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Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

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Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Old 01-05-09, 03:54 AM
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Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

I'd add "Tonight He Comes" AKA Hancock to the list. I read the original script a long time ago and it would've been a hard R. In fact the revised version and original script almost have nothing in common.

http://www.cracked.com/article_16258...e-changes.html
Old 01-05-09, 09:06 AM
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As fractured as Hancock turned out to be (it has so much wasted potential), it was spades better than the spec script from what I read here:

Originally Posted by Charlie Jane Anders
Will Smith's skid-row superhero movie Hancock was fairly bursting with wasted potential, but you should thank your lucky stars the original script, Tonight He Comes, never reached the screen. At least, if the version that's turned up online recently is real, we all dodged a bullet of awfulness. In a nutshell: it's not a comedy at all, it's an overwrought melodrama about a nihilistic superhero who helps a schlubby man and his son stand up for themselves. Click through for spoilers for a movie you'll never see.

The script, written by newcomer Vy Vincent Ngo, has only the faintest resemblance to the Hancock we actually saw. Hancock is still a hard-bitten superhero, but instead of being the disgrace of L.A., he's just grouchy and worn out, muttering to himself about his duty to counteract "the ills of man." Instead of the upper-class Embry family, the Ngo script features the Longfellows: Horus, Mary and their son Aaron. Horus is a failed police officer working as a security guard, and Aaron is still a kid who gets bullied (and peed on) at school. (But it's because Horus is spineless, and so Aaron has failed to learn self-respect and self-defense.)



Mary is at the bank, doing her bank thing, when some wisecracking bank robbers show up and make her and a bunch of other hostages get in the lotus position. Hancock shows up, being way, way more competent than in the movie, and rescues everybody. Then he corners Tom, who shoots at him. The bullet bounces off, and tears Tom's ear off. That leads to this great bit of dialog:

TOM: Fuck. My shirt.
HANCOCK: Why don't we call it a day? (Steps forward)
TOM: Don't. I told you... I'm not going back. (Raises gun.)
HANCOCK: If you're going to tease, cock the damn gun. Otherwise, spare me the wounded animal act of desperation. I don't got time for rhetoric and sympathy so don't expect... dialogue and "come with me and you won't be hurt" bullshit. You walk out of here with me and your life is a violent storm. You will be hurt, you will be abused... whatever turns them on. Either way, your days are shit! Those are the realities, spelled out.
TOM: What's eating you, man?
HANCOCK: (upset) You got half the precinct out there, armed, trained to blow the tail off a sperm from a hundred yards... you're standing in here, cornered, three bullets left in that squirter of yours, if you're lucky, and you got one ear. I don't need the aggravation. I don't need this.
TOM: Man, you're jaded. I'm not asking for a rainbow... You don't got to shower me with respect. Just a little tenderness, is all. Have you no mercy, mister?
HANCOCK: (he's had enough) I'm all out. Let's go.

Sadly, Tom shoots at Hancock at point-blank range and is killed by the ricochet. Everyone's sad to lose Tom, because now who will point out how jaded Hancock is? Hancock leaves the bank, surrounded by reporters and women who would "die for a chance to suck on his cape." (No, really, the script says that.) Later, Hancock meets a friendly sex worker named Gina (rhymes with "vagina," as she tells Hancock, while propositioning him.)

Hancock meets Aaron, the bullied son of Mary and Horus, and teaches him to smoke cigarettes. (Really.) And explains puberty to him: "Today, you're a boy. Tomorrow, Mr. Penis comes knocking." Aaron tries to stand up for himself at school, but it doesn't work out that great.

Later, he goes to dinner at the Longfellows' house, and meets Mary on the street after getting hit by a UPS van. She offers to sew his clothes for him, and he makes a lot of speeches about his responsibilities and how important he is. And then Hancock comes over and Mary cuts his hair for him, in a scene with no dialog but the sound of their breathing. And Mary "blossoming in her sweater." The haircut looks terrible and goofy.

Then Hancock and Mary go to the boardwalk and have a nice time, but Hancock starts to unravel thinking about how he's neglecting his duty. "I can't blink away the hell I've seen. It's in me." Then he kisses Mary and asks her to leave her husband for him. Hancock will get a job flipping burgers so he can be with Mary and her kid. But Mary says no. Hancock gets drunk and tells Aaron he'll be a loser just like his dad. Aaron may as well grab his ankles and "hope the reaming's gentle." Then Hancock goes and has sex with Gina (rhymes with "Vagina.")

Horus is drunk too and has a crisis of masculinity. Meanwhile Hancock, still drunk, gets attacked by a hoodlum and accidentally kills him. Hancock feels bad. Mary sings Beatles classics to Aaron. Hancock shows up, floating in mid-air, his eyes red. Mary asks, "What are you doing?" Hancock yells, "It's the haircut, Mary. I'm pissed!" And he hits himself in the head.

