This just in: movies are really expensive to make. So, unsurprisingly, it's not unusual for lots of people to feel they should have some creative input, especially if they're the studio fronting the money. Not all ideas are good ones, however.
These are seven great movies or franchises that were almost messed up by bad decisions.
1. Harry Potter was nearly American
It's almost unconscionable now to imagine a world where Potter would have gone to 'Hogwarts High' and the top Quidditch players would have dated Quidditch cheerleaders, but in an alternate universe it could have been so.
Speaking to The Independent back in 2012, series producer David Heyman revealed early talks after he'd snapped up the rights to the first four books included discussions of shifting the action overseas.
"In some of the first talks with writers in America there was talk of moving it to the States, you know, cheerleaders and the like," Heyman said. "That just never really rang true because it really was culturally so British. Yet, thematically, it was universal.
"Culturally, Harry Potter is specific, it's British. It wouldn't have made sense for the homes, the institutions and those gothic structures to be set in America."
As Ron might say: bloody hell.
2. It was nearly a dead dog in the box in Se7en
One of the most impactful endings in cinema was nearly a whole lot less of a gut punch. At the end of David Fincher's serial killer thriller the dastardly 'John Doe', now apprehended by Detectives Miller (Brad Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman), puts the final pieces of his puzzle in place.
He has two of the seven deadly sins left to tick off: envy, which he (somewhat spuriously) claims drives him to murder Miller's wife (Gwyneth Paltrow), and wrath, which provokes Miller to shoot Doe after he learns what he's done. Perfect ending. Boom.
When a courier van arrives with a box addressed to Miller, we just know what's going to be inside.
And it's not a dead dog.
Only the studio wasn't so sure. Talking to EW back in 2011, Brad Pitt explained:
"With Se7en, I said, 'I will do it on one condition – the head stays in the box. Put in the contract that the head stays in the box'. Actually, there was a second thing, too: he's got to shoot the killer in the end. He doesn't do the 'right' thing, he does the thing of passion."
Those two things are in the contract. Cut to: Se7en has been put together and they've tested it. They go: "You know, he would be much more heroic if he didn't shoot John Doe — and it's too unsettling with the head in the box. We think maybe if it was the dog's head in the box…"
3. Pretty Woman was nearly just a horrible story about a sex worker
Some might say that Pretty Woman is *still* a horrible story about a sex worker, but the original version did take a darker turn. According to star Julia Roberts, in the original version Vivian just gets paid and goes back to working the streets.
"[It was] a really dark and depressing, horrible, terrible story about two horrible people and my character was this drug addict, a bad-tempered, foulmouthed, ill-humoured, poorly educated hooker who had this week-long experience with a foulmouthed, ill-tempered, bad-humoured, very wealthy, handsome but horrible man, and it was just a grisly, ugly story about these two people."
Dare we say this might have been an edgier movie? Not much of a rom-com winner though.
4. Back to the Future was nearly called Space Man from Pluto
In one of our favourite ever pieces of movie trivia, Back to the Future almost had a far sillier title. In this memo from studio exec Sid Sheinberg, sent to producer Steven Spielberg, he praises the script but suggests a cheeky name change.
His main concern is that Back to the Future makes it sound like a time-travel sci-fi (ahem) so instead he petitions for the not-at-all-sci-fi-sounding Space Man From Pluto.
"I am sure there will be those who will argue that the movie will appear to the audience to be a cheap, old-fashioned sci-fi," he writes.
"Nonsense! I think it's a kind of title that has 'heat, originality and projects fun'," he adds, weirdly quoting himself. Adorable.
5. There was nearly a love story with mission control in Gravity
Alfonso Cuaron's excellent existential sci-fi about a woman in space trying not to die nearly turned into a cheesy love story.
Talking to io9, Cuaron revealed he had to field several suggestions from the studio including an idea to add a love interest: "A romantic relationship with the Mission Control Commander, who is in love with her [...] To finish with a whole rescue helicopter, that would come and rescue her."
Yep, give her a love interest and send a bloke to come and rescue her. Way to completely ruin a really great female part.
6. OJ Simpson was nearly cast as the Terminator
When James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd were original planning to make The Terminator, they'd envisioned it as a low-budget project. But apparently Orion boss Mike Medavoy had other ideas and wanted 'a name'. Talking to EW, Cameron recalled that the part of the cyborg killing machine nearly went to none other than OJ Simpson.
"[Orion chief Mike] Medavoy came to me and [producer Gale Anne Hurd] and he said, 'Are you sitting down? You must sit down. I want OJ Simpson for the Terminator'. Gale and I just looked at each other and thought, 'You've got to be f**king kidding me. How do we get out of this?'" the director said.
He was not keen at all on this idea.
"This was when everybody loved him, and ironically that was part of the problem – he was this likeable, goofy, kind of innocent guy. Plus, frankly, I wasn't interested in an African-American man chasing around a white girl with a knife."
We're just going to leave that sitting there.
7. Deadpool was nearly family-friendly fun
Ryan Reynolds' X-Men spin-off movie did great box-office – a sequel is already well on the way. Part of the reason for the film's success is its adult humour and dark tone. It's in keeping with the comics and fans loved it.
But we almost didn't have the filthy, sweary, violent, Deadpool we've come to love – after a hard-R beginning, studio 20th Century Fox got cold feet.
According to co-writer Rhett Reese, in an interview with Screen Rant, there were concerns.
"First it was R. We wrote it R… they told us to write it the way we wanted," he said. "And then I think there was just a little concern that there's a ceiling on how well you can do financially when it's rated R because there's a certain bulk of the audience who just can't go and won't pay to go. So we decided to change it to PG-13. They decided that was the best move."
Fortunately Reynolds never gave up pushing for the rating he wanted, and all those swears paid off – we're sure this paved the way for Logan's R-rating and we're fully expecting Deadpool 2 to go hard-R too.