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I have been studying this stack post: Did The Big Short movie change names or conflate characters?

It was a great movie, and after reading the book, I wondered why the name changes in the movie??

In the stack article mentioned above, it never directly answers the why, other than to hint that it was related to the real-life character's preference. So, why is it that the movie had to honor the characters requests but the book did not? I don't think the characters could sue the book author for using their real names as long as he wasn't being libelous. So is there a different standard for movies? Was the studio afraid of being sued? Could they have been sued? I know there is that silly disclaimer at the end of most movies that says that any similarities with actual people are purely coincidental...but when telling a true story, is that necessary, and is there fear of lawsuit? If so, why can the book keep the names the same?

  • "other than to hint that it was related to the real-life character's preference" Couldn't that be the entire solution right there? I don't know how I would verify this, so it's only a comment; but why wouldn't they change the names if the real people preferred it? It could have nothing to do with lawsuits or direct repercussions, it may have just been honouring a request from the people the characters are based on. What would the benefit be of pissing off the guys who have the most inside information on the plot and character behaviours? – JMac Nov 20 '18 at 20:54
  • But the other side of that coin is, why weren't their names changed in the book? – HerrimanCoder Nov 22 '18 at 19:44

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