Not every movie that makes it to theaters can turn out to be a hit, but those that do wind up enjoyed, re-played, and dissected for decades to come. But even when fans think they know every step of a movie’s development, or the inspiration behind every one of their favorite scenes, it’s still all too easy to be surprised. Whether it’s a case of coincidence or dumb luck that creates unforgettable moments, or inside jokes that only the cast and crew will understand, even the biggest films still hold some secrets.
Here is our list of 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Famous Movies.
Quentin Tarantino is famous for his energetic, and occasionally frantic personality. Combine that with his love of handwriting scripts, and typist Linda Chen had her work cut out for her working on Tarantino’s intertwined story of Los Angeles gangsters. With only one film to his name, Tarantino lived on Chen’s couch as he developed Pulp Fiction‘s script, with the typist agreeing to do her work for free, so long as he took care of her pet rabbit when she was away. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t, and the rabbit died. But Tarantino made sure to immortalize it in the film, giving its name – Honey Bunny – to one of the two armed robbers who open the film.
The Social Network
When the world was introduced to actor Armie Hammer in The Social Network, they got double what they paid for, with the actor playing both of the film’s Winklevoss twins. It wasn’t achieved by using split screen, either. The parts were played by Hammer and actor Josh Pence, who attended a “twin boot camp” before shooting to synchronize their movements, with Hammer’s face later digitally applied to his co-star’s. Pence got to show his face in the film during a party scene, but he should still be familiar to comic fans.
Jamie Foxx may have Will Smith to thank for turning down the lead role in Tarantino’s western, but the Oscar-winning actor didn’t become the director’s second choice for Django Unchained by accident. In pursuing the role, Foxx decided to showcase one gift his fans may not realize: his experience with horseback riding. Django’s comfort with his trusted horse, Tony, is obvious, but the chestnut horse used in most of the movie belongs to Jamie, given to him as a birthday present years before filming. The actor has explained that both characters share the same arc through the story: as he became more comfortable with bounty hunting and being a free man, his horse, Cheetah, got just as comfortable on the set of a major Hollywood production.
Back in 2001, the success of Bryan Singer’s X-Men shocked everyone who doubted the blockbuster potential of comic book movies, and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was about to drive the point home just one year later. Apparently, Marvel, Sony and Fox were all so eager to get their heroes in the spotlight, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was set to have a cameo opposite Peter Parker. But when the X-Man’s costume couldn’t be found, the plan was scrapped. No matter how small the appearance may have been, fans are forced to wonder how things could have played out if Tobey Maguire and Jackman shared the screen from the beginning.
The cast of human survivors following Morpheus aren’t much to look at in the broken, post- apocalyptic world of The Matrix, but when they head into the digital world, they’re the embodiment of cool. And one member of the team was originally created to offer an even bigger twist. Actress Belinda McClory let her guns do the talking, but in the original script, she was only half of the character, with her gender switching in the Matrix. Hence her name: Switch. The character would have been an interesting look at transgender identity in a movie filled with questions of appearance and perception, but Warner Bros. nixed the idea when it came to casting.
Ridley Scott’s spacebound horror story created an iconic villain and heroine sure to last decades. But the original story of Alien was far from set in stone. The script writers had made sure to keep the casting of the movie wide open, allowing the story to be told with men or women in each role, explaining why their names – Dallas, Kane, Ash, Lambert, Parker, and Brett – are all gender-neutral. But Ripley was always written as a man – it was Ridley Scott who decided he wanted an actress instead, with the women in his office agreeing then-unknown Sigourney Weaver was the perfect choice. As for the monster? Writer Dan O’Bannon originally titled his script “Star Beast,” but after re-reading the script and noting how often the word “alien” was used, he decided the word summed up his story perfectly.
Tony Stark may be a brilliant inventor, but he owes plenty of Iron Man‘s fame to his A.I. partner JARVIS, voiced by Paul Bettany. In Marvel Comics, Jarvis was the name of Tony’s actual butler, but director Jon Favreau put a modern twist on the character for his modern blockbuster. The name isn’t just a nod to the comics, but another dose of Stark’s unique sense of humour, standing for “Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.” The AI isn’t just helpful in a fight – he’s apparently humble, too.
The dense jungle setting of Predator was a blessing and a curse, since the extreme heat and risk of illness took a toll on the cast crew – and also explains one interesting casting choice. Among Arnold Schwarzenegger’s musclebound commandos, the always wise-cracking Hawkins stands out. How Shane Black, the future writer and director of Iron Man 3 wound up in front of the lens is an obvious question, but the answer is simple: knowing they would be isolated in the Mexican jungle for the entire production, director John McTiernan and producer Joel Silver wanted a writer on set in case one was needed. Having just sold his script for Lethal Weapon, Black fit the bill, making rewrites throughout filming, and writing most of his own lines.
It’s hard to think of a sports film that captured the idea of a down-on-his-luck underdog better than the original Rocky, but one of the most memorable moments from Sylvester Stallone’s iconic boxing tale was a complete coincidence. When Rocky walks into the ring the night before his fight, he’s treated to two sights: the unbeatable Apollo Creed plastered on one banner, and him on the other – wearing the wrong boxing shorts. The art department of the film made the actual error reversing the colours, and when Stallone realized the mistake, he rewrote the scene entirely. Turning a problem into a blessing, the image and scene perfectly illustrated the doubt and determination that fueled Rocky to prove everybody wrong.
Fast & Furious 6
Dominic Toretto may be the leader of his crew, but it’s Brian O’Conner, played by the late Paul Walker who was the real star of the Fast & Furious series, taking the films from LA to Miami and around the globe. Nobody was more surprised to see Michelle Rodriguez’s “Letty” return from the dead in Furious 6 than the former FBI Agent, since she had been killed while working undercover as Brian’s informant. When he offered his apology, fans probably didn’t realize they were watching the two characters speak to one another for the very first time. Rodriguex and Walker were close friends off set, but it took six films in the series for Brian and Letty to actually exchange lines.
So what do you think of our list? Did we miss any of your favorite trivia or behind-the-scenes- details lines in your favorite movies? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this one!