Twin films

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Twin films are films with the same, or a very similar, plot produced or 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 around 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 usually are 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.

Producer Bingham Ray recalls a conversation where the screenwriter of the 2006 Truman Capote biopic Infamous phoned to announce that his script had been finished. Ray said "I know, I've got it on my desk!" before realizing that he actually had the screenplay to Capote, a biopic by a different writer.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Notable examples[edit]

Notable examples of twin films are included in this list:[5][10][11][12]

First film Release date Second film Release date Similarities
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]
The Rise of Catherine the Great 1934 The Scarlet Empress 1934 Both are about Catherine the Great.
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]
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.
The Fly 1958 The Wasp Woman 1959 Both films are about a human being transforming into a giant insect (a fly and a wasp).
Oscar Wilde 1960 The Trials of Oscar Wilde 1960 Both are about the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.
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.
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.[16]
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.
Don't Grieve 1969 Mon oncle Benjamin 1969 Both films were based on Mon oncle Benjamin [fr] (1842) by Claude Tillier.
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.[17]
The Strawberry Statement 1970 Getting Straight 1970 Also The Revolutionary and R. P. M. (1970). All are dramas about campus revolt.[18]
Bloody Mama 1970 The Grissom Gang 1971 Both based on the life story of Ma Barker.[19]
The Twelve Chairs 1970 The Twelve Chairs 1971 Both based on the Russian 1928 novel The Twelve Chairs by Ilf and Petrov.
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song 1971 Shaft 1971 Both are frequently credited as the earliest examples of the blaxploitation genre.
Godspell 1973 Jesus Christ Superstar 1973 Both adaptations of Broadway musicals based on the life of Jesus Christ.[20][21]
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.
Cannonball 1976 The Gumball Rally 1976 Both about the same illegal cross-country race.
Victory at Entebbe 1976 Raid on Entebbe 1977 Also Operation Thunderbolt (1977). The films are based on an actual event – the hijacking of a flight by terrorists and the freeing of Israeli hostages on July 4, 1976. The operation was known as Operation Entebbe (military code name: "Operation Thunderbolt") at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
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.
Corvette Summer 1978 Stingray 1978 Both are action comedies about a Chevrolet Corvette.
Go Tell the Spartans 1978 Coming Home 1978 Also The Deer Hunter (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979). All are about American involvement in the Vietnam War.
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 that have dangerous encounters with criminals.
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.[22][23]
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.
Carmen 1983 Carmen 1984 Both are adaptations of 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). Both films are based on older prose stories authored or co-authored by Ian Fleming; Octopussy was based on the short story of the same name and "The Property of a Lady" and Never Say Never Again was based on Thunderball.
Wild Style 1983 Beat Street 1984 Both are well-received old-school hip hop films, focusing on all four pillars of hip hop culture.[24][25] 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dangerous Liaisons 1988 Valmont 1989 Both are adaptations of the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, with Dangerous Liaisons being based on the recently successful stage play of Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton.
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.
The Forbidden Dance 1990 Lambada 1990 Both are films that centre around the dance, the Lambada.
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. In Billy Bathgate (1991) also appears Charles "Lucky" Luciano.
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.
Fear of a Black Hat 1993 CB4 1993 Both are hip hop parodies, Fear of a Black Hat is a mockumentary, and both films largely parody N.W.A, among other popular acts.[24] Both films feature actors Deezer D, Lance Crouther, LaVerne Anderson; Kimberly Hardin cast both pictures.
Mad Dog and Glory 1993 Indecent Proposal 1993 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.
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.
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.
Terminal Velocity 1994 Drop Zone 1994 Both are action films that involve skydiving.
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's 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 continent (in one case Australia, in the other, the United States), in a journey of self-discovery.
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. Double Dragon, in the case of Double Dragon V.
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]
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 Both are erotic drama films centered around a lead character involved in the stripper profession.[26]
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 (theatrical film) 1996 Emma (TV film) 1996 Both are based on Jane Austen's novel by the same name.
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.
Dante's Peak 1997 Volcano 1997 Both are disaster films centered around volcanic eruptions.[5][10]
The Jackal 1997 The Assignment 1997 Both are action thrillers dealing with assassins called "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.[27][28]
The House of Yes 1997 The Myth of Fingerprints 1997 Both films center around dysfunctional families gathering for Thanksgiving.
Prefontaine 1997 Without Limits 1998 Both are biographical sports films about distance runner Steve Prefontaine.
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.[5][10] Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 had impacted Jupiter in 1994.[29]
Saving Private Ryan 1998 The Thin Red Line 1998 Both are prestige dramas about 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.[30]
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.
The Truman Show 1998 Ed TV 1999 Both are films in which a man's life is a 24-hour-a-day TV show.[10]
Tale of the Mummy 1998 The Mummy 1999 Both 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.
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.)
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 Both are horror films in which a group of strangers are brought under false pretenses to spend a night in a haunted house. Both based on original works from 1959 with similar names, the novel The Haunting of Hill House and the film House on Haunted Hill, respectively.
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. See also I, Robot.
