Twin films

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Twin films are films with the same or similar plots produced and released at the same time by two different film studios.[1] The phenomenon can result from two or more production companies investing in similar scripts at the same time, resulting in a race to distribute the films to audiences.[2][3] Some attribute twin films to industrial espionage, the movement of staff between studios, or that the same screenplays are sent to several film studios before being accepted. Another possible explanation is if the films deal with topical issues, such as volcanic eruptions, reality television, terrorist attacks, or significant anniversaries, resulting in multiple discovery of the concept.[3]

While twin films are often big budget films, a mockbuster can be made with a low budget, with similar titles, aesthetics, or theme as blockbuster films.[4] Mockbusters are usually given more limited release and marketing, intending to take advantage of the public interest in the topic driven by the major film.

Avoiding twin films[edit]

Screenwriter Terry Rossio notes that there are always film projects with similar subjects being developed in multiple studios, and that usually only one of them makes it into production in a given period of time, and therefore twin films are better regarded as exceptions to this tendency.[5] For example, the release of the 2015 Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass led to the abandonment of a planned film about Bulger that would have been produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.[6]

The 2008 film Who Do You Love?, about American record label Chess Records, had its widespread release delayed until 2010 to avoid competing with Cadillac Records, a higher-budget 2008 film on the same subject.[7]

In one case, for the 1974 film The Towering Inferno, the fear of having competing action thrillers, both set in a burning skyscraper, convinced two Hollywood studios to merge their productions into one (all-star) film.[8]

Notable examples[edit]

Notable examples of twin films are included in this list:[9][10][11][12]

First film Release date Second film Release date Similarities
Ivanhoe 1913 Ivanhoe 1913 Based on Ivanhoe (1819).
The Three Musketeers 1921 Les Trois Mousquetaires 1921 Based on The Three Musketeers (1844).
The Spanish Dancer 1923 Rosita 1923 Based on the play Don César de Bazan (1844) and the opera Don César de Bazan (1872).
Dishonored 1931 Mata Hari 1931 Both films are about female spies. M-G-M studios, alarmed by the competition that the Sternberg-Dietrich phenomena posed to star Greta Garbo, responded with the copycat Mata Hari the same year.[13]
Topaze 1933 Topaze 1933 Both are adaptations of the play by Marcel Pagnol released a month apart.
Little Man, What Now? 1933 Little Man, What Now? 1934 Both are adaptations of the novel by Hans Fallada.
The Rise of Catherine the Great 1934 The Scarlet Empress 1934 Both are about Catherine the Great.
Crime and Punishment 1935 Crime and Punishment 1935 Both are about Crime and Punishment.
The Emperor's Candlesticks 1936 The Emperor's Candlesticks 1937 Both are adaptations of The Emperor's Candlesticks (1899) by Baroness Orczy.
Jezebel 1938 Gone with the Wind 1939 William Wyler's Jezebel (1938) was reportedly created for Bette Davis when she failed to win the highly coveted role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939). Both films were about feisty, independent Southern belles during the American Civil War.
Young Mr. Lincoln 1939 Abe Lincoln in Illinois 1940 Both are about Abraham Lincoln.[14][15]
Journey into Fear 1943 Background to Danger 1943 An American becomes the target of Nazi spies in neutral Turkey. Based on novels by Eric Ambler.
Rhapsody Rabbit 1946 The Cat Concerto 1947 Both cartoons center around a piano rendition of "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2", and both feature a mouse pestering the pianist. See also Rhapsody Rabbit § Plagiarism dispute.
Volcano 1950 Stromboli 1950 Both are films about a woman who is forced to move to a volcanic island in Italy, where she is ostracized by the locals. Volcano was widely viewed as star Anna Magnani's revenge at not having been cast in Stromboli, as she had been promised by director Roberto Rossellini; this dispute was covered in the 2012 documentary The War of the Volcanoes.
Manina, the Girl in the Bikini 1952 Woman of the Red Sea 1953 Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren in their first main roles as girls in bathing suits in films about deep sea diving.
The Daughter of the Regiment 1953 Daughter of the Regiment 1953 Based on La fille du régiment (1840) by Gaetano Donizetti
Sign of the Pagan 1954 Attila 1954 Both films about Attila and his invasion of the Western Roman Empire; a contemporary review in The New York Times writes, "Attila the Hun, quite ignored by moviemakers up to now, is about to step into the limelight in two new films."[16]
Touchez pas au grisbi 1954 Rififi 1955 Both are films about aging gangsters in Paris. After a successful heist they have to fight against a rival gang.
The Plot to Assassinate Hitler 1955 Jackboot Mutiny 1955 Both are about the 20 July plot of 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
Anastasia 1956 The Story of Anastasia 1956 Both follow the life of Anna Anderson, a woman who claimed to have been the presumed dead Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, who was the last sovereign of Imperial Russia.
The Fly 1958 The Wasp Woman 1959 Both films are about a human being transforming into a giant insect (a fly and a wasp).
Tarzan's Greatest Adventure 1959 Tarzan, the Ape Man 1959 Both movies are about Tarzan and an adventure that he has.
Oscar Wilde 1960 The Trials of Oscar Wilde 1960 Both are about the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.
Portrait of a Mobster 1961 Mad Dog Coll 1961 Films about Dutch Schultz and Mad Dog Coll.
Mutiny on the Bounty 1962 H.M.S. Defiant 1962 Films about mutinies on British ships in the late 18th century.
Cleopatra 1963 A Queen for Caesar 1962 Films about Cleopatra.
Captain Clegg 1962 The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh 1963 Both films were based on Doctor Syn (1915) by Russell Thorndike.
Dr. Strangelove 1964 Fail Safe 1964 Both deal with the concept of accidental nuclear war, although Dr. Strangelove is satire, while Fail Safe is a drama.
