November 27, 2012 by Chris Reynolds
As many of us are at the moment, I am currently following The Hobbit fan page on Facebook. And I recently saw one of their posts that really got me thinking.
According to the post: “four digital cameras used on the set of The Hobbit were named John, Paul, George and Ringo after the members of one of (Director) Peter Jackson’s favorite musical groups.”
How cool is that?! Well, this is what got me thinking… there has to be more neat trivia surrounding the production of our favorite films! So I went on a hunt to find these gems. Sure these aren’t upcoming movies, but I am sure you will find something in this list that you can appreciate!
Who is that in Elf?
I will give you a hint… the actor that played Ming Ming the elf was in another Christmas classic as a child. That’s right, the actor who played Ming Ming is non-other than Peter Billingsley! Better known for playing the lead, Ralphie Parker, on a Christmas Story!
The story behind Don Corleone’s cat
According to IMDB and various other sources, the cat that Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) held during the opening scene of The God Father was not in the script! In fact, the cat was a stray that Brando found outside of the Paramount studio prior to filming this classic scene. It is also said that the cat’s purring muffled the actor’s lines during filming, causing the editors to loop his audio in order to compensate.
In the comics, one sure way to get The Avenger’s together for a day of ass-kickin’ was to yell this signature phrase: “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!” During the filming of the movie adaptation, actor Chris Evans (Captain America) would yell or text his co-stars this exact message to get them all together for a night out on the town.
Just who are you cheering for?
In the 1960 classic: Spartacus, there is a famous scene in which a crowd is cheering for the film’s namesake character. The cheers of “Spartacus! Spartacus!” were actually recorded by the films crew at a 1959 football game at Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium.
Immortalized in ink
The actors who played the nine companions in the fellowship of the ring decided to mark the occasion, on their skin. Eight of the nine actors, and the stunt double for John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), got a tattoo of the word “nine” in elvish. Don’t believe me? You can see Viggo Mortensen’s brand in the movie Eastern Promises.
Bringing a gun to a sword fight
In this iconic scene from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy encounters a swordsman robed in black. The swordsman begins swinging his sword around, playing with his prey before the duel. Just then, the whip-cracking protagonist pulls out his pistol and shoots the guy dead. Evidently, this scene originally involved a largely choreographed fight scene, where Jones would eventually disarm the Arab with his whip. Unfortunately, Harrison Ford (And most of the film crew) was suffering from a bout of dysentery and was too ill to attempt the fight. Fortunately, Ford suggested Jones just shoots the guy. Spielberg agreed.
One of the most memorable characters in the Star Wars franchise is Chewbacca the wookie. How memorable? Well let’s just say my spell check did not recognize the word wookie, but didn’t give me any grief when I typed Chewbacca. Anyway, the inspiration for Chewy hit George Lucas one day as his wife drove off in her car with their Alaskan Malamute Indiana, who was sitting in the passenger seat. Lucas liked the way the dog looked sitting shotgun so much that he designed Han Solo’s co-pilot to emulate this faithful wingman… err… canine. And yes, Indiana was also the inspiration for Indiana Jones who, ironically, in the movie… was named after a dog.