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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

12 items from 2017


Lord and Miller: 12 other directors who left/got fired from movies during production

21 June 2017 5:52 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Luke Owen looks at directors who left/got fired from movies during production…

With the shocking news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller have vacated the director’s chairs for the yet-to-be-titled Han Solo movie over “creative differences” (some sources say they were forced out), I thought it was time to look at some other directors who faced similar issues.

It’s no secret that making a tentpole movie for a studio is tricky. Duncan Jones has been very vocal as of late about the issues he had with last year’s Warcraft, and it was rumoured a few years ago that Gareth Edwards faced an uphill battle with Warner Bros. and Legendary on 2014’s Godzilla reboot. The 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie had its script re-written the weekend before production started with no input from the directors, who were then locked out of the editing room during post-production (they were eventually let back in).

Most of the time directors leave before production actually starts, and someone new is brought in. Edgar Wright left Ant-Man, Patty Jenkins left Thor: The Dark World, Rick Famuyiwa and Seth Grahame-Smith both left The Flash, Ben Affleck stepped down from The Batman, Stephen Herrick left Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; the list goes on. But very rarely does a director leave (or get fired) while the movie is in production. Usually if a studio loses faith in the director at that point, they would bring in someone else to “oversee” the movie and get it over the finish line. The aforementioned Godzilla saw this very occurrence, as did Mission: Impossible II when the legendary Stuart Baird was brought in to “fix” the movie Jon Woo originally helmed. Baird in fact has a long history with this, being a fixer on titles such as Superman: The Motion Picture, The Omen and Lethal Weapon.

There are still four or so weeks left on the Han Solo movie (plus the already planned reshoots), so let’s look back at a few other directors who left/got fired from their films.

The Wizard of Oz, 1939

It seems crazy to think that one of the most beloved movies of all-time had such a tumultuous production, but The Wizard of Oz in fact saw six different directors helm the movie. Norman Taurog originally shot test footage, but was quickly replaced with Richard Thorpe who shot for around two weeks when Taurog was moved to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Producer Mervyn LeRoy felt that Thorpe was rushing the production, and his short time on the film was probably not helped when original Tin Man Buddy Epsen was hospitalised after the metal make-up coated his lungs and left him on an Iron Lung.

None of Thorpe’s footage made it into the final cut (although he did shoot Dorothy’s first meeting Scarecrow and several scenes at The Wicked Witch’s castle), and George Cucker came in after Thorpe was fired. However, Cucker didn’t actually shoot any footage, and was there to simply oversee the plans to re-shoot all of Thorpe’s work until Victor Fleming came in. Although he was eventually the only credited director, Fleming left before production ended to film Gone with the Wind, and the shooting was finished by King Vidor and LeRoy.

Gone with the Wind, 1939

Speaking of Gone with the Wind, George Cucker had been developing the movie with producer David O. Selznick for around two years, but was removed from the project three weeks into production. According to reports, the decision to remove Cucker was Clark Gable’s and it angered fellow co-stars Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland who went to Selznick’s office to demand he be re-hired. In Cucker’s place was Victor Fleming, who shot the majority of the movie over ninety-three days (although Cucker was secretly coaching Leigh and Havilland behind the scenes). Fleming wasn’t the final name on the movie however, as he had to take a short break due to exhaustion and Sam Wood shot for around twenty-three days.

Spartacus, 1960

Although considered a Stanley Kubrick movie, he wasn’t the first name attached to Spartacus. After David Lean turned down the movie, it was offered to Anthony Mann who was then fired by star Kirk Douglas after just one week of production. According to Douglas in his autobiography, Mann was “scared” of the size and scope of Spartacus and wasn’t capable of finishing the film.

Superman II, 1980

Shooting for Superman II was done alongside Superman: The Motion Picture in 1977 with Richard Donner doing both films. However the film was under a lot of pressure, with overrunning schedules and budget, which producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler attributed to Donner. After everything was shot for Superman: The Motion Picture, Superman II was placed on hiatus. Once Superman: The Motion Picture was an instant hit, the producers brought in Richard Lester to replace Donner on Superman II and shoot around the footage already filmed. Why Lester replaced Donner is still up for debate. Spengler has claimed that Donner was asked to come back but refused, while Donner claims he only found out Superman II was getting underway when he received a fax from the Salkinds telling him his services weren’t required.

The cast and crew did not take the replacement lightly, with creative consultants Tom Mankiewicz and editor Stuart Baird refusing to return for the sequel, along with Gene Hackman who was replaced with a body double. Although Marlon Brando had already shot everything for both movies, he successfully sued the Salkinds who then cut him out of the sequel. Years later, Warner Bros. released the Richard Donner cut of Superman II on home video as Superman II: The Donner Cut.

