9) Fantastic Four
This one’s a good recent example of why reshoots aren’t always necessarily a good idea. Both Fantastic Four director Josh Trank and the film’s star Toby Kebbell have insisted that Trank’s original version of the film was, respectively, “fantastic” and “great,” albeit “much darker.” Still, regardless of how good Trank’s original version was, 20th Century Fox wanted reshoots.
The result of the mish-mash, of Trank’s vision and the new scenes, was not good. You can see just which is Trank’s more mature comic book movie and which are the slapdash studio-mandated reshoots: Add to the nonsensical storyline the cast reading their (woeful) lines as if they have guns at their backs, some unfinished third-act effects and – worst of all – Kate Mara’s horrendous wig (required after Mara had cut her hair following the initial shoot) – and you have what ultimately ended up being a pretty horrible film.
No movie on this list went through changes quite like Woody Allen’s “filmed play” September. After the shoot was over, the whole film was redone from top to bottom, “rethought and rewritten,” with Allen making a whole new second version from extensive reshoots. The most notable difference was the cast, as Allen replaced many of the original actors with a set of new ones.
Originally, the film starred Sam Shepard, Maureen O’Sullivan and Charles Durning. After Allen saw the original version he’d originally shot, he went at it again with a new script, replacing Shepard with Sam Waterston, O’Sullivan with Elaine Stritch and Durning with Denholm Elliott. Even after the second version of September was released, Allen was still keen to revamp it a third time.
7) World War Z
Unnecessary reshoots can damage perfectly good movies, but sometimes films in crisis can also be saved by entirely re-thinking the project after it’s already been shot. So it went for World War Z, Marc Forster’s zombie epic, which at first ended with a buzz-killing final third set in Russia rather than the small-scale, Wales-set climax of the theatrical cut.
Originally, World War Z‘s last act found Brad Pitt’s Gerry as one of a squad of slave soldiers fighting off the zombie horde in wintry Moscow, one-armed Israeli combatant Segen taken as a prostitute for the Russian elite, and Gerry’s wife held captive by Matthew Fox’s Pararescueman. Somewhat predictably, Pitt and Forster found this section of the film too heavy for a 12A blockbuster, opting to scrap it and replace it with the sequence set at the WHO facility.