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.[10]
Mission to Mars 2000 Red Planet 2000 Both are science fiction adventure films about expeditions to Mars.[31][10]
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.
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.
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 Both are horror films in which people encounter deadly creatures in a cave system.[10]
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 Both 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#Madagascar similarities.
Capote 2005 Infamous 2006 Both are drama films about Truman Capote and the writing of In Cold Blood.[5][10]
Beowulf & Grendel 2005 Beowulf 2007 Both are fantasy adventure films based on the Old English epic poem Beowulf.
Zzyzx 2006 Zyzzyx Road 2006 Both are thrillers about people trying to hide a dead body on Zzyzx Road in California[32]
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.[33][26]
The Zodiac 2005 Zodiac 2007 Also Curse of the Zodiac (2007);[34] All are films based on the story of the Zodiac Killer.
An American Crime 2007 The Girl Next Door 2007 Both are based on the torture and murder of Sylvia Likens.
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.[35]
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.[36]
Observe and Report 2009 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2009 Both are comedy films about an overweight mall cop.[2]
Gamer 2009 Surrogates 2009 Also Avatar (2009); all are science fiction films in which people control physical remotely-operated bodies.[2][37][38]
Knowing 2009 2012 2009 Both are science fiction disaster films about the end of the world.
The Road 2009 The Book of Eli 2010 Both 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).
Despicable Me 2010 Megamind 2010 Both are computer-animated films about a supervillain who turned evil because of bad upbringings, finding himself seduced to the good side to defeat an even worse villain.[39]
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.[40]
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]
Centurion 2010 The Eagle 2011 Both are historical action films about the disappearance of the Roman Empire's Ninth Legion.
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.[41]
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.[42]
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.[43]
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.[44][45]
Quartet 2012 A Late Quartet 2012 Both are about the members of a classical music quartet facing old age.[46]
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.[47]
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.[48]
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.[49]
A Hijacking 2012 Captain Phillips 2013 Both are about a pirate attack on a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia.[50]
Ip Man: The Final Fight 2013 The Grandmaster 2013 Both are Hong Kong produced martial arts drama films about the life of Ip Man, intending to cash in on the successes of the Ip Man franchise.
Jobs 2013 Steve Jobs 2015 Both are Steve Jobs biopics.[51]
Olympus Has Fallen 2013 White House Down 2013 Both are action films about terrorist attacks on the White House.[52]
Oblivion 2013 After Earth 2013 Both films include a protagonist who must fight for survival on a post-apocalyptic Earth.[53]
This Is the End 2013 The World's End 2013 Also Rapture-Palooza (2013); all are apocalyptic comedy films.[54]
The Double 2013 Enemy 2013 Both are about a man who finds his physical doppelgänger in a seemingly totalitarian state.[55]
The Machine 2013 Automata 2014 Also 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.[52]
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.[56]
Life After Beth 2014 Burying the Ex 2014 Also Warm Bodies (2013). All three are romantic comedies involving zombies.[57][58]
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.[59]
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.[60][61]
Marguerite 2015 Florence Foster Jenkins 2016 Both films are based on Florence Foster Jenkins' life.[62]
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.[63]
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.[64][65] Paramount had to advance the release date of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to avoid conflicting with Spectre.[66]
Coming Through the Rye 2015 Rebel in the Rye 2017 Both are films about J. D. Salinger.[67]
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.[68][69]
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.[70]
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.[71]
Anthropoid 2016 The Man with the Iron Heart 2017 Both films are about Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich.[72]
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.[73]
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.
Darkest Hour 2017 Dunkirk 2017 Both films are about planning of the evacuation of Dunkirk.[citation needed]
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 about the life of Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A. Milne's son Christopher Robin. The latter is about the adult life of the book character Christopher Robin, who author A. A. Milne based on his son.
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".[74]
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.[75]
Upgrade 2018 Venom 2018 Both are films about intelligent symbiotes, which are attached to and talk to their human host, giving the human enhanced powers and abilities, but gradually take control of the host. Respective stars Logan Marshall-Green and Tom Hardy also look alike.
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.[76]
A Quiet Place 2018 The Silence 2019 Both involve the world coming under attack from terrifying 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.[77][78]
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.[79][80]
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.[81][82]
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.[83]
Fyre Fraud 2019 Fyre 2019 Both are documentaries about the Fyre Festival.[84]
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 a alternate universe where the murder did not take place.[85]
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.[86]
Ujda Chaman 2019 Bala 2019 Both Bollywood movies were about men facing premature baldness and hence becoming a subject of social ridicule and facing problems finding a spouse. In fact, the films released only one week apart. The striking similarity between the trailers of both the movies even led to a director filing a petition in court to stall the other's release.[87]
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.
Friend of the World 2020 Don't Look Up 2021 Both are science fiction comedy satire films influenced by Dr. Strangelove and The Twilight Zone, involving an apocalyptic event that could have been avoided if not for a corrupt official of the United States.[88][89]
Killer Spider 2020 Holy Spider 2022 Both are dramatizations of the case of Saeed Hanaei, a serial killer who targeted sex workers in Iran.[90]

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:


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