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10 Times Hollywood’s Gender-Swap Obsession Led To Movie Disasters

10 Times Hollywoods Gender Swap Obsession Led To Movie Disasters

There are times when female led movies actually ended up becoming Box Office Giants. Resident Evil, The Hunger Games, Aliens, and Wonder Woman are prime examples. But sometimes Hollywood throws a twister. Instead of creating original and powerful female characters, they take the easy route by gender-swapping already established male characters to show how ‘progressive’ they are. Not only does this strengthen the notion that creating original female characters is tough, it also creates Box Office disasters.

The Hustle

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The Hustle was a remake of the cult classic 1988 movie – Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. But instead of male leads, it had a female centric protagonist duo. Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson filled in for Michael Caine and Steve Martin. Safe to say the movie was an utter disaster. It made 97 Million dollars at the Box Office but the reviews were unanimously unfavorable. The studio later confirmed that the movie’s marketing cost and production budget combined were twice as much as the Box Office earnings.

The Tempest

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This movie could be considered a predecessor of the edgy trend that took Hollywood by storm in the previous decade. The Tempest gender-swapped Shakespeare for the movie. And they chose the perfect actor to play the part – the legendary Helen Mirren. Even we could not have imagined a better actor for the role. But the movie’s plot and pacing was so abjectly bad even Mirren could not save it. And that is saying something. The only saving grace for the movie was its incredible costume design. It made just 350,000 dollars at the Box Office. Sandy Powell won her ninth Academy award for Best Costume design in the Tempest.

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The Incredible Shrinking Woman

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The Incredible Shrinking Woman is a take off on the sci-fi classic the Incredible Shrinking Man. The original movie was released in 1967. Lily Tomlin’s movie tried to capture the tropes and elements that turned the source film into a cult classic. But it failed where its predecessor had succeeded. Many praised Tomlin’s acting but blamed the movie lacked substance. Some even went as far as to say that the remake was just a B-Movie parody rather than an original off-shoot. It is one of the most negatively reviewed movies of the Eighties.

The Next Karate Kid

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After a successful run, The Karate Kid franchise wanted the movies to go in another direction. The Ace Degenerate generation no longer attracted them. So the studio brought back Mister Miyagi to train a new kid in the block. Hilary Swank was one of Miyagi’s war buddies’ grand daughter with terrible anger issues. Suffice it to say, after watching The Next Karate Kid, many hardcore Karate Kid fans started having anger management issues of their own. The people and the critics claimed the movie was pointless and unnecessary, aimed at just milking a franchise that was on its last legs.

Ocean’s Eight

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The Oceans Trilogy is held sacred by many lovers of the heist genre. Steven Soderbergh’s work of art is called a masterpiece of movie making. So when Warner Brothers announced they are making a female centric , fans were a bit hesitant considering the history of gender swapping in Hollywood. They were not wrong to be wary. Despite earning more than 200 Million Dollars, the movie’s undemanding plot and incredibly pointless sub-plots just was not what the audiences expected in an Ocean’s movie.


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The Ghostbusters remake was facing a long drawn out battle right off the bat. No matter how the Studio tried to swerve the project around, the internet’s most toxic corners spewed hatred against the movie. It was unfair how Ghostbusters was treated even before it was released. But then the movie hit the theaters and we were forced to admit how bad the movie was. It’s long run time and dry humor coupled with a huge production budget spelled disaster for the studio. Another Ghostbusters movie is scheduled to be released with the original cast from the 1984 movie pitching in.

American Psycho II: All American Girl

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The sequel to Christian Bale’s American Psycho was originally planned to be unconnected to the first movie. The connection to Patrick Bateman was established in the script after initial test marketing revealed the audiences were not welcoming enough to the idea. Mila Kunis starred as a criminology student who was driven to a life of psychopathy. Kunis’ character was a victim and survivor of Patrick Bateman. It was universally panned by critics. It had an initial rating of zero on Rotten Tomatoes based on eight reviews. The average score for the movie was 2.9/10.


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The 2019 movie is a remake of the 1987 movie of the same name. But this time the roles are reversed. The original movie starred Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Hawn played a wealthy and spoiled rich lady while Russell played the good guy/family man. A case of amnesia leads to Russell’s character assuming the role of Hawn’s husband when the latter loses her memory. The 2018 movie had the roles reversed. The movie failed to take off and capture the magic of the original romantic comedy. It is considered one of the worst remakes of all time.

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American Pie: Girls’ Rules

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American Pie is a very infamous raunchy sex comedy movie series. the franchise is known for what it represents – dirty, sexual humor. And it has thrived for years on the same basic plot idea. American Pie: Girls’ Rules was the fifth entry into the franchise. People had already become disenchanted with the whole American Pie series. Trying to spice things up with a female centric story was not something that could be considered fresh or unique anymore. The audiences would not have any of it. The movie has a 3.8/10 rating on IMDb. It’s RT Score is 30%.

What Men Want

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Taraji P Henson replaces Mel Gibson in What men Want, a remake of sleeper hit 2000 movie What Men Want. Paramount Pictures and BET Films had high hopes for the movie project. The loose remake of the original movie would have given the ability to read the opposite gender’s minds to Henson’s character. She played Ali Davis, a successful sports agent trying and living the dream in the male dominated world of sports. What Women Want helped break stereotypes by showcasing women are smarter and more sophisticated than men. What Men Want didn’t do the opposite sex any justice. It only strengthened the notion that men are power hungry and sex crazy freaks who are as bad as they get.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.