George Lucas Altered Version
Raj: (regarding the blu-ray) Come on, Sheldon, it's Star Wars!as a promotional gimmick to attract potential DVD buyers. This is generally considered a Re Cut. THIS trope goes one step past that, where a work is drastically changed by its creators (and sometimes not even them) to update the work with modern technology or new footage that was not available or recorded at the time the work was originally created. Film Purists (both critics and directors) sometimes take issue with it, believing that altering the original film is diluting the charm of the original or, worse, altering the context of scenes in how they played out originally (Similar complaints are leveled towards a ReCut in general, believing a theatrical release should be the end of editing). These changes include:
Howard: I'm pressing play, I mean it! You know, if we don't start soon George Lucas is gonna change it again!
Howard: I'm pressing play, I mean it! You know, if we don't start soon George Lucas is gonna change it again!
- "Surround sound" mixes of films originally released with mono soundtracks.
- Sound added to a silent film, this can be more acceptable when the original silent film was screened with live music at the theaters, and they just add that same music to it.
- A black and white film being colorized.
- Replacing what was originally a Special Effect Failure (sometimes producing an irony in that the replacement is equally bad).
- Adding new effects to existing scenes.
- Newly recorded dialogue/shots.
- Color, hue and saturation changes to take advantage of newer formats. note
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- George Lucas is hugely infamous for constant tweaking of his films after they're "finished", starting all the way back to a 1981 re-release of A New Hope where it got its current name (Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope), Star Wars was its original name and was eventually backpedaled into becoming the title of the franchise. He has said the reasons behind some of the changes were based on things they wanted to do but were unable to visualize with the budget or technology of the time, although some fans have misrepresented it as Lucas claiming every change was what he originally intended. A 2004 interview with Lucas has him explain his feelings on the subject:
- Lucas: The special edition, that’s the one I wanted out there. The other movie, its on VHS, if anybody wants it. ... I’m not going to spend the, we’re talking millions of dollars here, the money and the time to refurbish that, because to me, it doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s like this is the movie I wanted it to be, and I’m sorry you saw half a completed film and fell in love with it. But I want it to be the way I want it to be.
- The 20th Anniversary re-releases to theaters were billed as having newly included scenes, an additional 5 million dollars was spent on the new features. There are actually dozens, if not hundreds, of little changes made, most of which fans were ambivalent about (most are seamless unless doing an actual frame-by-frame comparison). The most infamous one was Han shooting Greedo in the cantina after a tense standoff which was altered to have Han dodge a "warning shot" by Greedo and return fire; it changes Han from a Nominal Hero into a Pragmatic Hero. This led to the internet meme of "Han Shot First!"
- The DVD release of the original trilogy included new changes to better align with the prequels, including an image of Naboo in the Nations of the World Montage at the end of Return of the Jedi. In addition, some changes were made to fix the new Special Effects Failures that happened with the alteration, including a less Off Model CG Jabba the Hutt in a scene added in the 20th anniversary, and improving the matte lines of the rancor. They even cleaned up the "Han Shot First" scene by making it more of a simultaneous action (it's rumored the change only took place because of differing standards with the ratings board and PG movies, PG-13 didn't exist at the time of the original). Another change that didn't get criticized was changing the original Emperor hologram from The Empire Strikes Back with one played by Ian Mc Diarmid, making sure Palpatine remains consistent through all films.
- A good deal of the enduring backlash comes with that Lucas has also been pretty apathetic about releasing the originals in their unaltered form. The limited DVD release was a Vanilla Edition based off a quick transfer from the laserdisc print made in the early 90's.
- The restorations and resulting transfers also suffer from Digital Destruction, with lost color depth and the like from turning the contrast knob way up and other inept use of settings. It's unlikely the original, already bold and colorful, palette will ever return. The limited DVD based on the laserdisc transfer is more faithful but still washed out and has plenty of compression artifacts on fast motion.
- This not only applies to the original trilogy, but for the prequel trilogy as well, with some new effects like Yoda in Episode I changing from a Puppet to a 3D Model.
- Lucas made similar modifications to his first film, THX 1138, shooting new footage and using CGI to modify scenes by expanding crowds, settings and backgrounds and adding digital characters.
- With the backlash of the re-edits of Star Wars and Steven Spielberg's similar changes to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, when it came to releasing the Indiana Jones movies on DVD they announced they would not make any changes. This was, in part, due to the South Park episode (listed below) mocking and condemning the practice.
- There is a minor edit in Raiders of the Lost Ark - when Indy falls into the cobra pit, in the theatrical cut it was extremely obvious that there was a pane of glass between Harrison Ford and the snake. The DVD version removes the reflection.
- Some recent airings of Raiders of the Lost Ark alter the scene where Gobler's car falls down the cliff. In the original film, it's done using a model of the car and a matte painting of a cliff and as the car falls it doesn't cast a shadow against the cliff, but for the TV airing, they digitally replaced everything - the cliff which now looks different and the car which is now in sharper focus and casts a shadow. Bizarrely, this version of the scene is only used for the TV airings. It hasn't turned up on any of the DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film (which do contain the altered snake pit scene to remove the cobra's reflection).
- Not even American Graffiti was safe from this. The first shot in the movie with Mel's Diner and the opening credits was given a digital sunset sky by Industrial Light & Magic in 1998 replacing the overcast sky featured in the original version of the film. This was the only change though.
- Also the 1978 reissue added two minutes of previously deleted scenes back into the film, and the soundtrack was remixed in Dolby Stereo. This is the version shown today.
