Movies can make some wild stuff happen on our screens but sometimes it all gets a bit too much - for the audience, advertisers, or the filmmakers themselves.
There are also less obvious groups operating behind the scenes compelled to intervene for the sake of their own reputations. The CIA, FBI, and US military, for example, are often asked to "advise" on productions, which results in script changes. Plus, of course, the studio heads themselves are sometimes moved to step in to stop their pesky creatives from pushing ideas that undermining their vision of the world.
So what happened when they tried to show a flying dinosaur take on a military jet in Jurassic Park? Can a giant, man-eating plant live happily ever after? How would Julia Roberts feel about a trip to Disneyland after getting dumped in Pretty Woman? And should a nuclear war film end in a pie fight?
10. "Nasty Conspiracies" In Tears Of The Sun
This Bruce Willis movie depicts him leading a team of Navy Seals rescuing people from war-torn Nigeria. It was the first to shoot aboard the USS Harry S Truman and the production was loaned SH-60 Seahawk helicopters and F/A-18 Hornet jet fighters. Internal DOD documents explain that, ‘After lengthy script negotiations,’ they managed, ‘to increase military realism [and] to prevent the depiction of the US government as complicit in nasty conspiracies overseas.’
These ‘nasty conspiracies’ likely relate to information found in two documentaries - Cry Freetown about Sierra Leone, and Delta Force about Nigeria. Both had been watched enthusiastically by director Antoine Fuqua. The latter film focuses on the role of Shell Oil—the corporation behind half the wealth of the Nigerian dictatorship—in polluting the land of the country’s poorest citizens.
When peaceful protests erupted in response, the government responded violently and, at times, fatally. One scene in the Delta Force documentary draws on eye witness accounts to indicate that the government had used heavy weaponry on some communities and then blamed it all on local ethnic in-fighting.