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: (Courtesy of Tyson at Head In A Vice) There is a legend that Elvis Presley (who died in 1977) makes a cameo in “Home Alone“. Many of those who believe that Elvis is still alive maintain that, the heavily bearded man standing in the background of the scene where Mrs. MacCallister is shouting at the desk clerk (just before she meets John Candy) is Elvis.
3: Director Jason Reitman stated that if George Clooney had passed on the role of Ryan Bingham in “Up In The Air“, he would have rewritten the part for Steve Martin. Reitman claimed that the movie would have become “much more like “Lost in Translation” was for Bill Murray.”
4: Terrence Malick originally worked on a screenplay for “Che” which was limited to Che Guevara’s attempts to start a revolution in Bolivia. When financing fell through, Malick left the project, and subsequently Steven Soderbergh agreed to direct the film.
5: Quentin Tarantino wanted James Woods to play a role in “Reservoir Dogs” and made him five different cash offers. Woods’ agent refused the offers without ever mentioning it as the sums offered were well below what Woods would usually receive. When Tarantino and Woods later met for the first time, Woods learned of the offer and was annoyed enough to get a new agent. Tarantino avoided telling Woods which role he was offered “because the actor who played the role was magnificent anyway”. It is widely accepted that the role that Tarantino was referring to was Mr. Orange (played by Tim Roth).
6: At the age of 10, Leonardo DiCaprio was advised by his agent to change his name to a more American-friendly one. ‘Lenny Williams’ was the suggestion. Needless to say, he did not follow that advice.
7: “Die Hard” was based on a book by Roderick Thorp entitled “Nothing Lasts Forever” – a sequel to another book entitled “The Detective“, which in 1968 was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra. Because of a clause in Sinatra’s contract for “The Detective” which gave him the right to reprise his role in a sequel, he was actually the first person offered the role of John McClane, even though he was 73 years old at the time.
8: Christoph Waltz was originally cast as Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method“, but dropped out of the project in order to film “Water for Elephants“. Viggo Mortensen was later cast instead.
9: The original version of Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus” included a scene where Marcus Licinius (Laurence Olivier) attempts to seduce Antoninus (Tony Curtis). The Production Code Administration and the Legion of Decency both objected. At one point, the censors suggested it would help if the reference in the scene to a preference for oysters or snails was changed to truffles and artichokes. In the end the scene was cut, but it was put back in for the 1991 restoration. However, the soundtrack had been lost in the meantime and the dialogue had to be dubbed. Curtis was able to redo his lines, but Olivier had died. Joan Plowright, his widow, remembered that Anthony Hopkins had done a dead-on impression of Olivier and she mentioned this to the restoration team. They approached Hopkins and he agreed to voice in Olivier’s lines in that scene. Hopkins is thanked in the credits for the restored version.
10: Samuel L. Jackson had just undergone treatment for drug addiction and had only two weeks from his discharge from rehab to the start of filming his role as Gator Purify in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever“. Jackson has gone on record as saying that Gator’s ravaged look was not make-up, but actually the result of his own detoxification. As a result of his performance, the Cannes Film Festival introduced the Best Supporting Actor Award specifically to honour Jackson.
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.)