The rule is simple: the more famous you are, the more you can demand. Sometimes, star power can end up changing movie details, for better or worse. So today, we’ll look at 17 movies that were changed because of actor demands.
#17. The Mummy (2017)
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Tom Cruise has been at the top of the A-list for decades, so he obviously has enough clout to make all sorts of demands, no matter how strange they are.
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Cruise’s demands for The Mummy included near-total creative control. Allegedly, he demanded that his character be given more screen time than the actual mummy, and even changed the script.
#16. Snakes on a Plane
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Samuel L. Jackson admitted that the only reason he starred in Snakes on a Plane was the title. And, when the makers considered changing its name to Pacific Flight 121, he told them it was “the stupidest dam thing I ever heard“.
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He also asked for more violence and profanity, which took the movie from the envisioned PG-13 rating to an R.
#15. Miami Vice (2006)
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Allegedly, Jamie Foxx became very difficult to work with after earning an Oscar nomination. After signing onto Miami Vice, Foxx made several demands that cost the studio a lot of money.
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Among his demands were a bigger salary, private jets, and not to shoot scenes on planes or boats. According to a crew memeber, Foxx “basically changed the whole movie in one stroke“.
#14. Jurassic World
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Although the movie got very positive reviews, many criticized that Bryce Dallas Howard was outrunning huge dinosaurs for two and a half hours wearing high heels.
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The reason behind it was that Howard insisted that her character wear heels. She was so persistent, that the director gave in to her demand. According to her, she didn’t want her character to “lose her femininity while running“.
#13. Star Trek (1966)
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Originally, in the Star Trek episode “The Enemy Within“, Spock was supposed to defeat the enemy by physically fighting him. Leonard Nimoy however, didn’t like that.
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Nimoy argued that the logic-based Vulcans wouldn’t resort to physical violence, and instead suggested that Spock use the “nerve pinch” technique to disable his opponents. The change has been a staple of Star Trek ever since.
#12. Pulp Fiction
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In the original Pulp Fiction script, Samuel L. Jackson‘s character was supposed to have a giant Afro. According to Jackson, however, the person in charge of the wig didn’t know what an afro was.
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Instead, she brought a wig styled into a Jheri curl, which amused the actor so much that he insisted on keeping it.
#11. Clash of the Titans (2010)
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In the original Clash of the Titans, a clockwork owl named Bubo was one of the most memorable parts of the movie. Unfortunately for the owl, star Sam Worthington hated it.
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He hated it so much that he threatened to punch it, and even he claimed the owl would ruin his career, so the director got rid of the owl, relegating it to a brief cameo. But that’s nothing compared to the next demand on our list.
#10. Gone Girl
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The original script had Ben Affleck‘s character try and hide his identity by wearing a Yankees cap. However, Affleck flat out refused to wear it.
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Ben Affleck is a lifelong Red Sox fan, which drove him to shut down production for four days until his demand was met. In the end, he compromised and wore a Mets hat.
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Everyone’s favorite ogre has a signature Scottish accent. But Shrek wasn’t supposed to have an accent, and it was actor Mike Myers‘ idea.
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However, he came up with that idea after roughly a third of the movie had been animated. Changing the movie actually cost DreamWorks $5 million (10 percent of the movie’s budget).
#8. Star Wars: the Phantom Menace
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If you thought we were done with Samuel L. Jackson, you were wrong. Our favorite demand-maker thought his character didn’t stand out during the fight scenes, so he requested a change.
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Jackson requested that his character wield a purple lightsaber, which would make him stand out, and also because it is his favorite color. George Lucas was reluctant, but eventually gave in.
#7. A Million Ways to Die in the West
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Many years ago, Seth MacFarlane made a joke on Family Guy about how Liam Neeson‘s Irish accent was so strong that he could never hide it to star in a western. Years later, however, this joke came back to haunt him.
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When MacFarlane asked Liam Neeson to star in his western, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Neeson demanded that his character speak in a broad Irish accent, to get back at him. What goes around, comes around!
#6. The Hunger Games
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In the Hunger Games novel, a cat called Buttercup is hideous, has half an ear missing, and a muddy yellow coat. In the movie, however, Buttercup looks like a healthy, regular black and white cat.
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Fans were quick to complain about the adaptation, and author Suzanne Collins also complained in several interviews. This prompted the producers to recast the cat, to appease the fans and of course, Collins.
#5. Alien 3
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Sigourney Weaver, who starred in the Alien franchise as Ellen Ripley, foresaw that the movies were heading to disaster after a second sequel was in the works. She agreed to star in Alien 3, but with one request.
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Weaver demanded that her character die at the end of Alien 3, to put an end to her time in the franchise. The studio agreed, and that is why Ellen sacrifices herself by plunging into a fiery inferno.
#4. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
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In the first The Fast and the Furious movie, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) was supposed to be the center of a love triangle with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker).
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However, Rodriguez and Diesel both insisted that the love triangle be cut out, and got their way. The franchise earned a whopping $5 million worldwide, and the studio has certainly them to thank.
#3. The Island of Dr. Moureau
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If anyone could get away with crazy demands was Marlon Brando. And who could refuse them? When filming The Island of Dr. Moureau, Brando came up with a bunch of strange ideas for his character.
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He demanded that his character be allergic to the sun, covered in white makeup, wearing an ice bucket on his head, and that he always appear with an identically dressed little person. Yep, it was all his idea.
#2. The Outlaw Josey Wales
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Clint Eastwood is Hollywood royalty, and has always been difficult to work with. He clashed with Philip Kaufman, the original director of The Outlaw Josey Wales, and therefore got the director fired.
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Kaufman had already put significant work into the film, and the Director’s Guild of America tried to save him, but couldn’t. Due to this situation, the DGA instituted a rule which prevents anyone working on a film from firing the director and taking over their job. The rule is commonly known as the “Eastwood Rule“.
#1. The Avengers
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Originally, the scene following the near-defeat of the Chitauri was simply about Tony Stark asking “what’s next?” after being woken up by his comrades. But Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t keen on the line.
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Instead, he suggested that the Avengers have a little more banter, before Iron Man suggested they all go for shawarma. Everyone liked it so much, that a bonus scene of them eating was created.