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: Michael Clarke Duncan did bodyguard work for Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and The Notorious B.I.G.; he let a friend take over for him the night Notorious B.I.G. got shot, which prompted him to quit that line of work.

2: In “Lawless” Ryan Gosling, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, and Michael Shannon were originally slated to top line the project together with Shia LaBeouf. After the movie was shut down, recasting was required.

3: Bruce Willis was chosen to play John McClane in “Die Hard” because the producers felt he brought warmth and humor to an otherwise cold and humorless character. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone had turned down the role.

4: Louise Fletcher who played Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” was so upset with the fact that the other actors could laugh and be happy while she had to be so cold and heartless that near the end of production she removed her dress and stood in only her panties to prove to the actors she was not “a cold-hearted monster”.

5: Brian De Palma liked Oliver Stone’s script of “Scarface” so much that he dropped out of directing “Flashdance” to direct the film.

6: Joaquin Phoenix was in car accident January 2006 on a winding canyon road that flipped his car over. Shaken and confused, Phoenix heard a tapping on his window and a voice say, “Just relax”. Unable to see the man, Phoenix replied, “I’m fine. I am relaxed”. Then managed to see that the man was famed, eccentric German auteur Werner Herzog, and Herzog replied, ‘No, you’re not’. After helping Phoenix out of the wreckage, Herzog phoned an ambulance and vanished.

7:Moon” and “Source Code” director Duncan Jones was offered the recent film “Dredd 3D“, but turned it down. Not because he didn’t like the Alex Garland script (Jones said it was great), but because he had such a strong idea of what he wanted to do with a Dredd movie, that he felt he could not bring himself to take it on and not do it his way.

8: In “The Shawshank Redemption“, Tim Robbins’ role of Andy Dufresne was originally offered to Tom Hanks but he turned it down because he was committed to “Forrest Gump” at the time – Hanks did, however, work on Frank Darabont’s next film, “The Green Mile“. Others considered for the role where Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen.

9: Early in his acting career, Paul Newman was often mistaken for Marlon Brando. He claims to have signed around 500 autographs reading, “Best wishes, Marlon Brando.”

10:Blade Runner” is, of course, loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” but the title itself comes from a book by Alan Nourse called “The Bladerunner“. William S. Burroughs wrote a screenplay based on the Nourse book and a novella entitled “Blade Runner: A Movie.” Ridley Scott bought the rights to the title but not the screenplay or the book. The Burroughs composition defines a blade runner as “a person who sells illegal surgical instruments”.

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…


  1. No point reading any more, no trivia you tell me will ever beat the scorpion and frog story from Drive πŸ™‚

    I joke of course (kind of!) good stuff as always Mark!!


  2. That Joaquin Phoenix story is rather odd. I wonder if that was his recollection or another witness’s; Phoenix did go a bit odd for a while, after all.

    And thank the lord Nicolas Cage wasn’t in any form or shape attached to The Shawshank Redemption.


    • That’s a good point Chris. Maybe that was during Phoenix’s ‘strange’ time. Herzog has never denied the story though.

      As for Cage, I just can’t see that either. I could see Hanks and Costner suited to that role though.


  3. Another great post of trivia.


  4. These are a blast. Think about it – would Die Hard be half as good if Stallone or Schwarzenegger had taken it? Probably not.


    • Thanks Keith. Yeah, Die Hard would be nowhere near as good with them. Willis is perfect in the role and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Unless of course, Bill Murray was adding the smarts πŸ˜‰


  5. That certainly is interesting, imagine where Bruce Willis would be today if one of those other took the part?


    • I think Willis would probably have been stuck in romantic comedy territory. After tv’s Moonlighting and his debut Blind Date, he would probably have been typecast in that kind of role. Thankfully not though. Cheers Tim.


  6. Hehe the ninth one was really something… Quite interesting trivia…


  7. fucking brilliant amigo!!


  8. filmfellahenry Says:

    Nice one: once again you have made my lunch break far more interesting. Having werner herzog as your guardian angel would be awesome.


  9. 4) What the hell? A warm “hello” after the shoot is done would be fine.

    6) What a great meet-up!\

    9) I’ll take either one πŸ™‚


  10. Wow man, teaching me new things about Blade Runner! Awesome! πŸ˜€

    Meanwhile I’m SO glad Tom Hanks didnt do Shawshank. LOL. Or Stallone and Schwarzenegger on Die Hard, either, can you imagine?

    Dredd has a RT score of over 90 right now! I… cant even beleieve it!


    • Haha. Glad to be of service Fogs. As you know, Blade Runner is loaded with info. I’m sure more will crop up in future posts.

      I wouldn’t have minded Hanks so much in Shawshank. I can definitely picture him but Robbins does a fine job regardless. As for Die Hard, Willis is just right for that. Can’t picture anyone else doing that.

      I didn’t know Dredd was rated so highly but I keep hearing good word of mouth praise. I do like Alex Garland though, so it’s not completely surprising that he’s delivered a decent script.

      Cheers Fogs!


  11. Good ones! I could see Hanks in Shawshank


  12. I wonder how Depp would have done in Shawshank but now that I look at it, Robbins was the perfect choice.


    • I don’t know about Depp. I like him but he’s got too much of an intriguing look about him. Hanks and Robbins have that babyfaced innocent look which fits the character well. All in all, I agree though Dan. Robbins is the man.


  13. WOW, I did not know that about Duncan being Will Smith’s bodyguard! And yeah on #3, I don’t think I’d like Die Hard as much w/ Sly/Arnie in the role. What a crazy story about Herzog and Phoenix’ car accident, where in the world did you find that story Mark?

    Newman mistaken for Brando?? Get real! I think both are gorgeous but Newman is better looking I think. Ahah, that is too funny! I remember that Christian Bale said he was often mistaken for Christian Slater, but perhaps more for the name as they look nothing alike!!

    Another great batch of trivia, Mark, well done!


    • Oh btw, I was going to congratulate you on Murray’s win! Now he just have to get the Gran Slam title! πŸ˜€


      • Yeah, c’mon the wee Scotsman eh? He beat Djokovic today an became the first player from Britain to win it since 1936 or something like that. As we say in Glasgow, “Gon yersel wee man. Get intae ‘im” πŸ™‚


    • Yeah, that’s how Duncan got into the acting business. Apparently Bruce Willis played a big part in recommending him for roles having worked with him in The Whole Nine Yards and Armageddon. Speaking of Willis, I totally agree. Die Hard wouldn’t be the same without him.

      The Herzog/Phoenix is entirely true. Whether those were exactly the words spoken is another thing but that’s the info I picked, so I printed it as I got it. In the photo of the Phoenix accident, that apparently him with his back turned to the camera.

      Again, the Newman/Brando is info that Newman actually claims to have happened. (As an added sidenote to this) Lee Strasberg, who trained Newman at the Actor’s Studio, said that he would have been as great an actor as Brando if he hadn’t been so handsome. According to Strasberg, Newman had the talent, but he too often relied on his good looks to coast through a role.

      Strange but suposedly true. Thanks as always Ruth.


  14. Great post again, bud! Loved 1, 2, 6 and 9 the most. #4 made me go WTF?!


  15. Cool – #10 is my favorite! I love Burroughs and I read “Do Androids …” so now I want to read “The Bladerunner” and ya know, one day I’ll eventually get around to watching that movie…


    • Burroughs is very interesting indeed. I’ve never actually read the Alan Nourse book though. As for the film, Misty, you are missing out on one of cinemas finest achievements. I adore Blade Runner.!!


  16. 4 is especially fascinating. She is so chilling in the role though, so it must have worked


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