This trope is the basis of controversy whenever a work created in black and white is colorized. The process is fairly rare now though, mostly because of how expensive it can be. Film
- The first major controversy involving this trope occurred in the 1980s, when some library management companies such as Hal Roach Studios and Ted Turner's holdings started using the then-new colorization technology to alter black and white films like Miracle on 34th Street, King Kong (1933), and most infamously, Casablanca. In the case of Roach, not only were his classic films colorized, but films such as It's A Wonderful Life got the same treatment because they were in the public domain and were free to license and alter. Many film purists and actors such as Jimmy Stewart complained, claiming that the films were being vandalized, while defenders argued that altering the films would make them widely available as television stations gave little love to black-and-white films. (In actuality, the restoration process applied to the original black and white prints helped preserve the original films). Particularly controversial was when Turner joked about colorizing Citizen Kane. Orson Welles allegedly told Turner "keep his damn crayons" away from Kane. This was before the internet, so many feared that the colorized versions would "replace" the original black and white versions forever. The process fell out of favor after a few years, not because of film purism being widely accepted, but because the technology was not good enough at the time to produce color that did not look artificial.
- The second wave of controversy over colorization occurred when Columbia released a series of newly colorized The Three Stooges DVDs. However, the process is more accepted nowadays because of the improved technology, and the fact that DVD/Blu-Ray format allows both colorized and black and white versions to appear on the same medium. Film purists also now understand better that the restoration process for the original black and white prints does help preserve the original films, and some industry veterans like Shirley Temple even assisted in the colorizations of their own films. Also, odd cult film colorizations that played up the camp value of the original work, such as Legend Films' colorization of Reefer Madness, helped win over some skeptics and critics of the process.
- Night of the Living Dead (1968) deserves a mention. It's been colorized three times with varying results. It can be interesting comparing the different versions. In the 1986 colorization from Hal Roach Studios, Barbra and Johnny's car was yellow, in the 1997 version from Anchor Bay, it was blue, and in the 2005 version from Legend Films, it's red. The real color of the car? Green.
- Three of Ray Harryhausen's black and white films (It Came from Beneath the Sea, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and 20 Million Miles to Earth) were colorized for their debut on Blu-ray. This is an unusual case because Harryhausen actually planned for all three of those films to be shot in color but had to settle for black and white for budget reasons, so colorizing them is actually restoring his original vision in a way. However, Harryhausen himself wasn't directly involved in the colorization process, and viewers ultimately weren't impressed with the strange color choices (rendering the octopus in It lime green probably being the biggest head-scratcher). Thankfully the Blu-rays all include the black and white versions as well.
- The first two seasons of Bewitched, which were filmed in black-and-white instead of color like the rest of the series, were released to DVD in two versions: the original B&W and colorized, however, only the colorized versions are available overseas and in the complete series boxset. However, when Mill Creek Entertainment got the sub-license to release the series to DVD, their releases only include the black-and-white versions of those seasons.
- The same can be said word-for-word for I Dream of Jeannie, although only its first season was filmed in black-and-white.
- The first season of Gilligan's Island was shot in black-and-white, but the second and third were shot in color. The DVDs feature the original B&W version of the first season, but it was colorized for reruns on MeTV.
- Averted with The Andy Griffith Show, where only its final two seasons were filmed in color. Those seasons aren't very fondly remembered anyway, and the original black and white episodes haven't been touched.
- Likewise, a couple episodes of I Love Lucy have been colorized. Notable is the Christmas special, which aired on CBS in 2013 colorized, however its flashback sequences were interestingly presented in their original black and white. The episode where Lucy dreams of going to Scotland was also colorized as a bonus feature for the I Love Lucy Complete Series DVD. However, the episode was originally supposed to be filmed in color, but the studio couldn't afford it, so the episode was colorized based on the color home movies shot by Desi Arnaz. The non-dream sequence scenes boasted a subdued palate for the set and clothing, creating an interesting effect ala The Wizard of Oz. When CBS televises the colorized Christmas special, they follow it up with a color version of an iconic episode-such as "Lucy's Italian Movie" and "Job Switching"-to pad the timeslot to an hour. May 2015's I Love Lucy Superstar Special features color versions of "LA at Last!" and "Lucy and Superman".
Anime and Manga
- Sometimes the artwork in manga originally published in magazines will be redrawn for the compilation volumes or tankoubon.
- It also used to be common for manga to be flipped when exported to the US. This pretty much died in the early 2000s after publishers discovered that un-flipped manga didn't sell any differently, and after mangaka like Akira Toriyama spoke out against the practice.
- It's pretty standard for anime episodes to be retouched or modified for reruns/home video, sometimes with more obscene content. The retouched versions are usually brought over to the states, but sometimes the broadcast versions are accidentally given to the US publishers.
- Sailor Moon Crystal is a recent show that benefited greatly from the Blu-ray remaster, which fixed many of the show's notorious Off Model animation, continuity errors, and other glitches, resulting from the show's rushed production to premiere online. The Japanese TV broadcast features the revised episodes (with a couple more additional changes), as will the North American DVD/Blu-ray release.
- It also used to be very standard for anime series to be re-edited when exported to other countries to remove obscene content. 4Kids and Saban were notorious for practicing this. This is rare now, especially on home video, but still occasionally happens to get a series shown on TV.
- Osamu Tezuka did that with Astro Boy and added whimsical introductions in which he discusses changes with Astro Boy.
- The 1995 movie adaptation of Ghost in the Shell was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2008 as Ghost in the Shell 2.0, with added CGI, modified scenes, and rearranged and re-recorded soundtrack and dialogue with a key character being voiced by another actor. The English Dub of the movie retained the original voice track, but re-mixed the audio and replaced the sound effects.
