Not every movie that makes it to theatres can turn out to be a hit, but those that do wind up enjoyed, re-played, and dissected for decades to come. But even when fans think they know every step of a movie’s development, or the inspiration behind every one of their favorite scenes, it’s still all too easy to be surprised. Whether it’s a case of coincidence or dumb luck that creates unforgettable moments, or inside jokes that only the cast and crew will understand, even the biggest films still hold some secrets.
The movie Se7en shows veteran detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), who is planning to retire in seven days, being replaced by detective David Mills (Brad Pitt). Both must collaborate to solve a series of mysterious brutal murders committed by a psychopath obsessed with the seven deadly sins. The victims are punished with unimaginable cruelty and their bodies become a mystery to solve.
The physiological thriller, directed by David Fincher, has a memorable ending that has stood the test of time. But if everything had gone as planned, then that ending would never have actually happened. Andrew Kevin Walker, screenwriter of the movie, told the Hollywood Reporter that he rewrote the ending of the movie at the request of a different director. But when Fincher was offered the movie, they sent him the wrong draft by mistake. Fincher said he would only take part in the film on one condition, the end would stay as it was.
Ever wonder how they get cats to act in movies? In Ridley Scott’s 1979 Sci-Fi Horror flick “Alien”, we meet the lovable housecat Jonesy. On more than one occasion, the cat is more perceptive of the looming alien threat than his human counterparts but how did they get the cat to hiss and spit? The crew placed a screen in front of the cat and on the other side, a German Shepherd. When it was time to start filming, the screen was removed and the reaction from the threatened cat is the one you see in the film. Poor Jonesy.
The cast of human survivors following Morpheus aren’t much to look at in the broken, post- apocalyptic world of The Matrix, but when they head into the digital world, they’re the embodiment of cool. And one member of the team was originally created to offer an even bigger twist. Actress Belinda McClory let her guns do the talking, but in the original script, she was only half of the character, with her gender switching in the Matrix. Hence her name: Switch. The character would have been an interesting look at transgender identity in a movie filled with questions of appearance and perception, but Warner Bros. nixed the idea when it came to casting.
In a tense moment where the key villain realises his damsel in distress was double crossing him, Col. Landa (Christoph Waltz) strangles Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) in a fit of rage. However, during filming, director Quentin Tarantino wasn’t satisfied with the performances and stepped in to demonstrate. With Kruger’s permission, he actually strangled the actress for a few moments in order to capture her fear and in the final cut, the hands you see are actually those of Tarantino. Quentin films are well known for violence and all the gory details. Wherever you look on the screen it is covered in blood. Audiences may be able to handle this if they know it is fiction, but sometimes that is not always the case.
Being John Malkovich
Of course, most of the best things that happen in the movies are written in the scripts and planned for, but many others are the result of chance (and maybe the actor´s ability of improvise). Some of these moments for example have become some of the most famous catchphrases of all time. Take for example Being John Malkovich, where an extra took ownership of their role and decided to yell a line that wasn´t in the script. The actor, a car driver, throws a beer to Malkovich´s head and say a memorable sentence: “Hey Malkovich, think fast”. Director Spike Jonze loved the scene and decided to keep it. Royal Vegas Casino also show more examples of hilarious bloopers that were kept in films.
Can you picture Forrest Gump played by a different actor other than Tom Hanks? It’s hard to imagine someone who isn’t Tom Hanks asserting that “life is like a box of chocolates,” but the Philadelphia actor was not the first star to run in Forrest’s shoes. John Travolta turned down the role of Forrest Gump and ended up losing out to the drama for Best Actor and Best Picture at the 1995 Oscars. In various interviews through the years, he admitted that passing was one of the biggest mistakes of his career — a statement to which Forrest might respond, “stupid is as stupid does.”