- A 17 year-old piece of gold
Paul Thomas Anderson's first choice for the role of Jack Horner in 1997's Boogie Nights was Warren Beatty. And, ironically, Warren was thrilled with the script & agreed to be in it! That's as far as it went...
Based upon the elements that Beatty found most intriguing & enthused by, Anderson quickly realized that Beatty wanted the role of Dirk Diggler. This, clearly, was problematic.
- They're real, and they're spectacular
Speaking of first choices (and prosthetic sex organs), Karen Black had already been cast in the role of Bobbie in Mike Nichols' 1971 film Carnal Knowledge, when Nichols decided the story needed some... enhancing. He turned to makeup artist Dick Smith to potentially construct the most realistic pair of breasts possible for Ms. Black to wear in the film.
Of course, as anyone knows, fake boobs is fake boobs - according to Nichols, they simply didn't "move" correctly. Karen Black was let go as a result, and was replaced by the real thing.
- I Know What You Read Last Summer
As a child, screenwriter Dan O'Bannon was a fan of the comic series Weird Science. A fan, so much so, that one issue in particular stayed with him up until adulthood. He once disclosed to fellow filmmaker John Carpenter that he lifted the idea for 1979's Alien from Weird Science #8, "Seeds of Jupiter."
- Eerie, Indiana Pop. 16,661
So many great filmmakers have had their TV babies: Mann/Miami Vice, Spielberg/Amazing Stories, Lynch/Twin Peaks. Though there is one oft-overlooked series due to its very short run on NBC from 91 to 92 entitled Eerie, Indiana, with none other than Joe Dante in the role of creative consultant. He also popped up in the title of director on many occasions, & one can spot a few Dante regulars in guest spots, such as Dick Miller & Henry Gibson.
- Keepin' it real
The haunting and iconic "stickmen" seen throughout 1999's The Blair Witch Project were not merely an invention of the filmmakers, but rather derives from an actual occult language known as Transitus Fluvii -- which, in Latin, means "passing through the river." This language also appears as the writing on the walls of the house in the film's climax.
- You owe me awe
Contractually, David Lynch owed Dino De Laurentiis at least one Dune sequel. Understandably, and fortunately, this was decided against. So, to fulfill the bargain, Dino gave him Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon to adapt into a film. And Lynch accepted - though during the vague, preliminary creative process, Lynch found himself to be considerably disturbed by the subject matter, & didn't want to place himself "in that world."
Michael Mann eventually adapted the novel into Manhunter, & Lynch made Blue Velvet.
- No one watches the Watchmen
After the now-standard Gilliam-esque disaster that was The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Terry Gilliam decided to finally get himself a real life Hollywood agent, in the hopes of coming across a mildly successful project. The first to catch his eye was an adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen, penned by none other than Batman's Sam Hamm. Nevertheless, Gilliam felt the script didn't match the quality of the source material. After writing his own draft, he ultimately decided that it was all-in-all simply unfilmable.
The next script to be sent his way was a big-screen adaptation of The Addams Family, which Gilliam immediately dismissed as being unfunny & FX driven.
His next Project would eventually be The Fisher King in 1991.