26Once Upon a Time in America
American distributor of the movie ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ shortened it to 139 minutes, without the director’s involvement. That version was a critical and commercial flop in the US. Meanwhile, European Cut spanning 229 minutes has remained one of the best gangster movie ever made according to many critics.
27. Tom Hanks refused to get paid for his roles in Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan, preferring to take percentages of the movies’ worldwide total gross instead. He got almost $60 million from Forrest Gump and between $30 million and $40 million from Saving Private Ryan.
28. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was originally planned to end with a massive battle between Arthur’s forces, the French knights, and the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. This was scrapped because the movie didn’t have a big enough budget for it.
29. While filming Mimic, director Guillermo del Toro’s father was kidnapped. The kidnappers demanded $1 million but del Toro had already put all his money into the movie. James Cameron came in and gave him the $1 million in cash while also recommending a negotiator.
30. In 1981, a 27-year-old James Cameron was working as a director on Pirhana II, when he was fired for failing to get a close-up of the lead actress. He then got food poisoning and during his illness had a nightmare about a robot sent from the future to kill him, which became the idea for ‘The Terminator.’
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Russell Crowe was offered the role of Wolverine, but turned it down due to his role in Gladiator being associated with wolves, and he didn’t want to be typecast as “Mr. Wolfman”, believing Wolverine was based on a wolf. He recommended Hugh Jackman, who also researched wolves before being corrected.
32. Martial arts choreographer Woo-ping Yuen didn’t particularly want to work on The Matrix despite liking the script. He asked for a sky-high fee and insisted on 4 months of training for the cast and total control over the stunt scenes. To his surprise Warner Bros. and the Wachowskis agreed.
33. The computer game Tron actually came out after the movie did and it made more money in arcades than the movie did in theaters.
34. On the set of The Princess Bride, André the Giant once “let out a 16 second fart and brought production to a standstill.” Nobody said anything except director Rob Reiner, who said “Are you OK, André?” to which André replied, “I am now boss.”
35. Columbia Pictures refused to make E.T., saying it was “a wimpy Walt Disney movie.” The company was, however, allowed to retain 5% of the film’s net profits after selling the project to Universal Studios and later said “we made more on [E.T. in 1982] than we did on any of our films [that year].”
36Die Hard with a Vengeance
The plot to rob the Federal Reserve from Die Hard with a Vengeance was so detailed that the FBI interviewed the writer. Turned out it was all based on publicly available information, and accurate enough that such a plan would actually have worked. The facility's security was improved as a result.
37. The 2009 hit movie Avatar required 4,000 servers, 35,000 CPU Cores, 104 TB of RAM, and 3 PB of Network Area Storage in a 10,000 sq.ft render farm to render the movies effects.
38. During the filming of Jackass 3D, Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine, and the rest of the crew banned beer from the set to help Steve-O maintain his sobriety.
39. Because ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ was filmed on a microscopic budget of $60,000, the cast and crew had to work 7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day in 115°F heat in a poorly ventilated farmhouse amid rotting roadkill being used as props to finish the film.
40. Warner Bros. allowed Bugs Bunny to appear in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ under the stipulation that he only appear opposite Mickey Mouse, and that the two receive the same amount of screen time. The resulting scene is the only time in film history that the two have shared the screen together.
For the film ‘Speed’, Joss Whedon was brought in a week before shooting began and he rewrote “98.9% of the dialogue”, added major plot points, and is credited with creating the “Pop quiz, hotshot” line.
42. ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ had such a low budget that they had only $250 for the makeup. Film’s artists were able to work with that, and the film ended up winning an Oscar for Makeup and Hairstyling.
43. Prior to production of Valkyrie (2008), German Defense Ministry said that filming would not be allowed at the country’s military sites because Tom Cruise is a member of Scientology, which is viewed as a dangerous cult by the German authorities.
44. After T.J. Miller got accused of sexual misconduct and called in a fake bomb threat, Dreamworks hired an impersonator to dub over his lines in How To Train Your Dragon 3 to match his performance exactly (it had already been animated) in order to not change the film but still dissociate him from it.
45. Bill Murray hired an assistant who ‘was profoundly deaf and spoke only in sign language’ to make communication as difficult as possible between him, the director and the studio during the filming of ‘Groundhog Day.’
Billy Crystal’s character, Miracle Max, in the Princess Bride was so funny that it nearly stopped the production of the movie. One actor bruised a rib from clenching to try not to laugh.