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ATMachine 08-08-2007 02:45 PM

Movies never made/canceled/butchered in editing
 
Seeing how the other movie threads are quite popular I thought this might be an interesting topic not addressed there.

If you had a magic wand and could magically resurrect films that were planned but never finished, which ones would you choose? What canceled movies would you like to be able to see? Which films that were cut down by studio interference and the ravages of time would you like to see restored to their original length? Conversely, which unmade films are you glad ultimately got the axe?

I'll start off with an example of the latter category.

John Boorman (who made Deliverance, Excalibur, and, oh yes, Zardoz) and his version of The Lord of the Rings.

I've never seen any of Boorman's films, unfortunately. My judgment here is based on various descriptions of his LOTR script alone.

But from all I've heard Boorman's Lord of the Rings would have had almost nothing to do with the story in Tolkien's work. It would have been one film, as opposed to Peter Jackson's three, and would have featured some major alterations.

Take, for example, the idea of Frodo having sex with Galadriel.

Or Aragorn marrying Eowyn.

Or the scene where, to get through the gates of Moria, Gandalf digs a hole, throws Gimli into it, tosses a blanket on top of him, and beats him up until the Dwarf's "ancestral memory" of the password surfaces.

Or the thirteen-year-old Arwen lying on top of a naked Frodo as she removes the Morgul-blade from his shoulder.

Or the point shortly after the hobbits leave the Shire when they find some mushrooms in a field, eat them, and go on an acid trip.

Or Gandalf using his magic to entomb the Fellowship in a glacier and float them down a river to avoid a party of Saruman's Wargs.

Follow the links for more insanity.

:crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

Anyways, Boorman wanted to make this film at United Artists, but he never got the say-so and went on to Excalibur instead. Which is good, as now we have Peter Jackson's films to watch. For anyone who challenges Jackson's fidelity to the source material, I submit the links above for their edification.

Squinky 08-08-2007 03:27 PM

The alternate ending to Casablanca, as portrayed on The Simpsons.

Spiwak 08-09-2007 07:18 AM

Wow, too many to count.

Orson Welles' Mr Arkadin (or Confidential Report) is, I think, one of the better examples of a movie gone horribly wrong in the editing room. The producers took it out of Welles' hands and cut it themselves. Criterion tried to make a final cut of it using footage from all the available cuts of the movie and Orson's notes, but even then I believe it's not exactly right. Also, Kingdom of Heaven is a good example of a director's cut that was actually seriously worth a double dip. Eyes Wide Shut also had that dumb digital censorship of naked bodies to make an R-rating...honestly, who the fuck has the right to tell Kubrick what to do?

As for movies that didn't happen that should have, the ultimate example has to be Kubrick's Napoleon. You can find the screenplay online if you're lucky (I don't remember where I found it), and it's hard to say but judging by the screenplay alone I feel pretty sure it would have been a classic. Sepaking of which, A.I. isn't a bad example, either. Sure, it was always meant to be Spielberg's project, but I don't think he would have completely fucked the ending like he did if Kubrick was alive to produce (or better yet, direct). Don't know much about Aryan Papers.

Aj_ 08-09-2007 07:27 AM

Blade Runner, the rubbish ending.

Brazil got butchered.

Alien: Resurrection, another changed ending, but Joss Whedon said the problem was in execution.

After a brisk nap 08-09-2007 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ATMachine (Post 433316)
Anyways, Boorman wanted to make this film at United Artists, but he never got the say-so and went on to Excalibur instead. Which is good, as now we have Peter Jackson's films to watch. For anyone who challenges Jackson's fidelity to the source material, I submit the links above for their edification.

I would have loved to have seen this version TLOTR, especially if it would have meant we wouldn't have to be subjected to Jackson's snooze-fests.

Along similar lines, I would have liked to see Alejandro Jodorowsky's version of Dune.

Spiwak 08-09-2007 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aj_ (Post 433419)
Blade Runner, the rubbish ending.

Brazil got butchered.

True, true.