Hancock kidnaps Mary. Meanwhile, some thugs are attacking the department store where Horus works. The cops show up, but leave to deal with the Hancock-Mary hostage situation. Horus takes out the thugs single-handed, proving he's a real hero after all — but then he sees the Hancock-Mary thing on TV. Hancock, surrounded by cops, grabs Mary's ass and runs his hand over her buttocks. "He seeks a special kind of healing," the script says. Mary smacks Hancock in the face and shouts "No!", which causes Hancock to turn into a wounded child, saying "Help me" a lot. Mary talks him down a bit, but then the cops attack and Hancock demolishes them.

Horus finally shows up and attacks Hancock, even though it's pointless. Hancock nearly kills Horus, but then Mary gets buried under some rubble and we think she's dead. Hancock feels bad and tries to kill himself unsuccessfully. But Mary isn't dead after all. In the end, Hancock goes back to being a good guy, while Horus and Aaron become real men. The last shot of the movie is Aaron watching his parents have sex. "They are in some latter state of coital bliss," the script informs us. "Horus thrusts. Mary gasps." The end.
http://io9.com/5022392/hancock-could...uch-much-worse

I downloaded the script just in case but that summary makes it seem like a steaming pile of crap. And every article I've read about this script makes me wonder what anyone saw in it.
Old 01-05-09, 09:08 AM
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The example in the OP wasn't a "last minute" change. But perhaps Fatal Attraction would qualify? They changed the ending from dramatic to slasher based on audience screenings.
Originally Posted by RocShemp
I downloaded the script just in case but that summary makes it seem like a steaming pile of crap. And every article I've read about this script makes me wonder what anyone saw in it.
But it would be a hard R. Which, in this forum, qualifies it as a masterpiece.
Old 01-05-09, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
But it would be a hard R. Which, in this forum, qualifies it as a masterpiece.
I see your point. Of course this means all of Seagal's direct-to-video fare qualifies as well.
Old 01-05-09, 09:18 AM
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Does Mr. Brooks qualify? I have a feeling the final scene of the movie was a pick-up to counteract the scene that preceded it, which I think was truly meant to be the ending of the movie. At least the film had been building up to the scissor scene. The final scene just screams "test audience" to me.
Old 01-05-09, 11:56 AM
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The OP argument is a moot point. No one knows if the script he read would have been better than what was filmed...
Old 01-05-09, 02:38 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

The Avengers.

Originally set for release in late June, the movie tested poorly and was pushed back to mid-August (back when this was a bad release time), and about 45 minutes were cut, rendering the movie incomprehensible.

By no means am I suggesting that this was a good movie, but it was a handsome production with a game cast and great f/x that could have benefited from making sense and being longer than 89 minutes.
Old 01-05-09, 02:45 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

The best example of studio meddling ruining a great film, for me, would be 'Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid'.

Maybe a more recent example is 'Kingdom Of Heaven'.
Old 01-05-09, 04:24 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

While I actually like the ending. I know test audiences wanted some sort of final meeting between And and Red in The Shawshank Redemption. Everything I'd heard previously was that the movie originally ended with Red on the bus ("I wish...).


While not necessarily a last mintue change and It has yet to be released so this is all speculation, but Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has me quite worried. Heath Ledger's death brought in three other actors to play the part. Now I see they're also kepping Ledger in it as well making it Four actors total playing a single part. Hopefully Gilliam can pull it of but I'm worried this thing is going to be an incomprehensible mess.
Old 01-05-09, 04:43 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

I don't know if it ruined or helped it. But Panic Room originally was to have starred Nicole Kidman and Hayden Panettiere. Nicole was replaced at the last moment by Jodie Foster due to injury. Hayden dropped out and Kristen Stewart stepped in.

You can sort of add Waterworld with the firing of Kevin Reynolds. Again, not sure if it was a help or hinderance to have Costner direct the rest of the film.

More recently, I guess would be The Incredible Hulk with the studio cutting down the runtime from Norton's screenplay.

Last edited by devilshalo; 01-05-09 at 04:52 PM.
Old 01-05-09, 04:52 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by devilshalo
I don't know if it ruined or helped it. But Panic Room originally was to have starred Nicole Kidman and Hayden Panettiere. Nicole was replaced at the last moment by Jodie Foster due to injury. Hayden dropped out and Kristen Stewart stepped in.
Doubt if it would have made much difference alth Hayden can't act a lick.

Last edited by Lastyear; 01-05-09 at 04:52 PM. Reason: sp error
Old 01-05-09, 04:52 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by devilshalo
I don't know if it ruined or helped it. But Panic Room originally was to have starred Nicole Kidman and Hayden Panettiere. Nicole was replaced at the last moment by Jodie Foster due to injury. Hayden dropped out and Kristen Stewart stepped in.
Doubt if it would have made much difference altho Hayden can't act a lick.

