Losing the Director: When Has It Happened Before?

Losing the Director: When Has It Happened Before?

When a director is fired from working on a movie, what is the end result?
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It was widely reported that Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired by Lucasfilm over creative differences on the upcoming untitled Han Solo Star Wars spin-off, and were replaced by Lucasfilm alumni Ron Howard. Earlier in the year, Zack Snyder stepped down from directing Justice League and Joss Whedon came in to take over – though in Snyder's case, he wasn't fired, but had to leave the project because of personal reasons. However, Whedon is directing the already planned reshoots and additional scenes, whereas Lord and Miller still had at least three weeks of filming left, plus the reshoots. Now, we are not entirely sure what Ron Howard will be doing, be it going back to the start and filming everything, redoing some scenes, or even just picking up where they left off. This is not unprecedented, as there have been several occasions where a director is fired and replaced with someone who will do what the studio wants. From famous movies to box office bombs, this has happened many times before and will happen again – and the best examples come from two very different superhero movies, made in two different eras.

Most notably, Superman II was being filmed within the same timeframe as Superman in 1977. The intention was to release the two movies a year apart, so that there would be as little of a gap between them as possible. However, Richard Donner, who was set to direct the two, was constantly under the review of the producers, and when Donner was going too far over budget, a relatively unknown Richard Lester was brought in to help guide production. As time was starting to run out, as the effects needed to be completed, Donner was instructed to focus more on the first film and pick up on the second one after the first one came out. He did so, but not without some footage already being shot for the sequel – including all the scenes involving Marlon Brando. When Superman came out in December 1978, it was a massive success, revitalizing the character and proving another Superman film would be profitable. It is still unknown why exactly Donner was fired, with different people giving different stories, but when production resumed on Superman II, Richard Lester was completely in charge, scrapping much of the 75% of the Donner footage. This caused a massive fallout with several actors, such as Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman – Hackman refused to return for reshoots, partially due to another commitment and the whole “we fired the director because we could” reason, and was replaced with a body double. Brando, however, sued the producers over the change and received a massive cut of the profits from Superman. For petty revenge, Brando's character was completely cut and never even mentioned again in the following three films – his scenes were later restored for the 2006 Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, which took the completed Donner footage and selected other scenes from the 1980 Lester cut, forming what many have said to be a vastly superior film. It should also be mentioned that John Williams could not return to compose the music, as he was committed to another 1980 project, The Empire Strikes Back, and that Richard Donner's wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, went on to produce the Marvel Comics X-Men series of films.

More recently, there was the controversial production on the 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four. After the highly praised found footage film Chronicle, the film's director, Josh Trank, was being courted for several projects in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Marvel had cemented themselves as one of the most successful film companies in the world, having completed “Phase One” of the MCU. 20th Century Fox, who owned and produced the X-Men franchise, was running out of time on the contract involving the rights to Marvel's “First Family,” the Fantastic Four – and doing a sequel was practically out, as Chris Evans was now portraying Captain America in the MCU. To keep rights, they put a full reboot of their 2005-2007 films into production, hiring Josh Trank to direct, and write the script along with Simon Kinberg and Jeremy Slater. The script was rumored to have the planet eater Galactus as the main villain (not unlike 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer), but the studio wanted something smaller – so rewrites were done, following the studio's demands. Once production began, however, Trank saw that he was not hired to actually direct, but do what the studio said to do and just call “action” and “cut.” This led to him constantly fighting with lead actor Miles Teller, reportedy destroying a hotel room, and showing up to the set drunk. During filming, the script's ending was rewritten, and Fox executives felt the film was too much like Chronicle (which was why they hired him in the first place), so they ordered extensive reshoots without Trank, bringing in Simon Kinberg. Kinberg was not credited, and his role has been downplayed to the point of it even being debatable whether or not he directed it, or it being somebody else (Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn are the other rumored names).The original Josh Trank cut was also heavily edited, removing entire storylines and dramatic moments, and bringing the runtime to just over an hour and a half. As reviews came in for the film in early August 2015, it was hovering around an 8% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, some saying it was even worse than Catwoman or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Trank said on Twitter that he did once have a “fantastic” version of the film, and made it very clear that he did not like the final product. Actor Toby Kebbell, who portrayed Doctor Doom in the movie, backed up Trank's statement. Recently, more rumors are coming out about yet another Fantastic Four reboot, though there is a relatively large fan movement to get the characters returned to Marvel for use in film, or a deal not unlike Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Like with any job, directors can be fired for whatever reason – though more often than not, it's because they aren't working well with the executives. Sometimes that can work out – Superman II was not a bad movie by any means, but then again, there's the completely inconsistent Fantastic Four. We really won't know what is going to be the end result of the untitled Han Solo movie, but it's not like they got just anyone to come in – Ron Howard is a talented filmmaker and has said he wants to work with what Lord and Miller had, then do what he feels is best after. Which really, is the best way to do it. Instead of scrapping the previous director's work, see what they did that was great, and fix what wasn't. That way they aren't just pretending that footage was never made, but being able to take the two and make a good product. Until 2018, we won't know, but we can at least hope.




Cover Image Credit: Lucasfilm

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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The 2020 Election: The Democratic Party Part 1

We all have the duty of becoming politically conscious in order to wisely act on the crucial decision that lies ahead of us in the very near future. In this unbiased, multi-part series you'll be able to get a brief look into both the 2020 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

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The race for the 2020 presidential election is on the rise as 24 Democrats and 2 Republicans have been officially confirmed as potential candidates. Ranging from California to New York, we may recognize "big names" such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, however, it's important to get to know all the candidates in order to have a clear idea as to who you want to be leading the country for the next four years.

