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10 Famous Movies That Were Meant to Be Totally Different, but Something Went Wrong

Filmmaking is a complicated process that consists of many stages, while movies themselves might go through enormous changes at each of these stages. What’s more, sometimes it’s difficult to say whether the film has eventually become better after these metamorphosis or not.

Bright Side articles also go through several stages of creation and, oftentimes, the final result might be very distant from the initial idea. That’s exactly what happened to the popular movies in this article.

Amélie

Initially, the script was written for Emily Watson. The main character had a similar-sounding name — Amelie and her father was an Englishman living in London in the first draft. However, the actress had a weak level of French, and additionally, there was a conflict due to her participation in the movie Gosford Park. That’s when director Jean-Pierre Jeunet saw the poster of the Vénus beauté (institut) with Audrey Tautou on it and gave the role to the French actress.

Interstellar

In 2006, it was Steven Spielberg who was working on creating the movie and he was going to give the role of Joseph Cooper to Will Smith. However, when he stepped down and the director’s chair got occupied by Christopher Nolan, he approved Matthew McConaughey for the role. He made this decision after watching the movie Mud, starring Matthew. Also, Interstellar could’ve been more fantastic. Before the start of production, the astronomer and physicist Dr. Kip Thorne laid down a strict guideline saying that nothing in the movie should violate the established laws of physics, but later (when the shooting started), Nolan became obsessed with the idea of trying to show travel that was faster than the speed of light in the movie. Thorne had to spend 2 weeks to talk Nolan out of this idea (because it violated the established laws of physics).

Mad Max: Fury Road

The movie was supposed to be shot in Australia, while the main role was going to be offered to Mel Gibson, who had played the role of Max in the first 3 parts. The location had to be changed for Africa because it suddenly started to rain in Australia, everything began to bloom, so it stopped looking post-apocalyptic. Gibson, in his turn, started to get bad press for his confrontational attitude which started to negatively affect his reputation, and director George Miller decided to change his previous choice.

Ad Astra

The movie could’ve been even less wordy. The inner monologues of Brad Pitt’s character were added at the late stages of production, while the initial script did not include them. Oftentimes, these decisions have to be made due to the insistence of sponsors who want to simplify the understanding of the movie in order to attract a larger audience. Also, the main character was supposed to be autistic but, apparently, it was decided to not add this fact into the movie. Yes, he stayed away from people but it looks more like a light form of anthropophobia instead of autism.

Schindler’s List

Due to the complicated nature of the movie’s topic, the creators and actors had to make some sometimes awkward decisions. At first, Martin Scorsese turned down working on the film because he believed that the movie should be made by a Jewish director. Roman Polanski also refused to work on the movie because he himself had spent his childhood in a concentration camp and didn’t want to go back to the horrors of those times. Eventually, it was Steven Spielberg who became the director, but he refused to take the remuneration for his work.

It was also difficult to find an actor to play the role of Oskar Schindler. Harrison Ford declined the role because his face would be associated with comical Indiana Jones and the viewers wouldn’t be able to see the importance of the movie. Then, Bruno Ganz turned down the role too, while Kevin Costner expressed his interest in the role and was ready to work for free. Eventually, Liam Neeson got the role because he impressed Steven Spielberg’s wife. She saw him hugging her mother and told the director that Oskar Schindler would do the same.

The Prestige

This cult movie was based on Christopher Priest’s novel The Prestige, but Nolan decided to adjust it to his own taste. In the book, the magicians are not ex-friends but competitors. Also, one of the main roles was supposed to be given to Jude Law. Perhaps, the story wouldn’t have been as catchy because seeing competitors fighting for their success is one thing, but seeing a strong-bond friendship gradually growing into fierce enmity is a totally different thing.

Limitless

Shia LaBeouf was already approved for the role of the unsuccessful writer, but he injured his arm in a car accident and refused to take part in the project. Taking into account an 11-year-difference between him and Bradley Cooper, the movie could’ve been totally different from what we have today because the main character would have different goals and interests.

The Notebook

At the early stages of production, it was thought that Tom Cruise would play the main role, while his beloved woman would be Britney Spears, Ashley Judd, or Reese Witherspoon. However, when Nick Cassavetes became the director, he approved of the rising stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Ryan was surprised by Nick saying, “You’re not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts.”

Gladiator

The director of the movie, Ridley Scott, wanted to show the ancient roman culture as detailed as possible, which is why he hired historians as counselors. However, it turned out that Ancient Rome was not the way most cultural works of art depicted it and most facts would’ve looked simply unbelievable. For example, during their battles, gladiators would advertise various products. The viewers wouldn’t have believed this and so these accuracies were cut out of the scripts. Eventually, the historians got insulted and one of them even left the project.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The changes were there both in the cast and in the script, but let’s start with the most important thing — why it became the trilogy. It was pretty risky to create a fantasy movie and movie studios wanted to fit all the events that took place in the novel into one movie. Moreover, they wanted to replace the approved director, Peter Jackson, because he was insisting on making 2 parts. When only one studio was left on the list (New Line), Peter decided to fake them out — he was constantly putting off their meeting, saying that many other movie-producing companies were interested in the project.

When the meeting eventually took place, the head of New Line, Robert Shaye, said, “You know what I don’t get is why you want to do 2 films.” At this moment, Jackson’s crew went into complete despair and decided that Robert would also insist on making one episode. But then Shaye continued, “Why would you do 2 films when there are 3 books? Why wouldn’t you do 3 films?” That’s how, thanks to Peter Jackson’s wit and Robert Shaye’s optimism, the whole world was able to see this cult trilogy. And we are happy about it because this story would’ve been impossible to tell in just 2 hours of screen time.

What do you think: Which of these movies was changed for the better?