Netflix Cuts The Hateful Eight’s Extended Version Into 4 50-Minute Episodes

Netflix cuts The Hateful Eight Extended Version into four 50-minute episodes. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the 2015 western thriller is available to stream in its original form, however the April 25 addition of the longer cut shows that Netflix lists the film as a “Season.”

Distributed by The Weinstein Company, The Hateful Eight chronicles the meeting of eight strangers during a blizzard. Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Jennifer Jason Leigh headline the film, though it features an accomplished ensemble cast of supporting players like Channing Tatum and Bruce Dern. Produced for approximately $44 to $54 million, The Hateful Eight earned over $155 million at the box office and earned three Oscar nominations, with the iconic composer Ennio Morricone winning for Best Film Score. Like all Tarantino films, The Hateful Eight made headlines for its controversial racial and gender-related themes, and the film’s release preceded the downfall of Harvey Weinstein. The Hateful Eight was originally intended to be a sequel to Tarantino’s 2012 western Django Unchained, and a script was leaked in 2014. Ultimately, the final version mostly resonated with fans and critics alike, as The Hateful Eight currently has a 74 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and a 76 percent audience score. 

Related: 15 Best Netflix Original Movies

Today, Netflix released The Hateful Eight Extended Version and lists the film as a four-part season rather than a 210-minute film. “Season 1” begins with the “episode” entitled “Last Stage to Red Rock,” which is followed by the subsequent episodes “Minnie’s Haberdashery,” “Domergue’s Got a Secret,” and “The Last Chapter.” Under the “More Like This” section, The Hateful Eight is unsurprisingly correlated with the original film, in addition to the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the latter of which is a six-chapter anthology film that Netflix didn’t separate into various sections. Under Netflix’s “Details” tab for The Hateful Eight, the streaming service notes that Tarantino’s film is “Gritty” and “Controversial.” On Twitter, it didn’t take long for people to express their concern about Netflix’s decisions to chop up The Hateful Eight into four episodes. 

The Hateful Eight originally released on Christmas Day 2015. For many, it was a cinematic event, as Tarantino’s film received a roadshow 70mm film release. For context, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 film The Master also screened in 70mm, making it the first fiction film to have such a release since Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 film Hamlet. 

For Netflix, the decision to break apart the The Hateful Eight Extended Version will fuel the debate about the differences between a theatrical viewing experience and a domestic streaming experience. Steven Spielberg has been on record many times about his concern for Netflix’s distribution model, though the streaming service is reportedly set to acquire the famous Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, allowing for weekend theatrical screenings of Netflix Originals. Even if the “Season” version of The Hateful Eight may not seem problematic, it’s definitely not a good look for Netflix. 

More: The Hateful Eight Featurette: The History of 70mm Roadshows

Source: Netflix

2019-04-25 11:04:06

Q.V. Hough

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Dropped A Kirk Reference At The Last Minute

Star Trek: Discovery made its first reference to James T. Kirk in its season 2 finale, “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2.” In an episode packed with references and homages to past Star Trek films and series, the Kirk reference was a subtle one, but perhaps the most important one.

While the Discovery and the Enterprise engaged in a dazzling battle against Control’s Section 31 fleet, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Spock (Ethan Peck) were executing their plan to pull the Discovery – and the precious sphere data stored in the ship’s computer – into the far future, where Control could never use it to conquer the galaxy. But, as often happens with these sort of schemes, things did not go exactly to plan. Burnham realized she had to travel back in time with her own Red Angel suit and create the signals that would set the events of the season in motion. She was able to pull that off, but when she returned to her relative present she found that Spock’s shuttle had been damaged, and realized her adoptive brother would not be coming with her to the future.

Related: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Finale Explained

After expressing their affection for each other, Burnham gives one last piece of advice to the brother she’ll likely never see again:

“There is a whole galaxy out there, full of people who will reach for you. You have to let them. Find that person who seems farthest from you and reach for them. Reach for them. Let them guide you.”

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, incoming showrunner Michelle Paradise confirmed that line was indeed about the relationship Spock will eventually have with Jim Kirk, his commanding officer and best friend for a significant portion of his life. It’s an interesting echo of one of the final scenes of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film, where the Prime Universe Spock (played by the late great Leonard Nimoy) encourages his younger self (Zachary Quinto) to remain in Starfleet and embrace the friendship with Kirk that will come to define them both. This once again makes Michael Burnham a crucial player in Star Trek canon – albeit one that will likely never be recognized in Federation history, as the surviving crew of the Enterprise and Starfleet Command agree to stick with their story that the Discovery was destroyed, not sent to the future.

It seems unlikely we’ll ever get to see Peck’s version of Spock make good on that final promise to his sister. There’s a growing demand to see a spinoff featuring Spock and Anson Mount’s Captain Pike have adventures on the Enterprise, but Kirk wouldn’t take over for Pike for another decade or so. Even if we don’t get to see a new version of that relationship, Burnham will likely find out that her brother flourished in her absence – assuming there are still Federation records in the 32nd century.

Retconning Michael Burnham into Spock’s backstory was always Star Trek: Discovery’s most polarizing decision, and one that meant the show – and Burnham in particular – was often weighed down with issues of prequelitis. But the fact that Burnham planted the seeds for what would prove to be Star Trek’s most iconic friendship just about makes it all worth it.

Next: Star Trek: 25 Wild Revelations About Kirk And Spock’s Relationship

2019-04-21 05:04:22

Dusty Stowe

15 Last Minute Changes That Hurt MCU Movies (And 11 That Saved It)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is showing no signs of slowing down. Three new movies in the MCU have been released this year – Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, and Ant-Man and the Wasp – and they’re all in the top ten highest grossing movies of 2018. Infinity War and Black Panther even have the number one and two spots on that list, respectively.

As with any successful franchise in Hollywood, the monstrous success of the MCU is not a fluke. The producers talk everything through with the directors and writers and actors they hire in terms of vision and story and character. Every MCU movie feels like its own standalone piece, but it also fits into a larger construct. That’s because if someone isn’t on the same page as Marvel, they’re gone. Directors have come and gone. Roles have been recast. Scripts have been changed while the movie’s already started shooting. Movies go through these kinds of changes all the time, but it is particularly true of MCU movies, because they all need to fit into a larger narrative and cross over with one another.

Hundreds of people are involved in the making of these movies and it’s a hugely collaborative process, so it can be difficult to get all of the mechanics working smoothly. Not every casting change or script rewrite will turn out to be the right decision. Sometimes they do, but not always. So, without any further ado, here are 15 Last Minute Changes That Hurt MCU Movies (And 11 That Saved It).

26 Hurt – Emily Blunt turned down two roles

The Girl on the Train star Emily Blunt was offered the roles of both Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger and Black Widow in Iron Man 2. However, she turned them both down, because she didn’t agree with how the female leads were portrayed in the movies.

Blunt could’ve brought so much to the MCU if the producers had just followed her guidance, expanded the female roles, and gotten her to play one of them. Then again, if she had MCU commitments, she might have been unable to shoot A Quiet Place and that wouldn’t be good for anyone.

25 Saved – Making Tony Stark a mentor to Peter Parker

When he was first added to the shortlist of directors Marvel was considering for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jon Watts was expected to pitch his ideas for the movie to executives. Watts pitched Nick Fury, who had been absent from the MCU for a while, to be Peter Parker’s mentor figure in Tom Holland’s first solo movie as Spider-Man.

However, Peter’s mentor figure in the movie was later changed to Tony Stark. This was a smart move, as it continued the relationship they developed in Captain America: Civil War. Plus, Holland has terrific chemistry with Robert Downey, Jr.

24 Hurt – Changing Doctor Strange’s villain

Director Scott Derrickson’s original idea for 2016’s Doctor Strange was to have the Sorcerer Supreme battle the iconic villain Nightmare. The use of this villain would introduce the Dream Dimension to moviegoers, but the villain was changed in the final film to the forgettable Dormammu.

Doctor Strange is already a trippy enough cinematic experience as it is with the Inception-style spinning of buildings and streets, but imagine if some of it took place in the Dream Dimension. In the Dream Dimension, anything is possible and everything basically looks like a Salvador Dali painting.

23 Hurt – No Always Sunny reunion in Guardians of the Galaxy

Glenn Howerton, better known for his role as certifiable sociopath Dennis Reynolds in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, was on James Gunn’s shortlist to play Peter Quill. Plus, Danny DeVito, who co-stars with Howerton as the depraved millionaire Frank Reynolds, was considered for the role of Rocket.

While Chris Pratt and Bradley Cooper are great in the roles, it would’ve been fun to see Howerton and DeVito bring some of their edgy, mostly improvised Always Sunny bickering to the Guardians’ banter. They always have great chemistry when they’re paired up together, like in the episode “The Gang Reignites the Rivalry.” It would’ve been awesome to bring that into the MCU.

22 Saved – Making Daredevil a Netflix show

When Marvel Studios got the rights to their Daredevil character back, Drew Goddard pitched an R-rated movie to feature the character. When it became apparent that Goddard’s vision could never be a big-budget movie, the idea was retooled for television.

The Netflix show feels just as cinematic as any movie, but it’s darker than a movie could be and therefore more faithful to the comics. Plus, with three seasons of the show available for viewing at any given time, it’s like we’ve got twenty R-rated Daredevil movies right at our fingertips.

21 Hurt – Turning Thor: The Dark World into an ensemble movie

Many fans rank Thor: The Dark World as one of the worst MCU movies. It made the Thor solo series almost irredeemable before the fierce and funny Thor: Ragnarok came along and did a complete 180-turn on the franchise.

The Dark World’s final battle was resoundingly disappointing and mundane, because the original plan to have Thor summon lightning from all nine realms and demolish Malekith was scrapped in favor of letting Jane, Darcy, and Erik play a role in it. Whoever came up with that bright idea ruined Thor for many fans.

20 Hurt – Confining Adam Warlock to a post-credits scene

James Gunn originally wanted to feature Adam Warlock more heavily in the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but in the end, he was confined to a post-credits tease in which we don’t even get to meet him.

The character might make an appearance later down the line in the MCU, but Guardians Vol. 2, just a few months before the Avengers’ showdown with Thanos, would’ve been the perfect time to introduce him. Along with Captain Marvel, he’s the only guy who can match Thanos’ power, so it would be awesome if the three of them could be brought together in Avengers 4.

19 Hurt – The Mandarin fake-out

Originally, the real Mandarin was supposed to be a villain in the Iron Man solo series. However, Shane Black decided to do the controversial fake-out in Iron Man 3, which was not only a disappointment for many fans, but also eliminated the chances of ever bringing the actual Mandarin to the screen.

