15 Great Movies Improved by Last-Minute Changes

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON February 14th, 2019

Great Movies Improved by Last Minute Changes

When it comes to shooting movies, decisions varying from the script are bound to happen every now and then. In a few instances, few alterations are so significant that they become irrefutably responsible for vastly positive implications. Take a look at the 15 great movies improved by last minute changes:


15. X-Men (2000)

X Men 2000

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As much as Australian actor Hugh Jackman is synonymous with the mutant Wolverine, he was not originally considered for the role. Dougray Scott was initially hired for the part but he had to back out due to being busy shooting for Mission: Impossible 2.

Upon the suggestion of Russell Crowe – director Bryan Singer’s first choice for Wolverine – unknown actor Hugh Jackman was selected for the role. Despite having only two movie credits to his name at the time, Singer gave Jackman an opportunity to audition for Wolverine and subsequently realized that he was indeed perfect for the role.


14. Terminator 2 (1991)

Terminator 2 1991

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As a drastic contrast to James Cameron’s dark sci-fi action masterpiece, Terminator 2 surprisingly had a joyful bright ending which is set 30 years into the future – John Connor is a senator, an old Sarah Connor is tying her sweet granddaughter’s shoelaces and Judgement Day never happened.

The scene was even shot but director Cameron decided to remove it since he realized that the scene is entirely out of tone with the rest of the movie and does not give the franchise to have more sequels.


13. Rocky (1976)

Rocky 1976

One of the very few low-budget movies to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Rocky was the brainchild of Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone and demonstrates the audience to never give up. Ironically, that is exactly what almost happened at the end of the movie.

Original plans for the movie included boxing trainer Mickey Goldmill being a racist and Rocky intentionally losing his match against Apollo Creed after realizing that he really does not want to be a professional boxer. Thankfully, such ideas were wisely changed during shooting.


12. American History X (1998)

American History X 1998

After serving three years in prison and learning the error of his ways, Derek Vinyard leaves his neo-Nazi beliefs behind him. Though American History X ends with Derek mourning for his brother Danny after the latter is shot and killed by a black student in the school bathroom, there was supposed to be an eerie scene afterwards.

As Danny’s mother and sister grieve over their loss, the camera slowly pans inside a bathroom in which Derek has shaved his head again, looks at swastika tattoo on his left chest and pulls out a gun; reverting back to his white supremacist lifestyle. The studio rejected the idea since it completely nullified Derek’s inspirational journey to the righteous path.


11. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981

Overflowing with action sequences and dramatic tones, it was rather pleasant to see a hilarious scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark for a change. As a consequence for playing the demanding role of Indiana Jones that came with a hectic travelling schedule, Harrison Ford fell ill right before shooting a sword fighting scene.

The actor was supposed to engage in a cool sword fight and disarm his opponent with a whip but due to his health, Ford decided to improvise the scene. Instead of a sword fight, Jones cuts to the chase and calmly shoots the guy – resulting in one of the funniest moments of the franchise.


10. Shrek (2001)

Shrek 2001

The voice of the lovable ogre was originally voiced by comedian Chris Farley but he tragically passed away due to a drug overdose before he could record all of his dialogues. Mike Myers stepped forward as a replacement and the studio had to restart from scratch since he had to completely voice Shrek with his own voice.

As a result, fresher comedy gags began pouring in. Additionally, Myers voiced Shrek with a Canadian accent but would soon switch to a Scottish accent. The alteration worked wonders for the animated movie and even Steven Spielberg expressed his opinion to Myers about the Scottish accent improving the movie.


9. Se7en (1995)

Se7en 1995

The gritty, edgy ending of crime thriller movie Se7en has one of the memorable plot twists in cinematic history but it almost did not see the light of day. Instead of Detective David Mills shooting murderer John Doe for killing the former’s wife and having her severed head delivered to him inside a box, the original ending was a softer one.

New Line Cinema was distressingly against the gloomy ending and demanded to have it changed but director David Fincher and leading star Brad Pitt fought to keep the iconic scene from being removed.


8. American Beauty (1999)

American Beauty 1999

Nominated for eight Academy Awards and winning five including Best Picture, American Beauty almost had a distressing trial scene in which Jane Burnham and her boyfriend Ricky Fitts are falsely accused of murdering the former’s father, Lester Burnham.

The trial scenes were a half-hour-long but as per the suggestion of screenwriter Alan Ball, it was decided not to include it since it took attention away from leading star Kevin Spacey and hardly contributed towards the movie’s steady pacing.