10 Movies With Shocking Original Titles

From putting pen to paper to completing the final draft of the screenplay to the final edit of the picture, movies go through some vast changes, and the final product could end up entirely unlike the original vision that the writer had.

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One of the biggest changes that a movie goes through, as it’s something that is considered through every step of the filmmaking process, is the title. The title is arguably the most important part of the flick, as it has to sell the movie, and, at the same time, make the audience understand what the movie’s about. Over the decades, there have been some original titles for classic movies that are remarkably deceptive and completely unbelievable.

10 Back To The Future: Spaceman From Pluto

There were a lot of different actors considered to play Marty in the movie, but that isn’t the only thing that could have been different about Back To The Future. When Marty first landed in 1955, crashing into a barn in the DeLorean, the outfit he used to travel in looked an awful lot like an astronaut’s outfit.

According to CBS News, this led to the original title, Spaceman From Pluto, which is not only a terrible title, but it’d give audiences the completely wrong idea about what the movie is about too.

9 Pulp Fiction: Black Mask

Arguably Tarantino’s best movie, Pulp Fiction’s title is possibly as iconic as the movie itself, named after the type of hard-boiled fiction novels and magazines that Tarantino was influenced by. Well, according to Shortlist, Tarantino had planned on naming the 1994 classic Black Mask, which was one of those very pulpy magazines that’s full of detective stories.

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Though Black Mask doesn’t necessarily explain the plot of the movie, neither does Pulp Fiction. However, if the movie was named Black Mask, audiences would have probably thought the Gimp was the titular character.

8 Goodfellas: Wiseguy

Henry, Jimmy, and Tommy in Goodfellas

Being possibly the best gangster movie ever, the movie is an adaptation of a book released in 1985, and it stays fairly true to the source material. However, that book isn’t called Goodfellas, but Wiseguy, and Scorsese had planned on keeping the same name.

Unfortunately, as there was already a TV show called Wiseguy that was on TV at the time, and Brian De Palma had also released a movie of the same name not long beforehand.

7 Snakes On A Plane: Pacific Air Flight 121

Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes On A Plane (2006)

The ridiculousness of the title is one of the major reasons why the schlocky movie was so successful. Though it’s one of the best movies based on a plane, critics hated the movie, and even audiences disliked it, but it still made the rounds due to the laughable nature of the plot being precisely summed up in the title. The movie definitely wouldn’t have had the same success if it had kept its original title, which was the mundane Pacific Air Flight 121.

6 The Breakfast Club:- The Lunch Bunch

The Breakfast Club Movie

With The Breakfast Club being a classic 80s coming of age movie with one of the best endings of a teen movie, the film’s title expertly explains that it’s about a bunch of 80s kids in detention during the weekend.

However, with the movie originally taking place later in the day, according to HuffPostThe Lunch Bunch was considered for a title, and though the catchy name worked for Snakes On A Plane, it falls flat here.

5 Cloverfield: Slusho


Before the movie’s release, Cloverfield was set to be titled Slusho, which is one of the franchises set in the Cloverfield meta-universe. Cloverfield went through a lot of title changes, as at one point it was called Chocolate, and then even Cheese. As the name Cloverfield isn’t actually tied to anything in the movie and is seemingly a word they pulled out of thin air—though dedicated fans will know that it’s actually the name of the movie’s monster—the movie really could have been titled any one of these.

4 Titanic: The Ship Of Dreams

Leonardo DiCaprio 10 Most Tragic Characters, Ranked_ Titanic

With Titanic being the highest-grossing movie of all time for years until it was knocked down to second place by Avatar, the movie’s simple title helped the epic period drama reach that point.

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However, according to Business Insider, James Cameron considered naming the movie The Ship Of Dreams before he settled on Titanic. As the original title is fairly ironic given how the true story resulted in a tragedy, opting for a simpler title was definitely for the best.

3 Toy Story: Wind-Up Heroes

Buzz tries to fly in Toy Story

Though it’s easy to shoot down classic movies’ original titles, as we’ve grown up with these treasured movies and their names for years, some original titles just really are that bad. That goes for Toy Story’s original title, Wind-Up Heroes. 

According to Lee Unkrich, the editor of Toy Story, it was the original title that stuck throughout production. But, there were many other working titles that were much better, including Toyz In The Hood, Wings And Pull Strings, and To Infinity And Beyond.

2 Alien: Star Beast

Ellen Ripley in Alien

When the screenplay was first being written, Alien’s original title was lifted from the unrelated 1954 sci-if novel, Star Beast. But, that title made the movie sound less grueling and horrific than it actually is, and it created the thought that the crew of astronauts was being attacked by something as threatening as a mogwai. As Alien was influenced by Jaws and was pitched as Jaws in space, the studio was even influenced by its simple title.

1 2001: A Space Odyssey: How The Solar System Was Won

2001 A Space Odyssey

According to the Washington Post, the original title for one of the most influential movies ever made, 2001: A Space Odyssesy, was nothing more than a fun, direct nod to the 1962 western How The West Was Won.

That isn’t the only potential name that Stanley Kubrick threw around before he finally settled on the final title, as he also considered Tunnel To The Stars and Journey Beyond The Stars, the latter of which Kubrick even announced as the official title back in 1965.

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Updated: December 7, 2020 — 1:00 am

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