4 Bad Ideas Directors Considered (And Some Actually Filmed)
It's easy to get upset when studio interference or focus groups get in the way of a filmmaker's vision. Why can't these suits just step aside and let the artists work? Then again, there are those occasions when somebody had to step in, just to save creators from ideas they really never should have had in the first place. Like how ...
The Sex In The Original It Script Horrified The Young Actors' Parents
Fans of the Stephen King novel It probably think this entry is about the children's sewer orgy, a prominent scene in the book that was left out of the 2017 hit movie adaptation. (Non-readers may think that's a joke, but we assure you it's not.) But we're actually talking about a whole other bunch of sexual elements that almost made it into the movie -- shit that is much creepier than the killer clown.
It's initial director, Cary Fukunaga (who directed one of the most incredible scenes ever shown on television), also wrote the first script. And while certain elements of his grand vision remain in the final film, there is a remarkable lack of full-on adolescent bestiality. Just try to watch It, and we bet a dollar that you won't find ONE INSTANCE of the bully character fucking a sheep. That exact thing was in the Fukunaga's draft, along with the bully masturbating onto a birthday cake, as one does.
But that's not all. Fukunaga also wrote a scene wherein Beverly (played by a 15-year-old actress) has her panties slid off and her stomach kissed by her father, and yet another scene tasked Eddie with, Jesus, resisting temptation from an old rotting woman who pleasures herself in front of him. At this point, it sounds less like a horror movie and more like an edgy high-schooler trying to prove to his friends that he's cool enough to be in their band.
It's hard to imagine studio executives reading about a kid jerking off on a cake and being like, "Oh yeah, green light this yesterday!" But that's apparently what happened. Scenes destined to one day be used as trial evidence were passed along to the parents of prospective kid actors for approval. Unsurprisingly, they were less than thrilled with what Fukunaga wanted their children to do and complained to the studio. And when the studio asked Fukunaga to maybe tone down the freakier sex scenes, he took it in stride and quit the movie entirely.
According to him: "I was trying to make an unconventional horror film. It didn't fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience." Don't worry, Cary. You'll be in that band one day.
Show Dogs Had To Cut Out A Horrible Message About Sexual Abuse
Given that Show Dogs is essentially Miss Congeniality with a talking Rottweiler, the film was never going to change the world. The studio handed producers $5 million and tasked them with making something just inoffensive enough that it could babysit some kids for 90 minutes, maybe with a couple of grown-up jokes thrown in to make Mom or Dad smirk. Doesn't sound that hard, right?
But after the film hit theaters, parents took issue with a particular subplot involving the Rottweiler (voiced by the rapper Ludacris on the rare vacation that he takes from Fast & Furious sequels) getting checked out by judges before the big show. And by "checked out," we mean they fondle his balls until he becomes so uncomfortable that he mentally checks out. The dog emotionally detaches from the situation, using his imagination until the process is over, and he is then given a treat. In the film, this is seen as a positive (and hilarious) way to get through unwanted groping from strangers. "Just put it out of your mind until it's over, and you'll be rewarded."
Parents pointed out that, oh yeah, this is absolutely the worst possible message to ever send to a child about unwanted touching from strangers. And you know who agreed with them? The freaking National Center On Sexual Exploitation, which got involved and demanded that the scenes be cut from the movie. In light of the uproar, a new version of the film was quickly sent to theaters.
The fact that none of the hundreds of people involved in making and promoting this movie saw this as a problem prior to that is almost amazing, in a horrible way. Or maybe they did, but simply didn't want to make a fuss? If so, there's a good life lesson there: If you see something at work that looks like it could be a disaster in the making, never assume somebody else is already on top of it.
Michael Bay Produced A Film That Used Actual Plane Crash Footage
Project Almanac is the horribly named 2015 time travel movie that you likely have already forgotten about, even if you saw it. It's about as cookie-cutter as you'd expect a low-budget sci-fi movie produced by Michael Bay to be, right on down to the use of recycled airplane crash stock footage. Of course, "stock" footage probably isn't technically what it should be called, because it's more like actual footage of people dying.
Like in every time travel movie ever made, the characters' attempts to change the past end in disaster for the present. Here, a basketball player breaks his leg as a result of an accident caused by a power surge, which itself was caused by his friends' time machine using a lot of energy to send a toy car back in time, obviously. Because the player breaks his leg, his team doesn't make it to the championship, and so the player's dad, a pilot, doesn't attend that game, and instead crashes a commercial airliner, killing everybody onboard. It's as if that relatively minor event caused some kind of Butterfly Effect.
However, instead of going the Michael Bay route and blowing up a CGI airplane or 12, the director thought it'd be way more realistic and old-school if he used footage of a real plane crash. Specifically, footage of a 1994 Air Force accident that resulted in the deaths of four officers. The families of the victims were of course still around, and when they saw footage of their personal tragedy in the trailer for this shitty time travel movie, they were understandably pissed. They demanded Paramount remove the footage, or maybe throw the whole goddamned movie in a river.
Paramount initially explained to the families that it was all cool, because the footage was actually from a 2009 plane accident that killed different people. But that ruse obviously didn't work, as the scene was swapped by the time of release. The best twist to come out of this, though, is the fact that Michael Bay said he didn't realize the plane wasn't CGI when he saw the footage,
The Predator Reboot Featured A Real-Life Sex Offender Creeping On A Woman
For a long time, The Predator sounded promising. Director Shane Black working with a script that was written by the dude who made The Monster Squad? It was a dream come true for everyone whose favorite movie genre is "late '80s." But then we heard about all the reshoots, and after that we heard about the movie being pretty mediocre. And between those, as the shit in the middle of the Oreo, was the revelation that Shane Black had hired an honest-to-god registered sex offender to play ... a borderline sex offender.
Actor Steven Wilder Striegel played a jogger who continually and uncomfortably hits on Olivia Munn's character. What Munn didn't know during filming is that Striegel had pleaded guilty in 2010 of trying to solicit sex from a 14-year-old relative.
And how long did the scene stay in the film? Well, until a couple of days before it hit theaters. That's when Munn herself looked Striegel up and found out about his past. This was followed by everyone learning that Black had cast him multiple times before (Striegel was in Iron Man 3), and also that he knew about the man's crimes and wanted to "help a friend." The studio cut the scene and Black apologized (not to Munn, of course, but, you know, to the world).
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