Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When Tragedy Strikes, so do scene, story and dialogue changes.

Whenever there is a tragedy, it invariably trickles backwards and becomes a standards note.

First one that comes to mind - was From Lilo and Stitch (quoting wikipedia) where:

"The original plan for the ending of Lilo & Stitch was completely changed due to the September 11, 2001 attacks. [1] [2] The original ending featured Stitch stealing a 747 then joyriding among the office and hotel towers of Honolulu; the revised ending uses a spaceship racing through clouds and through a tight valley with Dr. Jumba (the gradually friendlier mad scientist) at the controls while Stitch steals a full tanker truck and rides it down the crater of a volcano. "

I'm not gonna blog about yesterday. It's a bummer. But, it did get me thinking... what other "this happened so change that" stories you guys got?


Charlotte said...

This wasn't a script change since the episode was already finished and airing, but it was a case of pull-the-episode-out-of-rotation-until-further-notice network decree: THE TICK episode "The Tick vs. The Tick" was put on the bench in the wake of the Oklahoma CIty bombing, because the B-story featured The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight.

Also at Fox Kids, when live coverage of the OJ trial was regularly interrupting their weekday afternoon block, all episodes of TAZ-MANIA featuring Taz's dad, Hugh, were pulled from the rotation... because of his catch phrase about "a nice cool frothy glass of OJ"!

Evan Gore said...

I often recall what Doug Langdale joked about in the days before his series "The Weekenders" was set to premiere. He said after months of hard work, the only thing he had left to worry about was that no serial killer got loose who's name was "John Paul The Weekenders."

Heather said...

One of our recent scripts features a mean girl leaving a sleepover party early to play an evil prank on our hero. She makes up an excuse that her dog is sick and needs to go home. No, the S&P note was not that the prank was evil. It stated, "...ensure the bit about the sick dog does not come across as insensitive, and think how unfunny it is to kids who have lost a pet recently with [in light of the recent pet food recall.]

Anonymous said...

The Lilo curse also struck the sequel ("Lilo 2--Stitch Has a Glitch"). The original script and reel included a sequence where Stitch has a nightmare about a tidal wave; it had to be changed after the Indonesian tsunami disaster.

Evan Gore said...

I was just about to go to MiP to pitch "Fired US Attorney Kidz", but this probably isn't the right time.

Bob Goodman said...

(My first posting here.)

Early in 1999, on Batman Beyond, we got an overall network note to set more of the action at Terry's high school. This was during those early heady days at the WB when Dawson's Creek and Buffy were hot, and everything had to be high school, high school, high school.

I was working on a story about an assassin robot, and my instructions were to custom-tailor the story so that a big action piece could happen at the high school. Robot vs. government agents, lasers blasting through the halls. Then, just as I was green-lit from outline to script, Columbine happened. The network mandate flipped to the exact opposite overnight. Get all action away from the high school. Nothing scary happens at high school. So I ended up writing a sequence where the g-men discover the robot at the high school, but the robot quickly jumps in a car, a high-speed chase ensues, and the shootout takes place at an entrance to a park, safely away from the school, lasers blazing over the heads of joggers instead.

I guess if a shooting involving joggers happened in the news the next week, the robot and g-men would have gotten back in their cars.