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Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Old 05-01-15, 08:19 PM
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Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Can you think of any movie (or TV) plots that were affected by real life events, while still in production?

As we all know, Furious 7 had to change it's plot after Paul Walker passed.

Another one I thought of was Zero Dark Thirty getting updated after Bin Laden was killed.

I saw the most recent Person of Interest episode (April 28), which made me want to start this thread.
Spoiler:
Sameen Shaw was reintroduced to the series. Her plot revolved around her "death", but in reality, Sarah Shahi was pregnant and was on hiatus.


What other movies or TV shows come to mind?

Last edited by MLBFan24; 05-01-15 at 08:59 PM.
Old 05-01-15, 09:02 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Does the studio running into unexpected budgetary constraints count as a "real life event"?

(The ending for Neon Genesis Evangelion was widely rumored to have had to be rewritten for exactly that reason).

Last edited by dugan; 05-01-15 at 09:07 PM.
Old 05-01-15, 09:04 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

You mean when there is a change to the TV series/film?

Obviously when there is a death of a lead involved (Game of Death and Shrek).

And TV shows have done this with problem actors; the biggest example being Charlie Sheen.
Old 05-01-15, 09:21 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

The one that immediately jumps to my mind is Fever Pitch being changed when the Red Sox won the World Series.

http://www.ew.com/article/2004/11/12...er-red-sox-win
Old 05-01-15, 09:38 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Whole production stopped for Something's Got to Give when Marilyn Monroe died. She was fired, re-hired and then died.

There was also Jon-Erik Hexum who accidentally killed himself with a blank on the set of Cover Up. Production stopped after only doing a handful of episodes in the mid 80's. They eventually hired someone to take a role similar to his.

Last edited by mrhan; 05-01-15 at 09:50 PM.
Old 05-01-15, 09:51 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Lilo and Stitch. Whole sequence that had been fully animated had to be dumped due to 9/11.

SW Episodes II and III seemed to require tweeking because Neeson didn't want to return.
Old 05-01-15, 10:21 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by MLBFan24 View Post

I saw the most recent Person of Interest episode (April 28), which made me want to start this thread.
Spoiler:
Sameen Shaw was reintroduced to the series. Her plot revolved around her "death", but in reality, Sarah Shahi was pregnant and was on hiatus.
Spoiler:
she has said she wants to take 2 years off from acting so she isn't probably ever coming back.
Old 05-01-15, 11:02 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
Spoiler:
she has said she wants to take 2 years off from acting so she isn't probably ever coming back.
Didn't hear about that, but thanks for the update. I enjoyed the character, so that sucks.



Originally Posted by windom View Post
The one that immediately jumps to my mind is Fever Pitch being changed when the Red Sox won the World Series.
Good example. Forgot about that one.

Last edited by MLBFan24; 05-01-15 at 11:08 PM.
Old 05-01-15, 11:06 PM
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Didn't something happen with Seth Green during production on one of the seasons of Buffy?
Old 05-01-15, 11:11 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by MLBFan24 View Post
Another one I thought of was Zero Dark Thirty getting updated after Bin Laden was killed.
I've never heard this one before. How could Zero Dark Thirty even be a movie without Osama bin Laden being found and killed as a part of it?

Last edited by dhmac; 05-01-15 at 11:41 PM.
Old 05-01-15, 11:18 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
I've never this one before. How could Zero Dark Thirty even be a movie without Osama bin Laden being found and killed as a part of it?


From a USA Today article (2013):

Bigelow knew wading back into war sands could be problematic, given expectations among studio execs and awards voters who consider her Hollywood's most impartial Mideast war correspondent.

And Bigelow wasn't going to shy away from the subject matter, which began as a story of the military's failed search for bin Laden and was rewritten after he was killed May 2, 2011, by a U.S. special forces unit during a raid on his Pakistani compound (the film is titled after military jargon for the time of night 12:30 a.m. Navy SEALs raided bin Laden's house).
Old 05-02-15, 12:27 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
Obviously when there is a death of a lead involved (Game of Death and Shrek).
RIP Mike Myers.
Old 05-02-15, 12:43 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

The second season of Dallas was completely revamped after Larry Hagman's death.

The finale of Men in Black 2 originally took place at the World's Trade Center. 9/11 forced them to change it.
Old 05-02-15, 12:45 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

The ending of Men in Black II, taking place at the World Trade Center, was changed after that 9/11 thing.