Harlow 1965 Harlow 1965 Both were based on the life story of Jean Harlow.
Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines 1965 The Great Race 1965 Both are slapstick films about a race in the early 1900s, inspired by the success of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).[17][18][19] The films were released two weeks apart.[20]
The Quiller Memorandum 1966 Funeral in Berlin 1966 Both are spy films set in contemporary Berlin.
You're a Big Boy Now 1966 The Graduate 1967 Also Benjamin (1968). All are coming-of-age comedy-drama films about a young man being pursued by an older woman.[21]
Three Resurrected Drunkards 1968 Head 1968 Both films feature a boy band that tackle the common anti-war and counter-culture themes of the time whilst utilizing a time-loop and dream-like narrative.
Yours, Mine and Ours 1968 With Six You Get Eggroll 1968 Both movies deal with widowed parents marrying and combining both of their families.
Fellini Satyricon 1969 Satyricon 1969 Both films were based on Petronius's work, Satyricon.
Venus in Furs 1969 Venus in Furs 1969 Both films were based on Venus in Furs (1870) by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
Don't Grieve 1969 Mon oncle Benjamin 1969 Both films were based on Mon oncle Benjamin [fr] (1842) by Claude Tillier.
The Thirteen Chairs 1969 The Twelve Chairs 1970 Also The Twelve Chairs (1971). All are based on the Russian 1928 novel The Twelve Chairs by Ilf and Petrov.
Leo the Last 1970 The Landlord 1970 Both deal with issues of class and race and feature an upper-class man who moves into a lower-class black neighborhood and gets involved with the residents.[22]
The Strawberry Statement 1970 Getting Straight 1970 Also The Revolutionary and R. P. M. (1970). All are dramas about campus revolt.[23]
Bloody Mama 1970 The Grissom Gang 1971 Both based on the life story of Ma Barker.[24]
Goya, a Story of Solitude 1971 Goya or the Hard Way to Enlightenment 1971 Biographical films about Francisco Goya.
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song 1971 Shaft 1971 Both are frequently credited as the earliest examples of the blaxploitation genre.
Ludwig 1973 Ludwig: Requiem for a Virgin King 1972 Both concern Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Godspell 1973 Jesus Christ Superstar 1973 Both adaptations of 1971 Broadway musicals based on the life of Jesus Christ.[25][26]
A Doll's House 1973 A Doll's House 1973 Also Nora Helmer [de] (1974). Adaptations of Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House (1879).
The Gambler 1974 California Split 1974 Both portray Jewish protagonists addicted to gambling on a downward spiral.
Executive Action 1973 The Parallax View 1974 Paranoid thrillers about political assassinations.
Eskimo Nell 1975 The True Story of Eskimo Nell 1975 Based on The Ballad of Eskimo Nell.
Rollerball 1975 Death Race 2000 1975 Both are dystopian science fiction action films involving dangerous and, sometimes, fatal sports.
Cannonball 1976 The Gumball Rally 1976 Also The Cannonball Run (1981). All three are about the same illegal cross-country race.
Victory at Entebbe 1976 Raid on Entebbe 1977 Also Operation Thunderbolt (1977). All are based on the real-life Operation Entebbe, in which Israeli hostages from a hijacked airplane were freed on July 4, 1976.
Fellini's Casanova 1976 Casanova & Co. 1977 Two films about Giacomo Casanova.
Brink's: The Great Robbery 1976 The Brink's Job 1978 Both films are based on the Brink's robbery of 1950 in Boston, where almost 3 million dollars was stolen.
The Last Remake of Beau Geste 1977 March or Die 1977 Two films about the French Foreign Legion.
Valentino 1977 The World's Greatest Lover 1977 Two films based on the Hollywood career of Rudolph Valentino.
Corvette Summer 1978 Stingray 1978 Both are action comedies about a Chevrolet Corvette.
The Warriors 1979 The Wanderers 1979 Both are about gang wars between New York teenage street gangs of various ethnicities.
Nosferatu the Vampyre 1979 Dracula 1979 Also Love At First Bite (1979). All are based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.
The Amityville Horror 1979 The Shining 1980 Both are supernatural horror films about a family moving into a building where a previous family of tenants has been murdered, in which the father gets possessed by the previous murderer, ultimately attacking his family with an axe.
Border Cop 1979 Borderline 1980 Also The Border (1982); all involve border patrol or immigration enforcement agents who have dangerous encounters with criminals.
Sphinx 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 Adventure films about archaeologists in Egypt. John Rhys-Davies and Vic Tablian have roles in both films.
The Last Chase 1981 Firebird 2015 AD 1981 Both films which take place in a future where the American government has banned private automobiles.
Roar 1981 Savage Harvest 1981 Both films feature American families being attacked by lions in Africa.
The Howling 1981 Wolfen 1981 Also An American Werewolf in London (1981); all either involve werewolves or supernatural wolf-like creatures.
Porky's 1981 The Last American Virgin 1982 Also Screwballs and Losin' It (both 1983); all are sex comedies depicting a group of young male friends trying to lose their respective virginities or perform another sexually related mission.
The Killing of Angel Street 1981 Heatwave 1982 Both were loosely based on the disappearance of Australian anti-development activist Juanita Nielsen.[27][28]
Reds 1981 Red Bells 1982 Also Red Bells II (1983). Films about journalist John Reed (1887–1920).
Some Kind of Hero 1982 First Blood 1982 Also Ruckus (1980). Films feature a Vietnam veteran who returns home who then has trouble adjusting to civilian life.
The Pirate Movie 1982 The Pirates of Penzance 1983 Both are adaptations of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance.
Carmen 1983 Carmen 1984 Also First Name: Carmen (1983). All are inspired by Georges Bizet's opera Carmen.
