Die Hard was a sequel to the 1968 movie “The Detective” starring Frank Sinatra. As such, 20th Century Fox were contractually obliged to offer Sinatra the leading role. He turned it down due to his age.
Francis Coppola was worried his film Apocalypse Now would be a box office flop and could bankrupt him, so he decided to quickly make a happy musical to recoup his losses. In the end Apocalypse Now was a success, but the happy musical (One From the Heart) was a disaster and bankrupted him anyway.
The movie “Paranormal Activity” had a budget of only $15,000 but made $194 million. During the screening, people were walking out that one studio executive thought the film was bombing. They later learned that the viewers were actually leaving because they were too frightened.
In Back to the Future, the original idea was for the time machine to be a refrigerator, but because Robert Zemeckis was afraid that kids would imitate the film and get trapped in fridges, they changed it to a DeLorean car.
The term “Napoleon Dynamite Problem” is used to describe the phenomenon where “quirky” films such as Napoleon Dynamite, Lost in Translation and I Heart Huckabees prove difficult for researchers to create algorithms able to predict whether or not a viewer will like a certain film.
The software to create the black hole in the movie ‘Interstellar’ is a full implementation of Einstein’s equations in 40,000 lines of C++, and rendered thousands of 23-megapixel IMAX frames on a 32,000-core render farm at about 20 core-hours per frame.
There is a group of about 400 ultra powerful and wealthy individuals that see movies on release day in their own home theaters. It costs $100k to join and $4k/month membership. It is called the Bel Air Circuit.
The actor who played Luca Brasi in the Godfather was actually a member of the Colombo crime family sent to monitor the set. Coppola kept the cameras rolling as the actor nervously practiced his lines for the scene, scared that he was going to mess up the big Hollywood movie. He later edited that footage into the film so in-universe the actor’s character was nervously practicing what he was going to say to the intimidating mafioso Don Corleone.
Michael Jackson once spent $150,000 to put a curse on Steven Spielberg because he didn’t give him the role of Peter Pan in the movie Hook.
In Interstellar the depiction of a black hole required completely new CGI rendering software and was so accurate that it provided enough scientifical insight to publish three scientific papers.