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    18 Deep-Dive '90s Movie Facts You Might Not Know That Are Honestly Fascinating

    People thought that Titanic was going to be the next Waterworld.

    1. Somewhere between 2013 and 2015, you probably came across this popular "You had one job!" meme about Phil Tippett, the "dinosaur supervisor" credited in the end credits of Jurassic Park.

    Meme that says "One job, Phil; you had one job!"

    Well, he actually was the "dinosaur supervisor." Tippett was an Oscar-winning special effects producer who was brought on to work on Jurassic Park because he specialized in stop-motion animation. Originally, Steven Spielberg had thought all the up-close shots of the dinosaurs would be done by puppets and animatronics (which they did use), and all the full shots and running sequences would be done using models and stop-motion animation.

    Tipett holding a raptor model

    However, the team over at Industrial Light & Magic told Spielberg that CGI technology had gotten a lot better and they could create dinosaurs that could fool the eye. Once Spielberg saw the CGI dinosaurs, he knew that was the way to go.

    CGI T. rex walking in a field

    When Spielberg told Tippett that he had decided to go with CGI, Tippett replied, "I’ve just become extinct!" (a line that Steven would actually end up using in the movie). However, it was the exact opposite. Spielberg knew Tippett had a special skill set: He knew how animals behaved and moved. So instead of letting him go, Spielberg made Tippett the "dinosaur supervisor," a role that had him overseeing the animation at ILM, to make sure the dinosaurs looked as real, and moved as realistically, as possible.

    Phil Tippett, "dinosaur supervisor," with a model

    He also created stop-motion scenes for the movie so they could map out what they would look like before filming them. Here is one he did for the iconic raptor kitchen scene:

    View this video on YouTube

    PhilsAttic / Via

    2. Spielberg's attachment to Jurassic Park really happened by chance. He was originally meeting with the book's author and his decadeslong friend, Michael Crichton, about a medical-drama film script Crichton had written (that eventually would become the TV series E.R.).

    ER publicity photo

    However, as the two were about to began to talk about the script, Crichton brought up what his next, not-yet-published novel would be about: dinosaurs being brought back to life using DNA. Spielberg loved the story, called Jurassic Park, and that's all they ended up talking about for the next few hours.

    First edition cover of Crichton's Jurassic Park

    Spielberg had Universal buy the film rights as soon as they were available in May 1990 — six months before the book was published. And it was a smart move, because they got them just before James Cameron could. According to Cameron, they beat him to it "by a few hours."

    James Cameron at a premiere in 1995

    3. Cameron himself did not want "My Heart Will Go On" to be in Titanic because he thought the movie was too epic and didn't need a pop song in it.

    And for her part, Céline Dion never wanted to sing the song. In fact, she actually hated it (but her late husband, René Angélil, persuaded her to do it). The studio put pressure on Cameron 'cause they felt the song could be good for marketing and because they had a deal with Sony Music for the soundtrack (and Sony wanted an end-of-film song to help sell albums). Cameron decided to put it in the movie only after being won over by the demo that Dion recorded.

    Celine singing onstage

    4. Prior to its release in 1997, many critics and Hollywood insiders predicted that Titanic would be a box office bomb. And there were several reasons why it was predicted to be failure. First off, at the time it was the most expensive movie ever made and was getting compared to the costly Waterworld — which had been released a couple of years before and had not managed to be a huge success because it, like Titanic, was the then–most expensive movie ever made.

    James Cameron directing Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in a scene

    Second, aside from the cost of filming, Titanic also took a long time to film. Going way over schedule also delayed the release of the movie — as it was originally meant to be released during the summer (the blockbuster movie season). Moving its release date to December set off red flags.

    Cameron directing DiCaprio and Winslet in a scene near the end

    And last, many on-set stories about everything from the difficulty of working with Cameron to the PCP poisoning of the crew members had been reported throughout the film's production, which only added to the "doomed film" narrative.

    Cameron talking to DiCaprio behind the scenes

    5. Leonardo DiCaprio regrets that he had to turn down the role of Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights in order to star in Titanic. But for the record, DiCaprio doesn't regret starring in Titanic 'cause it allowed him to have the career he's had since. He just wishes he could have done both films.

    The film's writer-director, Paul Thomas Anderson, also really loved DiCaprio and wanted him for the role of Dirk. However, once DiCaprio was unavailable to do it, he became interested in casting Mark Wahlberg, whose performance he really liked in Basketball Diaries (which, funny enough, he costarred opposite DiCaprio in).

    Mark Walhberg in a denim jacket

    Wahlberg was initially not interested in reading the script. He was moving away from his music career and stripping-down-to-his-underwear days (and thought he was being approached for it because they assumed he had no problem with getting close to naked). Added to this was that Showgirls (another sex worker film) had just come out and been a major critical and box office bomb. However, there was a lot of buzz about the script going around that eventually piqued his interest in reading it. He got 35 pages into it and knew he needed to meet with the director. The movie would go on to launch his film career.

