Rename That Film

It’s a movie’s identity and its first point of contact with the world. So is it any surprise that coming up (and sticking) with a proper film title can be tough.

For instance, take “Lucky Numbers.”

The film, about the get-rich-quick scheme of a down-and-out weatherman (John Travolta) and his galpal (Lisa Kudrow) to rig the state lottery was at one time known just as “Numbers.”

Now maybe because it rolls off the tongue a little gentler or perhaps the new title better drives home the flick’s theme, but it’s anyone’s guess as to why the studio decided to change the title of the film just months before its release this Friday. (Paramount, the film’s studio, has declined to comment.)

Think we’re splitting hairs? Allow us to present another case in point: Cameron Crowe‘s “Almost Famous.” Just to get a sense of the amount of sleep creative types presumably lose over a catchy name, the DreamWorks boutique project had reportedly gone through numerous trial titles — including “Stillwater,” “Something Real” and “The Uncool” – before finally sitting happy with its current incarnation.

And, of course, those are not the only films that have gone through the Hollywood name game. So without further ado, we bring you some films that were formerly known as titles unbeknownst to you:

Men Of Honor” — The upcoming Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. drama about a man’s dream of becoming a Navy diver was once called, conveniently, “Navy Diver” and then “The Diver.”

Bring It On” — The Kirsten Dunst pom-pom fest was originally called “Cheer Fever.” The title “Jump” was also another alternative that was being thrown around.

Red Planet” — The Mars flick with Val Kilmer and “The Matrix‘s” tough chick Carrie-Anne Moss once went by the name “Alone.” Perhaps figuring that that title has nothing whatsoever to do with the planet on which the story is based, Warner Bros. later changed it to “Mars,” only to once again alter it to the more metaphorical “Red Planet.”

Reindeer Games” — A case where the original title prevails: Dimension Films once toyed with changing the Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron thriller to “Deception,” but thought otherwise and stuck with “Reindeer Games.”

Scream” — Here’s a bit of a movie trivia for horror fanboys: the first “Scream” movie was originally known as “Scary Movie.”

Scary Movie” — Had enough self-reflexivity yet? The Wayans megaspoof was first known as “Last Summer I Screamed Because Friday the 13th Fell on Halloween” and then as “Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween.” What happened next? Well, that’s movie history.

The Watcher” — Trip out, dude. The cop and serial killer flick, with Keanu Reeves as the obsessed murderer with a certain leaning for James Spader‘s beat-up detective, was previously called “Driven.”