Changed From: Tonight, He Comes
Reason: This anti-hero comedy was originally much darker, with the title referring to Will Smith’s explosive ejaculation scene. In order to be more summer friendly, this scene was taken out, as was most of the swearing, drinking, and drug use.
The title was then changed to the much more neutral Hancock . Shame.
Should’ve Been Called: Superzero
American Pie (1999)
Changed From: Teenage Sex Comedy That Can Be Made For Under $10 Million That Your Reader Will Love But The Executive Will Hate
Reason: It was only ever a working title, used on the front page of the script to get people’s attention. When it was purchased by Universal they changed it to the temporary East Great Falls High .
When it came time for another title change they landed on American Pie after sorting out the rights to the name.
Should’ve Been Called: Comfort Food
The Switch (2010)
Changed From: The Baster
Reason: This largely sweet rom-com with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston probably wanted to avoid directly alluding to semen in a turkey baster on posters across the world.
Should’ve Been Called: The Masterbaster (geddit?)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Changed To: The First Avenger
Reason: Upon release in Ukraine, Russia, and South Korea the title of this superhero blockbuster will drop the whole Captain America bit and be shortened to simply The First Avenger due to ‘world sensitivities’.
Should’ve Been Called: Captain Flag Waver
Pretty Woman (1990)
Changed From: 3000
Reason: 3000 refers to how much it costs to spend a night with Julia Roberts’ character, but just makes it sound like she’s a prostitute from the future. Which is a great idea for the new Terminator film, actually…
Should’ve Been Called: Attractive Prostitute
Renaissance Man (1994)
Changed From: By The Book , which was changed from er… Renaissance Man
Reason: This Danny DeVito comedy, in which he plays a teacher who finds his way into an army regiment’s hearts by teaching them Shakespeare, wasn’t a huge success at the box office.
A few months later it was rebranded as a drama, retitled to By The Book , and re-released. It failed to succeed at the box office. So we still know it as Renaissance Man .
Should’ve Been Called: Much Ado About Nothing
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Changed From: Tomorrow Never Lies
Reason: Presumably because the abstract concept of time has no conscious being and therefore cannot lie or tell the truth. It can however die, as the man made concept will eventually fade out.
Or it was a typo.
Should’ve Been Called: Tomorrow Never Pies
The 13th Warrior (1999)
Changed From: Eaters of the Dead
Reason: Deemed to be so weird that nobody would go to see it, the filmmakers decided to lose the title of the original Michael Crichton novel. Because nobody wants to see a Michael Crichton adaptation, do they?
Consequently, nobody went to see it.
Should’ve Been Called: Jurassic Park Begins (This may be dishonest but, y’know… bums on seats)
The Madness of King George (1994)
Changed From: The Madness Of King George III
Reason: The decision to trim the title down from Alan Bennett’s play mainly stemmed from the producer’s fear that American audiences would assume the film was a sequel of some kind.
Should’ve Been Called: The Madness – or maybe simply The .
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Changed From: Coma Guy
Reason: While You Were Sleeping is a good title for a film in which Sandra Bullock pretends to be her crush’s fiancée while he’s in a coma, before falling for his charming brother (Bill Pullman).
Coma Guy makes it sound like a film about a superhero who thwarts his villains by repeatedly falling into a vegetative state.
Should’ve Been Called: Creepy Proposal – that works on so many levels. One mainly, but still…