    Black-and-white photo of Mark with his pants down in his underwear and holding his bulge

    6. The iconic scene in Clueless where Cher is being mugged and hesitates lying on the ground because she is wearing an Alaïa dress is inspired by something that really happened.

    A screenshot of from "Clueless" of the scene where Cher is being mugged while wearing a red dress and says "This is an Alaïa"

    According to Amy Heckerling — who wrote and directed the movie — she was once having dinner with some agents when one of them told them the story he had heard about another agent who had been mugged while he was wearing an Armani suit. When the mugger told him to get on the ground, he replied, "But this is Armani!"

    Amy Heckerling in a pink baseball cap directing Clueless

    7. Clueless isn't just a classic '90s movie — it's also one of the most stylish movies ever made. I mean, you can't think of the movie without thinking about the fashions in it. And we can all credit the film's costume designer, Mona May, for it! But you may be surprised to know that it was the first movie she ever worked on.

    Dionne and Cher in their plaid suits

    And according to May, the look of the film's costumes was a result of her and Heckerling wanting to move away from the grunge look (that was the prevalent default look for teens at the time) and into something more sophisticated and girly.

    Tye, Cher, and Dionne walking through the school

    8. Mona May is also the costume designer behind Romy and Michele's fashions in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Much like in Clueless, May was trying to give them a look that was different from what everybody else was wearing.

    Romey and Michele in their high school reunion outfits

    Because of that, May ended up hand-making a third of the costumes they wore. The rest she sourced from thrift stores and designer brands.

    Romey and Michele wearing towels and looking through the closet

    9. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is actually a bit of a spinoff of a 1987 comedic play titled Ladies’ Room — in which Romy and Michele appear as minor characters. And in fact, Lisa Kudrow actually originated the role of Michele when the play premiered.

    A promotional photo of Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino as Romy and Michele putting on makeup

    Robin Schiff, who wrote Ladies' Room, was asked in the early '90s to adapt the play into a film. However, she knew there were parts of it that just wouldn't translate well onscreen — but trying to adapt the play did lead her to realize that spinning off the characters of Romy and Michele into their own film would actually be funny and work well.

    Romey and Michele in the laundromat

    According to Schiff, the script took five years to develop and likely only got made because Kudrow (whom she had remained friends with and had ongoing creative partnerships with), who was starring on Friends at the time, was attached to it. Even with Kudrow's star power behind it, Schiff feared the movie would bomb. But as we all know, it turned out to be a moderate box office success and would go on to become a classic.

    Lisa Kudrow in a yellow suit

    10. The opening scene in Scream is a now-iconic horror movie moment and has been replicated in some way in every Scream movie since.

    Drew Barrymore screaming into the phone

    And according to Kevin Williamson — who wrote the film — that scene was originally written to be a one-act play where the teenage character was talking on the phone and the audience was meant to wonder if the killer is outside. He even thought of shooting the scene as a short film before deciding to expand on it and make it into a screenplay.

    11. There's a reason Drew Barrymore sported that bob cut in the opening scene: She requested that her blonde wig in Scream be modeled after Michelle Pfeiffer's character's hair in Scarface.

    Also, back in 2020, Barrymore revealed that after the release of the movie, sales of caller ID — which in 1996 was not standard on landlines or a common feature on phones — tripled. Which, after watching her scene, I probably would've gotten too:

    Another fun fact... caller ID use tripled after SCREAM premiered! @DrewBarrymoreTV #DrewsMovieNite

    Twitter: @DrewBarrymore / Via CBS

    12. The idea for Space Jam originated from the success of a 1992 Nike commercial — called "Hare Jordan" — that featured Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny teaming up to play basketball together to take down some bullies.

    Michael Jordan with Bugs Bunny in Space Jam

    The commercial, which aired during the 1992 Super Bowl, was so well received that it led to more commercials featuring Jordan, Bugs, and various other Looney Tunes characters.

    View this video on YouTube

    The Hall of Advertising / Nike / Via

    At the same time, the Looney Tunes characters were having a resurgence and were "cool" again — like, every kid/tween/teen wanted the hip-hop Looney Tune T-shirts in the early '90s.

    Taz and Bugs dressed like Kris Kross on a T-shirt

    The success of the commercials and the popularity of the characters made it a no-brainer for executives at Warner Bros. to want to quickly create a movie. And, of course, it paid off. The movie would go on to gross over $250 million worldwide and also become one of the most beloved kids movies of the '90s.

    Bugs Bunny, Bill Murray, Michael Jordan, and Lola Bunny on the court talking

    13. Julia Roberts was the one who convinced Richard Gere to costar with her in Pretty Woman (which he had initially turned down). In fact, she flew to New York to meet with him one-on-one, and during their meeting — in a very rom-com moment — she took a piece of paper and wrote on it. She then turned it around and it said, "Please say yes," to which, of course, he said yes.