Piranha II: The Spawning, 1981

Piranha II was originally set to be directed by Roger Corman graduate Miller Drake, who envisioned a version of the movie which saw the return of Kevin McCarthy (who died in the original film). Drake was then replaced with James Cameron who was working on the film’s special effects department, and he then re-wrote the script under the pseudonym H.A. Milton. However around two weeks into production, Cameron was fired by producer Ovidio G. Assonitis who felt he wasn’t doing a good enough job. Assonitis wouldn’t let Cameron review any of the footage he’d shot during his time on the movie, and was even making all of the day-to-day decisions.

A regularly reported story was that Cameron broke into the editing room while the producers were in Cannes to cut his version of the movie, which was then re-cut by Assonitis. “Then the producer wouldn’t take my name off the picture because [contractually] they couldn’t deliver it with an Italian name,” Cameron said in a 1991 La Times interview. “So they left me on, no matter what I did. I had no legal power to influence him from Pomona, California, where I was sleeping on a friend’s couch. I didn’t even know an attorney. In actual fact, I did some directing on the film, but I don’t feel it was my first movie.”

WarGames, 1983

WarGames began life as a very different movie titled The Genius in 1979 about a much older gentlemen, but this changed when writers Walter F. Parkes and Lawrence Lasker discovered a large youth-movement in the computer world, who would later be known as hackers. The character of David Lightman (played by Matthew Broderick) was even modeled after hacking enthusiast David Scott Lewis.

When the film went into production it was being helmed by Martin Brest who was then removed from the movie 12-days into shooting after a disagreement with the producers. In his place was John Badham, whose first act was to lighten the tone of the movie. “[Brest had] taken a somewhat dark approach to the story, and saw Matthew’s character as someone who was rebelling against his parents, and who was just kind of stewing inside,” he told The Hollywood Interview in 2009. “There was that tone to it. I said ‘If I was 16 and could get on a computer and change my grades or my girlfriend’s grades, I would be peeing in my pants with excitement!’ And the way it was shot, it was like they were doing some Nazi undercover thing. So it was my job to make it seem like they were having fun, and that it was exciting, but it wasn’t this dark rebellion.” »

- Luke Owen

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Exclusive Portraits, Audio: Ed Asner, TV Icon & Character Actor

25 May 2017 9:02 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – When Mary Tyler Moore passed away in January, it was another reminder of her groundbreaking 1970s TV series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” One of her co-stars – who portrayed bossman Lou Grant, and made his own mark in TV and movies thereafter – was Ed Asner. The actor appeared at “The Hollywood Show.”

Ed Asner at The Hollywood Show in March of 2017

Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Edward Asner was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He began his acting career in the Army, touring in plays while in the Signal Corp. He attended the University of Chicago, and joined an early version of The Second City troupe, the Playwrights Theatre Company of Chicago (Asner is considered a Second City alumni). He was a consummate character actor in the 1960s, appearing in such diverse series as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Route 66,” “The Untouchables,” “The Outer Limits, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

22 May 2017 9:48 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill »

- Carmel Dagan

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Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

22 May 2017 9:48 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill has evoked instant recognition and elegant associations »

- Carmel Dagan

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Michael Giacchino Wants To Score The Batman, Has The Right Connections To Make It Happen

5 May 2017 3:48 PM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

Michael Giacchino is one of the best composers working in Hollywood today, with an Oscar win for his work on Up. Though you may not recognize, or be able to pronounce the name, you've likely heard Giacchino's themes. He's been Pixar's go-to guy for years, he's done two Mission: Impossible scores, and he's responsible for perhaps the best theme of the millennium in the new Star Trek films. He's the apparent heir to John Williams, starting in Star Wars videogames and moving on to do the score for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as well as continuing Williams' classic music in Jurassic World. Giacchino's superhero experience is also impressive; he's not only worked on The Incredibles, but also composed music for Doctor Strange and this July's Spider-Man: Homecoming

Even after composing the music for Star Wars, Star Trek, the Jurassic Park franchise, and Spider-Man, there's still a crown jewel »

- Nick Doll

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Biography Reboot Headed to A&E

21 March 2017 10:39 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

A revamped Biography is poised to tell a bunch of new stories at the place that made it famous. 

The non-fiction series will return to A&E, the basic cable network where it was once a staple, A&E announced Tuesday.

This revamped Biography “will focus on the most meaningful moments in our culture from some of the most accomplished non-fiction storytellers of our time,” the network says in the official release.

RelatedLeah Remini’s Scientology Exposé Renewed at A&E: ‘I Need to Continue’

During its lengthy, initial A&E run, Biography chronicled figures from history and pop culture. »

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‘Biography’ Franchise Returns as Event Programming Across A+E Networks Channels (Exclusive)

21 March 2017 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

A+E Networks is reviving one of the programming franchises that built the company into a cable powerhouse: “Biography.”

