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    19 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About '90s Movies That Made Me Do a Double Take

    Tupac Shakur was almost a Jedi Master?!

    1. Titanic β€” wordwide gross: $1,850,197,130

    Paramount/20th Century Fox

    FACT: Jack was nearly played by Matthew McConaughey, and Rose was nearly played by Claire Danes.

    Brenda Chase / Getty Images

    Matthew did a screen test for the role with Kate Winslet that went so well, he came away from it convinced he had won the role. Interestingly, in 2017, Kate Winslet was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and when Stephen said the studio wanted Matthew but director James Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio, she nodded and said, "Yes."

    Claire, meanwhile, was courted by the production to play Rose, but turned the part down because she knew the film was going to be big and she wasn't ready for the attention that would bring. β€œIt was going to propel me to something I knew I didn’t have the resources to cope with," she said on the podcast Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. "I knew I had to do a lot of foundation-building.”

    2. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace β€” worldwide gross: $924,305,084

    20th Century Fox

    FACT: Tupac Shakur β€” who had been a Star Wars fan since childhood β€” auditioned with George Lucas for a role as a Jedi before his death.

    Columbia, 20th Century Fox

    According to Rolling Stone, Tupac was up for the role that eventually went to Samuel L. Jackson.

    3. Jurassic Park β€” worldwide gross: $912,667,947


    FACT: Steven Spielberg began filming Schindler's List in Poland so shortly after wrapping Jurassic Park that he had to oversee the dinosaur film's post production via a very crude satellite feed sent from Northern California.

    Dan Groshong / Getty Images

    It was probably quite stressful working on both films at once, but it sure paid off β€” in 1993, Jurassic Park was the world's highest-grossing film and Schindler's List won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

    4. Independence Day β€” worldwide gross: $817,400,891

    20th Century Fox

    FACT: The United States military was originally going to supply costumes, props β€” and even planes β€” to be used in the film, but they withdrew their support upon learning that Area 51 was part of the plot.

    Bridget Bennett / Getty Images

    Writer/producer Dean Devlin confirmed this on his DVD commentary track, saying that the military would have kept the deal in place if they'd removed references to Area 51 (the highly classified Air Force facility in Nevada that some believe holds evidence of alien visits). Devlin decided to keep Area 51 as part of the plot, and looked elsewhere for their props, costumes, etc.

    5. The Lion King β€” worldwide gross: $763,455,561


    FACT: James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair β€” who voiced King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi β€” also portrayed the king and queen in the '80s smash Coming to America.


    6. Forrest Gump β€” worldwide gross: $677,387,716


    FACT: The move was adapted from the book Forrest Gump, which featured a Forrest who was 6'6", 242 pounds, and had a huge penis.

    Doubleday, Paramount

    "Jenny pulled down my undershorts an her eyes get big an she say, 'Whooo β€” lookit what you got there!'" is an actual line from the book. 😳

    There are other differences too. For example, in the book, Forrest goes to space as an astronaut. And the famous scene in the movie where Forrest runs across the country? That was an invention of the film's screenwriter, Eric Roth.

    7. The Sixth Sense β€” worldwide gross: $672,806,292

    Buena Vista

    FACT: The executive who bought the screenplay for Disney ended up losing his job over the purchase.

    Getty Images

    David Vogel, the president of Disney's Buena Vista Motion Picture Group, was so blown away by M. Night Shyamalan's screenplay for The Sixth Sense that he bought it the same day he read it β€” for a whopping $2.25 million and with a commitment to let Shyamalan direct. He also neglected to get the purchase cleared by his bosses, but figured after eight years in his position he'd earned the right to do so. This set off a series of events that led to Vogel leaving the company.

    In the end, this all blew up on Disney which, perhaps in a fit of anger at Vogel, arranged for another company to finance the film. As a result, Disney only ended up keeping 12.5% of the profits of the most successful live-action film in their history.

    8. The Lost World: Jurassic Park β€” worldwide gross: $618,638,999


    FACT: In the scene at a video store, there are cardboard displays for fake movies, like William Shakespeare's King Lear starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.


    There's also Jack and the Beanstalk starring Robin Williams (a play on his recent film Jack), and Tsunami Surprise starring Tom Hanks.

    9. Men in Black β€” worldwide gross: $589,390,539


    FACT: The "known aliens" briefly put on screen at the Men in Black headquarters include Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito, Al Roker, Isaac Mizrahi, George Lucas, director Barry Sonnenfeld and his daughter Chloe, Dionne Warwick, Newt Gingrich, Tony Robbins, and the film's executive producer Steven Spielberg.


