We’ve noticed that you guys like facts. And when I say facts, I mean the random kind you don’t read or hear about everywhere you go. Those that make sit back and go, “huh.” For today’s list, we’ve searched far and wide and landed some of the juiciest – random – movie facts we could find.
For instance, did you know that the most famous bullet time scene in The Matrix (where Neo bends backward to dodge bullets on a rooftop) required 120 still cameras and two film cameras? Or that Beetlejuice nearly got a sequel? Or that Russel Crowe almost accepted the part for Wolverine before Hugh Jackman landed it?
Let’s get going. Here are 25 Random Movie Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.
In The Past, Oscar Winners Were Announced Before The Ceremony
Did you know that the suspense that grips most of Hollywood around the Oscars season wasn’t always part of the awards presentation?
The very first year, winners were announced three months ahead of time, and for the next ten years, newspapers would get the results in time to publish them on the night of the awards. Unfortunately, in 1940, the Los Angeles Times got ahead of themselves and published the winners in its evening edition, which everyone could buy and read before the ceremony.
As a result, the Academy adopted the sealed envelope strategy the following year, which is still in use today.
Starbucks & Fight Club
We all know that David Fincher’s Fight Club contains some hidden material, including a certain, let’s call it, “peculiar” event in which Tyler Durden shows up in single frames of the film.
Well, a famous coffee chain also has an almost subliminal role in the film.
After Fincher moved to Los Angeles, it was challenging to find a nice cup of coffee – that is until Starbucks appeared on the scene. There were far too many for Fincher’s liking, so the filmmaker decided to have some fun by including a Starbucks cup in every scene of the film – with Starbucks’ permission, of course. Interestingly, the one scene in which the coffee company refused to let them use their name was during a scene that saw a coffee shop destroyed by a piece of art.
One Pacific Rims Jaegars’ Gait Was Based On John Wayne’s Signature Hip Movements
Are you a fan of Pacific Rim? The Jaeger in question – Gipsy Danger – had its gait modeled on John Wayne’s distinctive hip movements, and its design was inspired by the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.
Legendary Pictures took a big risk by making 2016’s Pacific Rim since the film didn’t have a preexisting franchise to back it up. And this was prime franchise time in the movie world. Unfortunately, the film didn’t fare too well in the US, but the risk paid off in other parts of the world, where it became a major hit.
Screenwriter Travis Beacham got the idea for the movie in 2007 while walking along the Santa Monica Pier. Guillermo del Toro teamed up with Beacham to write Pacific Rim’s final screenplay, and the jaw-dropping monstrous sea creatures and robots were born.
Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Had “Spider Auditions”
The casting calls for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man were very challenging. They had to track down the perfect spider. Not the perfect Spider-Man – we’re talking literal spider auditions. Raimi needed the perfect spider for that iconic moment where Peter Parker gets the first radioactive bite, but the spider that most closely resembled Raimi’s vision was a black widow. Because using a real black widow would be too dangerous, entomologist Steven Kutcher brought in a variety of spiders to “audition” for Raimi. They eventually found a spider who looked just right for the part.
There was only one problem: the spider was the wrong color.
The Solution? Makeup. Raimi pointed out that he wanted the scene to look as authentic as possible and that CGI would never come close to using an actual, fabulous spider in drag.
LOTR Ringwraith’s Screams
The Ringwraiths, also known as the Nazgul in the Lord of the Rings, represent some of the most dreaded and menacing horrors to come out of Mordor. They are terrifying creatures whose rings have rendered their physical forms to nothing. The only thing you’ll hear before they tear you down is a screech that sounds like the monster in every nightmare you’ve ever had.
That dreadful, soul-piercing screech, however, has a far less sinister backstory. When sound tech David Farmer began experimenting with screeches using animal sounds, including those of harbor seals, another sound engineer told him it just sounded like plastic grinding together. Instead of giving up and looking elsewhere, Kramer was inspired. His solution was to go to Target and buy plastic cups and bowls. That’s it. He simply scraped the plastic together, and that’s what you hear in the movies.
