It's easy to pigeonhole creative people. We know exactly what kind of movies Quentin Tarantino makes, and nobody expects to see Tim Burton make, say, a Thomas Jefferson biopic. But either by choice or necessity, the resumes of your favorite writers and directors are filled with some quite unexpected projects.
6 George R.R. Martin Wrote For Beauty And The Beast
No, we're not talking about the Disney version (though you're forgiven for thinking so, considering that that movie did sort of imply a horrific, Martin-esque rape that one time). Rather, the author of A Song Of Ice And Fire wrote for the 1987 CBS series of the same name starring Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman.
CBS Television Distribution
Seen here in makeup ... we think.
The show was a 1980s retelling of the tale, with Beast being a lion-something mutant or whatever living in the sewers of New York and solving crimes with John Connor's mom. Martin got a job on the show shortly after the reboot of The Twilight Zone (for which he was a staff writer) was cancelled.
Once he landed the CBS gig, Martin proceeded to immediately train for his future career by insisting the network spice up B&tB with as much sex and violence as possible. Due to what we can only call a profound lack of foresight, the network wouldn't let him.
CBS Television Distribution
"Damn." -- furries
As Martin himself explained it: "There were battles over censorship, how sexual things could be, whether a scene was too 'politically charged,' how violent things could be. Don't want to disturb anyone." Despite that, Martin still managed to write some surprisingly good episodes for a show with such a laughably stupid premise. But in the end, all the limitations wore him down, and he left the show.
Shortly after that, he expelled all of the pent-up sex, violence, sexual violence, and violent sex inside his head onto several reams of paper which would eventually turn into A Song Of Ice And Fire. (He started working on it in 1991 -- it would take until 1996 for the first book to get published.)
Only to have the show's writers immediately ask, "Wouldn't all of these scenes be improved with three or four more pairs of titties?"
And hey, if you're upset that you don't have your dream job in your 30s, keep in mind that Martin was 48 when his magnum opus first hit the shelves. It's never too late to achieve your dreams! It's even more amazing to consider that, based on the current publication schedule, Martin will be 94 when the final book comes out.
5 James Gunn Wrote Both Guardians Of The Galaxy AND Scooby-Doo
The 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo movie makes absolutely no sense because, well, who was its intended audience? Anyone young enough to enjoy watching a live-action Matthew Lillard interacting with a (frankly terrifying) CGI dog would have been born 20 years too late to be familiar with the franchise.
In real life, he's holding a green bag of ping pong balls.
Looking back, it seems like an early preview of Hollywood's deeply misguided "reboot everything" obsession ("Modern kids love playing Battleship, right? Here's 200 million dollars!"). So it's not too surprising that the movie was written by the screenwriter of Tromeo And Juliet, in which Juliet is transformed into a monster with a three-foot-long penis. No, really.
You probably don't want to see the unpixelated version(NSFW).
On the other hand, it's considerably more surprising that the movie was written by the director of Guardians Of The Galaxy. That is, they're all the same person: James Gunn, aka the man who made us cry over a fucking tree.
*sniff* We are ALL Groot!
We'd make a joke about how writing Scooby-Doo taught Gunn what not to do when making a silly movie with a talking animal in it, but that wouldn't be accurate. By all accounts, the same goofy Gunn energy who made Guardians so good was there in the original Scooby-Doo draft. For one, he apparently wanted Scooby and Shaggy to get high onscreen, and for Velma to be a lesbian. It seems that, from the very beginning, Gunn wanted this movie to be a loving parody of Scooby-Doo, aimed squarely at adults.
The suits shot down the idea -- which, to be fair to them, makes financial sense. If you're spending money on a Scooby-Doo movie, you're doing it to sell lunchboxes and tiny T-shirts. You can't make a movie about a wacky talking dog and then get angry letters from parents who had to explain to a toddler what a bong is. The end result was a movie that lamely tried to split the difference, with jokes that were too confusing for kids and too tepid for adults.
But it hit the jackpot for 15-year-olds ... who had no interest in seeing it.
But a film that was hated by critics (30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) charmed the kiddies to the tune of $275 million worldwide and earned Gunn the chance to write, uh, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Yay?
Guardians wouldn't come for another 12 years, at which point Gunn wrote a hit for all ages which starred a talking CGI animal and also included a joke implying the hero's spaceship was covered in semen. And everyone loved it! See? It was all about waiting for Hollywood to catch up to his vision.
Hey, speaking of the weird pasts of famous superhero movie directors ...