James Franco's The Disaster Artist is based on the 2003 cult classic The Room, the most iconic "So Bad It's Good" movie ever made.
The Disaster Artist teaser trailer
James Franco stars in The Disaster Artist as Tommy Wiseau, the director/writer/producer/lead actor of The Room, alongside his brother Dave Franco, who plays Greg Sestero, Tommy's friend and co-star of The Room.
The movie doesn't come out 'til December, but here are 40 insane facts about the production of The Room to get you in the mood while you wait.
1. The Room is widely accepted as one of the worst movies of all time. With terrible acting, confusing plot and countless continuity mistakes, it has been dubbed as “The Citizen Kane of bad movies.”
Here's a compilation of Tommy's infamous laughter – one of his trademark acting "talents."
2. The plot involves a Convoluted love triangle between Tommy’s character “Johnny,” his fiance “Lisa,” and his best friend “Mark.” But the film never really resolves any character arcs or plot points …
3. Tommy Wiseau insists that he’s from America despite his strange accent. He claims that his accent is Cajun, though it sounds much more Eastern European. We may never know where he’s really from.
Nah. I am definitely American.
4. The budget for this movie had to be tiny right? Well, it was actually about $6 Million (almost $8 Million adjusting for inflation).
5. So where did Tommy get this money? It all came from him. Yup, he self funded his movie using money earned through “Importing Leather Jackets from Korea.”
Gotta love that "Korean jacket" money, right?
6. The film actually began as a play written by Tommy, who then adapted it into a book, which he couldn’t get published. Of course the next logical step was to spend millions of dollars of his own to adapt the script into a self-produced movie. Obviously.
7. So why is it called “The Room”? Well, Tommy says that the title comes from the fact that "your room is where you feel safe." So now it makes sense!
8. A team of fans put together an unofficial video game adaptation in classic 8 bit style that lets you relive the iconic moments from the movie. The game makes almost as much sense as the film, and you can play it here!
A classic scene reimagined in game form.
9. Tommy’s friend and co-star, Greg Sestero (Who plays “Mark”), wrote a tell-all book about the development and production of the film. That book is the basis for the upcoming James Franco Movie adaptation, and contains hundreds of Behind the Scenes gems about the mysterious Tommy Wiseau.
10. No one was sure if The Room was supposed to be a comedy due to Tommy’s bizarre line delivery and writing. When the whole crew laughed at Tommy's delivery of the line “In a few minutes, bitch,” thinking it was a joke, Wiseau got angry and demanded to know what they thought was so funny.
Impeccable delivery of his line.
11. Tommy insists that the midnight screening of The Room ended crime for that night. He claims that “Screening The Room midnight eliminated crime in America.”
12. Greg Sestero’s character “Mark”, was named after Matt Damon. Tommy had an obsession with Mattt Damon’s acting, but misheard his name as “Mark”.
Sorry Mark Damon.
13. The filming was filled with production errors, including scenes that were entirely out of focus. Hey, maybe it was an artistic choice?
14. Knowing that sex sells, Tommy insisted that “I have to show my ass or this movie won’t sell.” This resulted in one of the most awkward sex scenes in cinema history, featuring Tommy Wiseau’s bare ass right up in the camera. Unfortunately this is the one scene where the camera is in focus.
15. To promote his masterpiece, Tommy Wiseau purchased a large billboard in Hollywood to advertise it. The poster shows a terrifying picture of Wiseau glaring down on the viewer. And of course the billboard stayed up for over 5 years, costing Tommy around $300,000.
Did he use a mugshot for his picture?!
16. Many scenes of the movie take place on a rooftop, but rather than use an actual rooftop (Which they had access to), Tommy insisted they shoot on a green screen. And it does not look natural.
17. Through the years, the film has evolved into a cult classic, with regular screenings attended by fans who dress up as characters from the film, and throw plastic spoons at the screen. The spoons are a reference to the inexplicable presence of spoons in almost every piece of artwork in the scenery of the film.
Fans throw spoons at the screen in a live screening of The Room
18. The turnover for this movie was crazy. Over the course of six months, three actors and two cinematographers and their crews quit the production, fed up with Tommy’s working conditions.
19. According to co-actor Greg Sestero, on set of The Room, Tommy took 32 takes to say his classic line “It’s not true! I did not hit her! It’s bullshit! I did not. Oh, hi, Mark!” He needed help from production members holding cue cards to get the lines down. But it all paid off for his final delivery – truly the performance of a lifetime.