Throughout The Entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Legolas Only Says Five Words To Frodo
OK, while we’re on the subject of LOTR, get ready to have your mind blown. Did you know that across The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Legolas only says a single five-word sentence to Frodo? We kid you not.
Despite being two of the trilogy’s most iconic characters, spending a significant amount of time together, and frequently conversing in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, Legolas’ only spoken exchange with Frodo takes place during The Fellowship of the Ring, when he agrees to go with the Hobbit on his journey by saying, “And you have my bow.”
That this is all they say to each other across nearly 12 hours of film content is incredible, and fans couldn’t be blamed for questioning the tiny detail. But it’s 100% correct, and it even sparked a hilarious fan theory that Frodo had forgotten Legolas’ name by the time the Fellowship reunited at the end of the trilogy, given that he never says the elf’s name out loud.
The Godfather’s Cat
According to The Godfather’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, the cat that appeared in Marlon Brando’s arms during one of the scenes was a non-scripted addition to the scene. It was just a homeless cat that happened to be wandering around the set. Coppola just figured that the cat would be an excellent addition to the scene and placed the cat in Brando’s arms. And it somehow became one of the movie’s most iconic scenes.
This last-minute addition, however, nearly ruined the scene altogether. When the crew listened back, Brando’s lines of dialogue could barely be heard due to the high level of purring picked up by the microphones. The cat’s purr can still be heard in the movie to this day.
The Easter Eggs In Silence Of The Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs is one of the scariest movies ever made, mainly due to Anthony Hopkins’ incredible performance. The movie also boasts one of the most recognizable posters ever created, which shows Clarice’s face with her mouth covered by a death’s head hawkmoth. However, if you look closely, you’ll find a little easter egg on its back: a miniature reproduction of Salvador Dali and Philippe Halsman’s Voluptas Mors photograph. The photograph was taken in 1951 and shows seven women arranged in the shape of a skull.
This video is rich with small details that fans appreciate, including a hint involving Buffalo Bill’s whereabouts and the strange collection of things in his house. For example, the drawing in Hannibal’s cell of Italy’s Duoma portrayed the landmark as seen from The Belvedere, an homage to Buffalo Bill’s hometown of Belvedere, Ohio. And if you watch the movie again, take note of all the weird things Bill has lying around – there’s even a quilt adorned with Nazi swastikas.
They Used 450 Gallons Of Fake Blood In Kill Bill
Tarantino expected Kill Bill: Vol. 1 to live up to his customary brutal stories, so there were plenty of practical effects on the film. Speaking to Time on the set of Kill Bill, Tarantino pledged to shoot it “the Chinese Way” sans artificial effects, stating that although digital effects looked good, it looked like a computer did it. He wanted it to look good and like something from the 1970s.
One of the practical effects was filling condoms with fake blood – and according to makeup effects artist Christopher Allen Nelson, more than 450 gallons were used.
In fact, Tarantino marked 100 gallons for the House of Blue Leaves scene alone, and it all paid off when Kill Bill: Vol. 1 received a nomination for Best Special Visual Effects at the 57th British Academy Film Awards.
An Overweight Woman performed Fantasia's Hyacinth Hippo Scene
We wish we didn’t have to tell you about this one.
Disney animators frequently studied live models to improve their animations. They used this approach for the scene in question; however, the live model they used was not a hippo. Instead, Walt Disney hired an obese woman. The animators dressed her up in ballet costumes and a tutu and taped her as she “tripped with lumbering grace over the live-action stage.” The goal was to record whatever portions of her body wiggled and quivered so they could make the hippos’ bodies do the same.
I know some of you will already be questioning the line between cruel and comical with this entry, but it becomes worse when you realize that, given that it was 1940, there was also a racial motivation. The model was African American, and the animators referred to her in terms that are completely unacceptable today.
The Exorcist Cast Included A Real Serial Killer
If you thought you knew everything there was to know about The Exorcist, think again. We found a few bonus facts for you with this one.
