10 films that fired the director right in the middle of production


Making a film is not an easy task, and many people are involved in its production. However, the most important person is usually the director. They work with the screenwriters on the film before filming begins. They tell the cameramen and the lighting staff how they want the film to look, and train the actors.

However, there are cases when producers step in and decide that the director is not doing what they expected, and dismiss them from production. This can happen for many reasons, from creative differences with producers and the studio to conflicts with actors during the film. What is most impressive is when the director leaves the project and the film ends with someone else at the helm.

Alex Cox – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Available for rental on AppleTV+ and Amazon Prime Video

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is a film about writer Hunter S. Thompson, based on a book he wrote about how he went to Las Vegas to cover motorcycle racing, but got into some awkward and crazy circumstances. Johnny Depp played Raoul Duke, Thompson’s version.

However, it was not easy to stay in the director’s chair. Depp wanted Bruce Robinson to become a director, but he refused. Instead, Alex Cox signed up. However, the producers of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fired Cox for “creative differences” during production, and his place was taken by Monty Python mastermind Terry Gilliam, who rewrote the script and restarted production.

Paul Schroeder – The Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
Stream on Tubi

When The Exorcist came out in 1973, it was one of the best horror films of all time. He is still revered, and this is the only film about exorcism, with which everyone else inevitably compares. However, sequels were not so respected, and in fact there were two different prequels to The Exorcist, released one year apart.

In 2002, John Frankenheimer signed on to direct the prequel, but after his death, Paul Schroeder took over the job. When Schroeder finished the film, the studio was unhappy (according to The Independent). They fired him and brought in Rennie Harlin to reshoot most of the film, and “The Exorcist: The Beginning” ended in commercial failure. Ironically, in 2005, they hired Schroeder to come back and shoot another exorxist prequel called Dominion.

Bryan Singer – Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Broadcast on Fubo, FX Now, Sling and Spectrum on Demand

Bryan Singer was at the peak of popularity when he began working on his biopic about Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody. Singer had great success early in his career with The Usual Suspects, the X-Men franchise, and Superman Returns. However, allegations of sexual abuse were made against him, and as a result he was excluded from many projects, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, as described in detail by The Hollywood Reporter.

The most interesting thing here was that Singer was fired when there were only two weeks left before the shooting of the film. Since he directed most of the film, he still got the recognition of the director, not Dexter Fletcher, who finished the film.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller — Solo: Star Wars: Stories (2018)
Broadcast on Disney+

Disney often pulled the trigger by removing talented directors from films if the company felt that the director’s vision did not fit the franchise. The MCU alone pulled directors Patty Jenkins, Edgar Wright and Scott Derrickson out of projects — but all this before they started shooting.

It was different in Star Wars. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who had incredible success with the Lego Movie, began work on Solo: Star Wars. Disney then invited Oscar winner Ron Howard to take over and finish the film.

Steven Soderbergh – Moneyball (2011)
Broadcast on Fubo, Hulu and AMC+

When the film was released in theaters in 2011, it was a huge success. At the end of the year, he made several top-10 lists and received six Oscar nominations, including Best Film, Best Actor by Brad Pitt and Best Supporting Actor by John Hill. . In the film, Pitt played the real-life former Oakland A manager Billy Bean, and it was based on a book about sabermetrics.

However, the film could look very different. Bennett Miller is the director and directed the cast of great performances. However, the original director was indie sensation Steven Soderbergh. When Soderbergh decided to make Moneyball look like a documentary, Sony fired him and hired Miller to take over the management of the film.

Richard Donner — Superman 2 (1980)
Broadcast on HBO Max

The situation with the Superman movie was so complicated that whole books were written about it. The first film was being made, and scenes for the sequel were being shot at the same time, if the first one was successful. The first one was a great success, but there were a few things that interfered with the already filmed sequel.

Marlon Brando never signed up for two films, and his scenes had to come out.