Jeysie 08-09-2007 10:51 AM

Off the top of my head, the original screenplay idea for I, Robot that Harlan Ellison wrote many moon ago. I have the illustrated copy of it that they made, and it sounds (and looks intriguing).

I have no idea how good/bad the movie they actually made is, but the fact that, from what I've heard, it's not actually based on any of Asimov's excellent stories is disappointing. So much good stuff they could have used (like Donovan and Powell :D ).

Peace & Luv, Liz

Once A Villain 08-09-2007 11:59 AM

Two of the biggest (and most maddening) examples:

THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS - This 1942 Orson Welles film could have challenged Kane had it not been taken from him and recut (40 minutes were lost, ending changed, etc.). If you want the most thorough, superb account of the entire story of the production and exactly what was lost, I recommend the book The Magnificent Ambersons: A Reconstruction by Robert L. Carringer. The book also uses surviving photos from lost scenes and plenty of Orson Welles' old notes to recreate the film as it should have been, if only through the complete screenplay and still images.

What remains at your local video store is a great film, make no mistake. But it could have been an absolute masterpiece, possibly the best film by Orson Welles. He thought that it should have been. He also said in an interview, "They destroyed Ambersons, and it destroyed me."


GREED - Erich von Stroheim's silent, 1924 epic was originally 9 hours. When the studio insisted on cuts, he worked on the editing himself and trimmed the picture to around four hours. The four hour cut was acceptable to him. However, that's when the studio took the film out of his hands and chopped away, creating the 2 hour 20 minute version that was released and which Stroheim vehemently despised. TCM restored the film in 1999, but only somewhat. It runs 4 hours now, but the new scenes are created with still photos that have survived. So, this is still a "lost" film in many ways.

Melanie68 08-09-2007 12:20 PM

A studio did that to George Cukor with the Judy Garland version of A Star is Born. It was a 181 minutes, which the studio deemed too long and cut 30 minutes out. The 'full' version (minus 5 minutes, which are apparently production stills) was restored. I'm a bad girl, as I know this story, but haven't seen the film. :o

Not A Speck Of Cereal 08-09-2007 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by After a brisk nap (Post 433425)
I would have loved to have seen this version TLOTR, especially if it would have meant we wouldn't have to be subjected to Jackson's snooze-fests.

Along similar lines, I would have liked to see Alejandro Jodorowsky's version of Dune.

Interesting. I would like to see Jackson do Dune. That said:

Wow, Giger and Mobious on art, Pink Floyd on music? Savador Dali as a scatological Emporer, Charlotte Rampling as Jessica?

The story boards influenced Star Wars? Giger and Mobious went to Alien with their visions? The screenplay writer later went to write Alien?

Does anyone know what hear Métal Hurlant 107 (the issue this was in) was published?

At any rate, as much as I would be interested to see Jodorowsky's version, I don't agree with his contention that he could make so many changes.

Quote:

I felt in enthusiastic admiration towards Herbert and at the same time in conflict (I think that the same thing occurred to him)... He obstructed me... I did not want him as a technical adviser
Technical adviser? Such arrogance!

Endosanity 08-09-2007 09:49 PM

I kept following this movie but due to funding issues it seems to have just... stopped, but nothing saying it's been cancelled:

Worst Case Scenario Trailer 1

And then to make things worse, I was teased with this:

Worst Case Scenario CGI-Promo

Then... no new news. :(

Another movie that was cancelled I had high hopes for was Circling the Drain. Sure, it was an indie film but it seemed head and shoulders above others and then it was just... cancelled. Read that nobody got along, money ran out, so on and so fourth but the trailers made the movie look damn good.

ATMachine 08-10-2007 03:59 AM

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Lawrence of Arabia yet. About 30 minutes were cut out of it over the years in various theatrical re-releases.

In the 1980s Steven Spielberg worked with David Lean to restore the film. Unfortunately, when the lost footage was found, its audio was deteriorated beyond use!

Lean brought the surviving actors back to re-record their lines, and managed to salvage a great deal of the footage this way. Sadly, all the scenes in which some of the actors had died (such as the material with Claude Rains) couldn't be reused.

