1). Movie: Titanic (1997)
Fact: The 1997 movie Titanic cost more to make than the original ship itself .
The RMS Titanic was built back in the early 1900s for about $7.5 million. Adjust for inflation in 1997 dollars, that’s about $120 million. The movie on the other hand had a budget of $200 million. Several factors added to the budget, including the fact that James Cameron shot footage of the the actual ship’s wreck underwater and featured it in the film.
2). Movie: Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen (2009)
Fact: The visual effects house’s computers burned when rendering Devastator .
The Devastator sequence in Revenge of the Fallen was Industrial Light & Magic’s most challenging sequence until the time. The robot itself had around 80,000 parts and had the camera swirling around when covering its transformation. That and the additional resolution of IMAX resulted in computers exploding when rendering visual effects for the scene where the Devastator transforms and tears down the pyramids.
3). Movie: Jurassic Park (1993)
Fact: The movie has only 14 minutes of dinosaur effects .
Jurassic Park’s CGI was heralded as revolutionary for the time – it was the first case of CGI hyper-realism seen in a motion picture*. The entire CGI dinosaurs in the movie though made up for only 6 minutes of screen time. Combined with the animatronic effects, the dinosaurs had only around 14 minutes of screen time.
4). Movie: Avatar (2009)
Fact: Avatar was in development from as far back as 1994 .
Director James Cameron wrote the movie’s script back in 1994 and intended to start filming in 1997 but couldn’t because technology had to catch up to his vision. To bring the movie to life, the production team had to create a new 3-D camera and a new virtual camera system that allowed them to shoot as if they were shooting in the virtual world. The complexity of the visual effects meant that every CGI frame took 47 hours to render.
5). Movie: Iron Man (2008)
Fact: Nick Fury’s cameo towards the end was a secret in vain.
The movie crew tried hard to keep Samuel Jackson’s appearance in the post-credits scene a secret. His trailer was brought right inside the set. Jackson basically got out of the trailer, gave a couple of takes of his line and got back into the trailer which then left the set. The scene was also excluded from all previews. Despite this secrecy, details of the scene still leaked out.
6). Movie: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Fact: Arnold’s Salary for the movie was around $21,000 per line of dialogue .
Arnold received a paycheck of $15 million for his role in the sequel to The Terminator. He spoke about 700 words in the movie which translates to $21,428 per word.
7). Movie: The Matrix (1999)
Fact: Will Smith turned down the lead role because he couldn’t understand the script.
Will Smith was offered the part of Thomas Anderson a.k.a. Neo before Keanu Reeves took on the role. He turned it down and went on to star in Wild Wild West. He said about the role  :You know, The Matrix is a difficult concept to pitch. In the pitch, I just didn’t see it. I watched Keanu’s performance – and very rarely do I say this – but I would have messed it up. I would have absolutely messed up The Matrix. At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be. Whereas Keanu was smart enough to just let it be.
8). Movie Series: Harry Potter (2001–2011)
Fact: Alan Rickman was the only one other than J. K. Rowling who knew of Snape’s love for Lily .
At the time of the first movie’s filming, J. K. Rowling had finished a couple of novels in the series. Severus Snape was seen as an antagonist by then. Rowling gave Rickman a hint of what would happen with his character later which helped Alan in humanizing his performance as Snape rather than play him as an outright antagonist.
9). Movie: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Fact: The movie marks the first cinematic appearance of Wonder Woman in film in 75 years.
While Wonder Woman has been the subject of animated cartoons and movies and also TV Shows, some failed launches, a movie on her has been attempted as far back as the last two decades. With her appearance in Dawn of Justice, we see the first live-action version of her character on the big screen ever.
10). Movie: The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Fact: The filmmakers constructed a 1.5 mile freeway for the movie’s chase scene .
The Wachowski Brothers shot for 3 months on a 1.5 mile stretch constructed for the movie’s freeway chase scene. The scene used (and destroyed) over 300 cars loaned to them by General Motors for the filming of the scene.
The movie was also one of the first ones to pioneer virtual cinematography and the use of digital doubles entirely for some shots.
11). Movie: Iron Man (2008)
Fact: The movie had no script .
One of Marvel’s most highly rated movies was made without a script in place. The filmmakers had an outline of where to take things but no dialogues were hard written. A lot of it was improvised on the set including the famous Jericho Missile Speech, especially by Robert Downey Jr who thrived on this form of acting.
Other cast members found it frustrating though. As Jeff Bridges put it:It freaked me out. I was very anxious. I like to be prepared. I like to know my lines, man, that’s my school. Very prepared. That was very irritating, and then I just made this adjustment.
12). Movie: The Matrix (1999)
Fact: The company where Neo works gives a major hint about the movie’s premise.
The company where Thomas Anderson is late for work is named Metacortex. Meta- means transcending or going beyond whereas Cortex means boundaries of the brain. Metacortex thus implies transcending the limits of your brain which is essential what Thomas Anderson goes on to do in the movie as Neo.
13). Movie: The Dark Knight (2008)
Fact: The Gotham Hospital destruction scene in the movie was real
Averse to using CGI, Nolan blew up an abandoned Brach’s Candy factory that was set to be demolished. Explosives were kept inside the building that were detonated by the crew remotely.
Heath Ledger also had a minor goof-up in the scene. When he initially presses the detonator, the explosions do not take off. This was a genuine error that happened because the crew was detonating the explosives from behind the scenes but it was some time before the explosions actually went off. Heath’s reaction in the moment was a bit of improvisation.
14). Movie: Spider-Man (2002)
Fact: The movie had a World Trade Center focused trailer that was removed from its promotional campaign.
The said trailer had Spider-Man using his webs and capturing an escaping helicopter in between the two towers. In light of the 9 / 11 disaster preceding the campaign though, the trailer was withdrawn from promotions. It can still be viewed here.
15). Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Fact: The movie showed the moon before the first man landed on it.
The movie was released on April 2, 1968. The moon landing took place on July 20, 1969. Stanley Kubrick’s movie showed the moon in such detail that he became part of a popular conspiracy theory that suggested the moon-landing was fake and was filmed by him on set.
16). Movie: Inception (2010)
Fact: The first letters of the character’s first names combined form the word Dreams.
The movie stars
- Leonardo DiCaprio as Domm (D)
- Cillian Murphy as Robert Fischer (R)
- Tom Hardy as Eames (E)
- Ellen Page as Ariadne OR Joseph Gordon Levitt as Arthur (A)
- Marion Cottilard as Mal (M)
- Ken Watanabe as Satio (S)
17). Movie: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Fact: Spider-Man in the movie was CGI .
A complex deal was signed late into the movie’s production between Marvel and Sony that allowed Spider-Man to share screen with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe characters. Given his late inclusion, he was added digitally into the fight. In fact, Spider-Man, Giant-Man and Black Panther were 100% digital in the scene as mentioned by ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Russell Earl.