The series that once defined A&E Network will be revived starting in the spring as a recurring program tied to current headlines, milestone anniversaries and newly unearthed material about famous names.

The new-model “Biography” will air in various formats, from multi-part series to two-hour specials. The installments will primarily air on A&E Network but some will run on History and Lifetime as warranted by the subject matter. As part of the revival, A+E’s existing Bio.com digital content hub will receive a major overhaul, adding more video content and resources to coincide with new installments.

Among the docu productions ordered for the relaunch is a six-hour series examing the life and death of Tupac Shakur, a two-hour take on the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. (aka Christopher Wallace), and a four-hour look at the »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Stanley Kallis, TV Producer of ‘Hawaii Five-o,’ ‘Mission: Impossible,’ Dies at 88

10 February 2017 6:24 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Television producer and writer Stanley Kallis, who worked on shows including “Hawaii Five-o” and “Mission: Impossible,” died at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. on Jan. 28.

He helped develop the concept for “Hawaii 5-0” for CBS with writer Leonard Freeman, then moved to producing “Mission: Impossible” with Peter Graves and Martin Landau before returning to “Hawaii 5-0” as executive producer.

His next show as producer was “Police Story,” created by Joseph Wambaugh, which won the Emmy for drama series in 1976. In the late 70s, Kallis produced  “Washington Behind Closed Doors,” a mini-series for ABC that won seven Emmy nominations. »

- Pat Saperstein

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Stanley Kallis, Emmy-Winning Producer on Gritty NBC Series 'Police Story,' Dies at 88

10 February 2017 10:16 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - TV News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - TV News news »

Stanley Kallis, an Emmy-winning producer who worked on the classic television dramas Hawaii 5-0, Mission: Impossible and Police Story, has died. He was 88.

Kallis died Jan. 28 at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif., his family announced.

Kallis culminated three straight years of Emmy nominations for outstanding drama series by winning in 1976 for his work on NBC's Police Story, the gritty anthology drama created by real-life Lapd cop Joseph Wambaugh.

He also received noms for producing the 1977 ABC miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors, based on a book by John Ehrlichman, and the 1980 telefilm Amber Waves, starring »

- Mike Barnes

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Stanley Kallis, Emmy-Winning Producer on Gritty NBC Series 'Police Story,' Dies at 88

10 February 2017 10:16 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Stanley Kallis, an Emmy-winning producer who worked on the classic television dramas Hawaii 5-0, Mission: Impossible and Police Story, has died. He was 88.

Kallis died Jan. 28 at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif., his family announced.

Kallis culminated three straight years of Emmy nominations for outstanding drama series by winning in 1976 for his work on NBC's Police Story, the gritty anthology drama created by real-life Lapd cop Joseph Wambaugh.

He also received noms for producing the 1977 ABC miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors, based on a book by John Ehrlichman, and the 1980 telefilm Amber Waves, starring »

- Mike Barnes

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William Shatner joins My Little Pony

5 February 2017 11:54 PM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Rob Leane Feb 6, 2017

Further revealing his inner Brony, the legendary William Shatner has signed up for a My Little Pony role...

"Is it true you might do voice work for [My Little Pony season 7]? I'm actually a big fan of you", a Twitter user named BeaatModeBrony5 politely asked William Shatner a few days ago. 

See related  Marvel's Iron Fist: the full trailer Daredevil season 3: Vincent D’Onofrio mulls Fisk's return Marvel's Luke Cage season 2 confirmed by Netflix Marvel's The Defenders: more images arrive

The Star Trek legend's response was simple: "Already did."

"I'm a brony and friendship is magic", Shatner wrote in an earlier Tweet, which instigated the rumour that he's jumping on board the Hasbro series. Now, it seems to be confirmed.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is the latest incarnation of the show. Its seventh season is expected early this year. There's also My Little Pony: The Movie, which is coming in October. »

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The Internecine Project

6 January 2017 1:15 PM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

The Internecine Project

Blu-ray

Kino Lorber Classics

1974 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 89 min. / Street Date January 3, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: James Coburn, Lee Grant, Harry Andrews, Ian Hendry, Michael Jayston, Christiane Krüger, Keenan Wynn, Julian Glover.

Cinematography: Geoffrey Unsworth

Film Editor: John Shirley

Original Music: Roy Budd

Written by: Barry Levinson, Jonathan Lynn from a book by Mort W. Elkind

Produced by: Barry Levinson

Directed by Ken Hughes

 

Don’t let the ugly Italian poster art on the disc box throw you — The Internecine Project is a clever plot-driven murder tale in an espionage vein that gathers a string of B+ stars from the early 1970s for ninety minutes of suspense. It’s not the kind of suspense that makes you wonder what’s going to happen next, but the kind that points to a finish that we know will employ a big surprise, a killer-diller last-minute twist. Or three.

The »

- Glenn Erickson

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

12 items from 2017


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