Plot Holes Exposed – WIF @ the Movies

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Beloved Movies

and

TV Episodes

with Gaping

Plot Holes

At this point, writing a script for a film or an episode of television should be down to an exact science. Even people with a passing interest in scripts know about phrases such as inciting incidents, peaks and valleys, and denouncements, and even without popular web-pages like IMDb goofs or the endless ranks of video essayists on YouTube, we can sniff out a hole in a plot.

So knowing audiences have that level of savvy, how can filmmakers that have to devote months, if not years to these projects think that they can get away with having holes in stories that seem like they would take a conscious effort to ignore? On top of that, how do they sometimes not only get away with it but make movies and episodes that audiences cherish for generations? Perhaps we can gain some insight into that by looking at the stories below. All 10 examples are, we should mention, movies and episodes that we love enough to have watched multiple times. Still, you can’t really love something until you accept its flaws.

(By the way, if you’re expecting Citizen Kane and its infamous supposed plot hole to be on here, check this page for why it isn’t. Also, SPOILERS ahead!)

10. Avengers: Infinity War

In the fourth movie in world history to gross over two billion dollars at the box office, the villain Thanos wants to become so powerful that he can, at a stroke, kill half the universe’s population to provide more resources for the other half. Aside from how nonsensical that is (think how many systems of producing and distributing the needed resources would be practically wiped out, how traumatized many of the survivors would be, etc.) considering he can do whatever he wants with time, space, reality, and so on, it also means that he can provide infinite resources to everyone. So why would he kill half the population to deal with alleged shortages?

However, some might try to dismiss that by claiming it’s part of his insanity. In terms of sheer plot mechanics, there’s a less high-falutin example near the end of the movie. The hero Doctor Strange possesses a green stone which allows him to, among other things, reset time for at least a short period. This was demonstrated quite memorably in the climax of Doctor Strange. Yet after a confrontation with Thanos late in the movie, he allows himself and his associates to be defeated without employing this power at all, despite the loss being an extremely near-run matter. There’s a common trope among superhero stories of the heroes “forgetting” their powers, but rarely does it go that far.

9. Get Out

While the meticulous plotting of Get Out‘s screenplay required twenty drafts and resulted in Jordan Peele receiving the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, he left an unfortunate hole in the story that’s as much unnecessary as it’s a cheat.

The basic plot of the film is that Chris goes with his girlfriend Rose to visit her parents’ home. While there, he encounters a person from his neighborhood who is now in a relationship with a much older woman. Since he and other black people that Chris has encountered have been acting weirdly, he is deeply suspicious, even before he receives confirmation from his friend Rod that, indeed, the person he just met has been listed as a missing person, just as numerous other black people in that neighborhood have been. Shortly after, Chris discovers a box in the closet of the bedroom he and Rose have been sleeping in. It is full of photos of Rose with a large number of black boyfriends and girlfriends, including the person Chris knew was missing, revealing that something profoundly wrong is happening.

The issue is this: Why does Rose have that very incriminating box of evidence where Chris could find it? In the following scenes, it’s revealed that Rose is a willing participant in the disappearances and feels no remorse. Indeed, we see her casually looking through photos of up and coming athletes shortly after, indicating that she’s already moving on from the harm she’s going to inflict on Chris, so it’s not as if she’d subconsciously be sabotaging the crime. They’re also printed photos even though the movie is set in contemporary times when surely she would be inclined through social conditioning to take digital photographs. Even the best screenplays can’t seem to escape these missteps.

8. Black Mirror: National Anthem

Often hailed as The Twilight Zone for the internet age, Charlie Brooker’s science fiction anthology struck a chord with audiences from its pilot episode, which premiered in December 2011. In the episode, Princess Susannah is kidnapped by an unknown person who will only release her alive on the condition that the prime minister do something by that late afternoon that the prime minister very much does not want to do, with the full understanding of the public. One of his subordinates makes arrangements to cheat the arrangement in the event Princess Susannah is not rescued in time. Word of the attempted cheat gets out, so the kidnapper releases a video of him removing one of the Susannah’s fingers, and he sends a finger to the press. Learning about this cheat and the harm inflicted on the Princess turns the public against the prime minister, forcing him to go through with the deal. In the end, it’s revealed that the princess is released unharmed and that the kidnapper was an old performance artist who cut off one of his own fingers.

