Justalkin Episode 14: Movies that underwent the title change fiasco
You must’ve heard this saying that goes ‘Change is the only constant’. But it can sort of be annoying if you have to change something because other people just can’t get you. On this podcast, we’re gonna be talking about changes in movies over the years - not really like a 10 year challenge, just short term changes that were sometimes really unnecessary. Let’s look at some movies whose names had to be changed - you won’t even recognise some of them with the original title!
Cheat India to Why Cheat India
You’d think the only problem they’d find in an Emraan Hashmi movie was some adult content, but this time, the change that was asked was in its title. It was called Cheat India, and then they had to change it to ‘Why Cheat India’. So this movie talks about the education system in India, but this touched a sensitive spot, and to make it seem more harmless, they had to change the title.
3000 to Pretty Woman
Would you watch a movie called 3000, if it was about a hooker? Because that’s what Pretty Woman was originally called! And they wanted to call it that because that’s how much Richard Gere pays Julia Roberts’ character.
And there was to be no fairy-tale kiss at the end of the movie - it was supposed to end with Richard Gere’s character dropping off Julia Roberts, throwing some money at her, and then drive off. But then Disney who got involved - they were looking for something darker, so they changed it a little bit, Julia Roberts was the princess, Richard Gere was Prince Charming, and Hector played fairy godmother in the guise of a hotel manager.
Padmaavati to Padmaavat
It was the magnum opus of 2018, but we read so much about protests against the movie Padmaavat. It was supposed to be called Padmavati, and the makers of the movie themselves said it was ‘loosely based on the epic poem Padmavat by Malik Muhammed Jayasi’, but things blew out of proportion, and they had to change its title from Padmavati to Padmaavat. And this was after sets were vandalised, Sanjay Leela Bhansali was manhandled, and costumes were damaged. It didn’t solve everything though, four Indian states still banned the movie because they were afraid of what would happen.
A boy’s life to E.T.
This was one of the biggest hits when it came out - this movie had aliens, a bunch of kids, and a UFO, and drama! The working title was “A Boy’s life”. When you saw the silhouette of a boy on his bicycle with an alien as his cargo, against the moon, they knew it was more than just the boy. So they changed it to E.T. Another option for this movie’s title was night skies, and there were supposed to be a bunch of aliens, but then they decided to make it about just one alien, and make it more Disney and less horror.
Punjab Express and Isha bis Bhatinda to Jab We Met
After DDLJ, Jab We Met is considered one of Bollywood’s most romantic movies. First Imtiaz Ali wanted to call it Punjab Express, then it was supposed to be called Ishq via Bhatinda, and maybe it would’ve been a hit anyway because it has Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor and everybody wanted to know how their chemistry would be after they’d broken up, the music was nice and it’s been shot in some really beautiful places!
Coma guy to While you were sleeping
One of the most popular Rom-coms starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman, and they almost ruined it cos they wanted to call it Coma Guy. They changed their minds and called it “While You were sleeping” cos it’s one of those famous last lines that you leave the movie with. It was originally supposed to have a woman in a coma, with Meg Ryan playing lead. But the makers thought she wouldn’t agree to play a role in which she barely does anything. And secondly, if a man lies to a woman’s family about being engaged to her when the woman is in coma, it’s kinda creepy. But if you flip it around, at least it’s slightly funny! So Sandra Bullock stepped in, and the movie became what it is.
Ram Leela to Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela
Sanjay Leela Bhansali sure knows how to get your attention even before a trailer is launched. Even when he made Ram Leela, he got into trouble. His reasons for calling the movie that were pretty simple - the protagonists were called Ram, and Leela. But there was a huge hue and cry about how it affected people’s sentiments. It was first called Ram Leela, and then it was changed to Ram-Leela, till it was finally allowed to release as Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela.
East Great Falls High to American Pie
This movie was the first sex comedy for a lot of 90s kids. This is the movie that introduced you to the term MILF. Always wondered why they called it American Pie? It was supposed to be called East Great Falls High. But when they were holding auditions and people weren’t really digging it, they changed it to what it is right now.
The title, when it was first written is even more ridiculous - Adam Herz was a first time screenwriter; he wrote in this about six weeks, and left it on the desks of the studio bosses with this title - “Unfinished Teenage Sex Comedy which can be made for under 10 million dollars that studio readers will most likely hate but I think you will love”.
Loveratri to Loveyatri
Wherever Bhai goes, controversy follows. He produced this movie called Love Ratri which starred his brother in law Aayush Sharma and Warina Hussain. It’s about a romance that blossoms during the festival of Navratri and a huge part of it was shot in Gujarat. But then some groups began having problems with the name and said it hurt people’s sentiments. Trouble went to the extent of a court in Muzaffarpur giving orders to file an FIR against Salman and 7 other actors from the movie for the title. So Bhai just changed the title to Loveyatri.
Tonight he comes to Hancock
Hancock had Will Smith and Charlize Theron, and was also funny in its own way, but it was supposed to be called ‘Tonight, he comes’. With a title like that, sounds more like a porno that ran out of budget! It was first written in 1996, but it was never made because Hollywood thought the tone was too dark for a Superhero film, till it finally came out 2009. Seems like it was recent, but 2009 was 10 years back.
These aren’t the only movies whose titles had to be changed. Rambo Rajkumar was changed to R..Rajkumar because the folks who own the Rambo franchise didn’t think it was ideal. And Yash Chopra was obsessed with the title ‘Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum’, and he wanted to call a particular movie that, but changed it to Veer Zaara. The next time he wanted to call it that, they decided to go with ‘Jab tak hai jaan’.