Trivia / Across the Universe

  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $70.8 million. Box office, $29.4 million.
  • Creator Killer: While Julie Taymor's uncompromising attitude when dealing with the producers ultimately prevented Joe Roth's butchered re-edit from ever seeing the public eye outside of a few test screenings, it also killed any chance she had of becoming a major film director. She subsequently retreated back to the Broadway scene, with her only film work since being a couple of comparatively low-budget William Shakespeare adaptations.
  • Doing It for the Art: The homage to The Beatles was more important than the plot, hence a few songs and sequences that technically didn't advance the story at all.
  • Executive Meddling: Attempted, but failed. The studio decided the original cut of the film was "too artsy," and re-edited it to better suit mass audiences. However, Julie Taymor had enough clout to make sure she had Protection from Editors in her contract. She made them release her cut without any alterations, and even went so far as to get the studio to destroy all copies of their re-edited version.
  • Fake American: Joe Anderson, Max's actor, is actually English.
    • Also, Irishman Bono plays the American Doctor Robert.
  • Troubled Production: The film only had a mildly troubled shoot, though with some spats between director Julie Taymor and the producers, who felt that she was making the film a little too "artsy" and being unrealistically optimistic that the music of The Beatles would make it a box-office hit. After filming was done, Taymor assembled her director's cut and presented it to the studio, only for studio head Joe Roth to reject it and put together his own cut tailored more for mainstream audiences. One problem, however; between her status as a Broadway legend and her acclaimed cinematic debut with Frida, Taymor had gotten Protection from Editors in her contract, and she demanded that Roth release her cut unaltered. Roth sent both versions to test audiences in an attempt to show that he was right, and while reactions toward both cuts were mixed, the feedback was clearly more positive toward Taymor's cut than his own. Both parties refused to back down, causing the film's release date to slip from the back-end of 2006 to September 2007, and when it became obvious that the press were firmly on Taymor's side, Roth finally backed down and agreed to release her cut, albeit with little in the way of publicity, causing it to earn back just $30m of its $45m budget worldwide.