Sort of counting- the forgettable 1993 football movie "The Program" had a scene cut during its theatrical release (a replacement reel was sent to theaters without the scene) after some dumb kids were killed imitating it- it had characters lying down on the freeway.
Old 05-02-15, 05:03 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Dimension Films and Disney used the US English dub to change The Accidental Spy's story following 9/11/2001. Instead of chasing after a variation of Anthrax as in the original version, it's just a poison now. Other changes were also made by Dimension in trimming the film.

South Park Studios' 7 day production schedule allows changes to the plot and story up to actual air date.
Old 05-02-15, 05:08 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by MLBFan24 View Post
Can you think of any movie (or TV) plots that were affected by real life events, while still in production?

As we all know, Furious 7 had to change it's plot after Paul Walker passed.

Another one I thought of was Zero Dark Thirty getting updated after Bin Laden was killed.

I saw the most recent Person of Interest episode (April 28), which made me want to start this thread.
Spoiler:
Sameen Shaw was reintroduced to the series. Her plot revolved around her "death", but in reality, Sarah Shahi was pregnant and was on hiatus.


What other movies or TV shows come to mind?
That was pre production. Not actual production.
Old 05-02-15, 05:17 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Rainbeaux Smith was visibly pregnant (very visibly) during production of REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS (1976). There was a scene added at the end showing her with her new baby.

A lot of films about the war (WWII) were in production before we entered the war and had scenes added after Pearl Harbor, e.g. TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI and A YANK ON THE BURMA ROAD.
Old 05-02-15, 11:12 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Did the Vic Morrow segment of Twilight Zone have to be changed?
Old 05-02-15, 03:13 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Gangster Squad - Climatic shootout scene changed from inside a theater to outside Chinatown following the Aurora theater massacre.
Old 05-02-15, 03:36 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
RIP Mike Myers.
Shrek was recorded three times. Chris Farley before his death, Mike Myers in his normal voice, then Myers with the voice we have now.

The Crow's plot was left pretty much the same, but characters and scenes were dropped.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasus (sp?) had to be reworked a little when Heath Ledger died. Terry Gilliam got Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Ferrell to finish the character.

Game of Death was reworked to include the footage Bruce Lee shot before his death.

The Knights of Badassdom was famously messed up by producers lying about the budget and Peter Dinkledge being pulled off the set, in the middle of filming, by HBO because he was needed to shoot Game of Thrones.
Old 05-02-15, 05:54 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Valentine got really heavily edited because of Columbine.
Old 05-02-15, 06:23 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
Did the Vic Morrow segment of Twilight Zone have to be changed?
Yes.

http://cinetropolis.net/time-out-the...of-vic-morrow/

Although if you read that, it would seem that the chopper scene was added after the initial script was submitted by Landis.

So the segment ends up playing out more like it was originally written.
Old 05-03-15, 10:49 AM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Originally Posted by MLBFan24 View Post
From a USA Today article (2013):

Bigelow knew wading back into war sands could be problematic, given expectations among studio execs and awards voters who consider her Hollywood's most impartial Mideast war correspondent.

And Bigelow wasn't going to shy away from the subject matter, which began as a story of the military's failed search for bin Laden and was rewritten after he was killed May 2, 2011, by a U.S. special forces unit during a raid on his Pakistani compound (the film is titled after military jargon for the time of night 12:30 a.m. Navy SEALs raided bin Laden's house).
That sounds more like a different project and script being dropped to start a new project than making changes to an existing script in order to add in his death.
Old 05-03-15, 01:18 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

New Nightmare incorporated the 94 northridge quake into the existing quake plot device.
Old 05-03-15, 05:28 PM
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Re: Movie (or TV) plots affected by real events during production

Wikipedia for 9/11 changes. Was looking something up then decided to post a chunk of the article:

Numerous films were cancelled that were in production, and many films were edited. The most common way of editing was to delete or obscure shots of the World Trade Center. There were various reasons given for the alterations, including keeping material up-to-date, as a gesture of respect for those who died, and to avoid trauma for those emotionally affected by the attack. There are also many films which notably did not edit their films.

In all, roughly 45 films were edited or postponed because of the 9/11 attacks.[1]

Edited films[edit]

