crowded with morally reprehensible conduct. And while lots of people were blown away by the spectacle, some audience members resented it. The filmmaker argues that the movie is supposed to be upsetting. Not sure what to be upset about? Take your pick: sex, drugs, religion, politics, there’s something for everyone. The movie underwent massive cuts in order to be deemed appropriate for showing in some countries, while others like Malaysia, Kenya, and Nepal have banned it outright. Despite the controversy, the movie did well at the box office and was nominated for a slew of trophies come award season.
You’ be hard-pressed to find a section of society that hasn’t been offended by Sacha Baron Cohen at one time or another. It’s his schtick. The performer is famous for putting his subjects on the spot, which almost always leads to an uncomfortable situation. The police were called almost a hundred times during the filming of Borat. And after its release, the actor’s real life got even more tense than his fake one. The majority of the people who appeared in the movie took legal action against him. Some of the film’s least-liked characters were also its most vocal opponents, and tried to have the DVD release cancelled. The Anti-Defamation league even got involved, characterizing the movie as being anti-semitic. And the higher-ups in the Kazakh government were furious. At one point the film was banned in multiple countries, but it’s restriction has since loosened everywhere except Russia.
Sometimes a movie makes it all the way through production and gets shut down just before crossing the finish line. Directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg experienced this exact thing with their 2014 offering, The Interview. The story follows a T.V. host (James Franco) and his producer (Seth Rogen) as they travel to North Korea. After the C.I.A. find out the two are going to meet Kim Jong-Un, they task the two men with murdering the dictator. As you can probably imagine, when the real Kim Jong-Un caught wind of the storyline, he was pretty ticked-off. And threatened retaliation if the movie were to be released- arguing that its publicity would be an act of terrorism. Sony databases were hacked shortly after the incident, and hundreds of internal documents were released to the public. Shortly after, the F.B.I. named North Korea as the country responsible for the leak.
The Passion of the Christ
Sometimes, no matter how the story is told, someone is going to be mad. Mel Gibson’s take on the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life is no exception. The Passion Of The Christ sparked all sorts of controversy, despite his assertion that he was remaining true to the gospels. Accused of being violent to excess, critics also claimed the depiction was anti-Semitic and again the Anti-Defamation league got involved. Religious leaders argue that filmmakers have an obligation to treat the subject matter with care given the potential influence of their work. In fact, there are entire rulebooks that govern how religious likenesses should be tailored for the big screen. Gibson has stated that his intention in making the film was to inspire people, but a lot of them were insulted instead.
If you’re looking or an alternative to the squeaky-clean super-folk that have come to dominate the industry over the past few years, Deadpool is the character for you. He’s got a quick-wit and a filthy mouth, and we can think of no one better to play him than Ryan Reynolds. There’s a good mix of sex, violence, and curse words- and the movie crosses the line in all categories. While many western audiences ate it up, the censors in China were not as impressed. It seems the film pushed the envelope a little too far, and was banned. It seems he’s not alone though. The list of movies banned in China is a pretty long one, and Deadpool isn’t the only costumed crusader on the list. He joins The Dark Knight and V for Vendetta in the doghouse.