Posted February 9, 2013 by Mike in Movie Gems

Director Disputes


When directors fall out, they often fall out in style. This month in EMPIRE magazine, they detailed an interview with the great Terence Stamp who commented that George Lucas wasn’t “a director of actors, he was more interested in stuff and effects”. So that got us thinking of other actors, actresses or people who haven’t got quite on with directors, or visa versa. They say it always takes two to tango, and these definitely did.

The most known is the Harrison Ford vs Ridley Scott fiasco. Blade Runner was never the most popular film when it came out, and now we have three different versions of it. Ridley Scott wanted to hint at the fact that Deckard was infact a machine (a replicant), however Harrison Ford did not and wanted to stick closely to the book it was based upon. Harrison stated that this “was the main area of contention between Ridley and myself at the time. I felt that the audience deserved one human being on screen that they could establish an emotional relationship with.” The spat continued, however with a rumoured Blade Runner sequel, Ridley is hopeful of a pairing again.

Danny Elfman and Sam Raimi were two peas in a pod, and Spider-Man was a marvelous success. However, when the sequel came out, the two didn’t seem to come eye-to-eye and as Elfman states “everything I could do on Spider-Man 1 I couldn’t do on Spider-Man 2. He got so intensely attached to the temp music, I couldn’t even adapt my own music.” Alas, he never returned for the third film (and probably for the best), instead Christopher Young approached the music using Danny Elfman’s themes. Though both have made up, as Danny Elfman has scored Sam Raimi’s latest, Oz The Great and Powerful.


Ben-Hur had a few disputes, it was more the director standing up towards his writing staff. William Wyler wanted credit to both Karl Tunberg and Christopher Fry, however the Screen Writers’ Guild awarded sole credit for the script to Tunberg (who was a former president of the Guild). Both director and head of MGM appealed the Guild’s ruling but alas it wasn’t meant to be. Ben-Hur won Academy Awards in most categories except best screenplay, when Charlton Heston accepted his Oscar for Leading Actor, he thanked Christopher Fry in his acceptance speech. His name at least got out.

And the most interesting one was the Peter Jackson vs The Cinema – New Line Cinema to be exact. After the success of Lord of the Rings, Peter got his calculator out and requested an audit just to check that he had the money owed to him. In November 2006 it was stated that New Line didn’t want Peter Jackson and so he wouldn’t come back for The Hobbit. Later in 2007 New Line was fined $125,000 for failing to provide requested accounting documents that Jackson had requested. After breaking bread with Jackson, he was approached to produce the film, but then in the end directed it and split it into three more films (don’t ask us why).