The controversy surrounding the Mandarin fake-out turned an entire generation of moviegoers against Shane Black and made a lot of fans think Iron Man 3 was a bad movie when it actually isn’t, really. It has an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

18 Saved – Replacing Edward Norton with Mark Ruffalo

As great of an actor as Edward Norton is, his edge wasn’t a good fit for a comic book movie, which is why The Incredible Hulk is generally regarded among the least-liked MCU movies. Mark Ruffalo, on the other hand, has the humanity and the warmth and the gravitas and the charm to pull off a sympathetic Bruce Banner.

It’s hard to imagine Edward Norton still being in the MCU and having the kind of bubbly chemistry with the likes of Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. and especially Scarlett Johansson that Mark Ruffalo has.

17 Hurt – Not introducing Captain Marvel in Avengers: Age of Ultron

An early draft of Joss Whedon’s script called for Captain Marvel to be introduced into the MCU in Age of Ultron. He even shot some B-roll for the visual effects in her scenes, but he was forbidden from introducing her and she won’t be added to the MCU until early next year, four years after she could’ve been.

Still, if Captain Marvel had been introduced four years ago, she might not have been played by Brie Larson, who from the trailers we’ve seen so far, seems to be the perfect choice for the role.

16 Hurt – No David Bowie cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

When something strikes a chord with audiences, the celebrity cameos come flooding in. Just look at Anchorman 2, later seasons of The Simpsons, or 22 Jump Street. It was no different with Guardians of the Galaxy. There were a bunch of celebrity cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Sylvester Stallone, Michelle Yeoh, David Hasselhoff, Rob Zombie, even Miley Cyrus as the voice of Mainframe.

Writer-director James Gunn had also intended to have Ziggy Stardust himself appear as a Ravager in the cosmic sequel, but Bowie sadly passed away before shooting began.

15 Saved – Replacing Alan Taylor with Taika Waititi

Alan Taylor disappointed a lot of fans with his by-the-numbers Thor sequel, The Dark World, so when he turned down the chance to come back to direct Ragnarok, the third Thor solo movie, it cleared the way for Taika Waititi to take over.

As the quirky filmmaking mind behind the vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and the sweet adventure dramedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Waititi delivered the weird, colorful, unique, hilarious cinematic experience that Taylor simply could not. He reinvented the Thor character and won back a lot of fans who were turned against Thor by The Dark World.

14 Hurt – No female villain in Iron Man 3

Writer-director Shane Black wanted Rebecca Hall’s character Maya Hansen to emerge as the mastermind behind the Extremis virus in Iron Man 3, which would’ve been the final plot twist to pull the whole thing together and win the fans back over who were turned off by the Mandarin fake-out.

However, a toy company pressured Black to change it to a male villain, sending him “a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand,” because they thought a female villain action figure wouldn’t sell. Therefore, the whole movie was changed to reflect a toy company’s views on gender demographics.

13 Saved – Removing Thanos’ voiceover narration

In one early draft of the script for Avengers: Infinity War, the Mad Titan narrated most of the movie, but the Russo brothers thought it made the story impossible to follow and stripped it down to a point where voiceover narration was no longer necessary.

This was a good move, because it not only removed the tacky voiceover narration, which is not characteristic of MCU movies anyway, but it also forced the directors to trim the fat off their story and streamline the whole movie. We’ll never know how convoluted the plot was before these changes were made, but it surely wasn’t any better.

12 Saved – Giving Yondu a bigger role

With Star-Lord finding out who his true father is, Ego, and then being betrayed by him, only to discover that he knew his true father all along – Yondu, who raised him – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a story about parenthood and what it means to be a father, but it almost wasn’t.

Michael Rooker’s anti-hero was originally written out of the series, but he was thankfully given a larger role and a chance to tug on the audience’s heartstrings as they realize the true meaning of parenthood. He sacrifices himself for a son who isn’t biologically his.

11 Hurt – Getting an impressionist to replace Hugo Weaving

With Red Skull’s return coming up as the guarder of the Soul Stone on Vormir in Infinity War, Hugo Weaving didn’t feel like returning to the comic book world of the MCU, so The Walking Dead actor Ross Marquand, who moonlights as a noted celebrity impersonator, was brought in to do his best Hugo Weaving impression instead.

Weaving was asked to return and he was apparently rather disparaging towards comic book movies when he turned them down. Still, you can’t just replace the man behind Agent Smith, Elrond, and V with an impersonator.

10 Hurt – Recasting James Rhodes

The story of this ugly behind-the-scenes drama goes that after helping to land his real-life pal Robert Downey, Jr. the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man, Terrence Howard got pushed out of the sequel when Marvel reneged on a three-movie deal they made with him and cut his pay to give some of his salary to Downey, Jr.

Don Cheadle’s a good actor, but he doesn’t have the chemistry with Downey, Jr. that Howard had with him. Howard claims that he and Downey, Jr. are still friends and hold no ill feelings towards each other, so maybe they can switch the casting back.

9 Saved – Not showing the Hulk’s attempt to end his life

In The Avengers, there’s a scene early on in which Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner describes a time when he tried to end it all. He describes how he shot himself and then just turned into the Hulk and spat the bullet out.

In an Edward Norton rewrite of The Incredible Hulk – one of the notorious rewrites that lost him MCU privileges for not being a team player – this scene was actually depicted on-screen. But it would’ve been unnecessary, because it’s just as powerful when described and far less out-of-place in a popcorn action blockbuster for children.

8 Hurt – Cutting the Wasp from 2012’s The Avengers

While Hope van Dyne’s winged hero the Wasp did eventually join the MCU with Evangeline Lilly’s wonderful performance in the Ant-Man movies, Joss Whedon wanted to bring her in earlier – in 2012’s original Avengers movie. She was eventually cut from the script when Whedon realized he was being overzealous in handing out screen time in his early drafts.

In the comics, the Wasp was a founding member of the Avengers, so it would’ve made sense to get her in at the ground floor. Plus, it would’ve been incredible to see her soaring through the Manhattan skyline, battling the Chitauri.

7 Saved – Not making Howard Stark a villain

One early draft for Iron Man had Howard Stark alive and evil. By the end of the movie, he would have become a villainous version of War Machine. However, the father-son relationship shared by the Starks has been explored better without that element.

Tony’s feelings about his father are explored a lot in Captain America: Civil War, as he creates a VR experience to take him back to an old memory of his dad and it’s revealed that the Winter Soldier took him out. If he’d been made a villain from the get-go, none of that would’ve happened.

6 Hurt – Losing Edgar Wright

Peyton Reed has made a couple of fine Ant-Man movies, but as the fun, tightly plotted, postmodern delights of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Baby Driver have shown us, Edgar Wright is an unparalleled force of filmmaking.

Some of Wright’s signature techniques – the fast cuts, the visual gags, the juxtapositions – are prevalent in the first Ant-Man movie, but it’s just not the same without him at the helm. It was reported that Wright left due to “creative differences,” but Wright has since clarified: “I wanted to make a Marvel movie, but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie.” Why not, Marvel?

5 Saved – Making Thor more of a comical character

Taika Waititi made Thor more of a comedic character in Thor: Ragnarok and poked fun at his vanity and gave him a wacky sidekick: the Hulk. This was so successful that Chris Hemsworth had the writers of Avengers: Infinity War rewrite his scenes to reflect this, which is how he ended up joining forces with Rocket – or “Rabbit” – and Groot in Infinity War.

Being funny has made Thor far more entertaining, as he’d until then just been a vaguely Shakespearean character without much to engage the audience. Now, he’s one of the most popular characters in the franchise.

4 Hurt – Twelve people fighting in the Civil War

When the title of Captain America: Civil War was added to the MCU release schedule, many fans rejoiced that the beloved “Civil War” storyline from the comics would be making its way to the big screen.

But in the “Civil War” comics, pretty much every Marvel hero ever created is involved in the battle – about fifty people, including the X-Men and the Fantastic Four and Deadpool and the Silver Surfer. The movie version, Captain America: Civil War, involves twelve people. In some cases, the rights were owned by someone else, but come on. Twelve?

3 Saved – Not making the Hulk a villain

In an early draft of The Avengers, the Hulk getting out of control was going to be the world-threatening event that brought the rest of Earth’s mightiest heroes together. The movie would’ve been Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye versus the Hulk.

While it would’ve been cool to see the Avengers pitted against the Hulk, the Hulk needed to be on the other side of this conflict and join the team. Plus, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki made a terrifically charming villain and Mark Ruffalo’s debut as Bruce Banner provided most of the movie’s emotional hook.

2 Hurt – Firing James Gunn

After some years-old, less-than-tasteful tweets were unearthed from James Gunn’s Twitter account, there were calls to get him fired from the MCU. Gunn apologized for the tweets and a debate over free speech kicked off.

Bobcat Goldthwait had his voice removed from Disneyland attractions and Selma Blair quit Twitter in support of Gunn, but the studio refused to relent and they still fired him from the movie. Like a lot of MCU movies, the Guardians of the Galaxy films have their director’s distinctive mark on them. Without James Gunn at the helm, the third one just won’t be the same.

1 Saved – Tony Stark reveals to the world he’s Iron Man

One surprising revelation was that Robert Downey, Jr. improvised Iron Man’s twist ending where Tony goes out in front of a press conference and declares, “I am Iron Man.” This game-changing ad-lib set the stage for the tone of the rest of the MCU.

Until then, all superhero movies had revolved around characters who hide their identities from the public: Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, the X-Men. And now, here was one who announced it to the world. Thus began the most successful superhero movie franchise of all time, flipping the script and depicting the superheroes as public figures and celebrities.

What do you think of these last minute changes? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-12-08 05:12:12

4 Last-Minute Changes That Hurt Friends (And 16 That Saved It)

Friends is considered one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time. It’s been well over a decade since the first episode aired and it still has a massive fanbase. While it was widely watched back in the day, it’s appearance on streaming services like Netflix has introduced the beloved show to an entirely new audience in the past few years.

The show spanned an impressive ten years and even though not every episode was perfect and there were problematic moments, fans really felt like the characters were their friends and could truly connect with them. Their lines are quoted all the time and references can be overheard at parties, coffee shops, and in text messages between friends. It really was and is a pop-culture phenomenon.