Last edited by Lastyear; 01-05-09 at 04:53 PM. Reason: sp error
Old 01-05-09, 04:54 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by Lastyear
Doubt if it would have made much difference altho Hayden can't act a lick.
The reason I say I'm not sure is because they let Foster do some changes to the script to change her character.
Old 01-05-09, 04:56 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by Groucho
But it would be a hard R. Which, in this forum, qualifies it as a masterpiece.
This is very true.
Old 01-05-09, 05:08 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by devilshalo
I don't know if it ruined or helped it. But Panic Room originally was to have starred Nicole Kidman and Hayden Panettiere. Nicole was replaced at the last moment by Jodie Foster due to injury. Hayden dropped out and Kristen Stewart stepped in.

You can sort of add Waterworld with the firing of Kevin Reynolds. Again, not sure if it was a help or hinderance to have Costner direct the rest of the film.

More recently, I guess would be The Incredible Hulk with the studio cutting down the runtime from Norton's screenplay.
Whatever happened behind the scenes with Waterworld, I think it still turned out to be a very entertaining summer blockbuster, and while Incredible Hulk definitely shed some of its deeper moments (as seen in the deleted scenes), the film was still substantial while keeping a very nice pace. An extended version would be cool, though.
Old 01-05-09, 07:05 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Would Brazil count?
Old 01-05-09, 07:12 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by mndtrp
Would Brazil count?
For the fact that Brazil has been available in it's director's preferred cut for years, I don't think so.
Old 01-05-09, 11:18 PM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by Matthew Chmiel
For the fact that Brazil has been available in it's director's preferred cut for years, I don't think so.
True, but wasn't it changed for the original release? I didn't see where the requirement was made that the preferred cut was never made available.
Old 01-06-09, 07:10 AM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Recently for me would be Live Free or Die Hard. Cutting Neutering it from an R to a PG-13 was unforgivable.

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
While I actually like the ending. I know test audiences wanted some sort of final meeting between And and Red in The Shawshank Redemption. Everything I'd heard previously was that the movie originally ended with Red on the bus ("I wish...).
The book ends with Red reading Andy's note sitting by the brick wall in the field. It's a much better ending, than the "wrap it up nice and neat-happy" ending that the movie has.
Old 01-06-09, 07:25 AM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by mndtrp
True, but wasn't it changed for the original release? I didn't see where the requirement was made that the preferred cut was never made available.
I would say this is the only true way to determine if the movie was actually ruined or not... Movie comes out. You watch, and say "wow, this had so much potential, but in the end there was something missing, and it just didnt do it for me." Later movie comes out on dvd with an extended DC or something, you watch again and say "Ah, that's better." If you have no way of actually seeing the stuff that was changed, you dont really know if its any better or not. You could assume, but the stuff that was changed could have actually made a bad movie, worse.
Old 01-06-09, 09:51 AM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
I would say this is the only true way to determine if the movie was actually ruined or not... Movie comes out. You watch, and say "wow, this had so much potential, but in the end there was something missing, and it just didnt do it for me." Later movie comes out on dvd with an extended DC or something, you watch again and say "Ah, that's better." If you have no way of actually seeing the stuff that was changed, you dont really know if its any better or not. You could assume, but the stuff that was changed could have actually made a bad movie, worse.
You just described my feelings about Kingdom of Heaven. A rather mediocre theatrical release but a near masterpiece Director's Cut release.
Old 01-06-09, 09:58 AM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

The Exorcist III

I thought it was a fantastic movie until it's last 1/3, which the studio forced Blatty to do (only because they wanted one exorcism in a movie with that title).
Old 01-06-09, 11:07 AM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

Originally Posted by mndtrp
True, but wasn't it changed for the original release? I didn't see where the requirement was made that the preferred cut was never made available.
BRAZIL does not qualify. The "Love Conquers All" version of Brazil was *NEVER* released theatrically. The theatrical release was Gilliam's film in its entirety (except the US release, which had a *slightly* different final scene, using a cloud backdrop instead of the reactor).

The LCA cut of the film was shown on TV a few times in the 80s, but the theatrical release and the home video releases were Gilliam's vision.
Old 01-06-09, 11:21 AM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

I was at an Avengers test screening here in San Diego. It was almost 3 hours long and still incomprehensible. There was no fixing that film. There was so much removed. I never even watched the theatrical.
Old 01-06-09, 11:56 AM
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Re: Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes

I never heard about any 3-hour cut, but I'd love to hear more.

From everything I've read, the original cut was pretty close to the novelization, which not only made sense, but was actually pretty good.

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