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: According to a biography of Jack Nicholson, producer Robert Evans suggested Nicholson to Roman Polanski for the part of Guy Woodhouse (played by John Cassevetes) in “Rosemary’s Baby” but, after their meeting, the director stated that “for all his talent, his slightly sinister appearance ruled him out“.

2: During the filming of “The Hurt Locker“, three, four or more hand-held super 16mm cameras were used to film scenes in documentary style. Nearly two hundred hours of footage was shot at a 100:1 shooting ratio – a higher ratio of expended film than the notorious Francis Ford Coppola epic, “Apocalypse Now“.

3: For the first four days of production on “The Dark Knight“, Christopher Nolan put cast and crew under a movie boot camp comprising eight films whose tone he wanted to emulate. In chronological order, these were: “King Kong“, “Citizen Kane“, “Cat People“, “Stalag 17“, “Black Sunday“, “A Clockwork Orange“, “Heat” and “Batman Begins“.

4: When the rights for “Life Of Pi” were optioned in 2002 several directors had been attached to direct including M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarรณn and Jean-Pierre Jeunet before Ang Lee took over.

5: Screenwriter Nora Ephron, who was married to “Goodfellas” writer Nicholas Pileggi, used Henry Hill’s experiences in witness protection as the basis for the Steve Martin comedy “My Blue Heaven” – released only a month after Scorsese’s film. In some ways, it could be considered a tenuous sequel.

6: Charlie Sheen stayed awake for 48 hours to achieve a suitably wasted look for his cameo as a drugged-up felon in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“. (There’s no evidence to suggest he was drinking tiger blood, though) ๐Ÿ˜‰

7: In “Aliens“, Hicks was originally played by James Remar, but Michael Biehn replaced him a few days after principal photography began, due to “artistic differences” between Remar and director James Cameron. However, Remar still appears in the finished film – but wearing the same armor, and shot from behind, it’s impossible to tell the difference between the two actors.

8: Billy Crystal was originally offered the role of Woody in “Toy Story” and he accepted. After Tom Hanks expressed a desire to voice the role, they offered Crystal a future role in a Pixar film that they would tailor to his talents. Crystal told them to “do what’s best for your movie and don’t forget me when something good comes around.” They didn’t and offered him the role of Mike in “Monster Inc.

9: Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” was intended to be a much darker drama called “Anhedonia” (named after the psychological condition of being unable to experience pleasure). One subplot later became the basis for Allen’s “Manhattan Murder Mystery“.

10: Throughout the films of John Landis are posters of fictional film “See You Next Wednesday“. The director uses the in-joke from an unfilmed screenplay he wrote as a teenager. We finally see the film – a British porno – in “An American Werewolf In London“.

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 Tuesdayโ€ฆ

(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)


  1. Marvelous as always my friend! I like that part of Nolan’s ‘bootcamp of movies’ for TDK was Batman Begins. Ya know, just to remind them that they’re filming a sequel to one of the biggest superhero movies of all time!

    And I’m guessing by looking at him that Charlie Sheen hasn’t actually slept since…


    • Cheers Chris. Yeah, it shows a confidence in Nolan that he’d include his own film amongst those eight.

      Haha! I couldn’t disagree with you on Sheen. This was the beginning of his downfall methinks. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. Might have to watch My Blue Heaven now!!


  3. Thank god M. Night didn’t get the rights to Life of Pi. Great article as always Mark, funny how Sheen stayed up for 48 hours to look like shit in’Ferris’. I always wondered about that scene.


    • Thanks man! I think we can safely say that nobody would have liked M. Night to get Life of Pi. I wouldn’t have minded Cauron or Juenet but the film is just fine as it is.


  4. I’m glad M. Night Shyamalan didn’t direct Life of Pi. I didn’t know that about Blue Heaven. I haven’t seen it before but feel like watching it now. Nice trivia.


