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    17 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Sets Of Iconic Action Movies That Sound Too Wild To Be True — But, Somehow, Are

    Lights, camera, ACTION.

    1. Sigourney Weaver made the "impossible" basketball shot for real in Alien Resurrection (1997).

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    20th Century Fox

    In the script for the fourth Alien movie, Weaver was required to throw a basketball behind her into the net, without ever looking. While the production team had completely planned on using CGI for the trick, they still needed to film her throwing it, so they did...only thing is, she ACTUALLY MADE IT IN. TBH, the smile on Ron Perlman's face tells the whole story!

    2. Samuel L. Jackson only agreed to star in Snakes on a Plane (2006) because of the title.

    New Line Cinema / ©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

    In the middle of filming, the title for Snakes on a Plane was changed to Pacific Air Flight 121. This is not an uncommon practice in filmmaking, but Samuel L. Jackson INSISTED that they change it back to the original title immediately. He later admitted, “That’s the only reason I took the job: I read the title.”

    3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is, quite literally, the reason why the PG-13 rating exists.

    Paramount / ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

    "I remember calling Jack Valenti [the president of the Motion Picture Association] and suggesting to him that we needed a rating between R and PG, because so many films were falling into a netherworld of, you know, unfairness," Steven Spielberg said. "I suggested, 'Let’s call it PG-13 or PG-14, depending on how you want to design the slide rule' and Jack came back to me and said, 'We’ve determined that PG-13 would be the right age for that temperature of movie.' So, I’ve always been very proud that I had something to do with that rating!"

    4. Michelle Yeoh tore her ACL during a stunt gone wrong in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), but continued to perform her own stunts.

    Sony Pictures / ©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    "The first action sequence was very intensive. I was doing a forward jump kick that I've done thousands of times, but I had a mishap landing. My knee just gave out," Yeoh said. "I thought, 'I'm fine — I can keep going.' You have to give it your all because celluloid is forever, but I knew it was bad when I turned left and my leg kept swinging right." After she was rushed from the shooting location in China to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, it was confirmed that she'd torn her ACL.

    5. Tom Cruise improvised that now-famous kiss in Top Gun (1986).

    Paramount Pictures

    Cruise forgot his line after a car chase scene where he was supposed to face-off with Kelly McGillis' character in a heated argument about her treatment of him, so he kissed her instead. This improvised kiss stayed in the final cut, and ended up becoming one of the movie's most iconic moments.

    6. The delicious-looking egg sandwich in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) was actually made using duck eggs — not chicken eggs — because Margot Robbie is allergic to chicken egg whites.

    Claudette Barius / © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection

    "There's a protein in chicken egg whites that gives people migraines, and I get them," Robbie said. "The prop people were like, 'Why would you write into the script that you're eating egg sandwiches if you can't eat eggs?' and I was like, 'It didn't occur to me at the time!' So we had to make them with duck eggs. It was very elaborate."

    7. Vin Diesel had a fake Dungeons and Dragons tattoo put on him in the xXx franchise because he loves D & D.

    George Kraychyk / © Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection

    Vin Diesel is obsessed with the role-playing adventure game Dungeons and Dragons, and has stated multiple times that he's played the game for 20+ years. So, as an acknowledgement of this dedication, he had a HUGE fake tattoo of his D & D character’s name, "Melkor," on his lower abdomen as a part of his MANY fake tattoos during the filming of this action flick.

    8. Sean Connery had his wrist broken by an intense (and, now, famous) instructor while working on Never Say Never Again (1983).

    Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

    In the midst of filming the James Bond film Never Say Never Again, Connery was taking intensive martial arts classes for the role. In the process, Connery ended up actually breaking his wrist when the instructor went a little TOO hard on him. The instructor? Oh, it was Steven Seagal.

    9. Killmonger's "Hey, Auntie" line in Black Panther (2018) was improvised on the spot by Michael B. Jordan.

    Null / ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

    "Well, he entered the throne room with SUCH DISRESPECT, right? Looking good, but such disrespect," co-star Angela Bassett said. "And then he utters that line, which was an improv. I remember being taken aback a little with that...but at the movie premiere, when he uttered that, the whole room just went up and enjoyed it."