Did you know the film is based on a true story? The novel by William Peter Blatty was based on the real-life 1949 exorcism of a boy known as Roland Doe. The story made national headlines and piqued Blatty’s curiosity, who was a student at Georgetown University at the time.
Pig squeals were an essential feature of the movie’s sound design, and a lot of Regan’s moans and grunts were created by remixing pig squeals. And The Exorcist also became the first horror movie to receive a nomination for a Best Picture Oscar.
But, perhaps the most disturbing fact about the movie was that actor Paul Bateson, who played a hospital technician in The Exorcist, was actually a serial killer. He was charged with killing six gay men in 1970s New York. He was released from prison in 2004.
The Transformers Franchise Joined Forces With The US Military
It would be wrong to assume that the Department of Defense only participates in movies based on real-life military operations. They’ve also become considerably more receptive to assisting films in the fantasy genre in recent years. After all, when the army is fighting a race of robot aliens, it typically skirts the murky, unpleasant aspects of battle that more realistic war films may portray.
Such was the situation with Michael Bay’s massive Transformers franchise. The film’s military liaison officer, Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Bishop, described Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as one of the largest joint projects with the military. In fact, Revenge of the Fallen holds the record for the most military branches featured in one movie.
As Did Independence Day, For A While Anyway
Back when Will Smith wasn’t a Hollywood outcast, he starred in the biggest film of 1996, Independence Day, which was written in only four weeks. Whether we think it was the ultimate B-movie or an over-the-top cheese-fest, it made a fortune.
What many of you probably don’t know is that the movie was supported by the United States military, which agreed to allow increased access to military installations and to make their soldiers and pilots available for consultation. The army, however, withdrew its support when they became aware of the numerous references to Area 51 being the center of mysterious alien research.
Another interesting fact is that more than 150 Californians called the police to report seeing a UFO after spotting the “Welcome Wagon” used in the film.
Candyman's Tony Todd Had Real Bees In His Mouth
Profiting from people’s dread of insects has long been a mainstay of the horror genre. Still, few scenes of creepy crawlies have cemented their status in pop cultural imagery quite like the bees that flow out of Tony Todd’s mouth in the 1992 horror movie Candyman. The classic film is full of memorable images, from the antagonist’s filthy hook to the charred Helen (Virginia Madsen) crawling out of the burning pyre, but the scene of Candyman leaning in to kiss Helen with bees writhing around between his lips is one of the most iconic moments in horror cinema.
In a bold move not many of us would have been able to pull off, actor Tony Todd, who played Candyman, had live bees placed in his mouth for the movie’s notorious scene and ended up being stung almost 30 times. He was paid $1,000 per bee sting and earned $27,000 for the experience.
We Almost Had An E.T. Sequel
E.T. was an incredible hit upon its initial theatrical run, grossing an astonishing $800 million. So it’s no surprise that studio bosses wanted a sequel. Melissa Mathison, the original film’s writer, began bouncing ideas off Spielberg, and the pair came up with a much darker story, Nocturnal Fears.
The sequel would have kicked off with a pale, flesh-eating alien getting stranded on Earth. Sending a distress signal for help, the alien known only as Zrek gets backup from several evil, dagger-wielding aliens. Elliot, E.T.’s friend from the first film, intercepts Zrek’s signal and ends up abducted by the evil aliens.
When Elliott pleads for help, E.T. sets off on his own brave rescue mission.
The project was eventually abandoned, with Spielberg admitting that there was nowhere else for the story to go. However, the narrative was told again decades later in the guise of a Christmas advertisement. Spielberg approved the proposal, advising the ad’s director on how to shoot the mini-sequel.
The Truth Behind Woody’s Horse’ Slurp
Here at List 25, we’ve proven time and again that we’re not scared of finding the facts that nobody else wants to tell you about. One of the juiciest, no pun intended, we’ve found so far must be the truth about the sound effects behind Woody’s horse.
