8 Movies That Were Changed AFTER They Were Released

Remember that time when Disney was accidentally racist?

E T guns
DreamWorks

While it's always best for a movie to be planned out to the letter and to have an organised and efficient shoot, the most important part of the filmmaking process is easily the edit.

Good editing can mask a continuity gaffe, diminish the impact of a bad performance, or even turn a meandering scene into a rapid-fire sequence of punchy one-liners. Because of how rewarding editing can be, it's no surprise that filmmakers love tinkering with their projects for months on end - so much so that they can occasionally continue to tinker even after their movies have been screened to the public.

Maybe they want to change a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, or maybe they want to chop huge chunks of footage from their movie after receiving a poor reaction to the first cut. Or, maybe it's not even up to the director, and some sort of outside controversy or internal conflict requires certain edits to be made.

Whatever the case - while these post-release changes didn't significantly alter the films in question - it's fun to think that a lot of people out there saw the original, untouched versions of these movies, before they were taken back to the edit bay for a final snip.

8. Chow Yun-Fat's Role Was Cut In Half (Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End)

E T guns
Disney

The Chinese market is an important pillar for any blockbuster movie looking to rake in the big bucks. If a movie is able to "crack" that country, then there's an army of avid moviegoers there who can add anything from $290 million (Aquaman) to $600 million (Avengers: Endgame) to a movie's overall gross.

And since studio executives really, really love the smell of money, it's not unheard of for movies to try and appease Chinese censors in order to secure a release there, or even tailor the content of the film specifically towards Chinese audiences. We've seen practices like these a lot lately, but even as far back as 2007's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, movies have been tweaked and edited with the sole intention of drawing the most money from the Chinese market.

The swashbuckling threequel featured Asian actor Chow Yun-fat as Sao Feng, a Pirate Lord. In the version of the film that was released in the USA and UK in May 2007, the character has roughly 20 minutes of screentime, but this cut was heavily edited to reduce that time significantly, just in time for the movie's Chinese launch in June.

Chinese censors slashed Yun-fat's role in half, giving him only ten minutes of onscreen action. This decision was made because the Sao Feng character was described as "vilifying and defacing the Chinese", with his grizzled, sinister appearance not exactly making him look like the friendliest of chaps.

In the end, the film made just $16 million in China, so securing a release there didn't really matter too much anyway.

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Video editor and writer WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.