Octopussy 1983 Never Say Never Again 1983 Both films feature slightly older-than-usual versions of the fictional super-spy, James Bond, as played by actors who had played him in multiple past Bond films (Roger Moore and Sean Connery respectively).
Wild Style 1983 Beat Street 1984 Both are well-received old-school hip hop films, focusing on all four pillars of hip hop culture.[29][30] See also 1983 documentary, Style Wars, focusing on graffiti and to a lesser extent breakdancing; 1984 film Breakin' focused largely on breakdancing; 1985's Krush Groove, a fictionalized retelling of the founding of Def Jam, focused more on and rap music. Many overlapping performers appear in the films, such as the Rock Steady Crew in Wild Style, Style Wars, and Beat Street.
The Day After 1983 Threads 1984 Also Testament (1983) and One Night Stand (1984); all are about the run-up and aftermath of a nuclear attack.
Country 1984 The River 1984 Also Places in the Heart (1984); all are about the difficulties faced by family farms.
Dreamscape 1984 A Nightmare On Elm Street 1984 Both are about people entering the dreams of others and being able to kill them in real life by killing them in their dreams.
Gremlins 1984 Ghoulies 1985 Also Critters (1986). All involve small destructive, evil creatures.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 1984 King Solomon's Mines 1985 Also Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986), the sequel to the latter. All three are action adventure films where an archaeologist-type figure goes on a quest for a mystical place or item, encountering natives along the way.
Rambo: First Blood Part II 1985 Commando 1985 Also Missing in Action (1984). All are one-man army action films.
The Return of the Living Dead 1985 Day of the Dead 1985 Both are zombie movies, released almost simultaneously, and arising from the collaboration between John Russo and George A. Romero on Night of the Living Dead.
Explorers 1985 Flight of the Navigator 1986 Both are films about a child who builds and flies a spacecraft.
Weird Science 1985 Real Genius 1985 Also My Science Project (1985). All feature teens dabbling in mad science and winding up in over their heads.
Back to the Future 1985 Peggy Sue Got Married 1986 Both feature protagonists who go back in time and meet high school versions of their family members, played by the same actors.
Fright Night 1985 Vamp 1986 Also The Lost Boys and Near Dark (1987); all are vampire films involving teenage characters.
Into the Night 1985 After Hours 1985 Also Something Wild (1986); all are comedies about men whose encounter with a mysterious woman leads them to trouble.
Top Gun 1986 Iron Eagle 1986 Both are films about fighter pilots.
GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords 1986 The Transformers: The Movie 1986 Both are animated feature films derived from TV cartoons based on toy lines about transforming robots.
The Vindicator 1986 RoboCop 1987 Both are about an innocent man who is left mutilated and near-dead by villains, is reconstructed into a cyborg by a special-weapons company, and seeks revenge on the people responsible for his fate.
Platoon 1986 Full Metal Jacket 1987 Also Hamburger Hill (1987) and 84C MoPic (1989). All are bleak, violent and unglamorized depictions of the Vietnam War.[31]
Gothic 1986 Haunted Summer 1988 Also Rowing with the Wind (1988). All are set in 1816 when Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley and John William Polidori spend a summer in the isolated Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva.
Link 1986 Monkey Shines 1988 Both are horror films with primates as the antagonist.
The Secret of My Succe$s 1987 Working Girl 1988 Both are about people starting new lower-level jobs in New York City, pretending to be executives, coming up with great ideas regarding takeovers, and getting the girl/guy that was "out of their league".
Like Father, Like Son 1987 Big 1988 Also Vice Versa, 18 Again!, 14 Going on 30 (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989); all portray boys who transform into, or who switch bodies with, adult men.
Buster 1988 Prisoner of Rio 1988 The fate of British train robbers from 1963.
Dangerous Liaisons 1988 Valmont 1989 Both are adaptations of the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
K-9 1989 Turner & Hooch 1989 Both are buddy cop-dog films about a police officer who gets a dog for a partner.
DeepStar Six 1989 Leviathan 1989 Also The Abyss, The Evil Below, Lords of the Deep (1989) and The Rift (1990); all are underwater thrillers involving explorers discovering strange new (and in most of the movies hostile) creatures in the ocean.
Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming 1989 Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming 1990 Both are biopics of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
The Forbidden Dance 1990 Lambada 1990 Both are films that center around the dance the Lambada.
Manta, Manta 1991 Manta – Der Film [de] 1991 Both are based on Manta jokes.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 1991 Robin Hood 1991 Both are based on the legend of Robin Hood.
The Super 1991 Life Stinks 1991 Both are about ruthless upper-class white men who are forced to live in an urban slum.
Mobsters 1991 Bugsy 1991 Both crime films are about Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello. Luciano also appears in Billy Bathgate (1991).
December Bride 1991 The Playboys 1992 Both films tell of a young Irish woman in a small rural community who decides to have a child out of wedlock.
The Hard Way 1991 Into the Sun 1992 Both films are about a movie star going through dangerous adventures while gathering material for a role.
1492: Conquest of Paradise 1992 Christopher Columbus: The Discovery 1992 Both are about Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas in 1492. Also Carry on Columbus
Fear of a Black Hat 1993 CB4 1993 Both parody hip hop, with a particular focus on rap group N.W.A; Fear of a Black Hat is a mockumentary.[29] Both films feature actors Deezer D, Lance Crouther, and LaVerne Anderson; Kimberly Hardin cast both pictures.
Mad Dog and Glory 1993 Indecent Proposal 1993 Also Honeymoon in Vegas (1992). Both films involve a man buying a woman who is not a prostitute for a short period of time and a large amount of money.
Carnosaur 1993 Jurassic Park 1993 Both are action adventure films involving the genetic recreation of dinosaurs or prehistoric animals. Both are also based on books.