You see, superb sound effects can make or break a movie, especially an animated one. Everything must “glug” or “plop” in the right way. However, creating the perfect sound for a cartoon can be difficult. Sometimes, the sound team must go to unusual lengths to achieve the desired effect. This was especially true for the Toy Story sound team. In their pursuit of the perfect sounds, they left no stone unturned. Or, to be more precise, they left no face unlicked.
According to the BBC, to accurately imitate the slobbering slurp Woody’s horse gives Woody in the picture, the sound guys took one poor man far down on the artistic ladder and coated his face in peanut butter. They then drove him to a pasture in search of the perfect cow with a peanut butter addiction. The cow cheerfully accepted the challenge and licked the peanut butter from the man’s face. The lick-a-thon lasted hours since the sound team needed enough material to create the perfect slurp.
Quentin Tarantino’s Movies Are All Interconnected In Some Way
I don’t know about you guys, but I am a massive QT fan. Did you know Tarantino’s films are all set in the same “Realer than Real universe”? From Reservoir Dogs to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, these films are all connected in some way. That’s why props from one movie can usually be seen in another. A lot of the characters are even related to one another. For example, Vincent Vega (Pulp Fiction) is the brother of Victor Vega (Mr. Blonde) in Reservoir Dogs. This universe is meant to be a hyper-exaggerated version of our own and frequently includes fictitious characters interacting with actual figures from our past (think Lieutenant Aldo Raine and his interactions with Adolf Hitler in Inglourious Basterds).
Quentin also created the “Movie Movie Universe,” which includes movies like Kill Bill, Natural Born Killers, and From Dusk Till Dawn. These are the movies that the characters from the Realer than Real Universe would see if they ever went to the movies – a type of universe within a universe.
The Most Profitable Film Of All Time Based On ROI Is Mad Max
Thanks to its tiny budget and massive success at the box office, George Miller’s 1980 film Mad Max scored a return on investment of 24,738%.
Miller worked as an emergency department doctor to supplement the film’s $350,000 budget. It ended up making $49,675,000 in profit.
And did you know that Mel Gibson landed the role after taking a friend to audition? He was actually bloodied and bruised from a confrontation involving “half a rugby team” when the friend asked him to drop him off. Because the agency was also looking for “freaks,” they snapped a few candid shots of Gibson, who was simply standing around, and asked him to return after he healed. When he did, Miller offered him the part on the spot.
Animators Made 10,297 Balloons for Pixar’s Up
We loved Pixar’s Up so much that we decided to give you more than one fact for this entry.
Throughout the film, Supervising Technical Director Steve May and his colleagues produced a canopy of 10,297 balloons to float Carl’s house. This figure goes up to 20,622 during the dramatic sequence in which the house lifts off its base for the first time. May and his colleagues calculated that it would actually take roughly 26.5 million balloons to lift an actual house.
More than 450 children ended up auditioning for the role of Russell. Funnily enough, Jordan Nagai, who plays Russell, had no intention of auditioning for the part. He just went with his brother, an actor with some advertising and TV credits, and was asked to try out while he was there. Over 375 people at Pixar had a hand in bringing Up to our screen, including 70 animators.
Henry Cavill’s Mustache Cost Warner Bros $25 Million
Have you ever heard this fact before? It is absolutely hilarious.
A few years ago, Henry Cavill was working on Warner Bros.’ Justice League and Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout at the same time. Cavil grew a mustache for the latest Mission: Impossible film and Warner Bros. scheduled Justice League reshoots during the Mission Impossible filming. Because Paramount refused to allow Henry Cavill to shave his mustache, Warner Bros. had to spend $25 million digitally removing Cavill’s mustache for Justice League.
The end outcome was so terrible, according to some, that they might as well have asked a random teenager to do it for $50 instead of wasting $25 million.
Brad Pitt Broke His Arm During The Chase Scene in Se7en
Se7en follows Mills (Brad Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman) as they investigate a grisly crime that leads them to the discovery of a serial killer. It was a fantastic movie, and we highly recommend you watch it if you haven’t seen it before.
