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.
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.
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.
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.
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.