Groundhog Day 1993 12:01 1993 Both are about an individual stuck in a 24 hour time loop where the protagonist wakes every morning on the same day and experiences the events of that day over and over until they discover how to break the cycle.
Hard Target 1993 Surviving the Game 1994 Both are modern-day action-adventure thrillers that are heavily inspired by The Most Dangerous Game.
Tombstone 1993 Wyatt Earp 1994 Both are Wyatt Earp biopics.
Rookie of the Year 1993 Little Big League 1994 Both are films in which a 12-year-old boy becomes involved in Major League Baseball.
Undercover Blues 1993 True Lies 1994 Action comedies about secret agents and their family life.
Kalifornia 1993 Natural Born Killers 1994 Also 1993 mini-series Murder in the Heartland. All are road movies about a couple engaging in multi-state killing sprees and all directly or loosely based on real murderer Charles Starkweather. Both films have Juliette Lewis as a main character.
Three of Hearts 1993 Threesome 1994 Both films involve a love triangle between a heterosexual, a homosexual and a bisexual. Each film also stars one of the Baldwin brothers and a series-regular actress from the television show Twin Peaks.
The Elsa Santos Castillo Story: The Chop Chop Lady 1994 Elsa Castillo Story ... Ang Katotohanan 1994 Both films purport to tell the true story of the 1989 Elsa S. Castillo murder case in the Philippines
Terminal Velocity 1994 Drop Zone 1994 Also Freefall (1994). All are action films that involve skydiving.
Time Chasers 1994 Timecop 1994 Both are science fiction films with the themes of time traveling that involved the protagonist trying to prevent the course of time being altered for the antagonists' personal gain.
The Air Up There 1994 The Scout 1994 Both films are about a desperate American scout who thinks he found an extraordinary talent in an unlikely foreign locale, but bringing the player to stardom has unthought-of difficulties and the scout learns life lessons from the player he is supposed to be developing.
Camp Nowhere 1994 Heavyweights 1995 Both films take place at summer camp and include a preteen protagonist who is initially reluctant to go. (Both films were also released by Disney's Buena Vista Pictures.)
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert 1994 To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar 1995 Both have the plot of drag queens going on a road trip across their country (in one case Australia, in the other, the United States), in a journey of self-discovery. Both has eight word title.
Street Fighter 1994 Mortal Kombat 1995 Also Double Dragon (1994). All are martial arts action adventure films based on one-to-one fighting video game franchises.
Braveheart 1995 Rob Roy 1995 Also The Bruce (1996); all are adventure/war biopics set in Scotland.[10]
Gordy 1994 Babe 1995 Both are family films starring piglets.[10]
The Flor Contemplacion Story 1995 Bagong Bayani 1995 Both are films depicting the trial and execution of Flor Contemplacion, an Overseas Filipino Worker in Singapore
A Kid in King Arthur's Court 1995 Kids of the Round Table 1995 Both involve a modern American boy who encounters characters from Arthurian legend, leading the boy to experience adventure and an increase in self-confidence.
Showgirls 1995 Striptease 1996 Also Stripteaser (1996). All three are erotic drama films featuring a lead character involved in the stripper profession.[32]
GoldenEye 1995 Mission: Impossible 1996 Both are spy films based on long running franchises and feature plots wherein the protaganist's close friend fakes his death and is revealed to be a traitor.
Powder 1995 Phenomenon 1996 Both tell the story of a man with telepathic powers that make him an outcast in a small town. (Both films were also released by Disney's Buena Vista Pictures.)
The Craft 1996 Little Witches 1996 Both are films about young teenage outcasts becoming witches.
Emma 1996 Emma 1996 Also Clueless (1995). All are based on the Jane Austen novel Emma, however Clueless takes place in modern-day Beverly Hills.
Independence Day 1996 Mars Attacks! 1996 Both are alien invasion films released the same year. However, one is a comedy while the other is an action thriller.
Twister 1996 Tornado! 1996 Both chronical the lives of storm chasers in their line of work.
Executive Decision 1996 Air Force One 1997 Both are films about terrorists hijacking a plane and a rescue team saving the passengers and defeating the terrorists. Con Air (1997) also has a similar concept, though involving convicts.
The Arrival 1996 Contact 1997 Both are science fiction thriller films in which the main character is a radio astronomer that takes part in a conspiracy involving making first contact with an alien race.
Dante's Peak 1997 Volcano 1997 Also Volcano: Fire on the Mountain (1997). All three are disaster films centered around volcanic eruptions.[9][10]
The Jackal 1997 The Assignment 1997 Both are action thrillers dealing with assassins called Jackal; The Assignment's is based on Venezuelan terrorist operative Carlos the Jackal.
Kundun 1997 Seven Years in Tibet 1997 Both are fact-based dramas set in mid-20th century Tibet, with the 14th Dalai Lama as a main character.[10]
Murder at 1600 1997 Absolute Power 1997 Both films center around a Washington, D.C. murder investigation involving the President/at the White House.[33][34]
The House of Yes 1997 The Myth of Fingerprints 1997 Also The Ice Storm. All three films center around dysfunctional families gathering for Thanksgiving.
Prefontaine 1997 Without Limits 1998 Both are biographical sports films about distance runner Steve Prefontaine.
Jack Frost 1997 Jack Frost 1998 Both films have the same title and each is about a man killed in a vehicle crash who is subsequently reanimated as a living snowman. They differ in that the 1997 movie is a slasher film, while the 1998 film is family-friendly.