However, many of these iconic quotes and moments fans know and love almost didn’t happen. The writers would add jokes last minute, cast members would refuse to participate in certain storylines, and some of the relationships on the show weren’t originally what the creators had in mind for the characters. While the show fans saw was obviously well-received, it could have looked quite different. Any show that lasts a decade is bound to go through some controversial transformations.

From casting changes to prop placement, here are the 4 Last-Minute Changes That Hurt Friends (And 16 That Saved It)

20 Saved: Having Six Main Characters

Monica, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, and Phoebe are all such important characters, it’s hard to imagine the sitcom without all of them. However, when the show was first pitched, there were only supposed to be four friends.  Chandler and Phoebe were originally going to be side characters who only showed up every once in a while. It’s unlikely Chandler and Monica would have married or Phoebe would have had triplets. Thankfully, that concept was changed and the group of four became six.

The two characters are so bizarre and important to the main group it’s hard to picture what this could have looked like. What is Friends without Chandler’s hilarious one-liners and Phoebe’s strange but endearing singing?

19 Saved: Phoebe Ending Up With Mike

In the earlier seasons of Friends, it was hard to tell who was endgame for Phoebe. She had never been in a serious, long-term relationship until Mike came along.

Apparently, the writers actually didn’t originally intend for her to end up with Mike. Until he came along, she was meant to be with David, her scientist ex-boyfriend who finally came back from Minsk. He and Mike both propose to Phoebe, and she chooses Mike. According to Hank Azaria who played David, Paul Rudd was so charming they changed their minds and decided Mike was endgame. While what Phoebe had with David was special, it’s clear to most people that Mike was the right choice for her.

18 Hurt: Rachel And Joey’s Relationship

Out of all the storylines on Friends, the most hated one is arguably Rachel and Joey’s romantic relationship. The majority of fans you ask will admit they weren’t fans of the pairing. The relationship wasn’t planned for very long considering the actors themselves were shocked when they read the script. Matt LeBlanc was not a fan of the concept. Rachel and Joey had always been good friends and they expected them to stay that way.

Like most viewers, he didn’t understand where the romance came from. It clearly wasn’t meant to be from the beginning. The writers forced the relationship and it never really worked. Eventually, they saw the issues everyone had with the couple and put them back as just friends.

17 Saved: The Friends Peephole Frame

The frame around the peephole in Monica’s apartment is one of the most iconic set decorations of all time. People even search for it on websites like Etsy so they can have their very own frame, just like in the show. It’s such a recognizable piece.

However, a lot of people don’t realize the legendary prop was put there because of a simple mistake. It was originally a mirror purchased for the set, but it broke. Rather than throwing it away, the set designer made the last-minute decision to place it on the door. Without knowing it at the time, TV decor history was being made in that moment. It really was that simple of a mistake.

16 Saved: Not Making Monica and Joey a Couple

It’s hard to imagine Monica ending up with anyone other than Chandler. Despite that, when Friends was first pitched, she was supposed to be with JoeyThe creators originally thought about pairing up the chef with the actor, because the two were supposed to be the most flirty characters likely to get together. After the two characters were actually cast, however, they decided against it. It made them seem more real and the energies between the actors just weren’t right for a romantic relationship.

The Monica and Joey fans came to know and love simply wouldn’t fit together. Their personalities don’t mesh right for a romantic relationship. With the discovery of Ross and Rachel, the show went a different direction, anyways.

15 Saved: Phoebe’s Triplets

Phoebe has always been the most eccentric and free-spirited friend of the group. Not much that comes out of her mouth surprises anyone. That’s why it made perfect sense for her to choose to carry her newly-discovered brother’s triplets.

While such a big decision seems like it would have been planned from the beginning, this particular storyline wasn’t originally supposed to happen. Lisa Kudrow’s real-life pregnancy was written into the show in season four.  By season five, however, Kudrow had given birth to her son so she had to pretend to be pregnant as Phoebe until the triplets were born on the show. The plot was so successful no one would know it was a last-minute change.

14 Saved: Bruce Willis Guest Starring

While Bruce Willis only appeared on Friends briefly in season six, his performance is a memorable one. He played Paul, the father of Ross’ girlfriend, and he also dated Rachel for a few episodes.

While it was pretty common for major stars to appear on the show, his reason for guest starring was a bit unusual. Willis and Matthew Perry met on another set, and the two made a bet on whether or not the film they were starring in would do well. Willis lost, so he had to appear on Friends for free. Surprisingly, Willis ended up winning an Emmy for his brief performance on the sitcom, so his guest appearance was clearly well-received.

13 Saved: Keeping Gunther Around

Gunther is an essential part of Central Perk. For years he secretly pined for Rachel and threw in snarky comments here and there. Despite being an staple character on the show, he wasn’t originally supposed to be a series regular.

James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, was just an extra when he landed his part. While most people assume he auditioned for the role, he was simply the only one able to operate the coffee machines they had on set. It was merely a happy accident that he became the Rachel-obsessed character fans love. Who would have thought being an extra would lead to a guest starring role on one of the biggest sitcoms of all time?

12 Hurt: Pete Becker’s Ending

While Monica’s most popular relationships were with Chandler and Richard, there were other important boyfriends as well. Pete Becker was pretty serious with Monica until he decided to try and become the Ultimate Fighting Champion.

She thought that he was going to propose, but instead, he told her he wants to be a fighter. She tried to support him but decided to break up with him if he wanted to continue fighting. This decision was never accepted by Jon Favreau, who played Pete. He always expected a little more closure for his character than the abrupt ending he got. He thought the writers might revisit he and Monica, but they never did. It was a strange ending for the couple.

11 Saved: Changing The Name Of The Show

It’s hard to imagine that Friends could be called anything else. The title is so simple and has become so ingrained in popular culture that nothing else seems to fit.

When the show was first conceived, it actually had a different title. Creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman wanted it to be called Insomnia Cafe. After NBC bought it, they changed it to Friends Like Us. Apparently Across The Hall was also considered, and once it was shot it was called Six Of One, before they finally settled on the title fans know and love. The title changes were definitely for the best. None of the others have quite the same ring to them as Friends.

10 Saved: Casting Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe

Lisa Kudrow is the perfect Phoebe Buffay. She made the character the whimsical, quirky singer fans love. It’s hard to picture anyone else playing her, but she almost wasn’t cast. A lot of different people were considered before her.

Friends would have been totally different if Ellen Degeneres had landed the part of Phoebe after her audition. Jane Lynch and Kathy Griffin were also considered, which would have given the character a totally different vibe. When Phoebe was still supposed to be a “goth girl,” they also considered Janeane Garofalo. Thankfully they decided on Kudrow, which is one of the best casting decisions they made. The show wouldn’t be the same without her kooky, hippie energy.

9 Hurt: Ben’s Disappearance

In the early seasons of Friends, Ross’ son Ben is a major part of his storyline. From Carol telling him she’s pregnant to Rachel trying to babysit, he was around quite a bit. In the later seasons, however, Ben practically disappearsThere are tons of fan theories as to where Ben could have gone, from boarding school to Ross losing custody of him. The most realistic reason, though, is that the writers simply stopped including him in episodes.

It sure seems like a strange last-minute shift that they would stop including Ross’ son. Perhaps it was because of scheduling conflicts and they thought it was better to keep Ben away than try to work him in. Fans have never been satisfied with his disappearance, no matter the reason.

8 Saved: Changing The Actress Who Played Carol

While people tend to forget after watching more than the first few episodes of Friends, the actress who played Carol, Ross’ ex-wife, changes after the character’s first appearanceAnita Barone was originally cast to play her, but the writers changed people last minute because she wanted to pursue a more full-time role. Brone only appeared one time. Jane Sibbett went on to fill the role, with zero explanation to the change on the show.

Sibbett made appearances as Carol in quite a few episodes over the show’s ten season run. The switch was positive, however, because Sibbett played the character so well that fans forget there was ever another actress. With that kind of success, it’s possible that Barone regrets turning down the part.

7 Saved: Joey’s Doodles

Friends has such a major following that viewers are always finding little details to focus on, especially during rewatching. Any real fan would know that the little doodle board on the back of Joey’s door always had a new drawing in each episode.

People would watch a new episode just to get a glimpse of the Manga Doodle board to try and see what was on it that week. Each drawing was a last-minute change that they would include when filming. Such a simple little prop made such a big difference to viewers. With the HD remasterings available now, it’s even easier for fans to figure out what hangs on their door in each scene.

6 Hurt: Ross Saying The Wrong Name At His Wedding

One of the biggest cliffhangers in Friends history was when Ross said the wrong name at he and Emily’s wedding. The “take thee Rachel” line has haunted fans for years. While it certainly was massive, a lot of people also found it incredibly irritating.

Oddly enough, his slip up wasn’t even originally the plan. The cliffhanger was a mistake made by David Schwimmer. While it was in a different scene than the wedding, Schwimmer said “Rachel” instead of “Emily” and the writers knew it was perfect. A lot of fans, however, don’t find the moment so perfect. While it was surprising, the entire Emily storyline is heavily debated online and people find she and Ross annoying.

5 Saved: Monica And Chandler’s Relationship

While Monica and Chandler ended up being a major couple on Friends, their relationship wasn’t planned from the start. The concept just kind of came to the writers. Ross and Rachel were the couple at the core of the show, not Monica and Chandler. When the show was first conceived, Monica was supposed to end up dating Joey. The idea she and Chandler getting together wasn’t pitched until season three.

Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry already had great chemistry and the writers wanted a break from the Rachel and Ross drama, so Monica and Chandler just naturally happened. While some Friends fans wanted the pair to get together for a while, most people didn’t see their relationship coming.

4 Hurt: Chandler’s Orientation

Throughout the ten seasons of Friends, both fans and characters alike questioned Chandler’s orientation. Even Lisa Kudrow thought he might be gay. There were fans of Friends who thought maybe he had feelings for Joey, his coworkers always believed he was gay, and Mr. Heckles thought he might be, too. The show clearly poked around the concept that he may not be straight for a while.

However, the writers insist he was straight from the beginning. If the show was made a decade later, it’s possible he would have been written differently. Many fans were actually upset when his orientation was shut down so quickly and wish there was better LGBTQ representation on the show.

3 Saved: Jennifer Aniston Playing Rachel

Rachel is one of the most popular sitcom characters of all time. Women have attempted to mimic her hair and her fashion sense for years, and she and Ross’ relationship helped make the show. That’s why it’s impossible to picture anyone else but Jennifer Aniston playing her, but she almost wasn’t in the show.

