Continuity in a film is often looked over by many viewers but it’s a hugely important aspect of the film-viewing experience as being able to guide the audience through scenes with a good and natural flow is vital to the reception to the success of the movie.
On occasion, studios will order huge swathes of expensive reshoots in order to fix glaring plot holes or continuity errors, sometimes leaving films unrecognisable compared with how they began.
But sometimes, however, this can lead to an even worse problem, creating consistency blunders caused by reshoots themselves or a disjointed filming schedule.
Inspired by a recent reshoot blunder in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we take a look at some of the most egregious examples in cinema history.
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7. Army of Darkness
We begin our rundown with another Sam Raimi film, Army of Darkness, the third entry in the cult classic Evil Dea trilogy.
In the film, we follow Ash Williams after he has been transported back in time to the Middle Ages where he must face off against the army of the dead.
Eagle-eyed viewers, however, will notice that actor Bruce Campbell’s hair changes length throughout the film, going from long, flowing locks to a shorter and neater cut.
The reason for the changing hair length is that a round of reshoots took place months after principal photography ended in order to give the film a happier ending and to re-work some scenes on the orders of Universal.
6. Army of the Dead
The second film on our list features another army of undead, this time is Zack Snyder’s Netflix outing Army of the Dead.
Originally, Chris D’Elia was slated to appear in the cast but after allegations of sexual misconduct were levied at the actor he was replaced a year after production had originally ended.
Tig Nataro was selected to be D’Elia’s replacement but filming for her scenes took place after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which meant that she had to film many of her scenes on her own, with Ana de la Reguera being the only cast member that Notaro was actually able to work with.
To include Tig Nataro in the film, her scenes were added in via the use of green screen and CGI during post-production.
Scream is one of the most famous horror franchises in cinema thanks to the use of the ghoulish Ghostface mask.
But during filming of the original Scream, the filmmakers had yet to receive legal clearance to include the famous mask from owners Fun World according to What Culture.
As a result, director Wes Craven ordered KNB Effects to produce their own knock-off version with just enough subtle differences to avoid a lawsuit.
Eventually, the film did receive permission to use the genuine mask and Craven directed a round of reshoots to include the genuine mask but on some occasions, the old KNB mask can still be seen, which is particularly jarring when the mask style changes slightly mid-scene.
Taylor Lautner’s Jacob is ever-present in the Twilight saga, something which cannot be said for his shirt which often disappears at a moment’s notice.
Not only does this leave viewers drooling over Lautner’s muscly frame, but it also gives fans a good view of Jacob’s tattoo which sits nicely on his right shoulder.
However, the trouble is, the tattoo is not one for staying put and it can often be seen moving up and down several inches along Jacob’s arm throughout the saga.
3. The Phantom Menace
Ewan McGregor has just returned to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the latest Star Wars series on Disney+ but the actor’s very first appearance as the Jedi was not a smooth one, at least not for his hair.
After principal photography took place between June and September 1997, a plethora of reshoots and pick-ups took place between August 1998 and February 1999 and in scenes where McGregor had to return, he was lumbered with a rather unsightly hairpiece.
In the majority of scenes, Obi-Wan can be seen with a short and spiky brown haircut complete with the trademark padawan braid but for the reshoots, Ewan McGregor donned a wig that looked nothing like his original hairstyle and to make matters worse it appeared to be almost ginger in certain lighting conditions.
2. The Wizard of Oz
Despite being a bona fide classic in the world of cinema, The Wizard of Oz endured a truly torrid filming schedule with no less than five directors coming and going throughout production.
Filming took place between October 1938 and February 1939 and having a plethora of directors meant that scenes were often shot out of sequence or had to be picked up months later.
This is especially noticeable in Dorothy’s first encounter with the scarecrow as her hair changes length repeatedly throughout the scene, starting off at shoulder length before growing down to her chest and then by the end of the scene returning to its original length.
1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
And finally, we end with the film that inspired our list, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The character of Wong is given his largest role in the MCU so far and he’s needed in more scenes than ever before but this also means he became a victim of reshoot blunders.
Filming on the Doctor Strange sequel first began in November 2020 and had to pause on several occasions thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As well as the interrupted filming schedule, the film also required some very last-minute reshoots, with some final filming taking place as recently as March 2022, just two months before the film’s release.
Thanks to these reshoots, Wong’s hair can be seen changing length throughout the film and even several times in the very same scene, the rooftop exchange where Strange and Wong bury the Strange from another universe.
While Wong’s hair is usually a short buzz cut, the reshoots mean he has much longer locks before his hair returns to normal length in the very next scene.