A lot of work goes into making a great movie, and usually, that amount of work and effort results in some pretty interesting movie facts. These are the kinds of stories that live on in Hollywood circles. Movie fans often can’t get enough of this kind of cool film trivia.
Finding a new and interesting movie fact, especially about a film you love, is like finding hidden treasure. These behind the scenes facts almost always add a certain amount of depth to films and make the filmmaking process seem ingenious. The way directors and producers work around filming scenes can seem almost magical.
Each interesting movie fact in this list exemplifies what makes filmmaking so spectacular. The stories that go into making a film go so much further than finding a great script and deciding who to cast. Truly, they show how filmmakers, from directors to actors and everyone working behind the scenes, make great collaborative art together.
1. The “Chestburster” scene in Alien is one of the most iconic horror scenes in film history. The reaction of the actors is real, as none of them were told what was going to happen.
2. In 1994, Pixar executives John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft were having lunch when they came up with the ideas that would become A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and Wall-E.
3. A different actor almost played the infamous Terminator: O.J. Simpson. However, James Cameron turned the idea down. Why? O.J. was deemed “too pleasant.”
4. The sound of the fearsome velociraptors communicating during the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park is decidedly less scary in real life: it was tortoises mating.
5. Christian Bale based his portrayal of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho on Tom Cruise. Director Mary Harron said Bale watched an interview with Cruise and saw “this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes.”
6. Alec Baldwin’s iconic monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross was not part of the original play. David Mamet added the scene for time. It is Baldwin’s only scene.
7. Everyone’s favourite Titanic heartthrob Jack may have been based on a real person. Jack Thayer was a passenger who survived, and may have had an affair with an actress who was also on board.
8. When Heath Ledger first bursts through the door of Bruce Wayne’s apartment as the Joker in The Dark Knight, he was so terrifying that Michael Caine forgot his lines.
9. Kevin Smith’s first feature film, Clerks had a much more bleak original ending. Instead of just finishing his shift, convenience store clerk Dante was going to be shot and killed by a robber.
10. During the filming of Saving Private Ryan, all of the actors were put through basic army training; except for Matt Damon. This was done so that the other actors would genuinely resent him.
11. Despite being known as a legendary box office flop, Waterworld actually managed to pull in $30 million dollars over its estimated budget (with marketing costs factored in).
12. Steven Spielberg refused to be paid for making Schindler’s List. He used the money to start the Righteous Persons Foundation, which is dedicated to Holocaust education.
13. At the end of Die Hard (spoiler!) Hans Gruber is dropped from the top of Nakatomi Plaza. To achieve a genuine reaction, actor Alan Rickman was dropped one second early during filming.
14. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a groundbreaking film in many ways. Way back when it was released, it was the very first film to show a toilet flushing.
15. During the filming of The Shining, Kubrick called Stephen King at 3 AM and asked him if he believed in God. King said yes, to which Kubrick replied “I knew it!” before hanging up.
16. Although Sean Connery got to play legendary super spy James Bond, he turned down roles in some great films, including: The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, and Blade Runner.