When Friends first came to be, Aniston was already starring in another comedy. She would only be able to do other shows if that one was cancelled. Thankfully for Friends fans, the other show was cancelled and she stepped in as Rachel. It was clear that Aniston was perfect for the role, and the creators were so grateful when she signed on.

2 Saved: Keeping Joey and Phoebe Just Friends

Almost all of the main characters on Friends ended up in couples. Ross ended up with Rachel and Monica ended up with Chandler. That just leaves Phoebe and Joey. While Phoebe did marry Mike, fans always wondered if she ever got together with Joey.

The two did kiss on a few occasions, but apparently they never did more than that, despite both Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow being all for the concept. They actually pitched the idea that the two had always been getting together. Their friendship was so close, however, it was for the best they never got together. Fans liked that the two just remained close, platonic friends, showing it was possible for opposite-gender friends to stay best friends without any romance.

1 Saved: Ross And Rachel Ending Up Together

The Ross and Rachel romance was at the center of Friends throughout it’s ten seasons. Fans were overjoyed when the two ended up together in the finale after dealing with their will-they-won’t-they tension for years.

It’s hard to imagine, but that ending almost didn’t happen. The producers almost left their relationship up in the air, or didn’t have them end up together at all. If she had never gotten off the plane, there would have been chaos. Fans would have been incredibly upset. There was no other way for the show to end than with their romance finally coming together. It was just too obvious to all the fans Rachel and Ross should be a couple.

Are there any other last minute changes that hurt or saved Friends? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-12-02 12:12:33

9 Last Minute Changes That Hurt Gilmore Girls (And 11 That Saved It)

Gilmore Girls is a show that has been so iconic for so long that it’s hard to even think about all the decision making that went into the creation of such an elaborately written, fast paced, enormously character-filled world. From decisions that went into the casting process, to plots that were continued longer than they should have been or dropped at a moment’s notice, all the way to decisions at the network level regarding spinoffs and contracts, there was a whole lot of work put into the series behind-the-scenes that most fans likely don’t know about.

Within these decisions, of course, can be found some incredibly smart choices, and some really big mistakes, too. Many of these choices were driven by business reasons, while others came as a result of actors moving on and realizing they wanted different things. Some were cast for a role, or auditioned for a role, only for another, better suited actor to come along. Also, in some cases, money really does decide everything, as it limited the scope of storytelling in a key moment that fans had long waited for.

It’s only fitting that, for all of the ups and downs of the Gilmore lives within the world of Stars Hollow, there are just as many peaks and valleys within the world of show running and development.

Here are the 9 Last Minute Changes That Hurt Gilmore Girls (And 11 That Saved It).

20 Hurt: Budget constraints lessened the importance of Luke and Lorelai’s wedding

It was the moment that Gilmore Girls fans all over the world had waited nearly a decade for – or nearly twice as long, if you count the fans who wanted to see Luke and Lorelai together since the series’ pilot. Finally, the revival was going to show these two crazy kids getting their act together enough to get married – and to be fair, A Year in the Life did include a wedding ceremony between the two, albeit one sparsely attended and without dialogue.

However, had the Palladinos had their way, the entire wedding would have been a much grander affair. In the end, the budget constraints of the mini series prevented that from happening, resulting in the smaller, intimate ceremony between Luke, Lorelai, and only a handful of attendees.

19 Saved: Paris was created for Liza Weil right after her failed audition for Rory

Casting directors certainly have some of the toughest jobs in all of Hollywood. One wrong casting choice, and a series can truly fall apart under its own weight. In some cases, however, the talent the casting directors see is exactly what the series needs, even before they realize it. When Liza Weil originally auditioned for Gilmore Girls, she was reading for the part of Rory – and she was totally wrong for it.

However, upon quickly realizing what kind of talent they had in front of them, and falling in love with Weil’s signature snarky energy, the powers that be behind Gilmore Girls created the role of Paris Geller, Rory’s high school nemesis turned best friend, all for her.

18 Hurt: Gilmore Girls missed the chance of discovering Ryan Gosling

Mark this down as an “oops” moment for the creative team behind the casting of Gilmore Girls. When Jami Rudofsky saw a young actor she thought would be perfect for a small role on the series, she eagerly sought him out and brought him in to audition for the part. However, while she was totally enamored with his performance, none of the other members of the casting team were remotely on the same wavelength.

“Everyone was like, ‘Really, Jami?’ Rudofsky recalled in 2015, highlighting her teammates’ disbelief at her choice. However, in the end, the joke was on all of them because that young up and comer was none other than future award-winner Ryan Gosling.

17 Saved: Melissa McCarthy managed to squeeze in filming a cameo for the revival

Just when Gilmore fans thought that Luke and Lorelai’s relationship was the ultimate will they, won’t they, it turned out to be some behind-the-scenes back and forth that really took the cake. Leading up to the revival series that was released on Netflix in November 2016, the initial report was that Melissa McCarthy was unable to participate in the series – and, further, that she had never been asked.

However, in April 2016, after some semi contentious words exchanged back and forth between the Gilmore camp and McCarthy’s own media presence, it was confirmed that everyone’s favorite clumsy chef Sookie would indeed make a small appearance in the revival series – one that provided quite an emotional moment between long time best friends Sookie and Lorelai.

16 Hurt: An emotional moment of growth between Lorelai and Michel was a late cut from the revival

While besties turned business partners Lorelai and Sookie got to have one long, really meaningful moment in A Year in the Life, it turns out that a similarly resonant scene between sparring partners and best pals Lorelai and Michel was left on the cutting room floor at the eleventh hour. Much of Michel’s storyline in the revival concerned his struggle to decide whether to remain at the Dragonfly Inn, loyal to Lorelai, or forge his own business path.

According to Yanic Truesdale, who plays the winningly sarcastic Frenchman, a scene was cut that “was a big moment for Michel and Lorelai where they go and they buy that other place to do the spa,” therefore showing their continued partnership.

15 Saved: Nina Garbiras was passed over for the role of Lorelai

While it’s definitely true that major supporting players need to be perfectly cast, there’s no way that a series can be able to cut it without getting the casting of its lead exactly right. Gilmore Girls, as the title suggests, had two leading ladies to secure the perfect actresses for – and, according to the 2015 book The Gilmore Girls Companion, Lorelai could have once looked very different.

It’s impossible to imagine anyone other than Lauren Graham inhabiting Lorelai’s fast talking, coffee chugging shoes. However, in the final days of the casting process, the role very nearly went to Nina Garbiras, an actress who appeared in the early 2000s series Boomtown and Leap Years, as well as the 2007 movie The Nanny Diaries.

14 Hurt: Jess is written out via a failed spinoff pilot

Not every planted spinoff pilot is going to work; recent failed attempts at soft launching series have proven middling, at best, and horrible, at worst. However, back in the early 2000s, it was far more frequently done with dramas than it is nowadays, when spinoffs usually get that treatment for sitcoms. Gilmore Girls decided to dip its toes in the spinoff water with the season three episode “Here Comes the Son”, which found Jess heading to California in search of his absentee father, Jimmy.

After that episode, which never quite matched the Gilmore tone just right, The WB pursued filming a real potential pilot, Windward Circle, which would have had Jess moving to California full time. However, the series was ultimately dropped, and the pilot never saw the light of day in full.

13 Saved: Jared Padalecki replaced Nathan Wetherington as Dean

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days who really thinks that Dean Forester was an especially wonderful character, or even remotely likable, in the end. However, there’s no doubt that Dean would have been far less tolerable, especially early on, had he been played by anyone else other than the boyishly charming Jared Padalecki. Long before he was a member of the Winchester family on Supernatural, Padalecki was Rory’s first love, causing girls everywhere to swoon.

When the first pilot for Gilmore Girls was filmed, though, Dean was played by another up and coming actor at the time, Nathan Wetherington, and he had much more of a sketchy, troublemaking vibe to him than the goody two shoes Dean we all know ultimately would.

12 Hurt: Tristan was written out of the series

Tristan Dugray was Gilmore Girls’ first attempt at including a bad boy character for Rory to spark with, long before Jess was even ever mentioned. Played by future One Tree Hill star Chad Michael Murray, Tristan was entitled, arrogant, and entirely smitten with Rory, even if he relished in annoying her by calling her “Mary.” While it was clear the two would never work in any romantic capacity, Tristan was always a guaranteed way to stir up excitement during any given moment at Chilton.

However, in 2001, Gilmore was forced to say goodbye to Tristan for good following Chad Michael Murray’s casting in an extended recurring role on Dawsons’s Creek. Murray’s episodes of Dawson began airing in October of 2001, and he would stay on the series through April 2002. As a result of this move, Tristan last showed up on GG in November 2001.

11 Saved: Rory’s age when becoming pregnant was changed from 22 to 32

Whether you loved the ending of A Year in the Life or absolutely hated it, those four little words that change the lives of the Gilmore family are here to stay. As it turns out, however, those four little words were the exact ending that Amy Sherman Palladino had always envisioned for the series – even when Rory was barely 22 years old and right out of college.

On the one hand, it’s still not the best ending (or “ending,” should Netflix revisit Stars Hollow again) for her character, seeing as she spends the entire revival aimless, mostly jobless, and as immature as ever. However, on the bright side, having Rory become unexpectedly pregnant at 32 instead of 22 is definitely a much better choice.

10 Hurt: Including Mitchum Huntzberger after considering omitting him

Let’s be honest: Huntzbergers are the root of so many of the problems that happen in the last few seasons of Gilmore Girls, and even in the revival, too. A dynastic family that rivals the Gilmores, the Huntzberger clan is led by patriarch Mitchum Huntzberger, a sneering cutthroat businessman who won’t ever accept anything other than what he wants. It’s Mitchum’s criticism of Rory that sends her on a downward spiral in seasons five and six, after all.

However, when the series was initially unable to secure Gregg Henry in the role, Mitchum’s character was very nearly removed from the show altogether. However – unfortunately – Henry’s schedule cleared up, allowing for him to take on the part, and Mitchum to ruin basically everything in the process.

9 Saved: Kirk became a major player after a small part as a different character

Few characters on Gilmore Girls have more, shall we say, character to them than the resident town weirdo Kirk Gleason. With nearly a hundred jobs to his name over the course of the series, and some of the most bizarre moments all occurring thanks to him, it suffices to say that Stars Hollow would have been a very different place had Petal the Pig’s father never existed.

In the beginning, however, there were no plans for such a character – and in fact, Sean Gunn appeared in an early season one episode as Mick, a DSL installer working on the Gilmore home. When it became clear that Sherman Palladino had taken to Sean Gunn as an actor, though, Mick became Kirk and a much more important character as a result.