    10. Brendan Fraser was almost hanged for real while filming The Mummy (1999) during a stunt gone very, VERY wrong.

    Universal Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "They killed me for 18 seconds. I was hanging from the noose standing on a board," Fraser said. "Steve [Sommers, the director] said, 'The noose doesn't match the stunt guy's...can we bring up the tension a little bit?' They did the take and I figured, 'I'll hold my breath,' but something went wrong. The next thing I knew, I was waking up."

    11. The title for Independence Day (1996) was chosen as a literal marketing ploy to force the studio to release the film during the summer.

    (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "I told our agent we wanted to do [an alien movie] and he said, 'Forget about it, Tim Burton is doing Mars Attacks!' and I said to Dean [Devlin, co-writer], 'We can’t do our film after a parody comes out.' We had to beat him to it," co-writer/director Roland Emmerich said. "If it came out on the Fourth of July weekend, we would beat Mars Attacks!, which was coming out in August. So we wrote the concept around the release date. Dean said, 'Let’s just call it Independence Day; we can come up with something better later.'”

    12. Chris Evans almost had a cameo in Deadpool 2 (2018) — but not as Captain America.

    Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox / 20th Century Fox Licensing/Merchandising / Everett Collection

    "There were different codas kicked around. There were more X-Force interviews that were talked about," writer Rhett Reese said. "One was Chris Evans as the Human Torch. We never got [far enough to ask him]. Someone had the idea we actually did, and we thought that was better. But we definitely had a lot more X-Force interviews with bizarre, random people coming in to interview."

    13. And speaking of titles, John Wick (2014) was originally titled Scorn, and the only reason the title was changed at all was because Keanu Reeves kept saying it wrong.

    David Lee/©Summit Entertainment / courtesy Everett Collection

    "The only reason it's called John Wick is because Keanu kept referring to it as John Wick [in interviews]," said co-creator Derek Kolstad. "Marketing was like, 'Dude, that's four to five million dollars in free advertising so far, so it's John Wick instead of Scorn.' I can't imagine it being Scorn now."

    14. Tom Cruise insists on doing all his own stunts (including flying his own helicopters), but severely injured his ankle while filming Mission: Impossible — Fallout (2018).

    Photo Credit: Chiabella James / ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

    "That's the stunt, I hit the side of the wall, then I'm supposed to run past the camera," Cruise said. "I didn't want to do it again, I knew instantly it was broken. I ran past camera, we got the shot, and both those shots are in the movie. I was just like, 'Sorry guys, it's broken, take me to the hospital.'"

    15. Cary Elwes was actually knocked out during a scene in The Princess Bride (1987) when he was supposed to just pretend he was knocked out.

    20thcentfox / ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

    “That was the last thing I remember from that day’s shoot,” Elwes said. “I woke up in the emergency room, still in costume, to the sound of stitches being sewn into my head. From the same doctor, no less, who had treated me only a few weeks earlier for my broken toe. I remember him saying to me after I came to, ‘Well, Zorro, you seem to be a little accident prone, don’t you?'”

    16. Thor's epic entrance on the battlefield in Wakanda at the climax of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) was originally written to be Captain America's big reveal.

    © Marvel/ © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

    “Everybody at Marvel, I think other than Joe and I, were mad at us because we were bringing him in the movie so late,” co-director Anthony Russo said. “We thought it was the right spot to do it, but after a while we kind of gave into everybody’s, ‘We need more Cap!’”

    17. And finally: "You're going to need a bigger boat" was actually an inside joke made up during the filming of Jaws (1975).

    Courtesy Everett Collection

    “[Richard] Zanuck and [David] Brown were VERY stingy producers,” story editor Carl Gottlieb said. “Everyone kept telling them, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat.’ It became a catchphrase anytime anything went wrong: If lunch was late or the swells were rocking the camera, someone would always say, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat!'” Then actor Roy Scheider improvised the inside joke into the film at the perfect moment, and the rest is history.

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