10 Risky Film Moments Directors Thought They'd Lose You

Fincher knew he was taking a HUGE gamble.

Birds Of Prey Margot Robbie
Warner Bros.

Making a movie is so much more than just writing it, shooting it, and releasing it - it's also having faith that audiences will be willing to go along for the ride.

And so, it's little surprise that filmmakers often find themselves embattled during post-production as they consider whether a risky scene might be a little too out-there for its own good.

These 10 movie scenes, all challenging cinematic moments to execute in their own right, left directors battling against the studio and in turn wondering whether they would actually fare well with mainstream audiences at all.

After all, no matter how critically acclaimed a movie might end up, studios are generally hoping for their releases to score well with the most casual quarters of the audience above all else, ensuring strong word-of-mouth and easy box office success.

With these moments, the directors knew that no matter how much they loved these tricky scenes, they were facing an uphill struggle to win over both the studio and general viewers.

Thankfully in most cases these films ended up solid hits regardless, or in the very least went on to enjoy cult fandom post-release...

10. The Dog's Death - John Wick

Birds Of Prey Margot Robbie

The instigating incident in the John Wick franchise is the death of the titular assassin's (Keanu Reeves) beagle puppy Daisy, who was a parting gift from his late wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan).

And yet despite being such a pivotal aspect of the movie, directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch had to fight hard against the studio to include it, amid fears that a dog's death would place an overwhelming dampener on the action flick's entertainment value.

According to writer Derek Kolstad, Lionsgate wanted to cut Daisy out of the film entirely and focus on Wick coming out of retirement.

Stahelski, Leitch, and Kolstad fought the studio throughout production, though it wasn't until the film was test-screened that the trio knew for sure the scene's inclusion wasn't a mistake. Kolstad said:

"There was this pushback and pushback from all different angles until that first screening. We were watching the audience. As soon as the dog died, and seeing their reaction, and then seeing the siege in house, we were like, 'Yep, we were right.'"

Killing off an adorable dog is always a huge risk in any movie, and there was definitely the potential for it to seem emotionally manipulative in a straight-up genre film like this, but thanks to some unexpectedly sensitive direction, it only accentuated Wick's character arc. Kolstad put it perfectly himself:

"Without that dog connection and without that underlying soul and the heartbeat of that character, and also the levity it brings the character and the levity it brings the humor, it was key."


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.