- The 1985-86 series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam was turned into a 2005-06 movie trilogy called Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation, which mixed remastered and redone animation while also changing parts of the storyline.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz was originally released as a three part OAV where some video releases had options of being linked together (skipping the opening and ending sequences) forming a near feature length film. Several years later a new movie version was released for Gundam's 20th Anniversary that adds over 20 minutes of footage and key musical compositions rewritten. With the exception of a more elaborate and expanded "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, all original footage is accounted for and the new footage is seamlessly integrated in between, fleshing out bits of the story along with more character pieces and extended action sequences. The new version has Dorothy make a cameo and factor into a major plot point while Heero's triumphant return to the battle is given a new scene showing his Heroic Resolve.
- The original Mobile Suit Gundam movie trilogy was remastered for the 20th anniversary. Visually, nothing is changed. The surviving voice actors re-recorded their lines and several characters noticeably sound older than we remember them to be. The soundtrack was completely digitized but the futuristic gun sounds were replaced with more realistic sounding gunfire sound effects. The music for several scenes was either rearranged or more often removed in place of More Dakka and explosion sound effects. The "Soldiers of Sorrow" song, for example, was removed from the Battle of Jaburo and replaces the original somber ending credits song of the second movie. In the third movie, "The Beginning" (Lalah Sun's theme) wasn't heard in her first scene. And it's use in the end credits was replaced by the more upbeat "Encounter". Very few fans are actually aware of these changes unless they were familiar with UC Gundam prior to the late Nineties so these changes have not met with much criticism from Western fans.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena's remastered release featured some new animation touch-ups and some creative changes like adding bodies to the coffins shown in the Black Rose arc. The audio was also remixed with new sound effects (although the English audio was untouched).
- This was a side effect of the Porygon incident, as Pokémon had its first 37 episodes heavily altered to tone down bright light flashes. These post-Porygon masters were subsequently used for international versions of the series, though not for all of those that made the cut (some later episodes among this pack were imported in their pre-Porygon versions). Later, the first episode was remastered again, this time as a compromise between the pre-Porygon and post-Porygon versions.
- For its 10th anniversary, Azumanga Daioh gained a remake that had art and dialogue changes to existing chapters, as well as quite a few new ones as well.
- The Sailor Moon manga was reprinted in 2003 to coincide with Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. It featured updated artwork and dialogue, and the chapters were reorganized into fewer volumes. These reprints were later used for Kodansha USA's 2011 stateside retranslated rereleases.
- They were revised and re-collected again in 2013 to coincide with the 20th Anniversary and Sailor Moon Crystal. These are Japanese-only, not being available in the US as of this writing.
- When Batton Lash's comic strip Supernatural Law was released in collected form, several early strips were redrawn to improve the quality of the artwork.
- When Marvel Comics reprinted the original series of ElfQuest new pages had to be added by Wendy Pini to fit the total page count. Some of these were new episode titles and recaps, while others were new or expanded story pages. Most of the latter were included in subsequent reprints; due to Art Evolution it's usually not too hard to tell which. A few of the new episode titles were also included, causing some disruption to the original chaptering. Controversially, the series was also re-lettered with bigger balloons which obscured more of the original art and removed some special formatting. This was not corrected until the art was finally "remastered" with computer lettering and coloring, which is the version currently available on the official website. Another reformatting took place when DC Comics reprinted the series in Manga-style volumes, requiring Pini to expand, contract or extend existing comic panels to fit the new page size. This version also included most of the additional art drawn for the Marvel version.
- The Killing Joke was recolored for the 20th anniversary edition, making the scenes darker and more muted, in contrast to its original, more garish colors. Almost inarguably an example of how Tropes Are Not Bad. One striking change is turning the Joker's tears red so it appears he's weeping blood.
- The Absolute edition of The Sandman featured re-done colours (and for one issue, even completely re-inked linework) for some of the issues, which had been let down originally by time pressures or technical limitations.
- Some Astérix comics have had their art reworked, often to deal with foreign markets. Perhaps the most obvious example occurs in Asterix in Switzerland, in which Asterix and Obelix get the wheel of their chariot repaired by a man resembling the Antar service station mascot. As Antar is not very well known outside of France, this was replaced with the Michelin Man in English editions.
- The early Tintin albums were redrawn.
- Some early Suske en Wiske albums were redrawn to remove some of the Early Installment Weirdness, such as the radically different art style and some of the topical humor that was quickly phased out. When fans complained, further re-releases retained the original art with only a new coloring job—for the most part. While for some time, the first page claimed that the story was "reprinted with the original art from many years ago by popular demand," some stories would still have redrawn elements. On top of that, the stories that were redrawn in the first place have remained so, making the only way to see the original versions to collect the original printings or catch one of the limited edition "classic" reprints whenever they happen.
- Grant Morrison was unhappy with one artist's work in the The Invisibles, so in the collected edition he had another artist redraw those pages. This is definitely a case of Tropes Are Not Bad: the pages in question are essential in explaining how time works in the Invisibles universe, but the original artist hadn't quite understood Morrison's script, whereas the replacement artist was much better at illustrating his ideas.
- The Darkwing Duck comic book had the first 16 issues not only collected in an omnibus called "Darkwing Duck: The Definitively Dangerous Edition", but also had original editor Aaron Sparrow rewrite much of the stories to fix continuity errors and make it better fit the tone of the original show. Following this collection published by publisher Joe Books, Inc., a new ongoing Darkwing Duck comic will begin, ignoring the now non-canon DuckTales crossover "Dangerous Currency".