Antz 1998 A Bug's Life 1998 Both are computer-animated films about insects, starring a non-conformist ant who falls in love with an ant princess, leaves the mound, and eventually returns and is hailed as a hero.[10]
Deep Impact 1998 Armageddon 1998 Also Doomsday Rock (1997), Asteroid (1997), Judgment Day (1999), and Tycus (1998). All are global catastrophic risk disaster films centered around an impending impact event that threatens to end most or all life on Earth.[9][10]
Saving Private Ryan 1998 The Thin Red Line 1998 Also Life Is Beautiful (1997). All are dramas about, or involving, World War II.[10]
Sliding Doors 1998 Run Lola Run 1998 Both films tell the same story of a woman multiple times, changing a minor detail at the beginning and depicting how that change drastically affects the outcome.[35]
Dead Man on Campus 1998 The Curve 1998 Both films involve college students attempting to utilize pass by catastrophe.
54 1998 Last Days of Disco 1998 Both films are set again the backdrop of the waning disco era of the late 1970s.[36]
The Truman Show 1998 EDtv 1999 Also Pleasantville (1998). All are films in which a person or a large group of people's lives are broadcast on TV.[10]
Tale of the Mummy 1998 The Mummy 1999 Also Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy (1997). All three are about mummies coming back to life and killing people.
Dark City 1998 The Matrix 1999 Also The Thirteenth Floor and eXistenZ (1999);[10] all are science fiction films involving the theme of whether the world is real or an illusion. All except for Dark City involve virtual reality in a computer system.
Paulie 1998 The Real Macaw 1998 Both are children's adventure films featuring a parrot.
Anywhere But Here 1999 Tumbleweeds 1999 Both films concern a mother-daughter pair who drive across the country to settle in California.[37]
Entrapment 1999 The Thomas Crown Affair 1999 Both are caper films focused on the relationship between an attractive female insurance investigator and a male thief who steals an expensive painting by a famous artist.[10] (Coincidentally, the male lead in both films is also played by an actor who has portrayed James Bond.)
The Sixth Sense 1999 Stir of Echoes 1999 Both are supernatural horror films with a man and his relatives, experiencing a series of frightening visions and having the ability to interact with ghosts.
End of Days 1999 Stigmata 1999 Also Lost Souls (2000); all are supernatural religious horror films involving the Catholic Church. Both End of Days and Stigmata star Gabriel Byrne as a main character. Both End of Days and Lost Souls involve the theme of Satan taking possession of a man's body.[10]
The Haunting 1999 House on Haunted Hill 1999 Also The House That Screamed (2000). All are horror films in which people are trapped in a haunted house. Both The Haunting and House on Haunted Hill are based on media from 1959. The two also have strangers lured into the house under false pretenses.
10 Things I Hate About You 1999 Hamlet 2000 Also O (2001). All are modern-day adaptations of William Shakespeare plays, featuring Julia Stiles as the female lead.[38]
Bicentennial Man 1999 A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001 Both are science fiction films dealing with the theme of humanoid robots seeking to experience emotion and be human. Both are also adapted from works of prominent sci-fi authors; Isaac Asimov and Brian Aldiss respectively.
Padre Pio: Miracle Man 2000 Padre Pio: Between Heaven and Earth 2000 Both films are about Padre Pio.
The Road to El Dorado 2000 The Emperor's New Groove 2000 Both are animated buddy comedy films set in what is now Latin America.
Scary Movie 2000 Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth 2000 Both are horror movie spoofs featuring a killer wearing a Ghostface mask; Scary Movie additionally had the working title Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween.[10]
Mission to Mars 2000 Red Planet 2000 Also Blood Red Planet (2000) and Ghosts of Mars (2001). All are science fiction adventure films about expeditions to Mars.[39][10] However, Ghosts of Mars is a horror film.
Wonder Boys 2000 Finding Forrester 2000 Both are films involving a writer and his friendship with a student.[10]
The Score 2001 Heist 2001 Both are crime thriller films involving a major robbery.[10]
Autumn In New York 2000 Sweet November 2001 Both films center on free-spirited young women who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses set against the fall backdrop.
Joe Dirt 2001 Run Ronnie Run! 2002 Both are crude humor stories about lovable-ish rednecks. There are jokes that are nearly identical in each movie. However, Run Ronnie Run! is based on a Mr. Show with Bob and David character that first appeared in 1995.
Stealing Harvard 2002 Orange County 2002 Both are comedy films about someone resorting to drastic measures in order to obtain acceptance to, or tuition for, a prestigious college.
Liberty Stands Still 2002 Phone Booth 2002 Both movies revolve around people who answer a ringing phone in a public place and are held hostage there by a sniper who has an agenda.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh 2002 23rd March 1931: Shaheed 2002 Both movies are about Bhagat Singh, a revolutionary who fought for Indian independence
Freddy vs. Jason 2003 Alien vs. Predator 2004 Both feature horror icons from the 1980s fighting against each other, while humans end up in the crossfire.
Biker Boyz 2003 Torque 2004 Both are action films about motorcycle gangs and street racing.
Finding Nemo 2003 Shark Tale 2004 Both are computer-animated films set underwater.
Beautiful Boxer 2003 Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior 2003 Both are Thai films centering on Muay Thai
Chasing Liberty 2004 First Daughter 2004 Both are romantic comedy films about the rebellious daughter of the President of the United States.[11]
The Cave 2005 The Descent 2005 Also The Cavern (2005). All three are horror films in which people encounter deadly creatures in a cave system.
Red Eye 2005 Flightplan 2005 Both are thriller films set on airplanes.[10]
War of the Worlds 2005 H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds 2005 Also War of the Worlds (2005). All three are adaptations of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.
Sky High 2005 Zoom 2006 Both are about kids training to become superheroes.
Madagascar 2005 The Wild 2006 Both are computer-animated films involving similar animal characters from New York's Central Park Zoo being introduced to the wild. See The Wild#Comparisons to Madagascar.
