10 Genius Times Studios Beat The Film Director

New Line Cinema let Edward Norton take over post-production on American History X.

American History X Edward Norton
New Line Cinema

Making even the simplest, most basic movie is extremely hard - the result of intense collaboration between hundreds or even thousands of people to get the job done.

And more than anything, it represents a creative tug-of-war between filmmakers simply trying to put their vision out into the world, and producers and studio executives more concerned about the business-end of the deal.

This often requires directors to get creative in order to get their own way, but to the same token, sometimes the studio employs sneaky chicanery to ensure things turn out how they want.

As much as one is naturally inclined to side with an artist over the people signing the cheques, you nevertheless have to give credit where it's due - in the case of these 10 movies, the studios did something very smart to get their way.

From offering a director a tricky ultimatum to convincing them to work for free upfront or even cutting ties with them at an incredibly opportune time, with regard to these 10 filmmakers the studios knew precisely how to manipulate them and come out on top...

10. Letting Tarantino Keep The Anime Sequence If He Split The Film In Two - Kill Bill

American History X Edward Norton

Harvey Weinstein may be an awful human being for many reasons, but as the co-founder of studio Miramax he was also an extremely shrewd and successful businessman.

Weinstein earned the nickname "Harvey Scissorhands" around Hollywood for his tendency to insist upon ruthless cuts to movies, but when it came to Quentin Tarantino and Kill Bill, he came up with an altogether smarter solution that gave everyone what they wanted.

Originally, Tarantino shot Kill Bill as a single film from his hefty 197-page script, but during editing it became clear that the film was running too long.

And so, Weinstein presented Tarantino with a choice - either cut "unnecessary" scenes like the iconic animated origin story for O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), or agree to split the film into two parts and include everything he wants.

It's admittedly a plan that only really worked because Tarantino was a name director coming off a huge six-year absence between movies, and so audiences were absolutely thirsty for more from him.

If Tarantino wasn't a name commodity, Weinstein would've surely just hacked Kill Bill to pieces.

Yet this way, Tarantino was able to retain his artistic integrity while Weinstein got two box office hits for the price of one, with the duology grossing over $330 million globally against a combined $60 million budget.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.