As a result, about five minutes from the original cut of the film is still missing, and will likely never be reinserted.

stepurhan 08-12-2007 12:07 AM

I've split the adaptation posts into a separate thread here since there is a definite desire to carry on that discussion and I don't want to derail this thread any further.

Davies 08-18-2007 03:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeysie (Post 433449)
Off the top of my head, the original screenplay idea for I, Robot that Harlan Ellison wrote many moon ago. I have the illustrated copy of it that they made, and it sounds (and looks intriguing).

I have no idea how good/bad the movie they actually made is, but the fact that, from what I've heard, it's not actually based on any of Asimov's excellent stories is disappointing. So much good stuff they could have used (like Donovan and Powell :D ).

I'll go along with that one. The movie I, Robot is OK as far as it goes, if you're in the mood for a light action thriller with a futuristic setting. But it's got nothing to do with Asimov.

Probably they reckoned Asimov's actual robot stories don't have enough action or human interest. He is (was) on the very hard side of "hard" science fiction. Which, before anyone squawks, is not a complaint. I like hard science fiction.

I never knew Harlan Ellison wrote a screenplay based on the robot stories. Now, that would be something worth seeing!

As far as movies that ought to be made, I think a film of the comic/graphic novel The New Statesmen would be outstanding. Especially now that computerised special effects are up to the task.

Jeysie 08-18-2007 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davies (Post 434950)
Probably they reckoned Asimov's actual robot stories don't have enough action or human interest. He is (was) on the very hard side of "hard" science fiction. Which, before anyone squawks, is not a complaint. I like hard science fiction.

Hmm. I would disagree with that. One of the things I like about Asimov's whole Robot/Foundation series is that it blends hard and soft SF quite well; it shows the effect of hard speculative science on future society. (Nightfall does this as well.) He's also quite good at crafting enjoyable characters.

I will agree that anyone who doesn't actually *read* the books (like, say, the average Hollywood exec) might get the wrong impression, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davies (Post 434950)
I never knew Harlan Ellison wrote a screenplay based on the robot stories. Now, that would be something worth seeing!

Why not pick up your own copy, then? Look for "I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay" by Harlan Ellison.

(I did have an Amazon link, but for some reason the forum keeps changing and screwing up the link. Why is this? :( )

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davies (Post 434950)
As far as movies that ought to be made, I think a film of the comic/graphic novel The New Statesmen would be outstanding. Especially now that computerised special effects are up to the task.

If we're going to go into that territory, then I vote for Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

Peace & Luv, Liz

Not A Speck Of Cereal 08-18-2007 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeysie (Post 434975)
Hmm. I would disagree with that. One of the things I like about Asimov's whole Robot/Foundation series is that it blends hard and soft SF quite well; it shows the effect of hard speculative science on future society. (Nightfall does this as well.) He's also quite good at crafting enjoyable characters.

I will agree that anyone who doesn't actually *read* the books (like, say, the average Hollywood exec) might get the wrong impression, though.

I agree with Liz that on all points re: his books. But as a screen-play? Naw, it's got'a change quite a bit to be a decent film.

That said, I totally hate the recent hollow-wood attempt. They could have done better than take the name and apply it to a screen play that bears little resemblance (if any) to the written work. Imeancomeonnow!

But then, we all saw this coming since Starship Troopers.

After a brisk nap 08-18-2007 07:57 PM

Not A Speck Of Cereal


Starship Troopers was a brilliant film, and an excellent example of an adaptation that completely subverts the message of the book it's based on. (Oops, I guess that debate is in a different thread now.)

Spiwak 08-19-2007 09:35 AM

Hah, I do like Starship Troopers. Never read the book, but it's probably the best deliberately campy sci-fi movie of recent years.

Not A Speck Of Cereal 08-20-2007 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by After a brisk nap (Post 435090)
Starship Troopers was a prime example of an adaptation that completely subverts the message of the book it's based on.

Fixed it for ya!

Sage 08-20-2007 11:09 PM

The Island Of Doctor Moreau:

The original black&white version was good, but severely dated in many ways.

