The making of a film involves the effort of many different people who have many different roles. Directors, scriptwriters, producers, distributors, and actors must leave their differences aside and work together in order for the film to thrive. But sadly, this is not always the case, as sometimes the film crew and cast members fail to come to terms with each other. Here’s a list of 21 behind-the-scenes fights that have altered either the plot or the direction of your favorite films and TV shows!
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#21. Once Upon A Time In America
Directed by Sergio Leone, Once Upon a Time in America is one of the greatest gangster films ever made. But while most of you are probably familiar with the plot, what I’m sure you didn’t know is that the making of this film was highly controversial.
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While the film’s original running time was 229 minutes, the distributors put their foot down and chose to cut nearly half of the film, editing it down to 139 minutes. Also, while scriptwriter Leonardo Benvenuti had written the story in a non-linear way, the distributors turned it into a chronological tale. Leone and Benvenuti were outraged, and you should know that the original version is also available… that is, if you don’t mind the four-hour length!
#20. American History X
Tony Kaye’s directorial debut American History X is one of the greatest cult films out there, but the making of the film experienced endless conflicts. Apparently, Kaye wasn’t too fond of Ed Norton’s acting skills but didn’t find anyone else for the role. However, after the shooting of the film, Kaye handed over to the studio a 96-minute version where many of Norton’s scenes had been deleted.
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When Norton and the studio made him several questions regarding the deleted scenes, Kaye became furious and lost his senses. He left the room and even asked for his name to be removed from the project, but the studio refused to accept such a request.
#19. Alien 3
David Fincher rose to fame as a music video director but delved into the Hollywood Industry in 1992, when he made his directorial debut in Alien 3. However, his experience was so terrible that he promised himself never to direct any movie again.
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But what was the fuss all about? It appears to be that Fincher and some of the studio executives had differences regarding some creative aspects of the film. The studio asked Fincher to rewrite parts of the script over and over again. Such was Fincher’s indignation with the final result that he decided to disown the film.
#18. The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air
The behind-the-scenes feuds do not always involve directors, but sometimes involve the actors! Such was the case with the comedy-drama TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, the show which rose Will Smith to stardom.
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Will Smith and Janet Hubert – who played Vivian – were far from friends, as they had a neverending feud ever since the first season. During the first three months of shooting, they would continually fight behind-the-scenes, to the point in which the casting director decided to fire Hubert. The scriptwriters had to make a few changes to the storyline after that decision, although Hubert’s character re-appeared a few episodes later, now played by Daphne Reid.
#17. All The Pretty Horses
All the Pretty Horses is a famous 2000 western film that originally lasted 4 hours. Similar to the case of Once Upon a Time in America, the director Billy Bob Thompson and producer Harvey Weinstein argued over what the film’s final length should be.
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As you may imagine, Weinstein won the battle, as the final version of the film lasts no more than two hours. However, this wasn’t the only change introduced by Weinstein. Apart from cutting half of the scenes, he also replaced the movie’s original score made by Daniel Lanois.
Familiar with the iconic sitcom Community? Well, it may come as a shock that such a hilarious TV show had such tense dynamics behind the scenes. The sitcom’s creator, Dan Harmon, and one of the actors, Chevy Chase, had poor chemistry.
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According to Harmon, Chase would always leave the set as soon as something bothered him, and one day he got so furious at him that they picked up a fight in front of Chase’s daughter and wife. A few days later, the actor left Harmon a rather aggressive voicemail which went viral, causing the producer to fire Chase from the show. But he was one of the most important characters on the show, so the scriptwriters were forced to improvise a plot twist.
#15. Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210 was one of the greatest teen dramas of the 90s, and it appears to be that the cast members were all about the drama in real life too. According to most of the show’s crew, Shannen Doherty was quite hard to work with, and her diva personality sparked quite a few conflicts throughout the years.
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Apparently, Doherty would always whine about the pettiest things, and one day, the straw that broke the camel was the time she cut her hair right when they were halfway through the final season, without even asking the director. Producer Larry Mollin and the show’s creators decided to fire her after that event.
#14. Blade Runner
Blade Runner may be considered a cult classic today, but back when the film was released, it tanked at the box office. Apparently, director Ridley Scott wanted to add an unpredictable twist for the movie’s ending by hinting that Harrison’s Ford character was actually a Replicant. However, such an idea sparked quite a controversy.
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To begin with, Ford himself didn’t like the idea even one bit. Little did Scott care about this, since he shot the scenes anyway and tried to leave the ending his way. Ford wasn’t ready to give up, though, so he went to speak with the studio about the issue. The studio took Ford’s side and chose to cut the scenes that Scott had added. If you wanna check out Scott’s ending, you should know that the deleted scenes have been added in his 1992 Director’s Cut.
#13. Growing Pains
Out of all the behind-the-scenes feuds in this list, this may be the most surreal one of all. Kirk Cameron played a womanizer in the comedy TV series Growing Pains, but he was a conservative Christian in real life. And believe it or not, his religious beliefs ended up causing unexpected conflicts.
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The quarrel began when Cameron’s co-star, Julie McCullough, posed for Playboy. Cameron was infuriated and demanded the studio to fire her, but this only caused greater tension among the production crew. Unbelievably, McCullough ended up being fired towards the end of the first season, which forced to make some changes to the original script.