    • Thanks again man. I’m entirely happy with Life of Pi so M. Night would only have shat all over it.
      You should give My Blue Heaven a look, it’s not all bad, if my memory serves.


  5. And today Sheen could play “wasted” in his sleep!!! Good stuff as always Mark!


  6. Excellence as always my man!!


  7. Wow, I didn’t know that about TDK, very interesting! Somehow I knew Heat would be included as there are definitely a lot of Mann’s influence in that movie.

    Interesting that we share the same view about The Hurt Locker, Mark. I wasn’t blown away (pardon the pun) by it. It was a good film, yes, but not Best Picture material. ZDT on the other hand, is one Oscar frontrunner I can get behind.


    • I can see Mann’s influence there as well Ruth and it’s a good approach to get the movie you want from people. In the end, it seems to have paid off.

      I’ll definitely get onto Zero Dark Thirty but in all honesty I’m not expecting much from it. I do like Bigelow though and Chastain is the actress to beat these days.


  8. Supremely interesting trivia as always.


  9. I really like that Billy Crystal bit… just feels like a bunch of class all around there.


  10. Great bits as always ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. “a higher ratio of expended film than the notorious Francis Ford Coppola epic, โ€œApocalypse Nowโ€œ.”

    Wow. Thats hard to do. LOL

    Always knew that My Blue Heaven was a comedic take on Henry Hill LOL.

    I dont understand why Charlie didnt just get wasted. LOL


    • It’s hard to believe that anyone could could go as far as Coppola did but apparently so.

      Yeah man, what was Sheen doing? Drinking tea all night? LOL. I suppose this was back in the day when he was behaving himself.


  12. Great trivia as always! Polanski had a point. Jack Nicholson’s “slightly sinister” appearance (and let’s face it — it just seems to come naturally to him) would’ve spoiled the film for anyone who hadn’t read the novel beforehand. People would have been expecting him to sell out his wife to Satan as soon as the credits rolled.


    • Haha! Absolutely! I love Nicholson but he wouldnt have convinced as an innocent husband when there’s satanic practices going on with the neighbours. Polanski was spot on. Thanks for dropping by again ๐Ÿ™‚


  13. filmfellahenry Says:

    Informative stuff as always mark, and pretty varied too. Surprised at the inspirations behind Nolan’s Dark Knight, though i guess it just reinforces my dislike for the reimagining – Heat as a source of tonal inspiration is madness to me!


  14. I was surprised by that James Remar bit. It’s too bad it didn’t work out between him and James Cameron on Aliens. I’m now curious as to what his approach to Hicks was.


  15. as for #6 – charlie sheen – i have to recall the famous story about dustin hoffman and laurence olivier.



  16. 1. I could REALLY imagine Jack Nicholson as Guy Woodhouse in Rosemary’s Baby, but he’d give it all away, straight away.

    2. Was this expended screenplay content also? I can’t imagine a 200-hour documentary, let alone a 200-hour narrative…

    3. Christopher Nolan would do that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    4. I’d actually heard about this. M. Night Shyamalan dropped out because of the twist ending. Not that he didn’t want to do it, of course, but nobody wanted him doing it.

    5. I’ve seen GoodFellas but not the Steve Martin one. Can’t imagine a comedy about Henry Hill haha.

    6. Damn he looks young there…. Forty-eight hours awake is impressive. Especially when he can still maintain his solid acting. Of course, he’s lost it by now…

    7. Haha wow!

    8. Billy Crystal. I feel as if I’ve heard that name before…lol.

    9. Wow. I knew about the original title “Anhedonia”, but I didn’t know it was intended to be a completely different film.

    10. I didn’t know An American Werewolf in London was pornography….


  17. That’s a cool tidbit about Billy Crystal. Nice to see Pixar hold up their end of the deal after all those years.


  18. Your best set yet I think. The dark Knight one is fascinating (i’ve seen 6 of them) Billy Crystal is perfect in Monsters Inc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: