The working title for David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers was “Gemini.” The studio did not like it, and the working title was updated to “Twins.” This was changed to “Dead Ringers” after Ivan Reitman, who had produced two of David Cronenberg’s early films, approached Cronenberg about purchasing the rights to use the title “Twins.” This title was then used for the Danny DeVito/Arnold Schwarzenegger film Twins (1988).
It’s hard to imagine this movie being called anything other than Dead Ringers, let alone something as plain as Twins.
Did you know that the producers of Jaws thought it would be possible to train a live great white shark for the film? Not only is it impossible to hold a great white in captivity, but marine biologists have also proven the idea of training such a fish is laughable.
With the exception of some copyrighted music they had the rights to, the soundtrack of 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre contains no sounds from musical instruments. Instead, they used sounds an animal would hear inside a slaughterhouse.
Alfred Hitchcock would constantly make puns and double-entendres on the set of The Birds. The last straw came when Suzanne Pleshette asked if she could add a line, and he replied, “You mean, Sweet Adeline?” She then reacted by tackling the director, dictating, “If you continue this, you are gonna pay the price.” According to Suzanne in a 2006 interview with Stephen J. Abramson, “People were SHITTING” when they saw her run him down.
The house seen in the movie in real life does not and never actually did exist. The film-makers could not find a suitable mansion to use for the film so, at a cost of around $200,000, the production had a Victorian gothic mansion façade attached to the front of a much more modern dwelling in a Vancouver street. This construction was used for the filming of all the exteriors of the movie’s Carmichael Mansion. The interiors of the haunted house were an elaborate group of interconnecting sets built inside a film studio in Vancouver.
One of the original script ideas called for Barbara to be a very strong, charismatic character. Instead, George A. Romero and the producers loved Judith O’Dea’s portrayal as a terrified young girl much better, and edited the script to accommodate the part.
The idea of Barbara being a strong, central character was revisited in Night of the Living Dead (1990).
The role of Zelda, Rachel’s terminally ill sister, was played by a man. Director Mary Lambert wanted Zelda and her scenes to frighten the audience but did not believe that a 13-year old girl was scary so she cast Andrew Hubatsek in the role to make something be “off about Zelda.”
At the first cast meeting called by producer and director Francis Ford Coppola, he got all of the principal actors and actresses to read the entire Bram Stoker novel out loud to get a feel for the story. According to Sir Anthony Hopkins, it took two days to complete.
Gary Oldman said that when he first read the script, he decided it would be worth doing the movie just so he could feel what it would be like to say, “I’ve crossed oceans of time to find you” to someone.
In August 2018, Winona Ryder expressed concern that she might be legally married to Keanu Reeves. Apparently, Coppola wasn’t happy with their wedding scenes in the movie and, to achieve greater authenticity, he re-shot the sequence with a real priest.
In 1986, Olivia Hussey met producers for the film Roxanne (1987), since they were interested in casting her for the title role. Roxanne co-star Steve Martin met her and said, “Oh my God, Olivia, you were in one of my all-time favorite films.” Thinking it was Romeo and Juliet (1968), Olivia was surprised to find out it was actually Black Christmas (1974). Steve Martin claimed he had seen it around 27 times.