8 Saved: Alexis Bledel was cast despite a botched audition

Job interviews and auditions can be nerve wracking for pretty much anyone, but imagine coming close to losing out on a career-defining role just because of a case of the sniffles. That was what very nearly happened for Alexis Bledel, who, of course, will now and forever be known as the idealized Rory Gilmore. When the pilot was being cast, Bledel auditioned multiple times, including one crucial audition that she was forced to struggle through while fighting off a bug.

Her screen test was going so poorly that she very nearly lost out on the role. However, according to casting director Jill Anthony, “Luckily, we had videotaped one of her early auditions. We popped that in, and they saw her on camera and she just jumped off the screen, you know. Those blue eyes.”

7 Hurt: Dave was written out of the series

Dave Rygalski, we hardly knew you. As the kind, gentlemanly, nerdy, and musically genius boyfriend of Rory’s best friend and aspiring rockstar Lane Kim, Adam Brody was exactly everything a girl like Lane deserved, more than proving his worth and his commitment to her and her family on many occasions. However, some behind-the-scenes career changes forced Dave to disappear from the world of Stars Hollow without hardly a word.

Adam Brody was cast as Seth Cohen in The OC in March 2003, and he last appeared as Dave on Gilmore in May 2003. When The OC officially made it to air in August 2003, Brody’s star finally took off, and he remained with the series for its entire run, never returning to the world of Gilmore Girls again.

6 Saved: Lane’s casting was a last minute addition

It’s hard to imagine a world where Rory Gilmore didn’t have a Lane Kim. Admittedly, especially in the later seasons, Lane’s active role in the series is diminished as Rory’s friendship with Paris was prioritized, and Lane does wind up getting the short end of the stick when it comes to her seventh season storyline. As played by Keiko Agena, though, Lane is one of the series’ strongest characters, and certainly one of its most inspiring, independent female voices.

However, it’s entirely possible that the series could have happened without Lane ever existing. When the casting team was coming up unsuccessful in its attempts to find a young, comedically gifted actress, they were forced to look elsewhere, and thankfully found the gifted Agena for the role.

5 Hurt: Milo Ventimiglia walked away from a six season contract offer

Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no way of denying that Jess was one of the most interesting characters Gilmore Girls produced, and perfectly cast at that. While he was a main character for seasons two and three, Jess only appeared a handful of times over the remainder of the series, and stopped by for a few short scenes in the revival.

If Amy Sherman Palladino had gotten what she wanted, however, there would have been a lot more Jess than fans may have known what to do with. In a 2006 interview with Player magazine, Milo Ventimiglia revealed that Gilmore Girls “was the first job where I really was put into the public eye, where I was on a show regularly. With Gilmore, I had a two-year contract, they wanted six years and I said no.”

4 Saved: Lauren Graham was able to join the series after initially refusing due to other commitments

We’ve already expressed our utter refusal to accept any other actress besides Lauren Graham in the role of Lorelai Gilmore. However, as it turns out, not only were other actresses finalists for the part, but Graham was even originally forced to refuse the role due to commitments to another series.

When Gilmore Girls was casting its pilot, Graham was signed on to the series M.Y.O.B. (Mind Your Own Business), and no matter how much the show wanted her and how much she wanted the part of Lorelai, she was bound to her commitments there. However, to the delight of Gilmore fans everywhere, M.Y.O.B. was cancelled, freeing Graham up for the role that would go on to serve as the real launching point and star making turn of her career.

3 Hurt: Amy Sherman Palladino and Daniel Palladino exited the series

Sometimes, Hollywood can be downright ugly, especially when the business side of things is concerned. When Gilmore Girls was picked up for a seventh season on the newly launched The CW, following the merger of The WB and UPN, it should have been a moment of great joy for fans of the series.

However, it was an announcement that was tainted from the very beginning, as it was also revealed that series creators and writers Amy Sherman Palladino and Daniel Palladino would not be carrying over to the new network due to failed negotiations behind the scenes. Yet what the Palladinos didn’t know when they departed the series, however, was that the upcoming season on The CW was to be Gilmore’s last, serving as a bittersweet cap to the otherwise mostly perfect series they had created during their run on The WB.

2 Saved: Luke was changed from a minor female character to a main male character

Gilmore Girls without Luke and Lorelai is like… well, Gilmore Girls without coffee: totally unthinkable, and even downright horrifying. However, if it weren’t for a note from the network, that’s entirely the reality we would have had. In the first version of the pilot script, the diner owner that Lorelai bantered with was a random female diner owner, who would likely never be seen again.

When the powers that be behind-the-series decided that there wasn’t enough testosterone in this series basically devoted to the idea of strong women, though, Luke was born, Scott Patterson was hired, and the iconic curmudgeon with a heart of gold began to win hearts everywhere, including the one belonging to Lorelai Gilmore.

1 Saved: Melissa McCarthy replaced Alex Borstein as Sookie

If it weren’t for a very last minute change following the first version of the pilot, we very well may live in a world in which Melissa McCarthy never became a comedy superstar. When Gilmore Girls was first filmed, Sookie St. James was played by the now Emmy-winning Alex Borstein of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Decidedly different than McCarthy’s Sookie, Borstein never felt right for the role in any of the scenes in the unaired pilot.

However, not to worry, Borstein would recur throughout season one as Drella, a snarky harpist who worked events at the Independence Inn. McCarthy, of course, would become the adorable, hapless chef mastermind and Lorelai’s partner in crime – and the rest is history.

Which of these last minute changes do you think helped or hurt Gilmore Girls the most? Let us know in the comments!

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Roger Ailes Movie Dropped By Annapurna Shortly Before Production

Annapurna Pictures drops director Jay Roach’s untitled film about former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, just weeks before it was set to begin production. The studio had been developing the project, which chronicles the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes, for quite some time – recruiting an all-star ensemble cast to boot.

Earlier this year, Charlize Theron signed on to portray former Fox reporter Megyn Kelly, and it was only a couple of months ago John Lithgow was cast as Ailes. Other prominent thespians involved include Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman, giving the film a tremendous amount of clout and prestige. Particularly in today’s climate, the Ailes movie seemed like the socially relevant film any studio would love to have on their slate, but Annapurna has to pass on it at the last minute.

Related: The Trailer for Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk

THR reports Annapurna dropped the Ailes film, with the official reasoning unknown. Some sources claim there were budgetary concerns, but that isn’t confirmed. It’s worth mentioning the project hasn’t been scrapped, and is now on the lookout for a new home. Per Variety, Focus Features may wind up distributing it.

The reported budget for the Ailes movie is roughly $35 million, which is a relatively small amount by Hollywood standards. However, Annapurna is going through quite a rough period. A separate Variety report stated Annapurna President of Film Chelsea Barnard is leaving her position as the studio also let go of the upcoming The Hustlers at Scores, which stars Jennifer Lopez as a stripper out for revenge. THR also notes the studio is hurting financially, which would explain their decision to drop two high-profile films. Last year, the indie house got in the business of distributing their own movies – an endeavor that likely hasn’t gone as well as they’d hope. To date, their biggest hit as a distributor is Eli Roth’s Death Wish remake, which earned $41.4 million worldwide.

Hopefully, Annapurna is able to find its footing soon, as it still has plenty of noteworthy films on deck. As of now, they’re distributing two of this year’s biggest Oscar hopefuls in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and Adam McKay’s Vice and handling the Stateside release of Bond 25. That’s a fairly tall order, particularly for a studio trying to keep its head above water. It would be a sad day for the film industry if Annapurna ends up going under, so ideally studio founder Megan Ellison will be able to work some magic and get things back on track. In the meantime, they desperately need Vice (receiving a wide release on Christmas) to be a hit this holiday season.

More: Watch The Official Vice Trailer

Source: THR, Variety [2]

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2018-10-09 04:10:51 – Chris Agar

New York Comic-Con: 26 Biggest Announcements (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities)

It might not be as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but New York’s pop culture celebration is just as eventful. This year’s New York Comic-Con was littered with scoops. Whether it’s juicy rumors or brand new trailers, there was plenty to see and talk about. Of course, the convention weekend can get a bit overwhelming — the onslaught of news, panels, and footage seems endless. Thankfully, we’ve collected all of this biggest topics for those of you who are lost amidst all of the comic book news.

For this list, we’re going to cover the most important stories of this year’s New York Comic-Con, including some big ones that just happened to drop during the week rather than at the convention itself. The list will even feature a few big rumors that have come out of the con for some good measure — or for those of you who just like some gossip. Even those who attended the convention might have missed some of the major stories, so use this as your post-NYCC guide to recap the weekend as things begin to wind down.

We know it’s difficult to keep track of all this news, especially after the convention weekend. This list should make things a bit easier. Even if you didn’t attend, the bombardment of news is probably still filling your news feed. So after you’re finished watching trailers all day and unpacking your NYCC hauls, settle in and we’ll break everything down for you.

Here are the 26 Biggest Announcements From NYCC (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities).

30 Aquaman’s New/Old Armor

The new Aquaman trailer was the highlight of the weekend for many. It revealed a surprising amount of footage — some would say too much. The extended look — roughly five minutes long — featured a plenty of unseen footage.

Audiences were treated to a sequence involving Arthur and Mera in desert ruins, another look at Atlantis, and even an extended action sequence between the two leads as they are chased by Black Manta. Perhaps the biggest spoiler in the trailer was the reveal of Aquaman’s iconic orange and green outfit.

29 Hellboy First Look

While no footage from the Hellboy panel has been released to the public, convention-goers were treated to a poster reveal and an exclusive first look at the upcoming film.

The panel footage wooed many fans in attendance and featured a tone that balanced the movie’s violence and gore with humor. It saw Hellboy receive his iconic handgun and show off the Hand of Doom, and it highlighted his especially shaky relationship with his ally Ben Daimio.

The trailer’s money shot had Hellboy in all-out demon mode, rising out of a pit sporting a flaming sword and crown.

Hopefully it won’t be long before this footage is released to the public.

28 Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil’s new trailers suggest a return to the grounded crime-noir tones of the first season with some big new developments. The first trailer reveals that not only is Kingpin out of prison, but he appears to design a smear campaign to turn New York against Daredevil.

One of the ways this may be happening is through a Daredevil impostor, who is none other than the hero’s most famous villain, Bullseye. Bullseye is the subject of the second new trailer, exploring his life as a government agent-turned-assassin under the employ of Kingpin.

27 Titans Is Grittier Than The DCEU

Titans has already received flak for the marketing’s seriously dark tone. Now, after the first two episodes were screened for viewers at NYCC, it is getting the same criticism.