- The entire Scott Pilgrim comic book series got a full-color re-release in August 2012, which was supposed to coincide with the upcoming Downloadable Content for the Beat 'em Up adaptation of the series (that adds Wallace Wells as a playable character and online multiplayer) originally slated for a August 19th, 2012 release, until the DLC was pushed back until Fall of 2012.
- Bone was colorized in graphic novel form, whereas its individual issues were black and white.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog did this with issue #50 when it was re-released and heavily expanded in Sonic Super Special #6 - Sonic 50: Director's Cut
- In the 1970s Wade Williams reshot the special effects for the 1950s sci-fi movie Rocketship X-M in order to improve the film's visual continuity; the VHS tape, laser disc, and DVD releases of RX-M incorporate this re-shot footage.
- Dark Star was originally a 68-minute student short film. When it was acquired for distribution, new footage was added by the producer. Later, John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon re-edited the film into a "director's cut", removing much of the footage shot for the theatrical release and adding new special effects.
- Producer/cowriter John A. Russo decided to release a "30th Anniversary Edition" of Night of the Living Dead (1968), with no involvement from George A. Romero, the director and Russo's writing partner. The reissued version added a new score, newly filmed scenes, and altered sound effects. Harry Knowles threatened to ban anyone from Ain't It Cool News if they defended or complimented this version of the film.
- Writer and producer William Peter Blatty produced a recut of The Exorcist, creating "The Version You've Never Seen". This version added some CGI fixes to certain scenes, added subliminal imagery, restored a scene where the possessed Regan carries out a contorted "spider-walk," and features a longer ending which sets up the events of The Exorcist III. In this case all the added footage had in fact been shot with the rest of the film back in 1973, but the director, William Friedkin simply didn't want to use it. Blatty did, and eventually got the chance to create his own edit.
- Halloween (1978) has an alternate extended version with 12 minutes of additional scenes shot in 1981 for television during Halloween II's production. These scenes do little to advance the plot, and John Carpenter prefers viewers view the film without them, but they do tie some things together with the sequel, and some fans insist on watching the movie with them intact.
- Halloween II (1981) also has an alternate version that was shown on television. Unlike the above example, this alternate cut was almost completely different from the theatrical version as it featured many bits of scenes added in or taken out, and many scenes were re-arranged, resulting in noticeably different pacing. It also arguably featured better character development. Unfortunately, this cut only exists with cable TV censorships, even as an extra feature on the DVD release. Also, a lot of fans objected to Universal's Blu-ray release that replaced the "Moustapha Akkad Presents" title card with "Universal, An MCA Company, Presents." This was apparently an accident, as the fans complained loud enough for Universal to fix this.
- There was an alternate cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1996) called the "Producer's Cut." It's technically the original cut of the film before the Weinsteins ordered re-shoots. It's often seen as superior to the theatrical version for having better character development and making more sense. It also was completed before Donald Pleasence's death, meaning his character originally survived film. The theatrical version was completed after he died, and his character was killed off in that cut. This is also the version Daniel Farrands (the originally sceenwriter) prefers, although he admits he's not a big fan of either one. Despite fans' insistence, the Producers Cut was never been legally available on home video for years, with it only surviving through bootlegs. Fortunately, an official release finally happened on Blu-ray as a part of the upcoming complete franchise boxset from Anchor Bay and Shout! Factory struck from a print discovered in a vault in Canada. There's also a "Director's Cut" shown on television which is basically the theatrical version with some scenes from the Producer's Cut spliced in.
- Both "Rob Zombie" films have theatrical and extended unrated director's cuts with alternate endings.
- Steven Spielberg:
- He was the first person to make a special edition, for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Due to the original production running over time and budget, many scenes had to be cut from shooting. But due to the success of the film, Spielberg managed to convince Columbia to allow him to film these sequences (like the ship in the desert) and release a new version (called the Special Edition) in 1980. However, there was one gripe: He also had to shoot a new ending inside the spaceship (something Spielberg never wanted to show) and it was of course this part that the studio wanted to focus on. This version also had many scenes from the theatrical cut, but with new ones instead. Then in 1997 he released a Director's Cut: Essentially the 1977 cut (though with some scenes, like the power station and a scene with a pre-Rocky Carl Weathers as a soldier cut) with most of the new sequences (besides the inside of the spaceship of course) inserted. All three are included in the Blu-Ray.
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial had quite a few for its 20th anniversary release. In addition to a few new scenes with a CG E.T., it had a scene in which the FBI agents' shotguns were digitally replaced with Walkie-Talkies, which was particularly derided by fans. Lewis Black jibed that the FBI agents were using the Walkie-Talkies to ask each other, "Where the hell are our guns?!? We're trying to stop an alien from escaping!" Unlike Lucas, Spielberg later regretted the changes and now only the original 1982 version is available on Blu-Ray.
- The Director's Cut of Donnie Darko greatly alters the pacing of the film, adding deleted scenes and new special effects, and switching the soundtrack of the movie around. Author Richard Kelly regards this version not as a director's cut (this title was the publisher's idea) as he considers the theatrical version just fine in its own right. Instead, to him the new version is a special edition of sorts. Notably, many critics, including Roger Ebert, preferred the director's cut.
- Happy Birthday to Me's original DVD release from Columbia featured a different musical score. This version was actually taken from an old work print that had a temporary musical score (in other words They Just Didn't Care). Anchor Bay's re-release featured the proper score, as does Mill Creek's Blu-ray.
