It takes years of planning to make a typical Hollywood film – and this can even stretch to decades, particularly where big budget blockbusters are concerned. As you’d expect, an incredible amount of decision-making is involved along the way, all to ensure that the best possible story ultimately finds its way into cinemas.
Amazingly, though, it’s often the last-minute changes made by filmmakers that determine whether a movie is a massive success or a bitter disappointment. Sometimes, these edits are made after the director has a “Eureka!” moment, realising just in time what elements need to be amended for the final cut to truly soar.
In other cases, the circumstances are motivated less by artistic considerations and more by the commercial bottom line. Here, the studio financing the production will mandate alterations intended to maximise box office revenue – often based on feedback from test screenings.
Regardless of the rationale behind these edits, what makes them remarkable is just how late they’re implemented. Seriously: we were only weeks away from seeing very different versions of some of the most popular films of all time!
With this in mind, here are 10 last-minute changes that saved movies (and six that ruined them).