Not only does Titans sport the DCEU’s same dark tone, but apparently the show is even more violent than the films.

The footage featuring Robin displayed some extremely violent and lethal combat, complete with the same amount of gore and disrespect for human life one might find in — well, anything but a comic book show. With that said, the show did receive a warm reception from the audience, so maybe Titans has potential after all.

26 Possibility — Will Rick Grimes Survive?

The Walking Dead is losing its lead character this season, with the confirmed departure of Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln. His impending exit has been talked about for months now, but fans still don’t know how his character will be written out of the show. In a new rumor, it seems that Rick Grimes might meet a brutal end.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Andrew Lincoln joked that he might not “make it through the credits sequence” teasing Rick’s potential demise. Fans don’t want to say goodbye to Rick, but it will be even harder to do so if he is torn apart by walkers. Can’t somebody get a happy ending on this show?

25 Spock On Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek fans weren’t left out of the fun this year, with a new trailer for season two of Star Trek: Discovery. The trailer promises a ride that might be just as intense as the first season, with plenty of action, character beats, and visuals so gorgeous that one would think the show had the budget of a feature-length film.

Amidst the sizzle of the trailer is a big reveal — the inclusion of a young, bearded Spock.

The character is supposedly connected to the “Red Angel” visions that Burnham is experiencing, though details on his appearance in the season are still under wraps.

24 First 35 minutes of new Spider-Man movie

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still a few months out but panel attendees were treated to the first 35 minutes — and apparently what they saw was incredible. Reactions to the NYCC footage is overwhelmingly positive, citing the stylish animation and and lighthearted tone as some of the film’s standout elements. These early reactions come off the back of a new trailer for the film, which shows off several more of the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man.

Of course, this was only the first 35 minutes. Much of the movie is still under wraps and it has a long road ahead of it, being only one of many tentpole releases hitting theaters this December.

23 Deadly Class is coming in 2019

SYFY’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Deadly Class comic series made a big showing this year. Between the close collaboration with series writer Rick Remender, the promise of intense action, and the Russo brothers at the helm (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers Infinity War), this long-awaited series has the potential to be a household name.

Not only does the show seem like a contender for the “next big thing” in comic book television, but it finally has a release date.

This was revealed to be January 16 in a new trailer that focuses on the coming-of-age aspect of the anarchic action series.

22 Star Wars’ The Mandalorian

The first image of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series was released on Thursday, getting fans hyped for the first real TV show in a galaxy far far away. The photo was released alongside new details about the show, namely its title: The Mandalorian.

Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force AwakensThe Mandalorian centers on a warrior from Mandalore travelling across the galaxy. The title character wears the iconic armor that the planet is known for — a costume shared by fan-favorite character Boba Fett. Plenty remains unknown about the series, though it is set to premiere on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

21 Possibility — Kingpin and Spider-Man Crossover

Marvel fans will rejoice if this rumor comes true — during all of the Daredevil buzz over the convention weekend, Vincent D’Onofrio made a very reassuring tweet.

When a fan tweeted that the world will never see the him as Kingpin in an MCU film, D’Onofrio responded with “Who says?”

Marvel’s Netflix shows have been especially vague in their references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but having Kingpin show up in a Tom Holland Spider-Man film would be the perfect connection. The chances are slim, but at least there’s hope.

20 Bane On Gotham

Gotham‘s fifth and final season was revealed in a trailer this weekend, promising quite the grand finale. The trailer hints that Gotham will be adapting the classic No Man’s Land comic book story this season, and also teased another big bad.

Actor Shane West has been cast as Bane, one of Batman’s greatest adversaries and one of the only major rogues that the show hasn’t yet adapted. Bane’s appearance so early in Bruce Wayne’s life has been met with mixed reactions among fans, but at least that suggests a bombastic end to the pre-Batman series.

19 The X-Men Go To Space

New York Comic-Con got an extended look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix, despite being subject to what seems like endless delays. The exclusive footage, which still has not been revealed to the public, gave fans a look at the fully-formed X-Men team and their upcoming cosmic adventure.

Highlights of the footage included an argument between Mystique and Professor X, Jean Grey absorbing a solar flare, and the team going on a rescue mission in space.

While most of the movie likely takes place on Earth, it’s nice to know that the movies aren’t above digging into the spacebound shenanigans that the comics do.

18 Penny from The Big Bang Theory is Harley Quinn

Among the many DC Universe announcements this weekend was the trailer for the Harley Quinn animated series, which has taken many fans by surprise. The show looks like a quirky adult comedy with Harley breaking the fourth wall and using foul language.

The show is already being compared to the likes of Deadpool, with positive reactions coming out of NYCC. It also features a great cast, with Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, JB Smoove, and Wanda Sykes among the voice talent. It is set to release late in 2019 on the DC Universe streaming service.

17 Umbrella Academy’s Big Debut

Netflix’s adaptation of Gerard Way’s superhero darling The Umbrella Academy came to play during NYCC, with a handful of new images and even a trailer exclusive to the folks at Comic-Con. An Umbrella Academy movie has been in the works for many years, but after the switch to television and some time in development freefall, it finally seems right around the corner.

The series — which consists of a dysfunctional family of superheroes — seems to be maintaining its gothic comic book aesthetic.

The show looks like surreal than its counterpart on the pages, but it already has people excited. Umbrella Academy hits Netflix on February 15, 2019.

16 Doctor Who First Reactions

Those who attended the Doctor Who panel were in for quite the event. The attendees got to see the premiere of the new season as well as have an in-depth talk with the season’s Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. The audience’s response to the episode was ecstatic to say the least, and that sentiment seems to be shared by viewers around the world.

Not only was the show a critical hit, but its viewer ratings were record-breaking. The premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” peaked at 9 million viewers, which the highest the show has ever had! Sounds like the new season of Doctor Who is off to a fantastic start.

15 Odin’s true form in American Gods season 2

Last year’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was a massive hit and the trailer for the new season looks just as enticing.  Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday are back on their surreal fantasy roadtrip, accompanied by even more colorful characters and bizarre, unsettling visuals.

The footage teases a war between Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World, with an especially striking shot of Wednesday in his true form: Odin. 

American Gods is a trippy, gorgeous series that many may have missed last year, and with such a great-looking sequel on the way, now might be the time to go back and binge. The second seasons drops in 2019.

14 Possibility — Sabrina/Riverdale Crossover

A full trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hit the web early last week, revealing a spooky-yet-fun adaptation of the comics, as well as a revival of the late ’90s sitcom. Sadly, Archie fans will be disappointed to hear that Sabrina is not currently attached to the hit CW series, Riverdale.

While the Sabrina was originally set to appear on the CW as Riverdale’s companion show (much like CW’s Arrowverse), the move to Netflix seems to have stifled the idea. Still, Sabrina showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is holding out hope for a potential crossovers so that the original plan can come to fruition.

13 George R. R. Martin’s new show

Those of you eagerly awaiting Game of Thrones… well, we don’t have any good news for you. But, if you want more content from the mind of George R.R. Martin, an adaptation of his book Nightflyers has received a new trailer and a first-episode premiere at New York Comic-Con.

The sci-fi thriller follows a crew they struggle to survive on their space mission.

Not everything is as it seems on the vessel, as the show promises some solid horror scares as well as a character-driven story. The show doesn’t officially premiere until December 2nd, but at least sci-fi horror fans have something to look forward to.

12 She-Ra And The Princesses’ LGBT rep

Dreamworks Animation has been launching hit after hit lately — between shows like Trollhunters and Voltron: Legendary Defender, their work has earned them much success on Netflix. The newest series from the studio, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, dropped a poster and teaser trailer at New York Comic-Con that looks like promising fun for young viewers.

The reboot of the ’80s television show sports new cartoony visuals, witty humor, and a diverse cast of characters — even including a same gender couple. While the show’s initial reveal was met with some backlash, the trailer seems infectiously pleasant and fun.

11 Matt Bomer stars in DC’s Doom Patrol

While Titans got plenty of attention at NYCC, the next DC Universe original series got a brief first look. Doom Patrol is set to release next spring, but panel attendees were show some exclusive photos of Brendan Fraser’s character, Robotman. Fraser appeared at the panel and talked through the first look.

Seeing as Doom Patrol is currently filming, it shouldn’t be long before official footage hits the web.

The Robotman design look remarkably accurate to the comics, which has gotten many fans even more excited for the obscure property’s TV adaptation. Supplementing this news was the casting of Matt Bomer as Negative Man — another big name

10 The Spawn Trilogy

Fans hoping for a Spawn trailer at NYCC were out of luck this weekend, but series creator Todd McFarlane spoke at length about his plans for the newly rebooted movie. McFarlane explained that he envisions an ambitious trilogy of Spawn movies, with each one visually and tonally distinct from the last.

The first film might be described as a kind of existential horror-superhero film, with characters wondering if what they see is even real. While the project is still a ways off, the Jamie Foxx-led vehicle is going to emphasize the dark tones of the book with a hard R-rating, as well as cater to the now-older readers of the comic series.

9 DC Universe Streaming Plans

DC Comics and Warner Bros wanted to spotlight their DC Universe streaming service at this year’s NYCC, several small news breaks on he various related properties. Not only did they show footage of Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn, but they also revealed the service’s content release schedule over the coming year.

While no specific dates were given, the timeline depicts various release windows for the service’s different original series.

While Young Justice: Outsiders seems to have been split into two parts, Doom Patrol will drop next spring followed by Swamp Thing in the summer, with both Stargirl and Harley Quinn dropping next fall.

8 Pet Sematary First Look

Horror fans might not have had much to talk about at Comic-Con, but during the convention some promo images dropped for the reboot of a Stephen King classic. The first images of the Pet Sematary remake were released, featuring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

The best image of the bunch comes in the form of the Creed family cat, Church, looking meaner and mangier than ever.

While an evil cat may not be the scariest thing you’ll find in Pet Sematary, it’s a nice preview of the Stephen King spookiness to come, especially after the success of 2017’s It. Pet Sematary is set for release on April 5, 2019.

7 Runaways Season 2 Footage

A new trailer for the second season of Runaways shows that the series has moved way past high school drama, and further into superhero action territory. The trailer features the Runaways’ comic book hideout, huge action set-pieces, and plenty of superpowers to go around.

Highlights of the trailer include a kiss between Nico and Karolina, a battle on an airport runway, and a glimpse at Gert’s pet dinosaur Old Lace. The first season of the show was a quiet hit among the newer Marvel properties, but this season promises a much deeper dive into the superhero genre that fans of the series are have been waiting for.

