International Movie Changes

Jan 22, 2021

Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes from the You're Wrong About podcast test their knowledge about international cinematic changes.

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's our puzzles, word games and adding more salt and vanilla extract than the recipe calls for because why not? I'm Jonathan Coulton, and here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.


I like an almond extract. Thanks, Jonathan. We're on the line with the host of the "You're Wrong About" podcast, Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall. Are you ready for another game?




EISENBERG: Excellent. OK, some movies get changed when they are distributed internationally because they need to be more culturally relevant to the country they are being released in. So in this game, you are going to tell us the title of a film based on a description of what has changed once they had it in the international market.


EISENBERG: Sound easy enough?

MARSHALL: It sounds fun enough.

EISENBERG: All right, so you're going to go back and forth and compete yet again. Sarah, this is for you. In the Japanese version of this 2015 Pixar film, Riley and her Disgust emotion are grossed out by green peppers instead of broccoli.

MARSHALL: Cool. I feel like that has to be "Inside Out."

EISENBERG: That is totally "Inside Out."

HOBBES: I was going to make up a rule where I could steal. Like, I could hit a red button and just, like, take Sarah's point.

MARSHALL: This isn't Family Feud.


EISENBERG: I know. I love that also, you're like - you have a red button. If you have a red button in your house...

COULTON: Yeah, by all means.

EISENBERG: ...That you would like to bring to this, I'm into it, and you can steal.

MARSHALL: Yeah. I think Podcast Host Feud would be a good show.


MARSHALL: Just, you know, throwing that out.

EISENBERG: Yeah. I'm positive it's been tried.


EISENBERG: It might be in development.

MARSHALL: I don't know. There's not that many podcasts out there, so...

EISENBERG: (Laughter) I know.

COULTON: It's true - under-represented.

All right. Michael, this is for you. In the Korean version of this 2014 Marvel film, Steve Rogers' list of things he needs to catch up on includes "Oldboy" and Dance Dance Revolution instead of "I Love Lucy" and Steve Jobs.

HOBBES: "Winter Soldier"?

COULTON: It was "Captain America: Winter Soldier" (ph). That's right.


EISENBERG: I think that's a good update. I think they should change that for all versions.

MARSHALL: I don't know how Steve Rogers would feel about "Oldboy."

HOBBES: Yeah, that's true.

MARSHALL: I wouldn't recommend that movie to him.


HOBBES: I know he's against swearing, yeah.

EISENBERG: That's true.

COULTON: That's a good point. Yeah.

MARSHALL: It certainly relates to his experience to an extent, so...


COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: All right. Sarah, for international releases of this 2012 film, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner created a new opener with title cards and photos from 1865 to explain just what was going on in America at that time.

MARSHALL: Oh, cool. I'm sure a lot of Americans could have used that.


EISENBERG: You're so right.

MARSHALL: And I'm going to say it was "Lincoln."

EISENBERG: Yeah, it was "Lincoln." Again, they should have just kept that for the American market.


EISENBERG: I mean, also, I was just thinking, can you imagine Americans, I guess, watching a legislative drama about another country's...

MARSHALL: Oh, my gosh.



HOBBES: Yeah, like the passing of the poll tax under Margaret Thatcher.


HOBBES: I don't see that being a big hit here.


HOBBES: But that'd actually be a good movie.

COULTON: All right. This is the last question. It's for you, Michael. In the German version of this 1988 action film, Karl is named Charlie, Heinrich is Henry, and Hans Gruber is known as Jack Gruber.

HOBBES: It's got to be "Die Hard."

COULTON: It is "Die Hard." Yeah, that's right.

MARSHALL: Jack Gruber.

COULTON: Jack Gruber.

MARSHALL: Because we know Alan Rickman came across totally German in that movie.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

MARSHALL: A British guy occasionally remembering to do a German accent a little bit.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right (laughter).

EISENBERG: I don't know how - what they did with yippee-ki-yay (ph) - yippee-ki-yay herr - I don't know.


EISENBERG: Well done. I feel like you pretty much nailed that one. That was perfect, perfect. You know your movies. You know your international markets.

MARSHALL: We know our whales. We know our underground mammals.



EISENBERG: Michael Hobbes, Sarah Marshall, host the "You're Wrong About" podcast, thank you so much.

HOBBES: You can baleen on us anytime you need a...


HOBBES: I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

COULTON: No, it's a good way to go.

HOBBES: I've been saving that. I've been saving it. I'm sorry.

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