- Return of the Living Dead has a version that altered the voice of the zombie who says "Send more paramedics!" The zombie had a shriller, higher voice in the earlier version of the film, and lower voice in the newer version of the film. The result isn't as funny as the original scene was. TV versions give the Tar Man a much higher-pitched voice.
- There's a very bizarre DVD edition of Ulli Lommel's 1983 film Boogeyman 2. The original version of the film wasn't very good by any stretch of the imagination, but it is unanimously preferred over what Lommel claimed was a "Director's Cut". This version consists of cheaply shot footage of Lommel being interrogated by off-camera police officers, and "flashbacks" that are 90% derived from Lommel's 1980 film The Boogeyman, which Boogeyman II was a sequel to. The original version of Boogeyman II did consist of a lot of flashback footage from the first film, but it did have some new content, whereas the 2003 version of Boogeyman II is 90% footage from The Boogeyman, 10% newly filmed content. So fans of the original version of the film were not at all pleased by this version, invoking the George Lucas Altered Version trope.
- The Charlie Chaplin classic film The Gold Rush was re-released by Chaplin himself in the 40's with some edits, instrumental music and replaced the title cards of the original silent film with his own narration. Thus making this Older than Television.
- From the '80s until its first DVD release in 2005, the English-dubbed release of Danger: Diabolik suffered from this; the original track was presumed lost, and the recordings that existed were mixed with new voices of an inferior quality; also, a reference to Robin Hood was removed, possibly in order to avoid the ire of Disney (who made an animated movie about the legend) or Warner Bros. (who had just come out with their own Robin Hood movie around the time the VHS and Laserdisc of Diabolik was released). It wasn't until 2005 that a DVD was released with the original English track as heard in theatres.
- In the case of the Orson Welles adaptation of Othello, this trope is legally in play thanks to the egotistic efforts of his daughter Beatrice, who claimed that her restoration was her father's original vision. The lack of Gregorian chanting at the start of the restoration is an early clue that nothing could've been any further from the truth.
- Towards the end of Titanic (1997), a shot of the Milky Way in the night sky was rather lazily mirrored. Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed this out to Jim Cameron, who initially laughed him off but later enlisted him to provide an accurate star map, which was included in the 10th Anniversary DVD.
- This happened to the 1979 version of Dracula starring Frank Langella as the Count. Since the Laserdisc edition in 1991, every home video release of the film has muted, desaturated colors to better reflect the original intent of the director, who wanted to film in black-and-white.
- A unique version happens with the Richard Donner version of Superman II. The original movie was mostly directed by Richard Lester, who was hired to replace Donner after he was fired part way through. To prevent legal issues in the original, the movie had to be at least 51% Lester directed and that required refilming a lot of scenes and changing the script by adding in a lot of comedic elements (which Donner opposed and is the reason he was fired). Donner was given the opportunity to put together a new cut that represented his vision for the film, called "The Richard Donner Cut" instead of simply a Directors Cut. It ended up being about 75% Donner in theory, re-editing Lester-directed scenes to the best of their ability and with others they made do with limited rehearsal footage. They included some deleted fx scenes (including one where Superman is thrown into the Stature of Liberty Torch) and he reluctantly included a CG creation of Zod and company destroying the Washington Monument, which replaced the more comedic defacing of Mount Rushmore (but kept the same reaction line from the President).
- Blade Runner is an interesting case where The 25th Anniversary Final Cut fixed continuity errors, airbrushed or CG'ed out revealing mistakes but Ridley Scott also made most of the previous, unaltered cuts of the movie readily available for anyone who wanted them in Blade Runner's boxsets on DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray.
- Star Trek The Motion Picture was originally released on DVD on a director's cut that re-edited the movie while adding some new CG effects to get closer to Robert Wise's intended vision. Many found it an improvement to an overwhelmingly slow feature that became a bit more watchable, but given the effects company went out one year after release, it has yet to get a Blu-Ray release due to the MIA status of the CG archives necessary for a proper remastering.
- The original English-language version of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was significantly edited down from the Italian version before the dub was recorded, and the removed scenes went un-translated for decades. It wasn't until 2002 that a special edition was created which returned the 14 minutes of missing footage, with newly-recorded English dialogue. However, as Lee Van Cleef had passed away, his character's lines had to be performed by Simon Prescott, and it's quite easy to tell that his voice isn't quite a match for Van Cleef's. Eli Wallach was able to return to record his character's lines, but his voice was noticeably older. Additionally, the entire movie's soundtrack was completely remixed and partially re-recorded, with several sound effects being noticeably altered, especially the gunshots. The DVD and Blu-ray also include a second audio track featuring the Italian dialogue and the original sound mix.
- The Phantom of the Opera (1925) is an early and very mysterious example of a movie getting several alternate versions. The movie was originally released silent in 1925, but it was re-released with sound in 1930 to capitalize on the advent of "Talkies." About 60% of the movie was re-shot with sound (and with some changes to the cast), with the remaining silent footage just having new dialogue dubbed in. No film copies of the sound version exist (the soundtrack itself does, however), but there's another version of the movie called the Eastman House Print, and nobody is really sure where it came from. It's silent, but some of the footage is obviously taken from the sound version, and the footage taken from the earlier silent version is slightly askew, suggesting it was shot from a secondary camera positioned to the side of the main one. There's also a scene which looks like it was shot for the 1930 version, but nothing that matches it can be found in the 1930 soundtrack. Home video releases offer several differing restored versions, one of which attempts to match up the soundtrack with the Eastman House Print, ultimately making the situation even more confusing.
