Thanks to the internet, there are all sorts of crazy secrets we can find out about our favorite stars and movies, but every once and a while you come across a fact that just sounds too out there to possibly be true. Sometimes they even turn out to actually be fake, but that's not the case for these 15 wild pieces of movie trivia.
1. James Cameron was a truck driver, until he saw Star Wars
James Cameron has given us some of the greatest movies of the modern age. Considering he is the king of the box office, having grossed over $6 billion globally, it's hard to imagine him doing anything but making movies. While he was fascinated by film and its technology, his college years were pretty aimless and after dropping out in 1974 he bounced from job to job before ending up as a truck driver, though he spent his free time writing and studying special effects.
That all changed in 1977 when he saw a little movie called Star Wars. He was so inspired by it, that he finally realized if he wanted to make movies he would have to take it seriously, so he quit his job and started working on what would become his first movie, 1978's Xenogenesis. The rest is history.
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory used trained squirrels brought from England
Over the last 15 years, CGI has become the go-to means of making movie magic, even when it sometimes shouldn't be (looking at you Green Lantern's costume). But for the scene of Veruca Salt's demise in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton didn't want to take the short cut of using CGI squirrels, because he felt they didn't look real or natural enough.
Instead, the production had to bring in 40 squirrels from the U.K, many of them from rescues. The rest of the squirrels were a combination of animatronics and CGI. The process of training the squirrels was about as chaotic as you'd expect, as you can see in the video below.
3. Lilo from Lilo & Stitch and Samara from The Ring are the same girl
If someone asked you to guess two movies that came out in 2002 and had the same actress, probably the last movies that would come to mind would be Lilo & Stitch and The Ring. While it would make a terrible crossover, the girl who taught us that ohana means family and the girl that taught us not to watch creepy unlabeled VHS tapes are played by the same young actress, Daveigh Chase.
Chase, now 26, has since then appeared in episodes of Cold Case and Without a Trace, and also starred in the Donnie Darko sequel S. Darko, and in the HBO show Big Love. I guess that's one way to avoid getting typecast.
4. The Soviet Union beat Peter Jackson to making a live-action The Hobbit by almost 30 years
While Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Trilogy is widely considered to be nowhere near as good as his original Lord of the Rings trilogy (let alone the 70s animated version of The Hobbit), compared to the Soviet Union's 1985 attempt at adapting the novel his version is downright Oscar-worthy. Shot in 1984, Vladimir Latyshev's version was shot as an episode for the children's TV series Tale After Tale.
The actual full title of the film wasn't even "The Hobbit," but instead, "The Fabulous Journey of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, Across The Wild Land, Through the Dark Forest, Beyond the Misty Mountains, There and Back Again," which is quite the mouthful. The whole thing is pretty wild from start to finish and even better, it's available in its entirety on YouTube, so if you've got an hour to kill it's definitely worth a watch.
5. Pierce Brosnan wasn't allowed to wear a full tuxedo in any non-James Bond movie from 1995-2002.
That's right, for the duration of his stint as the world's most famous spy, Pierce Brosnan was free to act in other non-Bond movies so long as he NOT wear a tuxedo while appearing in them. Considering that tuxedos are an important part of Bond's iconic look, it makes sense that the producers wouldn't want to risk having other films try to sneakily cash in on one of the biggest action franchises in history. Luckily, now that there's a new bond in town, Brosnan can go back to wearing whatever the costume department hands him.
6. Time travel is banned in China
Well banned isn't quite the right word, more like censored to the point that you're better off avoiding it. In 2011, the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television released its guidelines on the use of time travel in movies and TV shows, claiming time travel “casually makes up myths, has monstrous and weird plots, uses absurd tactics, and even promotes feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.” The "ban" also helps prevent an outlet for political dissent, as film critic Raymond Zhou Liming points out, since time travel narratives are often used as "an excuse to comment on current affairs."
7. James Cameron felt O.J. Simpson was too nice to be the Terminator
If James Cameron had followed the studio's wishes, The Terminator would have been a completely different movie. Orion Pictures chief Mike Medavoy knew exactly who he wanted, Arnold Schwarzenegger would play the hero, Kyle Reese, and football superstar O.J. Simpson would be the villainous T-800. Cameron wasn't sold on the idea because he felt that Simpson didn't seem enough like a killer, he saw him as "this likable, goofy, kind of innocent guy." Talk about awkward.
And if you think that's crazy, wait 'til you see why Ryan Gosling was cast in The Notebook...