With the World Trade Center removed[edit]
Trailers for the film Spider-Man were edited so a scene (not in the film) showing Spider-Man capturing a helicopter between the towers was deleted. In the actual film, a shot of the World Trade Center was deleted. The scene of Spider-Man hanging onto a flagpole with a large American flag, seen in later trailers and at the end of the film, was added in response to the attacks.
In the film Zoolander, the WTC was digitally deleted.[2] Coincidentally, a trailer for Zoolander was rolling[where?] and was cut into when the first report of the plane crash came up.[citation needed]
The WTC was removed from the poster for Sidewalks of New York, though the buildings were kept in the film.[3]
Shots of the WTC in Serendipity were digitally removed.
In the 2001 film Spy Game, the level of smoke shown following a bombing was reduced because of its similarity to the smoking WTC wreckage.[4]
The 2002 film Men in Black II featured a climax that included the World Trade Center. The building was changed to the Statue of Liberty.[5]
A scene in The Time Machine, in which debris from the moon crashes into a building, was edited for its resemblance to the towers.[6]
Shots of the WTC in Kissing Jessica Stein were removed before its release.[7][dead link]
The ending to the 2002 animated film Lilo and Stitch was edited from Stitch taking a 747 on a joyride and swerving around buildings, to Stitch taking a spaceship on a joyride and swerving around mountains. The original ending was included on the special edition DVD.
The 2002 film The Bourne Identity had to be extensively edited due to the involvement of terrorism in the storyline. On the special edition DVD are descriptions of how and why the film was changed.
Scenes of the WTC were removed from People I Know.[8]
Early versions of the 2004 film The Incredibles featured a scene where a frustrated Mr. Incredible vents his emotions on an abandoned building, but ends up accidentally damaging a neighboring building as well. This was considered too reminiscent of the World Trade Center collapse, and was replaced with a scene where Mr. Incredible and Frozone rescue trapped civilians from a burning building.

With the World Trade Center added[edit]

Some filmmakers have added the World Trade Center to films and television series that are set during periods when the buildings were still standing.
The 2002 TV film It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie features the twin towers in an alternate reality where an angel shows Kermit the Frog what the world would be like had he never been born.
The 2003 American miniseries Angels in America, set in 1985, had the WTC towers digitally re-inserted for historical accuracy.
The 2004 film Miracle, set in 1980, has a digital World Trade Center on the New York skyline.[9]
The 2005 film Munich, set in 1973, features a computer-generated World Trade Center.
The 2005 film Rent, set in 1989 and 1990, includes a shot of the World Trade Center.
World Trade Center and United 93 (2006) take place on the day of the attacks and feature the buildings, with real footage of the second World Trade Center impact in United 93.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) contains a segment when the animals arrive in New York City, and the original World Trade Center twin towers are seen in the distance.
The 2008 film The Wackness concludes with a scene depicting the Twin Towers in 1994.
The 2009 film Watchmen, which takes place in the mid-1980s, features the twin towers in several of the scenes. Ironically the towers are depicted as two of the only buildings still standing after a scene featuring the destruction of New York City.
The 2010 film Remember Me, which has an ending that takes place on September 11, 2001, shows digitally re-built World Trade Center towers in the last scene of the film.
The episode "Adrift" from the ABC series Lost added the World Trade Center in the second airing of the episode in order to establish the timeframe of the flashback.
The ABC series Life On Mars, with a storyline that took place in 1973, showed a digitally inserted World Trade Center in several episodes.
The Fox series Fringe depicted an intact World Trade Center in a parallel universe. The buildings were revealed in the finale of season one. Season two explains that in the parallel universe, the 9/11 attacks resulted in damage to the White House instead of the towers.

Delayed films[edit]
The release of View from the Top was originally scheduled for Christmas 2001, but due to the fact that the story revolves around a flight attendant on numerous planes, the release was pushed back to March 21, 2003.
The release of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage was postponed for four months. The film featured a terrorist bombing in front of an L.A. building.[10]
The 2002 version of The Time Machine was held back three months because of a scene where a meteor shower destroys New York. This scene was also removed.[11]
The film Big Trouble was postponed seven months because it involved a nuclear bomb being smuggled on board an aircraft.[10]
The 2002 action-comedy film Bad Company had its release date pushed back several months because the plot involved a criminal mastermind planning to detonate a bomb in the Grand Central terminal.

Cancelled films[edit]
A Jackie Chan film called Nosebleed, about a window washer on the WTC who foils a terrorist plot, was said to have been cancelled due to the attacks, but the veracity of the claim has been questioned.[12]

Non-altered films[edit]

Some films kept scenes of the World Trade Center in them.
In Vanilla Sky, producers wanted director Cameron Crowe to remove shots of the WTC.[13] He did not, and they remain in the film.
In Donnie Darko, which was released a month after the attacks, parts of a plane fall from the sky. It's suggested that the darker themes of the film were responsible for its poor box office,[14] but it nonetheless went on to become a cult classic in the years following.
In A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, released less than three months before the attacks, a scene set thousands of years in the future prominently featuring a badly damaged World Trade Center (albeit half submerged in water), was not edited for its video release.
The film Corky Romano did not have the World Trade Center removed despite being released in October 2001.
Both Changing Lanes and World Traveler retained the buildings.

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