- When Ayn Rand wrote We The Living, she was not yet proficient at the English language, and she hadn't yet developed her philosophy, so when the book was reissued, she decided to rewrite several parts that were inconsistent with her philosophy.
- For its 2013 re-release, Aaron Allston rewrote Doc Sidhe slightly to more closely match his current prose style.
- As The Lord of the Rings was being written, Tolkien rewrote parts of The Hobbit to clean up bits of dialogue and plot holes that might have occurred when moving on with the sequel. Originally Gollum offered the One Ring to Bilbo freely, which doesn't work when you learned the Artifact of Doom is also an Artifact of Attraction.
The story of this alteration is interesting: Tolkien never thought it possible to alter The Hobbit to such an extent: the drafts of LOTR instead try to explain that Gollum had finally started to realise that his torment was caused by the Ring (explaining why Gollum was so willing to accept Bilbo's ridiculous question as a riddle). But in 1944 he experimented with rewriting Riddles in the Dark, and sent it to his editor just "for his amusement", along with other minor changes to be included in the reprint. Of course, the editor failed to realise that the rewrite wasn't meant for inclusion, and seeing it in the proofs for the 1951 edition came as a pleasant surprise to Tolkien.
- Orson Scott Card changed a few parts of Enders Game in later editions to show an impact of The Great Politics Mess-Up.
- Talking to Dragons was written before the rest of Enchanted Forest Chronicles and underwent several changes to bring it in line with the rest of the books when it was rereleased after the other three. A summary of alterations is at The Other Wiki.
- Terry Pratchett reissued his first novel The Carpet People because of public interest, but only after extensively rewriting it. He described the process as being a collaboration with his younger self, and he didn't have to give his co-writer any of the royalties.
- Stephen King massively rewrote the first book of The Dark Tower to bring it aesthetically in line with later books and clean up the odd Continuity Snarl. The fanbase is divided on this, as some of the Early Installment Weirdness was part of the book's charm.
- Bits of Judy Blume's Fudge books from the 70s were updated in 2002 with then-current terminology. For instance, Record players were replaced with CD players and mimeograph machines were replaced with photocopiers.
- Gordon Korman had a set of the Bruno & Boots at Mac Donald Hall books reissued in the 1990s with updated technology terms and prices.
- The early Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books were completely re-written beginning in 1959 in shorter, condensed form, with updated plots, faster-moving action, toned down violence, and white washing the characters. These "new" versions completely replaced the originals and remain in print to this day while diehard fans of the originals need to search for older printings of these books or track down facsimile copies from the early 90s.
- Frankenstein was initially published anonymously in three volumes in 1818. In 1822, it was re-published in two volumes, this time attributed to Mary Shelley, but the text was unchanged. In 1831, the book was finally published in one volume, with a new introduction explaining how Shelley came up with the idea, and this time the text was heavily edited in order to make the story more conservative. The 1831 version is featured in nearly all modern editions of the book, unless they specifically say "1818 text" somewhere on the cover.
Live Action TV (Other Reasons)
- Many of the classic TV series from The Fifties contain small alterations even if they're not colorized. For instance, they often contain syndicated openings/endings since it used to be standard for them to feature their sponsors in their sequences. Clearing the rights to use these sponsors is usually expensive (if the company even exists anymore). In the case of tobacco company sponsors, it would be illegal to do so.
- The original Star Trek series has been reissued with CGI special effects that were obviously not an option during production in The Sixties, replacing the original production models and matte paintings that were used at the time (though in the latter cases, mostly to make the planets more realistic and fix when the Alien Sky behind the characters doesn't look like the planet from the space scenes). On the original HD-DVD release, only the "remastered" version was available at first, causing purists to accuse CBS Paramount of pulling a Lucas; however, subsequent Blu-ray releases have included the original versions, though not as the default option (you have to change from the "remastered" versions to watch them). CBS Paramount has also been doing their best to show only the "remastered" versions in syndication, at least in certain markets.
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-Ray release also updated the special effects in certain places, where showing the original in hi-def would only make it look worse. Unique for this trope is many people actually applaud the work, saying it breathes new life into the show by making it feel recent and not forcing you to enjoy it as a relic of the past.
- A few DVD releases of Doctor Who (Including "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and "The Ark in Space") have had new special effect sequences inserted, better than what was available with the technology (and budget) of the time. However, in all cases, the original broadcast version is also included and the viewer can choose if they want to watch the original or the 'improved' version. An especially heavily altered case is "Day of the Daleks (Special Edition)" which replaces the effects with slightly jarring 00s CGI and some Retraux practical effects, adds additional Daleks to fill out invasion scenes which used only two wobbly props, edits out some of the worst Special Effect Failures and acting SNAFUs, and redubs the Daleks with Nicholas Briggs.
- The first three series of Red Dwarf (from 1988 and 1989) were released as "Remastered" editions intended for overseas sales in 1998. The changes included most of the model shots being replaced with CGInote , a film effect being applied (despite the decade-old series obviously not being filmed or lit for it), a fake "widescreen" effect by cropping the picture, trimming some scenes whilst extending or replacing others and adding other new music and special effects.
- Babylon 5:
- When the show was picked up for a fifth season by TNT, the pilot was reworked considerably, including redoing some effects shots, replacing the soundtrack, and dealing with various editing and pacing issues. The redone version was titled Babylon 5: The Gathering, and aired as part of the show's fifth season.
