TUESDAY’S TRIVIA TIDBITS.
Welcome back to Tuesday’s Trivia Tidbits. For those of you out of the loop, this is a little compilation of 10 movie related facts that I will be posting weekly and info that I always find interesting. So without further ado, this weeks are…
1: As a producer of “Schindler’s List“, Steven Spielberg shopped directing duties on the film to numerous colleagues, because he was afraid he couldn’t do the story justice. He was turned down by Martin Scorsese (who was interested but ultimately felt it was a subject that should be done by a Jewish director), Roman Polanski (who didn’t feel he was yet ready to tackle the Holocaust after surviving it in childhood), and Billy Wilder (who wanted to make this as his last film). Apparently, it was Wilder who convinced Spielberg to direct it himself.
2: Up until his death in 1978, actor John Cazale appeared in only five feature films in his career: “The Godfather“, “The Conversation“, “The Godfather: Part II“, “Dog Day Afternoon” and “The Deer Hunter“. All of them were nominated for Best Picture (with three of them actually winning the award).
3: Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out of the role of Stephen Meyers in George Clooney’s “The Ides Of March” but stayed on as executive producer through his company Appian Way. Chris Pine was then considered before Ryan Gosling was cast.
4: Among its 8 Academy Award nominations, “Silver Linings Playbook” became the first to earn nods in all four acting categories since “Reds” in 1981 and the first “Big Five” (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Writing) nominee since “Million Dollar Baby” in 2004z
5: Originally the movie “Three Amigo’s” was supposed to star Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Martin mentioned it in a Playboy interview published January 1980, referring to the movie as ‘The Three Caballeros‘.
6: Writers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen suffered writer’s block while writing “Miller’s Crossing“. They took a three week break and wrote “Barton Fink” a film about a writer with writer’s block. The name of Tom Regan’s (Gabriel Byrne) residence is “The Barton Arms“. In one of the newspapers an article reads ‘Seven Dead in Hotel Fire,’ another reference to Barton Fink.
7: The director of “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy“, Adam McKay has said that in the first draft of the script, the story was about a planeload of news anchors who crash in the mountains and discover that the plane which they collided was carrying monkeys and martial arts equipment, leading to a battle between cannibalistic newsmen and star-throwing monkeys.
8: The extraordinary cost of the production of “One From The Heart” would lead to director Francis Ford Coppola’s declaring bankruptcy. Originally intended as a small film after the enormous cost, pressures and production problems of “Apocalypse Now“, One From The Heart rapidly ballooned from a projected budget of $2 million to over $25 million. Coppola has stated that the films he made during the rest of the 1980s and most of the 1990s, such as “The Outsiders“, “The Cotton Club“, “The Godfather: Part III“, “Jack” and “The Rainmaker“, were done to pay off the debts incurred by the production of this film.
9: Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe were both slated to play the lead in “Footloose“. The casting directors were impressed with Cruise because of the famous underwear dance sequence in “Risky Business“, but he was unavailable for the part because he was filming “All the Right Moves“. Lowe auditioned three times and had dancing ability and the “neutral teen” look that the director wanted, but he pulled his knee, and the injury prevented him from taking the part. After watching “Diner“, the director had to convince the producers to go with Kevin Bacon.
10: In “The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus“, according to Terry Gilliam, the last line Heath Ledger spoke for filming on the set was “Don’t shoot the messenger.” When Johnny Depp filmed his role after Ledger’s death, Depp asked Gilliam if he could try a new ad-lib: “Don’t shoot the messenger“, unaware that Ledger had improvised an identical line. Gilliam was astounded, remarking, “Heath is still out there. Johnny’s channeling Heath somehow…“
So there you have it. 10 esoteric Tidbits to masticate on. Some you may know. Some you may not. If you have any thoughts, stick your donations in the comment box.
See you next Tuesday…
(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)