Saturday, September 19, 2015
8 movies changed after their original theatrical release
But it’s a rare movie that’s changed after its theatrical release.
What follows is a list of movies that were changed after their initial release.
Star Wars (1977)
In the first “Star Wars” film, rakish hero Han Solo shot and killed a thug named Greedo in a bar to avoid being captured.
In one of many changes director George Lucas made to his original “Star Wars” trilogy, Lucas in 1997 digitally altered the scene to make Solo shoot Greedo in self-defense after Greedo shot first. The change outraged fans everywhere.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
For the 20th anniversary of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” in 2002, director Steven Spielberg created an extended version of the film with altered special effects, including computer-generated imagery for some shots of the animatronic E.T.
He also replaced the guns held by police and FBI agents with walkie-talkies.
Spielberg later seemed to regret the changes and recommended people watch the 1982 original version of the film.
Blade Runner (1982)
So many versions of the science-fiction classic “Blade Runner” have been released since the original debuted in theaters that it’s hard to keep them all straight.
The biggest changes to the original film made in later editions include the removal of the “happy ending” and explanatory voice-overs by star Harrison Ford and inclusion of a unicorn dream sequence.
The Program (1993)
The original release of the college football movie “The Program,” starring James Caan, contained a scene where several players lay on the yellow dividing line of a busy local road as a test of courage. When two young men were killed, and several others injured, by imitating the stunt in real life, the studio cut the scene from the movie.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, images of the World Trade Center towers were digitally removed from all skyline shots of New York City in the romantic comedy “Serendipity.” The scenes with views of the World Trade Center were in a version of the movie screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. But they were excised before the movie’s wide release.
Many films in production were changed after the 9/11 attacks. Scenes were either cut or the twin towers were digitally deleted. (See articles by the Associated Press and Wikipedia.)
To commemorate the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic, director James Cameron produced a remastered version of his romantic disaster movie “Titanic” in 2012. He also converted the 2D movie into stereoscopic 3D format for a version called “Titanic in 3D.”
One scene changed for the re-release was Rose’s view of the night sky at sea, on the morning of April 15, 1912. The scene was replaced with an accurate view of the night-sky star pattern, including the Milky Way, adjusted for the location in the North Atlantic Ocean in April 1912.
The change was prompted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who had criticized the scene for showing an unrealistic star pattern, according to Discovery.
When Disney’s “Aladdin” was released in November 1992, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee protested one of the verses in the opening song “Arabian Nights.”
The lyrics were changed in July 1993 from “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face,” in the original release to “Where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense.”
The change first appeared on the 1993 video release.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Director Stanley Kubrick was known for making changes to his films up to, and after, their theatrical release, No Film School reported.
After “2001: A Space Odyssey” tested poorly with audiences, Kubrick decided to tighten the film, cutting 19 minutes from its run time. The cuts were implemented several days after the film was released in April 1968.
Photos: Comparison of original and altered scene from “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (top); poster for “Star Wars.”