- The show as a whole is a massive subversion: it was filmed in widescreen and cropped to 4:3, but the CG effects were only animated in 4:3. The assumption was that advances in special effects would render it trivial to re-do the effects when it came time for a widescreen, higher-definition remaster. It wasn't, the show has only ever been released in 4:3 or a 16:9 format created by cropping even more footage from the top and bottom, and the low-resolution CG models, especially in the first season, have aged terribly, especially compared to contemporaries which used practical effects.
- Some episodes of Lost were altered for their first re-airing, which is the version on DVD. For instance, "Adrift" added a shot of the World Trade Center towers to better establish the time frame of the flashbacks. Another episode removed a white car that was visible in the background during a scene on the Island.
- An updated version of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers aired in 2009 on ABC Kids with updated special effects and comic book-inspired graphics.
- This is often done with remixes in pop/hip-hop/r'n'b music, where the original artist gets other artists to perform new parts of their hit single on the track's original beat.
- Jay-Z is a notable subversion, as his remixes generally involve the track getting a new beat, and very rarely do guest M Cs perform. An exception for Jigga was "30 Something (Remix)", which featured Ice Cube and Andre 3000.
- Rihanna did this on her Unapologetic album with the tracks "Diamonds" and "Pour It Up". "Diamonds (Remix)" had Kanye West lay a verse on it (coincidentally, Kanye also has a song called "Diamonds" in his own right), whilst "Pour It Up (Remix)" had a star-studded remix involving four guest rappers (Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Juicy J and T.I.). The latter is notable in part because Ross and Jeezy were on the same track (most likely because of Money, Dear Boy), despite both being enemies at the time.
- When Frank Zappa started reissuing his catalog on compact disc, he decided to completely revamp many of his albums. In particular, entries like We're Only in It for the Money, Cruisin' with Ruben & the Jets and Hot Rats were completely different from their original vinyl incarnations. Zappa added newly recorded instrumentation to Money, Jets and a few other albums, like Sleep Dirt (originally an instrumental album, the CD featured newly recorded vocals by Thana Harris, with lyrics derived from the unproduced musical Hunchentoot, where many of that albums songs originated), which featured newly recorded drumming and bass guitar tracks by then-current musicians like Chad Wackerman and Arthur Barrow. Reportedly, the new instrumentation on these albums was because many of the original band members on the recordings, including drummer Jimmy Carl Black, were suing him over unpaid royalties. Hot Rats did not feature any new instrumentation, being that all of the material was recorded at the original sessions, however, the original recordings were sequenced, mixed and edited in a way that made the exact same recordings sound drastically different from the original album.
- Jimi Hendrix was working on an album at the time of his death, to be titled First Rays of the New Rising Sun. It was never completed as intended, due to his death. The recordings were subsequently scattered across several different contractual obligation albums released by his label, with various alterations made after his death to complete the unfinished recordings. Producer Allan Douglas decided to alter these recordings further by releasing Voodoo Soup, which Douglas alleged presented the album as Hendrix would have intended, which is subjectively untrue, as there was no telling as to how Hendrix would have completed the album if he had lived. One of Douglas' alterations was to add newly recorded drum tracks played by Bruce Gary, of The Knack, a band that formed in 1978, several years after Hendrix died. After the Hendrix family gained the rights to his compositions and purchased the master tapes for his recordings, Voodoo Soup was pulled off the market and replaced by First Rays of the New Rising Sun, a purist-friendly reconstruction of the unfinished Hendrix album, which presented the songs in the versions that were most complete by the time of Hendrix' death, plus minimal overdubs in accordance with Hendrix's wishes (the vibraphone on "Drifting"), compiled and sequenced by Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell.
- In 2002, Ozzy Osbourne decided to re-record aspects of some of his earliest albums after his original drummer and bassist sued him, to have their instrumentation replaced with newly recorded instrumentation by his current drummer and bassist. Ozzy later changed his mind about these reissues, and had the original albums reissued in remastered versions, restoring all of the original instrumentation, causing much rejoicing among Ozzy's fans.
- On the Geto Boys' Self-Titled Album, "Gangsta of Love" was originally built around a sample of the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker". However, the sample was not properly cleared, and it was subsequently replaced with a remixed version that instead samples Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama". The remixed version isn't as effective.
- In 1996, guitarist Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath fame made some solo recordings featuring the drum work of Dave Holland, formerly of Judas Priest, but didn't consider them fit to release at the time (it was subsequently bootlegged). When Iommi was finally convinced to release the EP, Holland had been convicted of attempted rape, and Iommi decided to have his drumming re-recorded, as he did not want the album to be associated with a sex offender. The 2004 EP release The 1996 DEP Sessions therefore consists of 1996 recordings with 2004 drums (played this time by Jimmy Copley).
- Dark Lotus' Tales from the Lotus Pod was altered to remove the vocals of former member Marz. Violent J explained that he wasn't satisfied with the album as it was originally released, as he found Marz' raps to be too dark and morbid. Thus, it was reissued with newly recorded vocals by Psychopathic Records artist Anybody Killa.
- In 1970, on the precipice of the band's break-up, The Beatles released their 12th studio album Let It Be, essentially cobbled together by producer Phil Spector from various studio recordings and out-takes. In 2003, Paul McCartney would release Let It Be... Naked, a remixed version of the album that stripped out Phil Spector's choral and orchestral overdubs (which were probably necessary at the time to salvage parts of the material), and digitally cleaning tracks using technology not available at the time.
- Dave Mustaine uses this as much as George Lucas with Megadeth's catalogue:
- As part of an agreement to get out of his contract, Mustaine ended up "remastering" all of Megadeth's catalogue at Capitol Records (basically all their albums up to Risk minus the first one.) However, his idea of remastering involved creating completely new mixes of everything. The result is interesting, but fans still overwhelmingly prefer the original versions, especially as some of the master recordings were supposedly lost and had to be re-recorded.