    According to Roberts, a lot of actors had been interested in the role of Edward, but none of them were the right fit, and most of them were comedians. It was actually the idea of the film's director, Garry Marshall, for the two of them to fly to New York City and meet with Gere in person to try to convince him to take the role.

    Garry Marshall directing Richard and Julia in a scene

    You can check Roberts out talking about her asking Gere to be in the movie here:

    View this video on YouTube

    SiriusXM / Via

    14. Bruce Willis was a huge fan of Reservoir Dogs and wanted to work with Quentin Tarantino — and reportedly wanted the lead role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (which he had heard about from Harvey Keitel). Unfortunately, by the time he met with Tarantino, the role had already gone to John Travolta.

    A behind-the-scenes photo of Quentin Tarantino directing Bruce Willis on the set of "Pulp Fiction"

    Fortunately for Willis, Tarantino had one role left that he hadn't cast yet: Butch, the boxer. As luck would have it, the part was originally offered to Matt Dillon (whom Tarantino had envisioned in the role). Dillon, however, told him he loved the script but he would need to sleep on it. That really upset Tarantino and caused him to then NOT want to cast Dillon in the film.

    Matt Dillon at a premiere in 1992

    15. For millennials, the "Can I keep you?" scene in Casper is one of the most memorable movie scenes of the '90s. But it almost didn't happen; originally, Casper wasn't ever supposed to become a human.

    The scene was only added after Steven Spielberg — who was producing the movie — brought in J.J. Abrams to do an uncredited rewrite of the script, and he decided to change the ending.

    Casper looking at Kat smiling

    In 2018, Devon Sawa tweeted out a thanks to Abrams for writing the scene he would eventually get cast in:

    A young @jjabrams was asked to write an alternate ending for a movie in 94. The ending was approved and a nation wide casting call was launched. I sent a VHS tape down to casting directors and a week later booked the role of Casper. I’ve been working ever since. Thanks JJ.

    Twitter: @DevonESawa

    Abrams' rewrites on Casper also left an impression on Spielberg — who ended up forming both a working relationship and friendship with Abrams because of it.

    Steven and J.J. in suits at an event in 2009

    16. Mrs. Potts singing "Beauty and the Beast" during the ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast is as classic a Disney scene as it gets. However, Angela Lansbury (who voiced Mrs. Potts) originally didn't want to sing the song, as the demo was more rock sounding. She did end up asking if she could sing it her way — as she put it, "A more realistic version of how a teapot would sing it."

    Lansbury barely managed to make it to the recording of the song in New York. She was flying to the studio session (which would be with a full orchestra) from LA when a bomb threat was called in on the flight she was on. They were forced to make an emergency landing and then had to change planes. By the time she got to New York, it was almost the end of the session, but she got to it in the nick of time and asked if she could still do a recording. They agreed, and she did it in ONE TAKE. Yup, the version we hear in the movie is the only one she recorded.

    View this video on YouTube

    Disney Geek/ Disney / Via

    The song would go on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 1992 Academy Awards.

    View this video on YouTube

    Oscars / Via

    17. One of the biggest things about The Phantom Menace (I mean, of course aside from being the first new Star Wars film in 16 years) was that it marked the return of George Lucas as the director — which is something he hadn't done since the original film, A New Hope. However, Lucas had some doubts about returning to the director's chair, so he asked Ron Howard (who had directed Lucas's 1988 film Willow) to direct it.

    George Lucas on set with R2-D2 and Jake Lloyd

    According to Howard, while the ask came up in a casual conversation, he immediately said no because he felt Lucas should be the one to do it.

    Ron Howard at an event wearing a baseball cap in 1997

    Howard, however, would later end up directing the Star Wars film Solo. He was brought in to do very extensive reshoots.

    Ron directing Solo

    And, of course, his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard has also gone on to become a huge part of the Star Wars universe, directing some of the best episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

    Bryce Dallas Howard at the Mandalorian premiere in 2019

    18. And last, contrary to popular belief, A Goofy Movie was not a box office bomb — it was actually a moderate success (making almost double what it cost to make).

    Goofy talking to Max in the car

    In fact, it seems as if even Disney might have had little faith in the film, since, unlike their other animated movies, there actually wasn't a lot of merchandise made for A Goofy Movie.

    There was very little merchandise made for the film’s release. Here’s some of it… #D23GoofyMovie

    Twitter: @GoofyMovieDir / Via Disney

    According to the movie's director, Kevin Lima, A Goofy Movie didn't become a huge hit until it was released on home video:

    A GOOFY MOVIE really took off when it was released on VHS tape on September 6, 1995 and the audience for the film has grown and grown, generation after generation over the years. #D23GoofyMovie

    Twitter: @GoofyMovieDir / Via Disney