James Wong introduced fans to a new horror series called Final Destination nearly 20 years ago. The first film saw a group of students traveling to France, only to be kicked off of the plane after one student has a premonition about a plane crash. Messing up Death’s design, the entity hunts down all of the survivors, which are seen as gruesome accidents.
The series lasted a total of five films from 2000 to 2011. The Final Destination movies can be fun to watch because of their outlandish death scenes, but the behind-the-scenes facts are even more intriguing. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about the Final Destination movies.
10 It Was Originally Going To Be An X-Files Episode
From 1993 to 2001, Agent Mulder and Agent Scully investigated bizarre phenomenons in order to discover the truth about aliens. The two FBI agents went on dozens of investigations together, but one of the episodes in The X-Files was originally going to be the plot of Final Destination.
The episode titled Flight 180 had the same basic concept of teens cheating death, but the main character in the episode would have been Scully’s brother. The writer of the episode, Chris Carter, said he had to fit his idea into the mold of what would be expected from an X-Files episode, but the film was able to be much more detailed when discussing Death’s role in the plane crash.
9 Several Of The Premonitions Were Based On Real-Life Events
Every Final Destination film is based on a horrifying premonition that eventually comes true. While the premonition and cheating Death are fictionalized, several of the gruesome visions are based on actual events. Chris Carter debunked the theory that the original film was based on the TWA Flight 800 explosion, since he wrote his X-Files script in 1994, while the real-life tragedy didn’t occur until 1996.
The highway accident in Final Destination 2 is thought to be based on a 125 car pileup in Ringgold, Georgia, while the race track massacre was based on the Le Mans Motor Racing Disaster from the ‘50s. The bridge scene in Final Destination 5 was likely partly inspired by the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
8 The Characters In The Films Were Named After Famous Horror Celebrities
Most of the characters in the first movie get memorable death scenes, but their character names are even more fascinating. Most of the character names in the film pay tribute to iconic horror directors and actors.
For example, Alex Browning, Billy Hitchcock, Larry Murnau, and Black Dreyer are all named after directors Tod Browning, Alfred Hitchcock, F.W. Murnau, and Carl Theodor Dryer respectively, while the characters Terry Chaney, Agent Schreck, and Valerie Lewton all pay homage to the actors Lon Chaney, and Max Schreck, Val Lewton. This is naming scheme is also something that would be repeated in each of the Final Destination sequels.
7 Tony Todd Is Actually in Final Destination 3
Tony Todd is an actor most known for his roles in Candyman, The Crow, and Night of the Living Dead (1990). Todd also appears in the Final Destination series as the character named Bludworth, a mysterious mortician. Bludworth appeared in the first film to warn Alex and the others about cheating Death and he later appeared in Final Destination 2, when Clear Rivers went to see him.
He doesn’t appear again until Final Destination 5, but his voice is actually in Final Destination 3. When Wendy and her friends walk into the ride Devil’s Flight, his voice can be heard as the devil.
6 Ashley Tisdale And Vanessa Hudgens Auditioned For Roles in Part 3
Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens are both known for their roles in High School Musical, but they also both auditioned for roles in Final Destination 3. Hudgens auditioned for Julie Christensen, who was the sister of Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The role of Julie ultimately went to Amanda Crew, who originally auditioned for Erin Ulmer.
Similarly, Ashley Tisdale auditioned for Erin and lost out to Alexz Johnson. Tisdale must have really wanted a role in the franchise because she auditioned two more times for Nadia Monroy in The Final Destination and Candice Hooper in Final Destination 5.
5 Devon Sawa Could Have Returned For Final Destination 2
Devon Sawa is arguably the face of the Final Destination franchise. His character Alex Browning was the main character of the first film who saw Flight 180 explode before the plane actually took off. Alternate endings show Alex dying in an explosion after he tries to save Clear and again by being decapitated by a helicopter blade.
Alex survives the movie, but is said to be dead in Final Destination 2. It’s widely believed that Sawa didn’t return to the role because of a dispute with his contract, however, New Line has gone on the record saying that his death was part of the story they were telling. That being said, getting hit in the head by a falling brick was a pretty anti-climactic way to go.
4 Kimberly And Officer Burke Almost Appeared in Part 3
Kimberly Corman (A.J. Cook) and Officer Thomas Burke (Michael Landes) were the only two characters to cheat death's design in Final Destination 2. The last time they were seen, they were having a BBQ with the Gibbons family, but according to a choice on the “Choose Their Fates” special feature of Final Destination 3, Kimberly and Burke died after falling into a woodchipper. That being said, both characters almost appeared in the subway scene of Final Destination 3.
Kimberly was supposed to be Wendy’s cousin and Burke was also supposed to be on the train as well so that death could kill all of the remaining survivors. Unfortunately, Cook and Landes had prior filming commitments, so they weren’t able to appear in the film.
3 Tim Was Meant To Be Much Younger
Tim Carpenter was one of the survivors of the Route 23 pile-up. He was a 15-year-old boy, who was on the way to the dentist with his mother prior to Kimberly stopping traffic. Tim eventually makes it to the dentist where he almost chokes on a plastic fish. After leaving the office, Kimberly tries to warn them to stay back, but Tim runs up to scare some pigeons, causing them to fly away into the face of a construction worker. A heavy glass pane then drops on Tim, instantly killing him.
While it was a gruesome death scene, it could have been even worse since Tim was originally only supposed to be 9-years old. Executives at New Line thought this would have been too disturbing, so they decided to up his age.
2 Tobey Maguire And Kierstein Dunst Were Almost The Stars
Devon Sawa and Ali Larter ended up with the roles of Alex Browning and Clear Rivers respectively, however they almost went to two actors who are much more known today.
Originally New Line Cinema wanted Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst to star in Final Destination, but they likely passed on the project for a chance to star in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Ultimately it was a good move for both of them as they would be cast as Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson for all three of Raimi's Spider-Man movies.
1 The Series Is Being Rebooted
While Final Destination 5 did slightly better with critics than the fourth film, it wasn’t enough for the franchise to get another installment… at least right away. At the beginning of the year, word broke that the Final Destination series is being rebooted by New Line Cinema.
It’s been reported that the film is being written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who worked together on Saw IV through Saw VII. Final Destination 5 did poorly at the box office, so it isn’t much of a surprise that they are trying something new without letting the series die.