#12. Fantastic Four
When the superhero film Fantastic Four finished being shot, a feud broke out between director Josh Trank and the movie studio Fox. The studio wasn’t completely satisfied with Trank’s final cut, so they chose to re-shoot several scenes.
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The film was criticized by critics and flopped at the box office, and according to the director, it was all thanks to the scenes that the studio deleted. However, many crew members spoke out against Tank, claiming he would always insult the cast members.
#11. Heaven’s Gate
The drama film Heaven’s Gate went down in history as the movie that nearly sent United Artists to bankruptcy and it’s safe to say that it ruined the director Michael Cimino’s career. According to the crew members, he was pretty hard to work with, as he used over 30 takes for every scene.
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The director’s maniac character was mirrored in the fact that he changed the locks of the editing room during the post-production process. His final cut was 5 and a half hours long, and obviously, the studio rejected his final version, chopping it down to 2 and a half hours. It comes as no surprise that the film tanked at the box office… imagine if the 6-hour director’s cut would’ve made it to the theaters!
#10. Gossip Girl
Is there any doubt that Gossip Girl is one of the best teen dramas ever made? I think not! If you’re a fan just like me, then you probably remember the key role played by actress and musician Taylor Momsen in the show’s first seasons.
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However, it turns out that Momsen began skipping out on production due to her band rehearsals, and rumors began to spread that she would always complain about the revealing outfits of her fictional character. As the producers made the scriptwriters downgrade her on the show.
#9. Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy is one of the greatest medical dramas out there, and it turns out that the show’s behind-the-scenes was just as dramatic as its plot. Apparently, most of the fights involved actor Isaiah Washington, who was pretty hard to work with.
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According to other cast members, he once used a homophobic insult during a fight with his co-star T.R. Knight. This, in turn, raised tensions between the actor and the producers, until they decided to fire him from the show. Towards the end of Season 4, his character was written off the show.
Many millennials might not know this, but way before Bruce Willis became an A-list action star, he was on a drama TV series called Moonlighting. Those of you who are familiar with the show, ever wondered why it was canceled after 4 seasons?
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Apparently, the feud between actor Bruce Willis and co-star Cybil Shepherd had lots to do with it. The two hated each other and would scream at each other during most of the takes. At some point, the producers were no longer willing to put up with their quarrels.
#7. Desperate Housewives
Very few shows had so much drama behind the scenes as Desperate Housewives. Apparently, all the lead actresses hated each other and would always complain about the others’ screen time and magazine covers.
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However, in spite of their differences, what they shared was their dislike towards the showrunner Marc Cherry. The one who was least fond of him was secondary actress Nicollette Sheridan, and when she was written off the show, she sued Cherry and the production crew. The lawsuit was dismissed, but this fight went down in history.
#6. The Island Of Dr. Moreau
In 1966, Van Kilmer and Marlon Brando co-starred in the horror-sci-fi film The Island of Dr. Moreau, but there was bad chemistry between them. Apparently, Kilmer had a sober attitude onset and even refused to play many of the scenes, sparking a feud not only with his co-star but with director Richard Stanley too.
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In fact, Stanley found Kilmer so unbearable that he quit the production and was replaced by John Frankenheimer. Many years later, this feud was represented in the documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau.
#5. Criminal Minds
Thomas Gibson is most famous for being one of the lead characters of the suspense show Criminal Minds, but to the fans’ surprise, he was fired on Season 11 due to a feud with one of the scriptwriters.
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Apparently, during the shooting of one of the episodes which Gibson himself directed, he got into a heated argument with the writer over creative aspects, until Gibson kicked him and stormed out. As a result, Gibson was written off the script for just two episodes, but just a few weeks later, he was fired and written off the show for good.
#4. The Incredible Hulk
The superhero film The Incredible Hulk was a major box office success, but the making of the film was quite a pain. Lead actor Ed Norton and Marvel Studios got into a huge fight during the production of the film, mainly because Norton would keep insisting that there were many flaws to the script.
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To everyone’s surprise, the feud between Norton and the studio is the reason why he was recast during the following films of the franchise, and that’s why Mark Ruffalo is the one who plays the Hulk in The Avengers and the other follow-ups.
#3. Charlie’s Angels
Bill Murray has a reputation for being unkind onset, but in Charlie’s Angels, he took things too far. Apparently, he picked up a fight with co-star Lucy Liu and screamed to her “What in the hell are you doing here? You can’t act!“.
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Liu reacted by punching him, and director McGinty Nicol took Liu’s side. The director revealed that the actor had also reacted aggressively towards him, and that’s why he chose to recast his role for the second installment of the franchise, bestowing the character upon Bernie Mac.
#2. Power Rangers
Who would’ve thought that the filming of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was so problematic! David Yost played the Blue Ranger for more than 200 episodes, but he left the show due to alleged homophobic slurs against him.
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According to the actor, he was a victim of harassment and acts of homophobia from producers, writers, and even directors. “Basically, I just felt like I was continually being told I was not worthy of being where I am because I’m a gay person“, he said.
#1. Two And A Half Men
The sitcom Two and a Half Men was a whopping success during its initial seasons, but nobody expected that it would soon pave the way to one of the greatest feuds in TV history. Just when producers were starting to become unhappy with Charlie Sheen and his conduct problems, the actor demanded a significant raise, but they decided to fire him instead.
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In fact, such was the animosity between Sheen and the rest of the show that the writers killed off his character twice. The first time, he was hit by a train, and in the season finale, they revealed he was alive but was later crushed by a falling piano.