- Mustaine also completely reworked MD.45's album The Craving, removing the input of Lee Ving (vocals and harmonica) entirely, and adding his own vocals and extra guitar. Mustaine initially claimed that Ving's parts were lost, but later said that he did it because he was disappointed in the failure of the original version, and thus effectively made it a Megadeth album.
- Mustaine also provided a totally different covers for Killing Is My Business and Risk, a modified one for Cryptic Writings, and changed the color saturation and logo sizes on the others.
- David Sylvian finally released the Japan outtake "Some Kind Of Fool" on his 2002 collection Everything And Nothing...but added new vocals to the original instrumental. Whilst Sylvian's singing had definitely improved, the vocals were incongruous with the older music. He did similar versions of Ghosts and solo track Brilliant Trees, the former also on Everything And Nothing, and the latter on a limited 3CD edition of it.
- in 2009 Kraftwerk released remastered versions of all their albums, save their first three which they've more or less disowned. Among other changes, the album Electric Cafe was changed to Techno Pop, and the cover of Trans Europe Express was changed to a simple train logo rather than a portrait of the four band members (possibly because two of them had long since split from the band, and not exactly on good terms either).
- Cirque du Soleil did this with the Saltimbanco soundtrack in 2005 — along with adding two songs that hadn't appeared on the original 1992 album, all of the original release's songs either had re-recorded portions or were new recordings, reflecting the significant changes made to the show's orchestrations over the years to sound less like products of The '90s.
- Following the extremely negative response to the original ending/s of Mass Effect 3, BioWare spent several months working on an improved version, including the creation of many new cutscenes and the recording of new dialogue as well as some minor retcons to the original story. This would become available to download as a free DLC called the 'Extended Cut' several months later, which would replace the original ending if installed, and is thought considerably better by most fans. Still not the ending that they wanted, in many cases, but certainly better than what they had before.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd, much like in South Park, decided to get in on the fun of mocking this practice in his Back to the Future Trilogy. He starts out by claiming he always wanted random dance scenes and effects in his videos but couldn't afford them, then claims he is changing his Friday the 13th video so that Jason shoots first, but later says he was joking and has no intention in doing this, but he claims he could have done the games better justice and decides to review some games he already reviewed again.
- When Red vs. Blue came out on DVD, Rooster Teeth included a version of the first episode re-shot using Halo 3.
- Darths & Droids references this trope at the end of the A New Hope adaptation. Corey wants to replay the game as Darth Vader, but the GM refuses and Annie insists that "The original version is always the best."
- The author of the Webcomic Funny Farm decided to release the series again, one strip at a time, but redrawn in his current art style and with a spoileriffic commentary on each strip.
- Disney works:
- Walt Disney's Fantasia was altered in its reissue to delete Uncle Tomfoolery. A digital alteration of the film appeared more recently, retaining the scenes, but simply deleting the blackface character Sunflower.
- The entire soundtrack underwent a digital re-recording in 1982, with Irwin Kostal (the musical director of Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Petes Dragon) conducting new renditions of the music. However, the 1990 re-release used the original audio, as do all home video releases of the movie (save either shortened or redubbed versions of the mostly-lost interstitials).
- Similarly, the Disney short The Three Little Pigs was retroactively redubbed to avoid unfortunate implications that the original cartoon had presented, particularly a scene where the wolf portrays a stereotypical Jewish peddler in order to gain access to the house.
- The Lion King boasted some new animation and remixed audio during its 2002 IMAX release. The visual changes made their way to every home video release that followed.
- Aladdin also received this treatment, but the low gross of the Lion King IMAX engagements compelled Disney to release this print directly to DVD.
- Walt Disney's Fantasia was altered in its reissue to delete Uncle Tomfoolery. A digital alteration of the film appeared more recently, retaining the scenes, but simply deleting the blackface character Sunflower.
- Several Tom and Jerry cartoons have been altered by reanimating Mammy Two Shoes as a slim white woman◊ and redubbing her voice. Those edits have been rarely seen since the early 90s when Mammy Two-Shoes was reinstated, but her voice redubbed with a more realistic African American voice instead of the stereotypical dumb-sounding black voice she had in the 40s/50s. The DVDs have a mix of both voices, depending on the cartoon, but the new Blu-rays retain the original voice for every cartoon.
- Both discussed and parodied in the South Park episode "Free Hat". The plot of the episode concerns the boys' attempt to get Lucas & Spielberg to stop changing their films. A Parody Commercial in the middle features Live Action Matt Stone & Trey Parker, creators of South Park, offering for sale an altered version of the pilot episode of South Park featuring all-new CGI.
Announcer: Yes, all the charm of a simple little cartoon will melt before your eyes as it is replaced by newer and more standardized animation!Parker: In the scene at the bus stop, we always meant to have Imperial walkers and giant dewback lizards in the background, but simply couldn't afford it.
- Also, when the boys break into the video library of George Lucas himself, they find not only home videos, but altered versions of them as well (e.g. "Kids First Swimming Lesson w/ Digitally Enhanced Weather").
- In the episode, George Lucas is more hesitant to changing the movies and Steven Spielberg is more antagonistic, but in real life, it was Lucas who wanted that much to change his movies and Spielberg that regretted doing this.
- South Park itself has re-animated HD versions of the first 12 seasons, which were originally animated in 4:3 in standard definition. The DV Ds feature the original versions, but the reruns and streams on Hulu and SouthParkStudios.com feature the revised versions.