10 Movies Actually Improved By Studio Interference

Because sometimes directors just need saving from themselves...

American History X
New Line Cinema

The meddling studio executive is one of Hollywood's biggest and most delightfully propagated tropes. The vision of a grey faceless suit telling an innovative filmmaker to compromise on their project is an image seared into the minds of many film fans whose favourite directors have been forced to unwillingly relent control to money men.

Cinematic history is littered with examples of studio executives forcing unneeded mass edits, making insane casting choices and even changing the entire plot of a films to create an absolute tonal mess (Suicide Squad anyone?). Even some of the greatest filmmakers of all-time are seemingly not immune to Hollywood's unyielding hand.

However, despite their overwhelmingly negative reputation, there are some examples of executives coming to the rescue of doomed productions and gently persuading filmmakers to reconsider their overly maverick style.

Whether it be preventing ridiculously long cuts, bizarre tonal decisions, or ill-judged endings, there is certainly a case to be made for a little bit of well-intentioned meddling every now and again.

So, if you've ever wondered why Ben Stiller berates the audience during the end credits of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, or why we never got to watch an incomprehensible 4-hour-long cut of Easy Rider, now is your chance to find out.

10. DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story

American History X
20th Century Fox

Despite being one of the most underrated sports parody films of all-time, 2004's DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story has become more well known for its retrospectively unfortunate Lance Armstrong cameo than its man versus corporate machine message.

However, the story behind its original ending is a classic example of well-intentioned meddling that ultimately created a better film. Initially, Vince Vaughn's team of losers reached the final, but were ultimately defeated and forced to leave the competition with nothing. However, after poor test screening responses, studio executives convinced director Rawson Marshall Thurber to allow the good guys to prevail.

In the ending of the released version of the film, after triumphing over Goodman in a sudden-death final, the team are awarded a treasure chest. The chest is amusingly marked 'deus ex machina' and conveniently contains enough cash for LaFleur to purchase a controlling stake in Globo Gym.

This change also led to a hilarious post-credit scene in which a now morbidly overweight Goodman appears, laments the simplistic ending, and tells the audience - "the problem with American cinema is it can't handle any complexity".


Student, part-time freelance writer, holder of many questionable opinions and impassioned hater of Lord Of The Rings (disagree? Find me on Twitter, @JoshSandy)