A lot more goes into making hit movies than what we see on the screen. These wild, behind-the-scenes facts will make you see some of your favorite films in a whole new light.
Production values weren't exactly what they are today back in 1980. The fine folks making Star Wars: Episode V had to improvise some of the asteroids in the movie with household objects, including shoes and potatoes:
"One of the asteroids in Star Wars 5: Empire Strikes Back was a potato."
There were a lot more behind-the-scenes changes and secrets that went down when making the Star Wars saga. For instance, one of the films had to change its title to remain canonically accurate, and only two of the movie's actors knew about the franchise's biggest twist:
"On the topic of Star Wars, originally, episode VI was going to be titled Revenge of the Jedi, but the title didn't make sense, because revenge implies anger, and Jedi aren't supposed to give in to anger, so the title was changed to Return of the Jedi.
Also, none of the actors knew of the big reveal with Vader in episode V, except Mark Hamill and James Earl Jones. Even the body of Vader, David Prowse, didn't know, and for that scene, he was told to tell Luke that Obi Wan killed Luke's father."
Titanic was one of the biggest movies of modern cinema in practically every realm, including production cost:
"The film 'Titanic' cost more than the boat Titanic. Yes, that does include inflation."
Sacha Baron Cohen went to much greater lengths then audiences knew to make his character of Borat as cringe-worthy as possible:
"During the production of Borat, they never washed his suit. It smelled awful and this was done to add another layer of discomfort for anyone coming in contact with him."
Heath Ledger's iconic role as the Joker in The Dark Knight didn't only disturb audiences; even his fellow actors had trouble getting their lines out around him while filming:
"During the scene of The Dark Knight when the Joker crashes the party, Michael Caine had lines but it was his first time seeing Heath Ledger in character and he completely forgot them."
Heath Ledger apparently got so in character for The Dark Knight that he even reacted to technical issues on set in the same way that the Joker would. One of those moments actually made it into the movie:
"Another fun Dark Knight Fact: You know the scene when the Joker blew up the hospital? They actually blew up a building for that scene, and they only had one shot to do it. There wasn't supposed to be a pause between Heath Ledger hitting the detonator and the explosion, that was because of technical difficulties. But Heath reacted in character and made the scene so much more awesome."
Wayne's World has become one of the most beloved comedy movies ever made, and funnily enough, it was made very quickly:
"Wayne's World was filmed in one month because all the equipment was rented and needed to be given back at a specific time."
Gene Wilder added so much personality to his iconic character of Willy Wonka. A lot of the reactions that the children had throughout that movie were actually genuine:
"In the first scene where Willy Wonka emerges in public (where he faked the limp then fell into a somersault), it was actually the first time the cast met Gene Wilder."
It's no secret that Jame Cameron gets very involved in his blockbuster films. Apparently, he even created one of the central props in Titanic:
"You know that picture of Rose that Leo drew in Titantic? James Cameron drew that, and it's HIS hands in the scene where he's drawing."
When making a movie with a cast full of kids, it's a good idea to try to keep them happy on set whenever possible. But don't be too trusting of the treats you get at renaissance fairs:
"When filming Stand By Me, in one of the locations of the film a renaissance fair was being held and the cast and crew attended and bought some cookies. Unfortunately, the cookies turned out to be pot cookies and two hours later, the crew found Jerry O'Connell (Vern) crying and high on the cookies somewhere in the park."
Stanley Kubrick was known for going to great lengths to create realistically horrifying movies. Unfortunately, that came at the expense of some of his actors and other workers at times:
"In The Shining, all the papers where it said 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' were written solely by the director's secretary. He forced her to spend months typing it, to get the madness touch to it. Also he told everyone on the crew not to talk to the actress who played the mother, so she would actually feel the isolation she. was to feel in the movie."
There was a lot more magic involved in The Wizard of Oz than you originally thought:
"While looking for a tattered coat for the character playing The Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, a costume assistant bought one from a second hand store. When the actor put the coat on he turned the pocket inside out - written in the pocket was the name L. Frank Baum who is the author of The Wizard of Oz books. Baum's widow later identified the coat as actually having belonged to her husband."
The actors in Fight Club must have been very well-caffeinated:
"There is a cup of coffee in every scene in Fight Club."
The recent Marvel movies have managed to bring a good amount of humor into the superhero genre. Apparently, the joking extends to the set as well:
"In the Avengers, any snack that Robert Downey Jr. eats was not scripted. They had set people to try and find and take these snacks before filming, but he would hide them in the sets well enough and pluck them from hiding places during recording, for an example, in Dr. Banner's lab."
Though Gravity features Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in person, the movie is actually not considered live-action due to how much animation had to go into it:
"Gravity is an animated movie. 80% of the film is hand-animated CG, without mocap or similar."