6 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

One reveal snuck in towards the end of Comic-Con — a very short trailer for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Although very brief, the trailer is made up of all-new footage.

The trailer consists of baby Hiccup in his father’s arms as he is told about the legendary world of dragons.

During his father’s narration, the titular Hidden World is given a brief tease as hundreds of dragons flutter across a cavernous landscape. It ends with a shot of Hiccup and Toothless overlooking a town covered in dragons. It’s not as extensive as the film’s last trailer, but it might hold fans over until the film’s release on February 22, 2019.

5 Good Omens Trailer

It’s a great year for Neil Gaiman lovers as they got not one, but two different Gaiman projects revealed at NYCC. First was the second season of American Gods, and now Amazon’s adaptation of Good Omens. 

The trailer for the new series pits Michael Sheen and David Tennant against each other as an angel and a demon who must join forces in order to prevent the apocalypse. The dark subject matter is contrasted by the show’s whimsical tone and David Tennant’s devilish charisma. It sets up what looks to be a very fun buddy comedy about he end of the world.

4 First 25 Minutes Of Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines

Fans of director Peter Jackson were treated to the first 25 minutes of his next project, Mortal Engines, at this year’s New York Comic-Con. Mortal Engines is another expansive world, like the Tolkien material that Jackson has worked with before, but with a post-apocalyptic twist.

The most talked about elements of the footage were the massive scale of the world and the jaw-dropping visuals.

The Mortal Engines footage introduces viewers to Hester, a girl who lives in a world that was ravaged by the “60 Minute War” that destroyed civilization. Now the world consists of giant cities on wheels that fight each other. Audiences won’t see it for themselves until December 14.

3 The Boys Teaser Trailer

Amazon’s adaptation of Garth Ennis’s hyper-violent superhero comic The Boys has finally been revealed with a brief teaser trailer . The teaser features a public service announcement from Vought International, a company that facilitates the operation of the Seven, this world’s league of superheroes. At the end of the PSA, the titular Boys can be seen sitting on a couch, rudely gesturing to their televisions.

The Boys is already setting itself apart from the traditonal superhero fare, and with good reason — the series is about a team of people who keep out-of-control superheroes in check– by blackmailing them, stealing from them, and beating them up. It’s extremely adult-oriented and it already looks like fun.

2 Voltron Ends in December

The release date and synopsis for the eighth and final season of Voltron was revealed at New York Comic-Con, finally bringing the critically acclaimed Netflix series to a close.

The last season will feature the final battle between the Paladins and Witch Haggar.

A few promo images were released as well — one featuring the villain Honerva and another depicting the Voltron Paladins in a control room with Shiro commanding the gang in a background role. While no footage was shown at NYCC, the release date was confirmed to be December 14. The show’s final season will premiere on Netflix.

1 Possibility — Avengers 4 Titled “Avengers: Annihilation”

This rumor went viral during the weekend of NYCC — “Avengers: Annihilation” may or may not be the name of the still untitled Avengers 4. Speculation over the film’s name has driven fans mad in recent months, with “Annihilation” being yet another choice amidstthe rumored titles titles like “Avengers: Forever”, “Avengers: Endgame”, and “The Last Avenger”.

Annihilation comes from the name comic storyline of the same name, though it bears few similarities to the Infinity Gauntlet story that the films are adapting. Seriously, Marvel, just call it “Avengers: Assemble” and get it over with already. Don’t keep us waiting!

What announcements from New York Comic-Con excite you the most? Make sure to leave a comment before you go to share your thoughts!

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2018-10-08 07:10:26 – Jonathan Figueroa

Star Wars 9 Filming Change Forces Adam Driver to Cancel College Appearance

Star Wars: Episode IX actor Adam Driver is forced to postpone a university appearance due to a scheduling change on the film. Director J.J. Abrams began production on the Skywalker saga’s grand finale earlier this year, after the project had gone through substantial behind-the-scenes changes. Abrams, of course, came in to replace Colin Trevorrow as helmsman, penning an all-new script alongside Chris Terrio after numerous stabs at the screenplay failed to impress Lucasfilm higher-ups.

Abrams’ arrival late in development meant things needed to be moved around. Originally, Episode IX was supposed to start principal photography this January in order to meet a May 2019 release date. However, it was pushed back to December 2019, meaning filming started later in the year. This caused some of the cast members to cancel previously arranged obligations, and now Driver is the latest to do so.

Related: What We Know About Star Wars 9’s New Cast Members

The user Riri19911 shared a statement from Driver’s management on the Star Wars Leaks subreddit, where the actor’s team announced Driver needed to postpone an appearance at a university. You can read it in full below:

Star Wars has just had a massive schedule change, and given what they need to shoot next week they need Adam to rehearse all day tomorrow. He feels terrible letting everyone down and doing this last minute, but has been left with no choice. This will be rescheduled at a later date.

It’s unknown exactly what circumstances led to the change, but right now, fans shouldn’t be too concerned. There are always a lot of moving pieces on something as massive as Star Wars, and it’s possible Abrams saw a window to shoot a specific sequence – which obviously involves Kylo Ren. It’s possible this is some kind of action set piece, given that it’s required Driver rehearses for an entire day. Lightsaber battles always involve high-end choreography that the actors need to learn. On the Last Jedi director commentary, Rian Johnson noted how Daisy Ridley and Driver performed their own stunts during the throne room fight, and odds are someone as method and committed as Driver wants to handle the action bits himself for Episode IX.

The Star Wars films of the Disney era haven’t always had the smoothest productions, with Solo being an obvious example. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like this situation on Episode IX is nearly as dire. While it’s certainly an inconvenience to have to switch things around at the eleventh hour, it sounds like it’s a matter of scheduled shoots getting moved around and won’t be a major setback. And fortunately for the university students, they’ll still have an opportunity to see Driver another time, once Star Wars 9 is all taken care of.

More: When We Think Lucasfilm Will Announce The Star Wars 9 Title

Source: Riri19911

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2018-10-08 07:10:22 – Chris Agar

James Gunn’s Secret Horror Movie Gets a Title & New Release Date

Sony has revealed the title of James Gunn’s latest horror film and pushed the release date to 2019. Writer and director Gunn is best known for his work with Marvel Studios, namely Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but his directorial debut was in the horror genre with Slither, in 2006.

Although he hasn’t directed a horror film since then, he hasn’t stayed far from it, having penned the remake of Dawn of the Dead in 2004, and written and produced the horror-thriller The Belko Experiment in 2016. Last year, it was announced Gunn was producing a new horror film alongside production company The H Collective from a script written by his brother, Brian Gunn, and their cousin, Mark Gunn. The project has been kept under wraps for months, but Sony finally shared some information on it, including a new release date.

Related: James Gunn’s Guardians 3 Script Will Be Used, Confirms Sean Gunn

The Wrap reports that Sony has pushed back Gunn’s film, now titled BrightBurn, from November of this year to May 24, 2019, placing another horror film (The Possession of Hannah Grace) in its spot. BrightBurn is directed by David Yarovesky (The Hive) and stars Elizabeth Banks, who also starred in Gunn’s Slither. Sadly, the studio didn’t share any plot details, so that will remain a mystery for a bit longer.

Back in July, Gunn was scheduled to appear at Sony’s Hall H panel in San Diego Comic-Con to talk about the project, teasing it was something “dark, sweet and special”. However, his appearance was cancelled at the last minute following his firing from Disney after some old tweets were brought to light. Gunn even shared a teaser image for the then-untitled project, which had some fans speculating about a Bloodborne adaptation.

Since then, Gunn has stayed away from social media and no details on his non-Marvel projects had been revealed until now. Aside from his work as writer and director in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he also directed the mid-credits scene in Thor: The Dark World, Stan Lee’s cameo in Doctor Strange, and served as executive producer on Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming Avengers 4.

For now, moviegoers can only speculate on the tone BrightBurn will have, and given Gunn’s and Yarovesky’s background in the horror genre, a film more gore-oriented with a good amount of psychological horror can be expected. Hopefully, it won’t be long until Sony releases an official synopsis for the film, as well as a first look – either official photos or a teaser.

More: Marvel Studios’ TV Shows Are The Perfect Way To Bring James Gunn Back

Source: The Wrap

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2018-10-08 06:10:15 – Adrienne Tyler

20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Roger Ebert once wrote that The Rocky Horror Picture Show was less a movie and more of a “social phenomenon.” This is probably the most accurate way to describe the 1975 rock musical, as it just isn’t an ordinary film. First released to a less-than-stellar reception, Rocky Horror eventually found long-lasting fame from an unlikely source: audience participation. Its original theatrical run didn’t garner much praise, but the film came into its own when theaters began showing it at midnight screenings, now infamous for the almost ritualistic ways the audience dresses, shouts, and flings objects at the screen.

Rocky Horror is a legend of cult cinema– one of the few movies that has earned that title again and again. The film follows what appears to be a whole married couple, Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon), as they stay the night at a spooky old mansion owned by Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry, in the performance that rocketed him to stardom). What ensues is a celebration of kitsch, camp, horror, and science fiction cinema, a musical that makes very little logical sense but is a ton of fun.

Naturally, a film like that has to have a riveting story behind the scenes. Written by Richard O’Brien and directed by Jim Sharman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has just as many crazy details behind the camera as in front of it. Those details will be counted down here, and we’ll get straight to it, as we can see you tremble with antici…

Pation. This is 20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

20 It originally had a different title

The original stage version of the movie had a whirlwind creative process, with Richard O’Brien whipping up the show with his artist and actor friends fairly quickly. As it happens, they were originally rehearsing the show under a different title.

It was called They Came From Denton High due to the story being set somewhere near Denton, Texas.

Obviously, that didn’t last, but O’Brien and director Jim Sharman didn’t change it until the very last minute. Sharman suggested the name change just before previews of the stage show, based on the genres they were spoofing. Thus was “The Rocky Horror Show” born (only the movie had the extra “Picture” in the title, naturally).

19 Brad and Janet were replaced

The cast of Rocky Horror is mostly unchanged from the stage show to the movie. Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman kept their creative team mostly intact, too, so when you’re watching the movie it should really feel like you’re just seeing a filmed version of the stage show. Well, except for a few roles.

Aside from the high-profile cameo from Meat Loaf and a few other replacements, the protagonists were also switched out.