Tommy in the infamous rooftop scene.
20. As if the plot weren't confusing enough, Tommy Wiseau originally wanted his character, Johnny, to be a Vampire. He wanted to have a scene with his car flying across the city to show his spooky vampire powers, but was prevented by budget constraints.
21. Tommy used two cameras – a film camera and a video camera, and shot with both on the same mount. Instead of renting them, which is customary even for the biggest Hollywood sets, Wiseau bought them outright using that sweet Korean Jacket money.
The Master At Work.
22. Tommy didn’t realize that he needed an outdoor filming permit to shoot outside in San Francisco. To get around this, Wiseau would film at random houses without the permission of the home owners.
23. The film features many scenes of characters throwing a football back and forth. When questioned about the significance of this, Tommy said that it’s because “Football is Fun.”
Just tossing around the ol' pigskin in some tuxedos.
24. The youngest character, Denny, was played by the oldest actor, Philip Haldiman. Wiseau explained Denny’s strange behavior by saying that he has a kind of mental disorder, a fact that was apparently not explained to Philip Haldiman.
25. Most of the dialogue is out of sync, especially Johnny’s lines. This is because a majority of the dialogue was dubbed in after filming due to difficulties with the sound crew on set.
26. One of the more awkward scenes takes place in a flower shop where Johnny goes to pick up flowers for his wife, Lisa. The woman in the scene was an actual employee of the shop, not an actress. When Tommy saw the dog in the shop, he asked if it was “the real thing.”
"Oh hi doggy."
27. Co-star Greg Sestero quickly realized that Tommy Wiseau was not the visionary he thought. Greg considered leaving the set, but stayed for the money, though he phoned in his performance though the production.
28. To treat a stuffy nose and sore throat, Tommy took large doses of Nyquil, which contributed to his convincing “acting” that he was drunk while he trashes his apartment. The result is one of the most lethargic destruction scenes in the history of film.
Give this man the Oscar!
29. The crew knew that the film was terrible, and had to conceal their laughter throughout the filming. The Director of Photography had a tent where he could laugh out of sight while watching the footage.
30. Many lines of dialogue are repeated multiple times throughout the film. The character Lisa says, “I don’t wanna talk about it,” five times; the phrase “Oh, hey” is said seven times; “Don’t worry about it,” eight times; and the classic “Oh, hi,” is said nine times. Tommy is nothing if not consistent.
32. Another unconventional directing method was Tommy’s demand that the entire cast be present for the filming of every scene so that he could throw them into the scene if he felt like it. Truly a genius at work.
33. Tommy Wiseau has an ... interesting fashion sense, and for the infamous rooftop scene, Tommy took advantage of the costume designer's absence that day to create his own outfit, which he refused to change.
Tommy's glorious ensemble at the SXSW premiere of The Disaster Artist.
34. One of the actors, Kyle Vogt, pointed out that legally, Greg Sestero couldn’t be filmed without signing a contract, to which Tommy responded, “I hire you as actor, smart guy! Act!”
35. Tommy had a profound aversion to the inclusion of any language other than English in the film. In one scene, Greg Sestero said “Catch this,” in French, and Tommy tackled him to the ground, saying “No French dammit!”
I SAID ONLY ENGLISH!
36. At one point, a character named Claudette says to Lisa, “I got the results of the test back. I definitely have breast cancer.” This issue is never brought up throughout the rest of the film.
37. Tommy Wiseau has his own web store where he sells everything from watches and shirts to ... boxers? Watch out, Amazon.
Guaranteed to make you 250% more attractive
38. The script started out much longer than the one used in the film – it originally contained countless lines of unnecessary monologues. The script was edited on set by the script supervisor who said that most of the dialogue was incomprehensible.
39. Filmmaker Rick Harper made a full documentary about The Room, initially with Tommy Wiseau’s blessing. Unfortunately, Tommy grew increasingly displeased with the documentary, and it is now under an interim court ordered injunction preventing its immediate release.
Tommy's reaction to the documentary
40. Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero are reuniting for the first time since The Room to make a new movie called Best F(r)iends. It will star Sestero as a drifter who's taken in by a peculiar mortician played by Tommy Wiseau. It’s expected for a February 2018 release and will almost certainly shatter box office records and usher in a new utopian paradise on Earth.