    10. Armageddon β€” worldwide gross: $553,709,788

    Buena Vista

    FACT: Ben Affleck says on the DVD commentary track that he once asked director Michael Bay "why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers." Bay told him "to shut the fuck up," which ended the conversation.

    Buena Vista

    Affleck, however, didn't shut up on the commentary track. He continued making fun of the film's concept for several minutes.

    11. Terminator 2: Judgment Day β€” worldwide gross: $519,843,345


    FACT: Arnold Schwarzenegger was paid an incredible $21,429 per word he uttered in the movie.


    Arnold's Terminator wasn't very talkative, so he only spoke 700 words total. Since he was paid $15 million for the film, that means he banked $85,716 simply for saying "Hasta la vista, baby.” Considering the success of the movie (and the iconic line), it was worth it!

    12. Ghost β€” worldwide gross: $505,702,588


    FACT: Bruce Willis was offered the role of the ghost (opposite his then-wife Demi Moore), and the production originally didn't want Whoopi Goldberg in her iconic role as Oda Mae Brown.

    Paramount, Stewart Cook / Getty Images

    Bruce called himself a "knucklehead" for turning down the role that eventually went to Patrick Swayze, but said he didn't understand how a romance with a ghost could work. Whoopi, meanwhile, was originally told they wanted an unknown for the role, but they circled back to her six months later. Good thing, too, as she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

    13. Aladdin β€” worldwide gross: $504,050,219


    FACT: The animators based Aladdin on Tom Cruise.


    Animator Glen Keane originally envisioned Aladdin as a Michael J. Fox type, but Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg suggested Tom Cruise would be a better model. The animators then watched Top Gun, which helped them nail the look and attitude of the character.

    14. Twister β€” worldwide gross: $494,471,524

    Warner Bros./Universal

    FACT: To give one tornado a distinctive sound, the sound designers altered a recording of a camel’s moan, lowering the pitch until it created a creepy, cavernous sound.

    The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound because of the incredible lengths they went to put the audience aurally at the center of a tornado, and to give each one featured in the film its own distinctive sound.

    15. Toy Story 2 β€” worldwide gross: $487,059,677


    FACT: Disney originally pressured Pixar to make Toy Story 2 a direct-to-video release.


    Disney had previously made successful direct-to-video sequels to their hit animated films (like Aladdin 2: Return of Jafar), but downgrading the Toy Story franchise to direct-to-video would have been a colossal mistake considering its three big-screen sequels would go on to make more than $2.6 BILLION worldwide!

    16. Saving Private Ryan β€” worldwide gross: $481,840,909


    FACT: Instead of rehearsals, the film's actors β€” including Tom Hanks β€” took part in a grueling 10-day boot camp run by an unrelenting former Marine who called them "Turd!"


    The stars took six-mile runs with their packs on, got very little sleep, and were quickly exhausted. Soon, many of the cast members decided to call it quits, but were persuaded to stay and finish what they started by Tom Hanks. In the end, the bonding and short-term hardships they experienced prepared them well for their roles.

    17. Home Alone β€” worldwide gross: $476,684,675

    20th Century Fox

    FACT: Writer/director John Hughes wrote the screenplay in just nine days β€” and the last 44 pages in just eight hours β€” after a stressful family trip to Europe that left him thinking, "What if one of my kids has been accidentally left behind at home?"

    MTV / Via

    Hughes was infamous for how quickly he wrote his screenplays, and even completed Ferris Bueller's Day Off in less than a week.

    18. The Matrix β€” worldwide gross: $463,517,383

    Warner Bros.

    FACT: Neo could have been played by Will Smith β€” he was approached about the role, but turned it down to do Wild Wild West instead.

    Warner Bros.


    19. Pretty Woman β€” worldwide gross: $463,406,268

    Buena Vista

    FACT: The screenplay was originally a gritty drama titled $3,000, and didn't end with Vivian and Edward together. Instead, it ended with Vivian and Kit on a bus headed for Disneyland, with Vivian staring out the window, sad and pensive.

    Buena Vista

    The studio (Disney) and director Gary Marshall loved J.F. Lawton's script, but wanted a happier take on it β€” especially after seeing the chemistry between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. So, they had Lawton β€” and then other screenwriters β€” rework the script until it was the Pretty Woman we know today.

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