Capote 2005 Infamous 2006 Both are drama films about Truman Capote and the writing of In Cold Blood.[9][10] The confluence of the two films led to an incident in 2003 when Infamous writer-director Douglas McGrath called producer Bingham Ray to announce that his script had been finished, and Ray responded "I know, I've got it on my desk!" before realizing that he actually had the screenplay to Capote.[9]
The Dark 2005 Silent Hill 2006 Both are horror films where a woman enters a strange otherworld in search of her missing daughter. Both also star Sean Bean in a small role, have similar style final scenes, and have been adapted from other media.
Asylum 2005 Notes on a Scandal 2006 Both are British dramas about women of similar age who have an illicit affair at a public institution (respectively a mental asylum and a school) while being observed and manipulated by an older person. Both films were adapted from novels by screenwriter Patrick Marber, who has himself commented on the similarity between them.
Beowulf & Grendel 2005 Beowulf 2007 Also Grendel (2007). All three are fantasy adventure films based on the Old English epic poem Beowulf.
The Zodiac 2005 Zodiac 2007 Also Curse of the Zodiac (2007);[40] All are films based on the story of the Zodiac Killer.
Zzyzx 2006 Zyzzyx Road 2006 Both are thrillers about people trying to hide a dead body on Zzyzx Road in California.[41]
United 93 2006 Flight 93 2006 Both are dramas about United Airlines Flight 93.[10]
The Prestige 2006 The Illusionist 2006 Both are films about 19th-century magicians.[10]
Over The Hedge 2006 Open Season 2006 Both are computer-animated films about wild animals who are at war with humans.
Happy Feet 2006 Surf's Up 2007 Both are computer-animated comedy films about penguins.[42][32]
The Zombie Diaries 2006 Diary of the Dead 2007 Both are found footage horror films surrounding an outbreak of zombies, along with similar titles.
An American Crime 2007 The Girl Next Door 2007 Both are based on the torture and murder of Sylvia Likens.
Knocked Up 2007 Juno 2007 Also Waitress (2007). All feature a young female protagonist facing an unexpected pregnancy.
27 Dresses 2008 Made of Honor 2008 Both are romantic comedies centering on weddings and loyal friends taking part as bridesmaids.
Coco Chanel 2008 Coco Before Chanel 2009 Also Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009). All are related to French fashion designer Coco Chanel.
Eagle Eye 2008 Echelon Conspiracy 2009 Both center around a government AI supercomputer that is tasked with protecting the US through ubiquitous surveillance and endless access to nearly all technology, which becomes too autonomous and powerful.[43]
Beast Stalker 2008 Connected 2008 Both are crime dramas containing the theme of kidnapping involving a single mother, her child and a police officer - both also star Nick Cheung.
Repo! The Genetic Opera 2008 Repo Men 2010 Set in a dystopian future, both films are about one or more corporate-employed "repo men" who fatally repossess artificial organs when patients default on their payments.[44]
Observe and Report 2009 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2009 Both are comedy films about an overweight mall cop.[2]
Gamer 2009 Surrogates 2009 Also Sleep Dealer (2008) and Avatar (2009); all are science fiction films in which people control physical remotely-operated bodies.[2][45][46]
Avatar 2009 District 9 2009 Both films portray aliens abused by humans, the protagonist changing sides, turning against the military-minded antagonist and eventually becoming an alien.
Knowing 2009 2012 2009 Both are science fiction disaster films about the end of the world.
The Road 2009 The Book of Eli 2010 Also Hell (2011). All three films are set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the main characters try to survive by travelling.
Armored 2009 Takers 2010 Both are stylized, action-crime robbery thrillers. Matt Dillon stars in both films.
The A-Team 2010 The Losers 2010 Both are fast-paced action films about dishonored military operatives seeking redemption and revenge after being betrayed on a secret mission. In addition, both are based on pre-existing series from other mediums (one is based on a television show and the other a comic book).
Kick-Ass 2010 Super 2010 Both feature characters who possess no super abilities/powers who embark on vigilante justice under the disguise of homemade costumes and alter egos. Each confronts the difficulties of fighting evil while lacking special abilities, and both are joined, later in their stories, by characters who share similar vigilante motivations.
Despicable Me 2010 Megamind 2010 Also Wreck-It Ralph (2012). All three are computer-animated films featuring a stereotypical villain as the protagonist.[47]
Ip Man 2 2010 The Legend Is Born: Ip Man 2010 Both are Hong Kong films depicting the life of Ip Man. Sammo Hung stars in both films.
Skyline 2010 Battle: Los Angeles 2011 Both are alien invasion movies that primarily take place in Los Angeles. Sony Pictures, the studio of Battle, initiated legal action against the directors and special effects gurus of Skyline for allegedly ripping off ideas and equipment for their similar film. Sony later dismissed their arbitration, stating they were satisfied their own special effects were not used in Skyline.[48]
Centurion 2010 The Eagle 2011 Both are historical action films about the disappearance of the Roman Empire's Ninth Legion.
The Bounty Hunter 2010 One for the Money 2012 Both are films about a bounty hunter and going after a former love interest.[citation needed]
No Strings Attached 2011 Friends with Benefits 2011 Both are romantic comedies about a pair of friends who have a casual, non-romantic sexual relationship and eventually fall in love. No Strings Attached had the working title Friends with Benefits, but had to be renamed due to a conflict with the other film.[49]
Yann Samuell's War of the Buttons 2011 Christophe Barratier's War of the Buttons 2011 Both are French film adaptations of the 1912 novel War of the Buttons, released a week apart from one another, though the first was set in the Algerian War while the second was set in World War II.[50]
The Raid 2011 Dredd 2012 Both films deal with a law enforcement officer infiltrating a tall residential building in pursuit of a crime lord, wherein the crime lord attempts to turn the residents against the officer.[51]
Extraterrestrial 2011 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World 2012 Also 4:44 Last Day on Earth (2011) and Melancholia (2011). All are apocalyptic science fiction films.[52][53]
Quartet 2012 A Late Quartet 2012 Both are about the members of a classical music quartet facing old age.[54]
The Girl 2012 Hitchcock 2012 Both are Alfred Hitchcock biopics.