The original actors for Brad and Janet wanted to reprise their roles, but studio executives at Fox felt they needed two US actors in those parts to help sell the movie. Rocky Horror fans can’t complain, as Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon did a great job as Brad and Janet, but we feel for those two original actors whose roles were taken from them.

18 The story behind the lips

Everyone who has seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show– not to mention plenty of people who have only seen the poster– are familiar with the lips that open the film. This iconic image is actually the product of several people working together, rather than just one actress.

The lips that appear in the film are Patricia Quinn’s (who also played Magenta), but she’s only lip-syncing the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” even though she did in the stage show. The singer is actually creator Richard O’Brien. And the lips on that famous poster are those of somebody else entirely, former model Lorelei Shark.

17 The costume designer didn’t want to do it

Costume designer Sue Blane is credited with much of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s lasting appeal thanks to her designs that spoofed the traditions of cinema and leaned heavily into camp. The movie wouldn’t be the same without her, but it almost had to do just that, as she wasn’t interested in the project at first.

In fact, Blane herself says that it took director Jim Sharman meeting with her personally and getting her tipsy before she saw the light. Blane didn’t like the idea of doing a silly project for very little money, but when she found out Tim Curry and a bunch of her other favorite colleagues and friends were already committed to the show, she relented. Thank goodness for that.

16 Tim Curry wasn’t new to corsets

Tim Curry has a long and storied career on the stage and screen, and his rise to prominence came largely thanks to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Given that it was his first hit movie role, people tend to forget that Curry wasn’t a complete rookie. Case in point: Curry had actually starred in a similar stage show before originating the role of Frank N. Furter in Rocky Horror’s stage incarnation.

Curry had also worn a corset in a production of The Maids.

Costume designer Sue Blane had worked that same production. For Rocky Horror, Blane says she simply asked the theater for the same corset for Curry to wear. Naturally, Blane remarked that Curry took to the corset “like a duck to water.”

15 Susan Sarandon’s sickness

Cinema can be a fickle thing– while you’d expect film sets to be glamorous affairs, with every possible amenity available to the actors, you would occasionally be very wrong. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was no picnic to make, as the cast and crew had to endure unheated sets while filming scenes in pools.

This might not sound like a big deal, but it was for Susan Sarandon, who fell ill during production. The filmmakers had nothing but kind words for her after her gritty effort to push through with the work, as they mentioned that she was literally “shaking with fever” on set but kept on going in spite of that.

14 Rocky was supposed to talk

Sometimes you’ve just gotta improvise when you’re making a film. While the creative team behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show might have thought they had the perfect casting when they got Peter Hinwood to play the character of Rocky Horror, they changed their minds when they found out he was a model who had zero acting experience. Rocky Horror originally had dialogue in the film, but after watching Hinwood act, Sharman and O’Brien elected to remove all his speaking parts.

Another singer dubbed over the character’s singing parts, so Hinwood’s voice never actually shows up in the film.

Clearly, they were in love with his looks, but not the way he sounded.

13 You can book a room where it was filmed

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was filmed at Oakley Court in England, a castle that had been host to several horror films in its past. While it may not have been the most welcoming place for the film crew in 1975 (at the time, it had no heating and few bathrooms), it’s doing a better job of that nowadays.

Oakley Court is now a ritzy hotel, allowing guests to stay in the location that was the home to many of their favorite spooky movies from days gone by. Nowadays, of course, the hotel advertises its proximity to LEGOLAND more than it does its connection to film history, but we’d like to think there are still a few Rocky Horror fans who make the trip.

12 The David Bowie connection

This might seem unrelated to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it isn’t.

Pierre LaRoche was one of the creative forces behind David Bowie’s now-iconic Ziggy Stardust look, but that wasn’t the only influential job the makeup artist held.

LaRoche was also the person film producers turned to when they wanted a makeup redesign for the characters in Rocky Horror. While Sue Blane gets the lion’s share of the credit for the character designs in the film, we shouldn’t forget that it was Pierre LaRoche who actually came up with the makeup designs. Though the make-up is a touch more subtle than costumes, it’s still one of the main reasons the visuals of the film are so fun to watch.

11 Meat Loaf didn’t actually drive the motorcycle

Singer and occasional actor Meat Loaf has a memorable turn in Rocky Horror as Eddie, the delivery boy and partial brain donor to Rocky, who is tragically stabbed by Frank N. Furter. Eddie gets a fun entrance, bursting out of a freezer on a motorcycle, but the problem is that Meat Loaf didn’t actually ride that motorcycle. Aside from a few less dangerous wide shots, Meat Loaf left the actual driving to a stunt man as he says he didn’t feel comfortable doing anything risky on it.

For the close-up shots that needed to look like Eddie was on the motorcycle, the crew rigged up a wheelchair for Meat Loaf to ride.

That way, safety didn’t need to be sacrificed. Or that was the theory, anyway, as the wheelchair didn’t turn out to be that safe anyway.

10 The on-set injuries

Though it wasn’t Jim Sharman’s debut feature, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was not a film staffed by the most experienced team. This is perhaps reflected best by the apparently high number of on-set injuries that occurred– even ignoring the on-set illnesses, including Sarandon’s.

In the same interview, Meat Loaf describes an incident that happened while he was sitting in his wheelchair, where it fell off a ramp on the set, shattered a camera, caused a few cuts on Meat Loaf’s face and arm, and snapped a stand-in’s leg in two. While some efforts were made for safety, injuries ran rampant even with the wheelchair.

9 The skeleton inside the clock was real

One of the single most famous props in all of Rocky Horror is the skeleton clock; a coffin that has a clock face set on the front. The reveal that there is a skeleton inside the coffin is a fun moment in the movie, but the filmmakers dropped another bombshell in later years: the skeleton inside was real.

The skeleton clock actually lived on past the film.

In 2002, Sotheby’s auction house in London sold the clock for an exorbitant sum, 35,000 pounds. Adjusting for inflation, that would be approximately $63,000 today. Even true Rocky Horror fans might balk at that price, if the real human remains inside weren’t a turn-off.

8 Steve Martin auditioned for Brad

Whatever you think of Barry Bostwick’s performance as Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, have you ever considered how different it might have been if another actor had taken on the role? Well, according to rumors and stories even repeated by the likes of Newsday, the role almost went to Steve Martin.

Given that Martin went on to star in a fairly similar movie musical, Little Shop of Horrors, this shouldn’t be too big a surprise.

Martin apparently auditioned for the role of Brad, but lost out to Bostwick. Maybe he played the antagonist in Little Shop of Horrors as a way to soothe the hurt of rejection.

7 It got terrible reviews when it first came out

Nowadays, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is viewed as one of the greatest classics of midnight cult cinema, as its popularity has only grown amongst its fans since its release. But to become a cult hit, you usually have to be a theatrical flop, and Rocky Horror was exactly that, both critically and commercially.

Some critics straight-up hated the film when it was first released, and others simply ignored it. Partially because of the counter-culture the film represented and the lack of a conventional plot structure, some seemed offended it even existed. Even today, many critics view the film more as an audience experience than a genuinely good movie.

6 Frank N. Furter’s villainous inspiration

The unquestionable star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is Dr. Frank N. Furter, the role Tim Curry originated on the London stage and reprised in the film. Even critics who didn’t like the film enjoyed Curry’s assured and magnetic performance. That makes sense, given all the larger-than-life figures Curry took inspiration from to create the character.

Writer Richard O’Brien describes Frank as a combination of Vlad the Impaler and Cruella De Vil, which makes a lot of sense, but Curry didn’t stop there. On top of those villainous ancestors, he added a posh accent, said to be modeled on both Elizabeth II and Curry’s own mother. That’s one doozy of a mixture for the role, and obviously it worked to perfection.

5 It was a stage show first

When Richard O’Brien first set out to tell his story, it was a work of theater, as that was his primary area of expertise. Thus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show started out as The Rocky Horror Show– the “Picture” part was added for the film. O’Brien wrote the play in his spare time, then gathered some of his friends in London to help him make it.

The play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1973, and it was an immediate hit, moving to larger venues soon after. The show ran for weeks and weeks and eventually attracted the notice of producers, even Hollywood. This is the origin story for Rocky Horror— we wouldn’t have the film is the London stage show hadn’t been so popular.

4 The writer is Riff Raff

Given its reputation as one of the true classics of cult cinema, viewers today may not know that the original writer– playwright of the stage show, co-screenwriter of the movie, and Riff Raff in both, Richard O’Brien had never professionally written anything before the script for The Rocky Horror Show and its film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That’s right, Rocky Horror is a debut work, by a person who never even wanted to be a writer.

O’Brien was living in London as an actor, struggling to make ends meet, and mostly wrote it just to keep himself occupied.

Luckily for him, the project resonated with his artistic friends, and they helped him turn it into the phenomenon it became.

3 O’Brien never thought it would be a big deal

Even when The Rocky Horror Show was making waves on the London theater circuit, it never registered with Richard O’Brien that he might have created a real hit. In an interview, O’Brien recalls when producer Michael White told him he thought this would be something big. “I said, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and walked away. It just didn’t register.”

For a while, it seemed like O’Brien was right to think it wouldn’t be a big deal. The film didn’t do well commercially when it came out, despite the popularity of the play, and it looked like that would be the end of the Rocky Horror story. But midnight viewers began to flock to the showings known for audience participation, and the film’s long-lasting appeal proved to be its greatest strength.

2 The writer thinks it was successful because it’s childish

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was originally written by a young actor with no writing experience, who just wanted something fun to occupy his time. Richard O’Brien, the writer in question, thinks that this process lent the show a quality of childlike naïveté, which contributed to its eventual popularity. In an interview, O’Brien said the show’s innocence is “very endearing and not threatening.” Continuing, he mentioned that every character in the show may appear to be intelligent or “sophisticated, but they’re really not.”

This quality allows young viewers to identify with the energy of the film, making it appeal to adolescent viewers.

O’Brien think this might be the key behind the social phenomenon that is Rocky Horror.

1 Originally, it started in black and white

The writing and directing team of Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman had a lot of grand ideas for the film adaption of Rocky Horror, but not all of them were allowed to come to pass. Chief among these was the plan to film the opening section of the movie in black and white.

The film would have burst into color when Frank N. Furter made his entrance.

Everyone who has seen the movie remembers that scene– now imagine if it had this added bit of pizzaz, with the first frame of color coming on a shot of Tim Curry’s lips. Susan Sarandon lamented that they weren’t allowed to make this vision a reality, as studio executives rejected the idea due to budgetary concerns.

Do you have any The Rocky Horror Picture Show trivia to share? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-08 05:10:06 – Eric McAdams