All through development, the arcade classic “Pac-Man” was intended to be a video-game tie-in to the popular children’s novel “The Missing Piece”. However, at the last minute Shel Silverstein, author of “The Missing Piece”, rescinded the rights, because intellectual copyright law works like that sometimes. However, production had proceeded so far that the only change the developers had time to make was the title.
What this means is that every snarky internet commenter to ever “jokingly” compare Pac-Man to a pill-popper running through a club dodging hallucinatory ghosts is actually quite the jerk. The poor guy is just looking for his missing piece. [Source: Google.com]
The opening scene of Reservoir Dogs (filmed on actor Steve Buscemi’s birthday) was intended to end abruptly after Tarantino completed his “Like a Virgin” monologue, but due to an accident the cameras kept rolling. Because the film was shot on such a low budget, they were filming in an actual diner during work hours and all actors had to contribute to the bill for their breakfast, so when Buscemi began his “I don’t tip" monologue, he was expressing his genuine opinions. This enraged director Tarantino so much that he secretly signaled for the camera operators to keep filming.
Then, when the camera stopped rolling, Tarantino’s little sister Claudette (who worked as a waitress in the restaurant where they were filming) arrived — carrying Buscemi’s birthday cake.
Embarrassed, Buscemi told her he was sorry and offered to leave a large tip, but Tarantino refused to accept his apology and exacted revenge by changing his character’s name to Mr. Pink. [Source: Blu-Ray 15th Anniversary Special Features]
Spoilers for The Departed.
Francis Ford Scorcese’s critically lauded crime epic features one of the most shocking endings of all time: Just when you think Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is going to succeed, a secondary character is suddenly revealed to be an undercover mob hitman, and he shoots Costigan in the face as he leaves the elevator.
But the way the script was originally written, things went very differently: Costigan was supposed to dodge the bullet and defeat the Assassin with his advanced martial arts skills that he learned from The Chief (Alec Baldwin). After killing both the new cop and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), he would go on a kung-fu rampage, cleaning out the Boston Police Department once and for all. However, while filming, they ran into a little problem: Every time a blank was fired near DiCaprio’s face, he’d promptly faint, and the crew could never wake him up in less than four hours. After four attempts and twelve hours of spritzing Leo’s face and fanning him with palm fronds, Scorcese finally said “fuck it” and re-wrote the iconic ending we all know today. [Source: Director Commentary, Blu-Ray Special Edition]
While filming an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where Will’s absent father briefly returns only to disappoint him again, Will Smith’s improvisation lead to one of the most iconic scenes in television history. Instead of saying “Whatever, I don’t care that my father is gone,” a piece of dialogue that would have perfectly fit both the character and the direction the episode had been going, Smith instead improvised “why don’t he want me, man?" and unexpectedly burst into tears. Will was not acting, but drawing from his own experience with an absent father. The subsequent hug you see in the episode is not from an uncle to a nephew, but from one actor to another. When asked about the event, Smith is quoted as saying “yeah, I did it because my inability to act is matched only by this show’s writers’ inability to set up a simple and obvious moment of character development properly.” [Source: “Making of” DVD Feature]
Out of an intense respect for the source material, Sean Connery insisted on completely revamping his day-to-day life while shooting the first James Bond film, Dr. No. Changes included adopting an all steak diet, running six miles every morning, drinking a martini with every meal and having as much sex as possible. In fact, Sean Connery is said to have had sex with every female cast member to appear in any of the Bond films, which has become something of a tradition. Today, any actor or actress hired to appear in a Bond film is expected to write a “Bond Letter” to their significant other, pre-emptively apologizing for their inevitable infidelity once filming (and the orgy) commences. [Source: Essential James Bond DVD Collection Special Features]
During the filming of James Cameron’s The Terminator, Michael Biehn (who played Kyle Reese) developed a big crush on his co-star, Linda Hamilton. During the filming of the bedroom scene, the dialogue Biehn was supposed to read was “I came across time for you. To save you. To save your son. To save the future.” Instead, Biehn said “I love you, Linda. I always have.” (they changed the name “Linda” to “Sarah” in post-production) and the two actors improvised their whole love-scene while Cameron filmed with a hand-held camera. Today, Biehn and Hamilton are married. They even named their son “John Connor Biehn.” [Source: CNN Interview]
Carrie Henn, who plays Newt in James Cameron’s Aliens, is not a trained actress. In fact, she’s not an actress at all, and wasn’t even cast in the film. She was simply a child suffering from severe schizophrenia that wandered on to set during filming. The scene where Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) finds her and she bites Hicks (Michael Biehn) on the hand wasn’t scripted — that’s the first time the cast or crew had ever seen her. She believed that she was being hunted by aliens during the entire filming process, and Cameron wrote her delusions into the script. Today, Carrie lives in an Asylum outside London, and still fondly remembers the day the Colonial Marines came to save her. For at least one little girl, the Aliens dream came true. [Source: Blu-Ray Special Features]
Leonardo DiCaprio improvised the “I’m the king of the world!” speech on the bow of the Titanic in James Cameron’s Titanic. The actor has a lifelong fear of the ocean, and was terrified of standing that close to the edge of the ship. Upon conquering that fear, he was so excited and proud of himself that he couldn’t contain the shout. Cameron loved it, and decided to throw it in. [Source: DVD Commentary]
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was originally intended to be a mature and sober exploration of how married couples can rekindle romance once a child enters their lives. The titular “shining” was intended to refer to the shining beacon of love at the core of their relationship. However, Shelley Duval would routinely get drunk before shooting and mess up her lines, and Jack Nicholson, whose father was an alcoholic, would explode with rage at her. Most of the scenes of him shouting are his genuine emotions, and Kubrick loved it so much that he rewrote the script into the iconic horror film we know today. [Source: DVD Commentary]