Mirror Mirror 2012 Snow White and the Huntsman 2012 Both are loose adaptations of the fairy tale Snow White. Also the Spanish 2012 film Blancanieves adapts Snow White, using black-and-white silent cinematography like the 2012 French film The Artist.[55]
Zero Dark Thirty 2012 Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden 2012 Both films are about the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Upside Down 2012 Patema Inverted 2013 Both are a romance between characters of twin worlds, each with gravity opposite to the other.[56]
The Other Son 2012 Like Father, Like Son 2013 Both films revolve around two young men who were switched at birth and raised by families from contrasting socioeconomic strata.[57]
Witchslayer Gretl 2012 Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2013 Also Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft (2013). All three are dark fantasy films portraying Hansel and Gretel in a edgier light.
A Hijacking 2012 Captain Phillips 2013 Both are about a pirate attack on a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia.[58]
Ip Man: The Final Fight 2013 The Grandmaster 2013 Both are Hong Kong produced martial arts drama films about the life of Ip Man, produced outside the Ip Man film series.
Olympus Has Fallen 2013 White House Down 2013 Both are action films about terrorist attacks on the White House.[59]
Oblivion 2013 After Earth 2013 Both films include a protagonist who must fight for survival on a post-apocalyptic Earth.[60]
This Is the End 2013 The World's End 2013 Also Rapture-Palooza (2013); all are apocalyptic comedy films.[61] Both This Is the End and Rapture-Palooza star Craig Robinson as a main character.
The Double 2013 Enemy 2013 Both are about a man who finds his physical doppelgänger in a seemingly totalitarian state.[62]
The Machine 2013 Automata 2014 Also Her (2013), Ex Machina (2014), Transcendence (2014), Chappie (2015), and Uncanny (2015).[2] All are science fiction films involving robots and/or artificial intelligence.
Yves Saint Laurent 2014 Saint Laurent 2014 Both are Yves Saint Laurent biopics.[59]
Hercules 2014 The Legend of Hercules 2014 Also Hercules Reborn (2014).[2] All are about Hercules.
The Equalizer 2014 John Wick 2014 Both films involve a highly trained protagonist who seeks vengeance through killing.[63]
Life After Beth 2014 Burying the Ex 2014 Also Warm Bodies (2013). All three are romantic comedies involving zombies.[64]
This Is Where I Leave You 2014 August: Osage County 2014 Both movies involve dysfunctional families reuniting after the death of the patriarch.
Unfriended 2014 Friend Request 2016 Both are horror films with plots centered around social media.
Labyrinth of Lies 2014 The People vs. Fritz Bauer 2015 Also Die Akte General [de] (2016). All are films depicting the effort which led to the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials by a group of prosecutors headed by Fritz Bauer.
Moonwalkers 2015 Operation Avalanche 2016 Both are films based on Moon landing conspiracy theories.[65]
The Beauty Inside 2015 Every Day 2018 Both are a romance between a woman and a spirit who wakes up every day in a different body.[66][67]
Marguerite 2015 Florence Foster Jenkins 2016 Both films are based on Florence Foster Jenkins' life.[68]
The Martian 2015 Approaching the Unknown 2016 Also Forsaken (2018). Both are about a man who is stranded in space on a mission to Mars and has to figure out a way to survive.[69]
Spectre 2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 2015 Both films feature the protagonists chasing after secret criminal organisations through Austria, Morocco and London while their intelligence agencies are shutting down.[70][71] Paramount had to advance the release date of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to avoid conflicting with Spectre.[72]
Coming Through the Rye 2015 Rebel in the Rye 2017 Both are films about J. D. Salinger.[73]
Other People 2016 The Hollars 2016 Both are about a male writer living in New York City who returns to his hometown for his mother dying of cancer.[74][75]
Southside with You 2016 Barry 2016 Both are films about a young Barack Obama, as well as a love interest.
Christine 2016 Kate Plays Christine 2016 Both are films about Christine Chubbuck, though Kate Plays Christine is a documentary about the acting process.[76]
Captain Fantastic 2016 The Glass Castle 2017 Both are about a large family who lives secluded from the civilized world and deal with its moral ramifications.[77]
Anthropoid 2016 The Man with the Iron Heart 2017 Both films are about Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich.[78]
The Jungle Book 2016 Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle 2018 Both are live-action, CGI-heavy adaptations of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, though the 2016 film is a remake of the 1967 animated musical film.[79]
Earthquake 2016 Spitak 2018 Both films are about the 1988 Armenian earthquake.
Churchill 2017 Darkest Hour 2017 Both are films about Winston Churchill. Also, the TV film Churchill's Secret (2016) is about Winston Churchill.
Dunkirk 2017 Darkest Hour 2017 Both films prominently feature the planning of the evacuation of Dunkirk.
The Age of Pioneers 2017 Salyut 7 2017 Both Russian films are based on facts and feature Soviet cosmonauts.
Goodbye Christopher Robin 2017 Christopher Robin 2018 The former is a biopic of author A. A. Milne, focusing on his relationship with his son Christopher Robin, whose childhood inspired the world of Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. The latter is a fantasy drama about the adult life of the Pooh character Christopher Robin in a continuation of the Disney films based on Milne's books.
