Making of a Blockbuster: 40 Facts About the Making of Your Favorite Films – Part 6

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1The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

“The Shawshank Redemption” remains one of the most valuable assets in Warner Brothers catalog (which has several multi-billion dollar movie franchises) and actor Bob Gunton who played the warden in the movie still makes six figures a year from it.

2. The Motion Picture Academy refused to nominate Tron for a special-effects award because, according to director Steven Lisberger, “The Academy thought we cheated by using computers.”

3. Despite playing an anti-Semitic Kazakhstani man, Sasha Baron Cohen is actually speaking Hebrew throughout the entire movie “Borat.”

4. Dr. Seuss’ widow disliked “The Cat in the Hat (2003)” so much that she banned Hollywood from making live action movies of Seuss’ characters.

5. The movie “Coco” was originally about a Mexican-American boy coping with the death of his mother, learning to let her go and move on with his life. As the movie developed, Pixar realized that this is the opposite of what Día de los Muertos is about.

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6Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

William Shatner directed ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’ because of a clause in his contract dating back to the original series ensuring that whatever Leonard Nimoy got, he did too. So after Nimoy directed ‘Star Trek IV’, Shatner insisted that he get a turn at directing a movie.

7. Despite bringing in just $462 million at the box office, the 2006 movie “Cars” earned $10 billion in merchandise sales over the next 5 years.

8. Mel Brooks financed and produced the movie ‘The Elephant Man’, but didn’t take any credit because he didn’t want audiences mistaking it for a comedy.

9. The Nakatomi Plaza which was featured in the movie “Die Hard” was actually 20th Century Fox’s headquarters and they charged themselves rent to use it.

10. In the movie “Dumb and Dumber”, Jim Carrey’s chipped tooth is genuine, resulting from a fight with a classmate in his childhood, but he had since had it capped. He simply had the crown temporarily removed from that tooth to portray Lloyd.

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11Daddy’s Home

Daddy’s Home

“Dumb and Dumber To” and “Daddy’s Home” were funded using money stolen from a Malaysian government investment fund.

12. The Senate Majority Leader in 1939 decried the Academy Award-winning movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, saying the movie “showed the Senate as the biggest aggregation of nincompoops on record!”

13. Over 60 old police cars were purchased for the making of the 1980 movie Blues Brothers’ chase scenes, and none of them survived.

14. In the 1964 movie “A Distant Trumpet”, many of the Navajo Native American actors went off script and would joke around in their language. No one bothered to translate what they said until the 2009 documentary Reel Injun did just that.

15. Jonah Hill was hospitalized with bronchitis after shooting for “The Wolf of Wall Street” ended. He had been snorting Vitamin D for close to seven months since the movie involved several scenes of coke snorting.

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16It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life

In 1974, the 1946 movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” fell into public domain because the studio failed to renew its copyright. As a result, it was aired a lot, which explains why it became so popular even though it flopped in theaters. The studio got rights to the movie again in 1993.

17. Although being a giant box office success, movie theater business was less enthused about the movie “A Quiet Place” because the ambiance of the movie was such that any type of loud eating was shamed leading to people not buying any food. Cinemas normally earn more from food than tickets.

18. Rapper Coolio’s cameo in Batman & Robin was an Easter Egg setting up a fifth movie in the series. Coolio is uncredited as playing Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow who would’ve been the main villain in Batman Unchained.

19. In the Hobbit movies, Smaug is guarding 16,646,250 metric tons of gold. It would be worth approximately $676 trillion.

20. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis clashed during the filming of Groundhog Day. Murray wanted the movie to be more contemplative while Ramis saw it as more of a comedy. After filming was completed the two didn’t speak to each other for 21 years, only reconciling shortly before Ramis’ death in 2014.

21Once Upon a Time in America

Once 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.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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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