*Due to the high number of Democratic candidates, they will all be highlighted over the course of three articles throughout the coming weeks.

1. Joe Biden

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Serving as the Vice President alongside Barack Obama and former senator of Delaware, Joe Biden has already ran for president twice, making the 2020 election his third and what he considers, final time. Biden hopes to strengthen the middle class by raising the minimum wage to a more livable standard. He also hopes to restrict the purchase of guns through background checks as well as being in support of a ban on assault weapons.

2. Bernie Sanders

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Having served on both the House of Representatives and The Senate, Bernie Sanders has caught the attention of many Americans due to his push for universal healthcare with the idea that "All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they're sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital." As well as making public secondary-education schools tuition-free in a mission to help lower student debt. Sanders believes in the threat of climate change as his campaign includes the future of passing a Green New Deal to move from fossil fuels to sustainable energy as well as ban fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure. Bernie Sanders additionally believes in abolishing the death penalty, reforming the police system, and ending the discrimination of applicants based on criminal history

3. Beto O'Rourke

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Beto O'Rourke has represented Texas in the House of Representatives from 2013 - 2019. He has a noteworthy platform towards business which includes increasing federal funding towards the Manufacturing Extension Partnership that would aid in creating competitiveness with America's small- and medium-sized manufacturers against global markets. O'Rourke also believes in the idea of increasing voter numbers no matter what the political party may be as well as help ex-convicts regain their right to vote after serving their sentences. In doing so, he plans to create more outreach to the younger generations by ensuring pre-voter registration for all 16 and 17 year olds. Moreover, Beto pushes for a change in creating new term limits for the US House, Senate, and Supreme Court.

4. Kamala Harris

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Kamila is a lawyer and has served as the junior US senator and Attorney General of California. While she is new to the presidential election process, Harris aims to increase teacher pay with the "largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history with a $13,500 raise." Moreover, using her specialization in legal matters regarding sexual assault, Kamila hopes to protect Planned Parenthood as well as women's reproductive rights. Harris states that as President, she will eliminate the wage gap between men and women as well as racial disparities involving maternal health care. Harris additionally hopes in protecting LGBTQ+ rights by not only passing an Equality Act to fight against discrimination in schools, work, and public, but appoint an Attorney General with the purpose of investigating and prosecuting hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals.


5. Elizabeth Warren

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Growing up in rural Oklahoma in a low-income home and eventually serving as a US senator for Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is described as a progressive candidate who's campaign is working towards "universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and down payments on a Green New Deal and Medicare for All." Warren hopes to build the middle class up and defend unionized jobs by allowing 40% of board members to be elected through employees. Moreover, Warren is in favor of strengthening the military as well has bringing troops home from overseas, as well as banning private prisons and decriminalizing marijuana. She additionally has stated to end Washington corruption by banning lobbying along with preventing Senators and Congressman from trading stocks whilst in office.

6. Cory Booker

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Attending Stanford and later graduating from Yale Law School, Cory Booker became the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Booker's main concern is to end gun violence, ban assault weapons, and bring his battle to the attention of the NRA to create "liberty for all." His 14-part plan includes creating a more extensive process to obtain a gun, one of which would including an FBI-issued background check as well as requiring "micro-stamping" on all guns to ensure the ability to trace back the source of ammunition used in crimes. Moreover, Americans seeking a gun license would have to apply for a 5-year license after which would require renewal. Booker has also proposed the idea of providing newborns with savings accounts that would accumulate until they reached 18. He states that this plan would help settle the gap between the classes by offering lower-income households a nest-egg averaging at about $46,000. He also aims to make contraceptives employer-covered and repeal the punishment for an abortion outside of incest, rape, or for the woman's health.

7. Kirsten Gillibrand

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From New York, Kristin Gillibrand became a US Senator in 2009, becoming the youngest person in the Senate at the time. Her 2020 platform includes creating universal healthcare for all that would cover both mental and reproductive health in addition to it's regular standards. Her stance on Medicare For All also stands for reducing the price of prescription drugs as well as aiding in the process of overcoming addiction. Gillibrand also aims to introduce postal banking which would allow those without checking accounts have the opportunity to take out small loans through their local post office. Moreover, she believes in not only the legalization of both medical and recreation marijuana, but in erasing all past convictions from it. Kristin Gillibrand stands with strengthening the middle class by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, creating paid medical and parental leave for all Americans, and fighting for the right to form unions and protect worker's rights.

8. Amy Klobuchar

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Amy Klobuchar is a lawyer and politician who currently serves as a US Senator from Minnesota. Klobuchar's campaign fights for providing every household in America with high-speed internet by the year 2020 along with aiding farmers by increasing their access to loan programs as well as raising farm bankruptcy debt levels. Moreover, she hopes to better the education system by increasing teacher pay and putting more money towards public schools. As well as increasing the federal Pell Grant and tuition-free one to two year community and technical colleges. Amy Klobucher believes in re-instated the DREAM Act to grant citizenship for foreigners who immigrated to America as minors. She supports immigration reform as well as ending the cruel separation and treatment of families on the lines of the border and creating a refined pathway to gain citizenship.

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