The Concert Feature (Disney’s Fantasia)
Disney’s classic Fantasia had a much duller title: The Concert Feature. That’s why a contest was held to find a better one, with “fantasia” (a musical term meaning a free-form composition using familiar themes) being the winner.
The sequel, Fantasia 2000, was originally going to be called Fantasia Continued.
“Fantasia” also means “fantasy” in Spanish.
All you need is Love (Yellow Submarine)
The Beatles’ “All you need is love” is a heck of a song, and it was going to be the title of one of their films. But apparently, Ringo suggested Yellow Submarine because “you can put anything in a submarine”.
Also, maybe, because he sang that song and not the other one!
Beatlemania (A Hard Day’s Night)
More on films starring the Fab Four: A Hard Day’s Night was originally called The Beatles (oh, the originality), and then Beatlemania (that one was better).
The final title came, once again, from drummer Ringo, who coined the phrase after a particularly hard day. Starr described it this way in an interview with disc jockey Dave Hull in 1964:
We went to do a job, and we’d worked all day and we happened to work all night. I came up still thinking it was day I suppose, and I said, ‘It’s been a hard day …’ and I looked around and saw it was dark so I said, ‘… night!’ So we came to ‘A Hard Day’s Night.'”
It ended up being the title of a song, an album, and a film!
I changed my sex (Glen or Glenda?)
The film directed by and starring the infamous Ed Wood was originally called I Changed My Sex. He came up with it after seeing news on a sex operation and wanted to cash in on it.
What’s funny is that it did get released with that title in some parts of the United States (it had limited reach) or with I Led Two Lives or He or She?. Internationally, it was Louis ou Louise in France and Belgium (names that are more common in both countries and that also show that ambiguity in French) and in Argentina, Yo cambié mi sexo (literal translation of the title Wood wanted in the first place).
All Hell Breaks Loose (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut)
According to creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the original title for Bigger, Longer & Uncut was South Park: All Hell Breaks Loose but the MPAA wouldn’t allow it (why? because of the word “Hell”? It wasn’t going to be the first title to include it). However, the association denied this through a spokesman.
The new title itself is a double entendre.
How the Solar System was won (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Kubrick must have been thinking of the classic western film How the West was won. But that wasn’t the only working title for his sci-fi masterpiece:
When the director announced his collaboration with author Arthur C. Clarke, there was another alternate title considered: Journey Beyond The Stars. But the writer disliked the name and also found it too similar to Fantastic Voyage, a film that had been recently released.
The very generic Universe, Tunnel to the Stars, and Planetfall were all options until they chose 2001: A Space Odyssey several months into production.
TR2N (Tron: Legacy)
For almost a year, the sequel to the classic 80s flick had many working titles (apparently some of them official and others, accidental misspellings).
First known as TR2N, then simply TRON, some people started to refer to it as TRON 2.0 (which is the name of a 2003 video game) or T2.0N (yes, even more complicated). The stylized 2 can still be seen in the film.
Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard)
The fourth installment in the Die Hard series was first announced as Die Hard 4.0 but when shooting began, 20th Century Fox changed the title (even though the movie ended up being released as 4.0 in many countries).
In fact, in Spanish it was translated as La Jungla 4.0 in Spain and Duro de matar 4.0 in Latin America.
Star Beast (Alien)
So much better.
The first Alien film, a Ridley Scott masterpiece, was known as Star Beast in its earliest stages. However, when writer Dan O’Bannon (check out his reaction to Star Beast in the video) went through the script and saw characters constantly referring to the “thing” as “alien” or “an alien”, he decided to go with that instead.
3000 & The United States of Uhh-merica (Idiocracy)
Idiocracy is one of the best films ever. If you haven’t watched it, please, go do it now (it’s scary how accurate it ended up being!).
The name is also ideal for everything it represents, much better than its working titles 3001 and The United States of Uhh-merica.
Dangerous Days (Blade Runner)
The original script title for Blade Runner was titled Dangerous Days. Director Ridley Scott optioned a totally unrelated short story named Blade Runner just because he liked the name.
Many people still think it should have been called Do androids dream of electric sheep? A very long but beloved title, the original one from the Philip K. Dick novel the film is based upon.
Scary Movie (Scream)
No, it’s not a joke: Scream could have been called Scary Movie. What would Scary Movie have been called then?
The latter, made later to parody Scream and several similar films, also had some (crazy) alternative titles: Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween and Last Summer I Screamed Because Friday the 13th Fell on Halloween.
Raquel Welch (Bedazzled)
Two geniuses, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore wanted to call their film Bedazzled, Raquel Welch (yes, Raquel Welch, who had a small role in the film, was going to be the title of the movie) just so they could have a poster saying Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in Raquel Welch!
Bedazzled was remade in 2000 by Harold Ramis and starred Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley.
Springtime for Hitler (The Producers)
Another genius, Mel Brooks, wanted the name Springtime for Hitler instead of The Producers, but he wasn’t allowed to have “Hitler” in the title. Someone suggested Springtime for Mussolini (guess the problem was still there).
Why Springtime for Hitler? It’s actually a fictional musical inside the 1967 film (remade in 2005, video), full title Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp With Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden.