13 Facts About Famous Movies You Didn't Know

Posted Jun 21, by Val Liarikos [+]

Michael Keaton didn’t want Michelle Pfeiffer in the first Batman because it’d be too awkward. She played Catwoman in the sequel!

The 1989 film, Batman, stars Michael Keaton in the title role, Jack Nicholson as the villain and Kim Basinger as the beautiful love interest. Just one in a long series of Batman movies, this particular Batman film was a critical and commercial success with over $400 million in box office sales.

Before this success though, the film's casting was a difficult task. A veritable who's who of Hollywood leading men were considered for the role of Batman, including Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan and Tom Selleck.

Producer Jon Peters and director Tim Burton both favored Michael Keaton, though. His was a controversial casting, and Warner Brothers received 50,000 protest letters about it.

Burton then suggested that Michelle Pfeiffer play Vicki Vale, the role that would later go to Bassinger.

Keaton had been in a relationship with Pfeiffer though and thought it would be too awkward. Bassinger was then cast, but Pfeiffer would later play Catwoman in "Batman Returns."

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George Lucas had to quit the Director’s Guild so that Star Wars could omit opening credits!

Star Wars is one of the most famous film franchises of all time. In many ways, the films are like no others. George Lucas, Star Wars' creator, used a number of different techniques and forged a path for many films to come.

One of Star War's most well-known attributes is its opening sequence. The movies start off with a shot of a starry night and the film's theme song starts to play.

Then yellow opening credits start to roll out from the bottom of the screen. They start out large and shrink into the distance after the audience has read them. Many many parodies have been done of these opening credits.

Lucas actually had trouble getting permission to use such credits though. He had to pay a fine and resign from the Directors Guild because they were trying to make him use conventional opening credits.

It should be noted that after the credits roll, the camera pans across the starry night sky. This, too, had never been done before. Stars were always shot with a motionless camera.

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Richard Dreyfuss’ drug problem was so bad, he doesn’t even remember shooting one of his movies!

You probably know Dreyfuss from his two biggest roles in Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but he had worked his way up through small TV parts before his big break.

He won a Best Actor Oscar in his first romantic lead as an out-of-work actor in The Goodbye Girl in 1977. Dreyfuss also produced and starred in the entertaining private eye movie The Big Fix.

After a brief lull in the early 1980s, a well-publicized drug problem and a string of box-office disappointments a clean and sober Dreyfuss re-established himself in the mid-'80s as one of Hollywood's more engaging leads.

His drug problem had been so severe, that he still doesn’t remember anything about filming the 1981 movie Whose Life is it Anyway. He co-starred with Bette Midler and Nick Nolte in Paul Mazursky's popular Down and Out in Beverly Hills

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The Executive Producer of Back To The Future wanted to change the name to ‘Spaceman from Pluto!’

Executive producer Sidney Sheinberg made some suggestions to the Back To The Future script. He changed Marty's mother's name from Meg to Lorraine, which was his wife’s name. He also came up with Doc Brown’s name and replaced his pet chimpanzee with a dog.

Sheinberg also wanted the title changed to Spaceman from Pluto, because he was convinced no successful film ever had "future" in the title.

He suggested Marty introduce himself as "Darth Vader from the planet Pluto" while dressed as an alien forcing his dad to ask out his mom rather than "the planet Vulcan", and that the farmer's son's comic book be titled Spaceman from Pluto rather than Space Zombies from Pluto.

Appalled by the new title that Sheinberg wanted to impose, Zemeckis asked Spielberg for help. Spielberg subsequently dictated a memo back to Sheinberg, wherein Spielberg convinced him they thought his title was just a joke, thus embarrassing him into dropping the idea.

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Thanks to Jaws, Steven Spielberg is never on set for the last scene shot in any of his movies!

Jaws had a lot of problems during production. Namely they went over schedule and over budget in part because the mechanical sharks kept breaking down. So, Spielberg, who directed the film, decided to mostly suggest the shark’s presence in the film and used music to foreshadow the impending arrival of the shark.

The studio gave the film a wide release at 450 theaters and spent a lot of money advertising the film. It worked. It became the top grossing film of all time at the time of its release. Two years later Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope beat it out.

Anyways, on the last scene filmed of Jaws, Spielberg was MIA, because he thought the crew was going to throw him into the water when the scene was over. So, it became a tradition and now Spielberg never shows up for the very final scene shot for all of his films.

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In the book, Rambo kills himself at the end!

This ending was filmed for the movie but decided against First Blood is an action thriller film starring Sylvester Stallone and is the first in the Rambo series. He plays John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam War veteran.

The film was a critical and commercial success and not only spurred a number of sequels but a number of parodies as well. In 2008, it was chosen by Empire Magazine as one of the 500 Best Movies of All Time. Compared to the rest of the Rambo films, First Blood is not quite as violent or gory.

It was based on a novel by David Morrell and various forms of the screenplay were pitched to the studio. Stallone ended up rewriting the script and making the character of John Rambo more sympathetic to viewers.

The book has Rambo violently killing many of his pursuers, but in the movie, he is not directly responsible for the death of any policemen or national guardsmen. Stallone also decided to let Rambo survive at the end of the film.

In the book, he commits suicide at the end. However, a suicide scene was filmed before the final decision was made. However, in the end, instead of committing suicide, Rambo turns himself in.

This turned out to be a commercially successful decision as well as it allowed the Rambo films to continue and continue to bring in money at the box office.

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ABBA, not Elton John, was Disney’s first choice to do the music for The Lion King

Tim Rice, a lyricist, was working with composer Alan Menken on songs for Aladdin, was invited to write the songs, and accepted on the condition of finding a composing partner. Menken wasn’t available, so the producers accepted Rice's suggestion of Elton John, after Rice's invitation to ABBA fell through. ABBA was unable to accept, because Benny Andersson was busy with the musical Kristina från Duvemåla. John expressed an interest of writing "ultra-pop songs that kids would like; then adults can go and see those movies and get just as much pleasure out of them", mentioning a possible influence of The Jungle Book, where he felt the "music was so funny and appealed to kids and adults".

John and Rice wrote five original songs for this film: "Circle of Life", "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", "Be Prepared", "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" with the singer's performance of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" over the end credits.The IMAX and DVD releases added another song, "The Morning Report", which was based on a song discarded during development that eventually got featured in the live musical version of The Lion King.

The film's score was composed by Hans Zimmer, who was hired based on his work in two films in African settings, The Power of One and A World Apart,and supplemented the score with traditional African music and choir elements arranged by Lebo M.

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Bill Murray hated the movie ‘Groundhog Day.’ Why?

“Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray is just one of ‘those’ movies that sucks you in no matter how many times you watch it. You can start it from any point and be as entertained as you were the first time you watched it. When many fans hear the name Bill Murray, they instantly picture Phil Connors. But, did you know that Bill Murray HATED the movie and made the whole movie-making experience very difficult for his co-workers? Read on.

The film was shot in 1993, during the time when Murray’s first marriage was falling apart. So, during taping, he was naturally pretty grumpy. He had many issues with the producers and would do everything he could to make communicating with him extremely difficult. He did everything without help and would refuse to answer calls. One day someone told him it would be much easier for everyone if he hired a personal assistant so issues could be directed through him or her (and the star himself could remain un-bothered).

So, in his usual form, Bill hired someone who was deaf and spoke only via sign language (which nobody on set INCLUDING BILL spoke.) On a side note..."Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.”

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Disney’s Frankenweenie is a remake of a film that got Tim Burton fired from Disney in 1984!

Frankenweenie was a short film directed by Tim Burton in 1984. At the time, Burton was on the Disney staff. The film is a parody and homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein which was based on the Mary Shelley novel with the same name. It was the last film that Tim Burton took part of with the Disney staff. He was fired over the film, accused of wasting company resources. They felt the film was too scary for kids.