The hunt for the killer, John Doe (Kevin Spacey), who is responsible for the complex acts of violence based on the seven deadly sins, takes them all across Los Angeles, visiting multiple crime scenes. And, even though the film is mostly a mystery drama, one of the action scenes actually resulted in an adjustment for Mills’ character.
During the unfortunate scene, Mills chases John between buildings and the rainy streets of Los Angeles, and he slips from a fire escape and smashes into the ground. From that point on, Mils’ arm is in a sling. The severity of his injury, however, was not part of the original script. Pitt’s arm went through the windshield of a car while filming the chase sequence, seriously wounding himself. After Pitt had arm surgery, Fincher was forced to reorganize Se7en and incorporate the injury into Mills’ character.
Jurassic Park’s T-Rex Constantly Malfunctioned Because Of The Rain
Who will ever forget that moment in the first Jurassic Park when the water starts rippling along with the T-Rex’s Steps?
Spielberg enlisted the help of animatronics expert Stan Winston to manage the production, having admired his earlier work on the extraterrestrial queen from Aliens. The metal and wood framework of the monster was coated in layers of chicken wire, sculpted clay, and fiberglass – a process that took months of hard work. Warner Bros. even strengthened the film stage to accommodate the six-ton monster.
These endeavors were nearly undone, however, when Spielberg chose to film the T-Rex’s first scenes in the rain. The T-rex quickly went from a beautifully tuned machine that worked fantastically to… a jittering mess that had absorbed too much water and couldn’t be counted on.
Workers had to hand dry the 18-foot lizard with towels and blowers between takes. If the squad did not act quickly enough, the mechanical beast would shake uncontrollably. According to Kathleen Kennedy, the film’s producer, people would be taking a break eating lunch, and the T-Rex would magically come alive. It made for a lot of fun – and screams.
The Movie Jaws’ Nickname Was “Flaws”
I never realized that shooting Jaws was such a nightmare. Overworked crew members would come to shore burnt and salt-splattered. Technical difficulties plagued the mechanical sharks. One even sank, necessitating a deep-sea rescue mission. Sea salt crept into the delicate inner workings of the animatronics, causing the pneumatic hoses to malfunction. One of the actors was nearly decimated by propeller blades. In the end, production was three months behind schedule, and the budget nearly tripled. It’s no surprise, then, that the film’s rew unofficially called it “Flaws.”
After failing to complete the movie on schedule, Spielberg heard rumors that his directing career was over. He persisted, coming up with ever-more inventive ways to shoot scenes without his robotic monstrosities ( he called them turds). That’s why some parts of the movie only allude to a shark. The team’s efforts were ultimately rewarded. The film was the highest-grossing title of its time and made half a billion dollars worldwide.
The Wolf Of Wall Street Was Used To Launder Money
Did you know that Martin Scorsese’s epic, Oscar-nominated masterwork on greed, The Wolf of Wall Street, was made with stolen money? Well, you do now.
The film’s production firm, Red Granite Pictures, was involved in the 1MDB scandal in 2015 when the producer stole money from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad sovereign wealth fund to cover the film’s $100 million budget.
Yes, people, The Wolf of Wall Street was effectively used to launder money. Red Granite ultimately paid the US government $60 million to settle the matter. At the same time, the film’s main character, Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), also sued the company for $300 million.
It truly gives new meaning to the word irony.
The Genie In Aladdin Was Created For Robin Williams - Literally
We specifically left this item on today’s list to fill our number 1 spot because we were feeling a bit nostalgic.
We all know that Robin Williams had the time of life while doing the voice for the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. But did you know that Directors Ron Clements and John Musker wanted Robin Williams to play the Genie so badly that they literally wrote the part specifically for him? They even animated lines from one of his earlier comedy albums as if the Genie were performing them to persuade Williams to take the role.
The Genie’s supervising animator, Eric Goldberg, commented that the character perfectly embodied Robin Williams. In fact, Williams took the script and ran with it, often going off-script.
Following the passing of Robin Williams in 2014, Goldberg tearfully recalled his relationship with Williams during the film, stating, “He was a real-life Genie, and, boy, did he grant our wishes.”