Crowhurst 2017 The Mercy 2018 Both films are about Donald Crowhurst's ill-fated entry in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a non-stop round-the-world sailing competition. Uniquely, these films not only have an identical subject, but were also distributed by the same studio, namely StudioCanal: according to the head of StudioCanal UK, Danny Perkins, the company bought the low-budget production Crowhurst "so we could control it".[80]
The Miseducation of Cameron Post 2018 Boy Erased 2018 The protagonists of both films are gay teenagers forced by their families to undergo conversion therapy.[81]
U – July 22 2018 22 July 2018 Both are dramas based on the 2011 Utøya, Norway massacre.
Sink or Swim 2018 Swimming with Men 2018 Both are about a man who is facing a midlife crisis and joins an all-male synchronised swimming team.[82]
Smallfoot 2018 Abominable 2019 Both are computer-animated films about abominable snowmen making first contact with humans and are both set in the Himalayas.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich 2018 The Happytime Murders 2018 Both are dark comedies featuring puppets.[83]
A Quiet Place 2018 The Silence 2019 Both involve the world coming under attack from creatures who hunt their human prey by sound.
Beautiful Boy 2018 Ben Is Back 2018 Both are melodramas about a family with a teenage son facing a drug addiction.[84][85]
Skate Kitchen 2018 Mid90s 2018 Both are coming of age stories about a group of skateboarding teenagers played by inexperienced actors who skateboard in real life. In both films, the primary character is the newest member of the group and has a contentious relationship with their single mother.[86][87]
RBG 2018 On the Basis of Sex 2018 A documentary and a biographical drama about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Won't You Be My Neighbor? 2018 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 2019 Both films are about Fred Rogers, although the former is a documentary while the latter is a biopic.
Widows 2018 The Kitchen 2019 Both are about the law-abiding wives of criminals who take up their husbands' criminal plans when they are gone.[88][89]
Lez Bomb 2018 Happiest Season 2020 Both films revolve around lesbians who plan to come out to their conservative families during the holidays, only to be confronted by their ex-boyfriends; Lez Bomb is set on Thanksgiving while Happiest Season takes place on Christmas.[90]
Fyre Fraud 2019 Fyre 2019 Both are documentaries about the Fyre Festival.[91]
A Dog's Journey 2019 The Art of Racing in the Rain 2019 Both are films about a dog's life in their owner's lives and are narrated and seen through the eyes of the dogs.
The Haunting of Sharon Tate 2019 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 2019 Both are films about Sharon Tate and her murder. Although the former is a horror thriller film that dramatizes the events, the latter takes place in an alternate universe where the murder did not take place.[92]
Ip Man 4: The Finale 2019 Ip Man: Kung Fu Master 2019 Both depict the life of Ip Man and are part of a series of films based on him.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire 2019 Ammonite 2020 Both films are set around 1800 on the coast of the English Channel and feature a forbidden lesbian relationship further complicated by class differences.
The King's Letters 2019 Forbidden Dream 2019 Both are about King Sejong the Great and his patronage of scholarship.[93]
Ujda Chaman 2019 Bala 2019 Both movies are about men facing premature baldness, hence becoming a subject of social ridicule and facing problems finding a spouse.[94]
The Curse of La Llorona 2019 La Llorona 2019 Both films are about the legend of La Llorona.[95]
Never Rarely Sometimes Always 2020 Unpregnant 2020 Both are American films about a teenage girl finding out she is pregnant and going on a road trip with her best friend to another state to get an abortion without their parents' consent.
Killer Spider 2020 Holy Spider 2022 Both are dramatizations of the case of Saeed Hanaei, a serial killer who targeted sex workers in Iran.[96]
The Battle at Lake Changjin 2021 Devotion 2022 Also The Battle at Lake Changjin II, the sequel of the former. Both films are, or are partially, set during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir at the Korean War.
Pinocchio 2022 Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio 2022 Also Pinocchio: A True Story (2022) and Pinocchio and the Water Of Life (2023). All films are based on The Adventures of Pinocchio.[97]
Violent Night 2022 The Mean One 2022 Also Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022). All are films about a murderous Santa Claus figure.[98]
Fire of Love 2022 The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft 2022 Both document the life and work of volcanologist and filmmaker couple Katia and Maurice Krafft, making extensive use of their own video footage.
Elvis 2022 Priscilla 2023 Both are films about or revolve around Elvis Presley.[99]
Turning Red 2022 Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken 2023 Both are animated films about adolescent girls who transform into larger creatures (a red panda and a kraken, respectively) under certain conditions.
Renfield 2023 The Last Voyage of the Demeter 2023 Both are films based on Dracula released by Universal Pictures in the same year.
The Beast in the Jungle 2023 The Beast 2023 Both are French adaptations of the Henry James novella The Beast in the Jungle.
The Covenant 2023 Kandahar 2023 Also Warhorse One. All films are set in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.[100]
The Great Escaper 2023 The Last Rifleman 2023 Based on the true story of Bernard Jordan, both are films about an elderly World War II veteran who escapes his nursing home in order to attend a milestone anniversary commemorations of the Normandy landings in France.[101]
Reality 2023 Winner 2024 Both are films about American whistleblower Reality Winner.[102]
Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2023 Mickey's Mouse Trap 2024 Also Bambi: The Reckoning (2024). All three are slasher films based on famous works only recently made part of the public domain – Bambi, Winnie-the-Pooh, and the Steamboat Willie design of Mickey Mouse, respectively.[103]
The First Omen 2024 Immaculate 2024 Both films are about young American nuns who travel to Rome, Italy, and become unexpectedly pregnant with what turns out to be a demon fetus/the antichrist.[104][105]
Bad Boys: Ride or Die 2024 Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F 2024 Both films are the fourth installments of action-comedy franchises centered around African American cops.

Other meanings[edit]

One story from two perspectives[edit]

The term "twin films" has also been used for films produced by the same production company with the purpose of telling the same story from two different points of view:

Multiple-language films[edit]

The term "twin films" has also been used for multiple-language versions of films:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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