Instead of being released, the film was shelved. It did, however, make theaters in the U.K. in 1985. After Burton had success with other films like Beetlejuice and Batman, the film was released straight to video in 1994. Burton ended up making a feature-length remake of Frankenweenie in 2012. The short film is about a kid who brings his beloved dog, Sparky, back to life through electroshocks after it is hit by a car.

His neighbors get freaked out and chase down the dog. The boy and his dog end up hiding in a miniature golf course windmill prop. The mob arrives and uses a lighter to look inside the windmill, which then catches on fire. The boy gets knocked out and Sparky saves his life. The mob realizes the dog is good and not evil and everyone is happy.

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Alec Baldwin asked NBC to cut his pay by 20%! Why?

The show 30 Rock was one of the most cleverly written comedy shows on television recently.

However, at the end of its 7th season, the show came to an end on January 31, 2013. Not a lot of people know this, but Alec Baldwin tried extremely hard to prevent the show from being cancelled.

Before Alec Baldwin started filming the 7th season of 30 Rock, he approached NBC with an offer he thought they wouldn't refuse.

Baldwin offered to sacrifice 20% of his pay in order to film an entire 7th and 8th season.

What's curious is that Baldwin had threatened to quit after the show's fifthseason, which he considered weak; but after the sixthseason showed significant improvement, he decided to try to keep the show going.

Sadly, Baldwin's offer was refused by NBC, and 30 Rock is no more.

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One of the James Bond actors had never acted and lied to get the part!

George Lazenby is perhaps the least recognizable of the men who have inhabited the role of James Bond, yet his performance in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is still one of the most beloved by fans. Lazenby only starred in the one film, yet his back story of how he got the part is entirely James Bond! Lazenby says that he first dreamed of playing Bond after taking a girl to see Dr. No and not getting lucky after. It was then that he decided he would be the next person to play the role.

He got his hair cut at Sean Connery’s barber, bought one of Connery’s old suits, got a Rolex, and then snuck past the secretary at the auditions. Once he was in the room with the producers he told them that he had acted all over the world, from Hong Kong to Germany.

He was so convincing they bought it and cast a random man as one of the most recognizable names of the time! It was only when meeting the director that Lazenby admitted he had no idea what he was doing, but by that time they were so impressed that he had fooled them they gave him the part anyway!

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Ronald Reagan, an avid Star Trek fan, once remarked "I like Klingons. They remind me of Congress."

Along with current President Barack Obama, former President Ronald Reagan was a big Star Trek fan. In fact, during his presidency, he had two private screenings of Star Trek films. In June 1984 at Camp David, he watched “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” And again in 1986, he and the First Lady watched the just premiered “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.”

In 1991, he visited the set of the two-part episode “Redemption.” While there, he met a number of actors and creators of the show. He was also asked what he thought of the Klingons, a fictional warrior race on the show. He replied, “I like them. They remind me of Congress.”

Klingons were depicted as a brutish and scheming race with bronze skin and ridged foreheads. Needless to say, the President’s comparison of these fictional people to Congress was not the most flattering, but it was funny.

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A music video helped reunite 26 missing kids with their families!

Runaway Train was released in 1993 by Soul Asylum and gave the rock band international fame. It also brought their album, Grave Dancers Union, to a multi-platinum success. It won a Grammy in 1994 and was number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video made its own impact. Tony Kaye directed the music video. In the beginning there are several different versions that give information on runaways in different nations.

It continues with three concrete scenes shown interspersed among the other images of the video. During the first verse, a child is shown witnessing his grandfather beating and eventually killing his grandmother, and running from their house in fear. During the second verse, a young teenage girl is pimped as a prostitute and is initially purchased by the aforementioned abuser. Later, she is dragged into a van by a gang, after which she is picked up by paramedics, having been raped and beaten.

During the coda of the song, a baby is snatched from his stroller by an older woman, with his mother running after the kidnapper's car. Throughout the video, pictures of injured and runaway children are shown. The chorus showed missing children pictures with their full name and how long they’d been missing for. When the music video was released, it helped to reunite 26 missing children with their families.

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