10 Biopics That Were Made Against The Wishes Of The Subject (Or Their Family)

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Over the years, biopics have become a mainstay in cinema. From movies about inspirational historical figures like Muhammad Ali and Gandhi, incredibly famous artists like Elton John and Queen, or even true stories from the world of crime like Goodfellas or Bonnie and Clyde, the genre is full of ground-breaking flicks.

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While fans and viewers love movies based on real-life incredible stories, those the film is based upon aren’t always too pleased. Whether some characters were misrepresented or some events were changed way too much from the truth, these great movies were often subject to some heavy criticism from the subject and their family.

10 Nina Simone’s Daughter Wasn’t A Fan Of Her Biopic Nina At All, But It Wasn’t Due To The Actors

Nina Simone

Nina Simone was a well-known singer-songwriter and civil rights activist, with an incredible life story to tell to the world, but the movie Nina was subject to plenty of criticism from the singer’s daughter. Not only was the casting of Zoe Saldana, who wore skin-darkening makeup and a prosthetic nose—an odd one to say the least—with Saldana even admitting she regrets the role, but some of the writing was also plain lies.

One big lie according to her daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, was the inclusion of a romantic relationship between Simone and her manager Clifton Henderson, who she claimed was actually gay. This is exactly how you wouldn’t want your mother’s incredible work to be remembered.

9 Benedict Cumberbatch Was Actually Urged Not To Take The Leading Role In The Fifth Estate by Julian Assange Himself

The Fifth Estate

Despite casting one of Hollywood’s biggest A-listers, Benedict Cumberbatch, The Fifth Estate failed to deliver on almost all levels following its release in 2013. The story of the infamous Julian Assange and WikiLeaks was a well-known one that saw the founder leak classified information.

While a criminal in the eyes of the United States Government, Assange is thought of as a hero by many, but this movie didn’t do him any justice, with Assange himself calling it a “massive propaganda attack.” According to him, the film was just a pile of lies all built as “a work of political opportunism, influence, revenge and, above all, cowardice.”

8 Patch Adams Was A Massive Box Office Hit But Wasn’t A Hit In The Eyes Of The Real Patch Adams

The massive box office hit, Patch Adams, was a brilliant and heartwarming film about the life of an American physician who used his jokes and costumes when dealing with suffering patients. His methods kept the mood better and Adams went on to focus on activism work and built a free hospital.

While the movie focused on his relationships with patients, Adams was angry at the film, and Robin Williams too, for focusing on the comedic side too much and ignoring all the other brilliant work he completed. This slightly changed after the unfortunate death of Williams in 2014, where Adams recalled his kind personality and how he brought more awareness to his mission.

7 Jane Hawking’s Story Wasn’t Told As Accurately As She Would’ve Liked In The Theory Of Everything

The Theory Of Everything

The brilliant and inspirational story of Stephen Hawking was shown on the big screen back in 2014 with The Theory of Everything. While the movie focused a bit on his tremendous work in the field of theoretical physics, most of the movie was spent following Hawking and his relationship with Jane Hawking.

One prime example was the meet-cute at a Cambridge party, which didn’t ever happen, in fact, the two met at a New Year’s party and then later by chance on the train. Another is Jane’s relationship with Jonathan, where in real life Jane says she remained faithful to Stephen during their entire marriage.

6 The Social Network Was A Ground-Breaking Film Which Really Didn’t Go Down Well With Mark Zuckerberg

Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of the Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg showed him as an incredibly arrogant, selfish, yet kind of brilliant coder who went on to create one of the biggest platforms of the 21st Century. While Zuckerberg agreed that the wardrobe was absolutely spot on, some aspects of the writing were particularly hurtful to him.

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For example, the idea that he created Facebook as revenge following a breakup, and in order to attract more girls, was completely made up according to Zuckerberg, in fact, he even claimed to have been dating his now-wife Priscilla Chan. At least they got the dress code spot on!

5 Another Aaron Sorkin Screenplay, Moneyball, Was Also Supposedely Full Of Inaccuracies

The 2011 flick about the incredible journey of the Oakland As and their general manager Billy Beane was known for having a few minor inaccuracies for a while. From a character singing a song released six years after the movie is set, to certain players of the As’ roster not being shown enough respect for the role they played, but the biggest came from coach Art Howe, who had a lot to say about the inaccuracy.

The former team manager wasn’t pleased with his on-screen physical appearance, even complaining about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s weight in the movie, and the depiction of him refusing to use Scott Hatteberg or Chad Bradford in his team despite Beane’s opinion.

4 The Blind Side Won Sandra Bullock An Oscar But Complicated The Career Of Michael Oher

The Blind Side

The uplifting story of a homeless Black teenager, adopted by a generous family and then goes on to be drafted by the NFL and become a Super Bowl-winning Left Tackle should’ve been just that, uplifting. Unfortunately, it was accused by many to be carrying on the “white savior” stereotype and wasn’t taken too well by Michael Oher himself.

The NFL star complained that it actually negatively impacted his career, with more and more people scrutinizing his every move, with fans and other players now forming an opinion on him based on his life and struggles rather than his playing ability on its own.

3 Frank Abagnale’s Journey Of Forgery In The ’60s Wasn’t 100% Accurate In Catch Me If You Can

One of the most chaotic but fun movies of the 21st Century was 2002’s Catch Me If You Can, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. The biopic follows DiCaprio’s Frank Abagnale as he uses the art of deception to become a lawyer, doctor, pilot, and become the most successful bank robber in the United States at the age of 17.

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Frank Abagnale loved how the film portrayed his relationship with his father, since in real life he never saw his father as he left his home as a teenager. But, over the years, his opinion on the film turned negative as he regretted his past actions and Spielberg’s hit seemed to glamorize his past mistakes.

2 All-Time Classic Lawrence Of Arabia Didn’t Receive A Positive Reaction from Lawrence’s Brother

Lawrence Of Arabia

The 1962 epic cinematic experience followed the incredible life of British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence is regarded as one of the best films of all time, let alone one of the best biopics. He was tasked with assessing ally Prince Faisal during the battle against the Turks. With 10 Oscar nominations to its name, it’s fair to say the film is an absolute classic of cinema.

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Despite its praise by almost everyone, Lawrence’s brother, A.W., despised it. He hated it so much that he refused to let director David Lean use the title “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” for his movie, even though this was T.E.’s very own memoir and served as inspiration for the majority of the film.

1 Recent Oscar-Winning Green Book Failed To Impress Don Shirley’s Family

Green Book

The uplifting and somewhat charming friendship between Italian-American driver, and loud-mouth, Tony “Lip” Vallelonga and world-renowned pianist Don Shirley took center stage in 2019’s Oscar-winning Best Picture. Their friendship was integral to the plot, but some of Shirley’s family members weren’t too pleased.

In fact, Shirley’s sister-in-law, Patricia, claimed the whole friendship was way over-exaggerated, and in real life was only an employee-employer relationship. Another relative, Shirley’s brother Maurice, wasn’t too happy with the notion that Tony “taught” Shirley how to be Black.

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