Trivia Tidbits

Welcome back to Trivia Tidbits. For those of you out of the loop, this is a little compilation of 10 movie related facts that I always find interesting. So without further ado, this weeks are…

1: Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg were offered the chance to direct “Collateral” but they all turned it down. It wasn’t until Russell Crowe became interested in playing Vincent, the hitman, that the project started generating any interest. Crowe brought Michael Mann on-board, but the constant delays, meant that Crowe left the project. Mann immediately went to Tom Cruise, with the idea of him playing the hitman, and Adam Sandler as the cabbie (eventually played by Jamie Foxx). 

2: One of the reasons why “Trainspotting” proved to be so popular, particularly in its native UK, was its vibrant marketing campaign. It was actively modeled on the way that “Pulp Fiction” had been pitched to the public. It was shot on a budget of £1.5 million over a period of 35 days and despite that relatively low budget, PolyGram allocated an almost unprecedented £800,000 to go towards promotion and advertisement, such was their faith in the film.

3: James Gandolfini often said Robert De Niro played a considerable role in his decision to become an actor, since Gandolfini had grown up watching “Mean Streets” over and over again. Fittingly, after Gandolfini’s death, HBO announced that De Niro had been chosen to replace Gandolfini in the TV lawyer’s role he had signed on to play – the lead of the drama mini-series “The Night Before”. Due to time constraints, however, DeNiro had to eventually drop out and John Turturro took the role (who incidentally directed Gandolfini in the musical “Romance & Cigarettes”).

4: John Carpenter’s cult sci-fi “They Live” became the subject of so many neo-Nazi postings which claimed that the film’s aliens were actually meant to be Jews who were subverting white society and taking over the world, that Carpenter made a lengthy, angry, and public statement in early 2017 stating that this theory was bigoted garbage with no truth and no connection to his ideas for the film. It is, in fact, a critique of Reaganomics – a “vehicle to take on Reaganism” with Carpenter stating “They Live is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism. It has nothing to do with Jewish control of the world”.

5: After the success of “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”, Brad Pitt contacted Guy Ritchie to see if the director had any part for him in his new movie, Ritchie responded positively but after the phone conversation was over, Ritchie realised that he offered Pitt a part in “Snatch” that did not actually exist. He rewrote the movie with a part for Pitt as Mickey O’Neil, the Irish Gypsy boxer, with indecipherable speech. This was inspired by many critics’ complaints about the accents of the characters in “Lock, Stock…” so Ritchie decided to counter the criticisms by creating a character that not only couldn’t be understood by the audience but that also couldn’t be understood by characters in the movie.

6: In “The Big Lebowski”, The Dude’s line, “The Dude abides,” is a reference to Ecclesiastes 1:4, “One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the earth abides forever.” It is a reference to how the Dude, much like the Earth, can weather change and chaos around him, but still remain the same.

7: Burt Reynolds was director Milos Forman’s first choice for the lead in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” but United Artists believed his appeal with average moviegoers might prevent the film from attracting the critical attention they felt was necessary for the film to be a box-office hit. Jack Nicholson was cast instead in the role that won him his first Best Actor Oscar. A decade later, Reynolds was writer-director James L. Brooks’ first choice for the role of amorous astronaut Garrett Breedlove in “Terms of Endearment”. This time, Reynolds passed on the project, clearing the way for Nicholson to win his second Oscar, this one for Best Supporting Actor.

8: Val Kilmer boke his arm while filming “The Doors” when he performed a jump from the stage into the crowd and the stuntman failed to catch him. The injury has left Kilmer with an abnormal growth on his left elbow that can clearly be seen many times in “Heat”.

9: In 1984, “The Breakfast Club” followed five teens: a criminal, a nerd, an athlete, a princess, and a basket case. The quintet thinks they are different at the beginning of Saturday morning detention but end up as best friends by its end. The sequel would revisit the friends 10 years later. Plans reportedly fell through when director John Hughes and star Judd Nelson had a public fallout.

10: The character Harvey in Steven Soderbergh’s Hollywood satire “Full Frontal” is clearly based on Harvey Weinstein, who was also an executive producer on the film. Played by Jeff Garlin, the character is over-weight and drinks a lot of diet coke, just like Weinstein in real-life. Another character in the movie is a film producer, who gets sexually aroused by massages, which might have been an insider reference to Weinstein too.

• • •

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…

(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.

34 Responses to “Trivia Tidbits”

  1. Awesome post, Mark 😍 but how exactly Trainspotting was promoted?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A Russell Crowe, Adam Sandler cast would have made quite a different Michael Mann-film in ‘Collateral’, I think. Gotta love John Carpenter! Love these posts, Mark. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I can’t stand Adam Sandler so I’m glad that never happened. I like Crowe but Cruise was magnificent in that film. I’m happy with the way it ended up. Probably Mann’s last great film as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember reading about #3 at the time; would have really liked to have seen De Niro in The Night Of, but Turturro did a pretty great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So Jack Nicholson owes a bunch to Bert Reynolds.

    My other big takeaway is “Thank God we didn’t get Adam Sandler in Collateral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reynolds must be kicking himself. Jack took home two oscars for those roles. That said, Reynolds has refused so many great roles over the years. His career could have been so different.

      And, Yeah! I’m with you on Sandler. I really can’t go that man.


  5. As always, so interesting to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post Mark, knew some of these but most I did and they’re quite interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Most I did not is what I meant. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hm, kinda makes me wonder what that Breakfast Club sequel would have been like.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting stuff mate!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. One of my favourite features on here, my good friend. You have a great knack for showcasing trivia that enlightens us all.


  11. There was a sequel to The Breakfast Club?! I like to think I know plenty about films but I only knew two of these facts. Great series.

    Liked by 1 person

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