The '70s version with Michael York and Burt Lancaster was an improvement,
but special effects technology simply wasn't up to the task of what is necessarily a very effects-heavy story.

I so hoped that a modern version would be made that would be true to the original story's complex depiction of the doctor's personality and motivation and show the "manimals" the way I had imagined them. Then rumors began swirling that finally a definitive version was to be made starring Rob Morrow, Val Kilmer, Ron Perlman, and Marlon Brando as the doctor! I was overjoyed! What a cast! How could it fail?

Well, here's how it could fail: the original director got fired and was replaced by someone who had not the first idea how to get great performances out of notoriously moody and temperamental actors like Kilmer and Brando which resulted in them appearing to be acting in completely separate and unrelated films, then Morrow quit the production and was replaced by David Thewliss, whose whiny and utterly unsympathetic performance made me at first not care in the least whether his character lived or died and as the film progressed made me actively hope his character died a quick but grisly death just so he would stop his bloody whimpering!

The special effects were excellent, though, which only served to highlight the film's other shortcomings. :frown:

Furthermore, in the second version there is what I consider to be one of the great double-entendres in all of filmdom:
Early in the movie Michael York sees the doctor's "daughter" dancing gracefully on the porch and watches her, entranced. Burt Lancaster sees this and shocks York by saying "Would it surprise you to know that when I first saw her in the marketplace that she could have belonged to anyone for a few pesos?"; York (and the audience) assume that she was a child prostitute, but later it is revealed that she was at that time a jungle cat in a cage.
This exchange is entirely absent from the third version. :(

zazzaro 08-20-2007 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Endosanity (Post 433550)
I kept following this movie but due to funding issues it seems to have just... stopped, but nothing saying it's been cancelled:

Worst Case Scenario Trailer 1

And then to make things worse, I was teased with this:

Worst Case Scenario CGI-Promo

Then... no new news. :(

Another movie that was cancelled I had high hopes for was Circling the Drain. Sure, it was an indie film but it seemed head and shoulders above others and then it was just... cancelled. Read that nobody got along, money ran out, so on and so fourth but the trailers made the movie look damn good.

Being a HUGE zombie fan this got me interested. First ive heard of this film. However, if you go to the main website they just updated the news section only one week ago. Go check it out... the movie isnt dead, they just got huge delays. Thanks for giving me some insight to this movie ill def be waiting for this to come out.

Endosanity 08-21-2007 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zazzaro (Post 435503)
Being a HUGE zombie fan this got me interested. First ive heard of this film. However, if you go to the main website they just updated the news section only one week ago. Go check it out... the movie isnt dead, they just got huge delays. Thanks for giving me some insight to this movie ill def be waiting for this to come out.


Same here. I'll have to check it out. I just about gave up hope and quit checking altogether. I'm a big fan of the zombie genre also whether it be movies, games, books, you name it.

Just something about mankind having to band together against a common enemy. Low budget, high budget... it's all good.

Davies 08-25-2007 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeysie (Post 434975)
Hmm. I would disagree with that. One of the things I like about Asimov's whole Robot/Foundation series is that it blends hard and soft SF quite well; it shows the effect of hard speculative science on future society. (Nightfall does this as well.) He's also quite good at crafting enjoyable characters.

Hm. I've always considered the Robot stories quite hard. Susan Calvin developed into a fairly deep and very sympathetic character, but the stories are based on intellectual questions rather than character interaction or emotion.

I have to admit I've started reading Foundation a couple of times and could never get into it, so I can't say anything about that series! It's the only Asimov that I've found not at all to my tastes.

Ninja Dodo 09-01-2007 02:55 AM

I wouldn't say butchered cause I still enjoyed them, but the Matrix sequels would have been a lot more effective if they'd cut the fluff and the oracle hadn't died.*


* not a spoiler.. I'm talking about the actress

Spiwak 09-03-2007 12:43 PM

Perhaps it would be simpler if you just said "and if the actress who played the oracle hadn't died."

Ninja Dodo 09-05-2007 05:51 AM

Yes.

Not A Speck Of Cereal 09-05-2007 06:38 PM

  • Matrix I: "Wow, they have something fantastic going on here. I'll buy the DVD."
  • Matrix II: "Um, okay. But you know, it's the middle one, so the next one will make up for it. I'll go ahead and buy the DVD".
  • Matrix III: "Oy. This think smells like a freshly plucked butt dingle-berry" <sells Matrix II to some poor lost soul>.
Can anyone here think of a trilogy that tanked worse? Go on, I dare you.

stepurhan 09-06-2007 04:46 AM

But did you get the collection of short films "The Animatrix"? Didn't make up for the way the trilogy went but some really nice pieces of work on that. It's well worth checking out.

Ninja Dodo 09-06-2007 01:55 PM

I think the Matrix sequels are highly underrated.

2 and 3 suffered from a lot of redundant characters and side-plots, some of which were due to original actors being absent for various reasons (Tank, The Oracle), others I guess to over-ambition: trying to cram too many things into what could have been a much tighter story. I maintain that the story-arc of Neo and Smith is a flawed masterpiece.

We could have done without the big dance scene, the orgasmic cake, etc... but these did not enough detract from the main story to ruin it for me. And yeah, Reeves and Moss don't have the chemistry of Bogey and Bacall, but if I wanted romantic tension I would just watch To Have and Have Not again...

Agreed on the Animatrix. Added much to the backstory and helped solidify some of the themes they were going for in the sequels.

By the way, people who bitch about
Spoiler:
Neo 'surrendering' to the machines by making peace with them when apparently he should have reduced them to a smoldering pile of rubble
just didn't get it. That was not the point of the story.

If you want an example of a less coherent trilogy, I give you Pirates of the Caribbean. Started to drift in the second outing and really lost the plot* in number three.

*I wanted to say anchor, I did.

Aj_ 09-06-2007 02:46 PM

Liked The Matrix and The Animatrix, I agree with "Not A Speck Of Cereal", really poor sequels, not because they were specifically flawed technically in writing or cinematography, but it was mediocre. If I were to list moments, locations, characters, that were memorable, I don't think the sequels would give that many. The focus seemed to zoom out, become epic, but nothing was gained from that, but everything good about the original was lost.

Zion looked dead, the place had no character, the people had no character, it's hard to engage emotionally in the fate of such place.

I also think Neo/Smith, and Neo/Trinity, was rehashing of things we've already seen, and they were there because people loved them in the original movie. After Neo becomes all powerful, and can fly, he becomes boring, it was fine for the end of the original film. Neo and Trinity's relationship consumes a lot of time, but it's boring, relying on the original movie, not developing, or adding elements.

I really didn't get the whole human battery thing, that reasoning didn't seem plausible in the first movie, and I didn't feel it got answered in the others.

Ninja Dodo 09-08-2007 06:02 AM

I actually agree with you that for a last bastion of humanity, Zion was a bit cold... not somewhere you'd call home.

Personally I count the exploration of the relationship between Neo and Trinity among the unnecessary side-plots. If it had been done more elegantly it could have added something, but the story didn't really need it. Also, I think Trinity's
Spoiler:
initial death would have been a more dignified end than her ultimate demise in Revolutions. I think her dying there and then sans resurrection would have been more powerful and would have added more weight to Neo's final solitary journey.

What I liked was the interplay between Neo, Smith, the Oracle and the Architect and the story that developed from that. It's too bad Gloria Foster wasn't there for Revolutions... and Tank for both sequels. He was cool. The whole thing with Link and his wife didn't really grab me.

As for the battery thing, I'm OK with suspending disbelief on that.

At the end of the day I think they're a flawed but still fitting conclusion to the story.

After a brisk nap 09-08-2007 07:52 AM

The human battery concept seriously annoyed me in the first movie, but then I read somewhere that the Wachowskis had another idea initially (I think it may have been that the machines were using people's brains as computers, in effect making them their hosts), but that it was too complicated for the average viewer to understand, so they went with an easier, though ridiculous, explanation.


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