The issue with that is that the performance artist is revealed to be an aged man with a generally working class body while Princess Susannah looks like she’s a model in lower middle age, at the oldest. There’s no way their fingers could plausibly be mistaken for each other, even in the heat of the moment. Even if the extent of the news that leaked was that a finger was sent to a media outlet after the video of the supposed finger removal (which is staged so that the injury itself does not happen in the camera’s line of sight), word would just as quickly get out that it wasn’t her finger, which would massively undercut the public pressure for the prime minister to meet the kidnapper’s demands.

7. Cinderella

While it is a tale as old as time, most viewers today are probably familiar with it through either the 1951 animated Disney adaptation or the 2014 live action Disney adaptation. Or maybe the 2014 deconstruction in Into the Woods by… uh, Disney again. Our readers very likely don’t need the plot synopsis, but in brief: There’s a hardworking stepdaughter/maid who sneaks to a royal dance after her fairy godmother gives her a dress, carriage, and slippers made of her old clothes, a pumpkin, and magic respectively. She dances with the prince, they fall in love but she has to leave at midnight, leaving her slipper behind. He hunts her down by having every woman in the kingdom try on the slipper until it fits her.

But this story, whether it be the original French version, the German version by the Brothers Grimm, and every film adaptation, has a major problem related to the character of the prince. It doesn’t even make sense by fairy tale logic that the prince loves someone without even knowing what she looks like. Even the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet knew each other’s faces! While fairy tales naturally get deconstructed a lot despite being wish fulfillment fantasies for children, everyone always seems to get too hung up on how impractical glass slippers would be as an article of clothing to observe this problem with the plot.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark

This 1981 film was both a tribute to 1930s movie serials (even though creators George Lucas and Steven Spielberg admitted they didn’t actually like those when they screened a few for each other during pre-production) and one of the films that codified Hollywood’s blockbuster era. Indiana Jones was instantly iconic as a tomb raiding academic who goes on an adventure to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant  in a race against his old rival Belloq and his Nazi collaborators.

It probably helped that in Lawrence Kasdan’s acclaimed screenplay, Indiana Jones is more relatable because he so often fails on the way to the climax, including said climax beginning with him in captivity.

This is where the trouble with the story emerges. As Indiana and his fellow captive Marion Ravenwood look on, the Nazis open the Ark. Ominous light emanates from the Ark, and out of the blue, Indiana Jones tells Marion to shut her eyes. As they do, angels that seem more like demons emerge and kill all of their captors. Never mind the moral issues that they indiscriminately kill everyone solely on the basis of looking at them. How does Indiana know that shutting their eyes is the way for him and Marion to save themselves? The only thing he’s said about it before this scene was when, back at the university, he sees an image of the Ark and blithely guesses that the light emerging from it is the “power of God.” It’s a very puzzling oversight.

Except it actually isn’t. Kasdan included a scene in the original screenplay where the means of surviving was explained to Dr. Jones, but it was cut during editing. Which just goes to show that even a perfect script can be undone during the production process.

5. Black Mirror: USS Callister

After six years and a move from BBC to Netflix, the premiere for Black Mirror’s fourth season once again left audiences in awe and slightly disturbed. In brief, the episode is about the creator of a virtual reality online video game named Robert Daly. Instead of merely playing his game (which is modeled in large part on a fictional equivalent of the original Star Trek series) as a light adventure as originally intended, Daly makes artificially intelligent copies of coworkers and tortures them into treating him as essentially a god. Part of Black Mirror’s conceit was well-established by that time that AI simulations of people have the equivalents of physical sensations and emotions, thus making the AI in this show as sympathetic as any human beings would be and their existences just as Hellish.

Still, a problem with the story is revealed almost immediately. To properly map out the memories and emotions of his coworkers to make the simulations as accurate as possible, Daly sneaks samples of their DNA home from work from such things as discarded Styrofoam cups. The issue of that is that while Daly would indeed have good DNA samples to make clones, in real life he wouldn’t be able to make replicas required by the narrative because our DNA does not contain our memories. It’s a testament to the execution of the episode that this did not seem to take many viewers out of the experience.

4. A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place, the directorial debut from John Krasinski, is a commercial and critical darling. However, its suspenseful pace and limited dialogue left audiences with plenty of time to nitpick the details of its story about monsters that rely on sound to hunt down a family. The biggest issue is really a nail that is sticking up from the middle of a step to the basement that Evelyn Abbott steps on. Now, the nail is sticking up right from the middle of the step, and the staircase is in good condition, so this is not a matter of rushed or improvised repair after the apocalypse. It also is not joining two pieces of wood together. So why in the world is it there? Perhaps the deaf daughter Regan Abbott put it there because she’s subconsciously becoming suicidal (that’s extrapolating from how she blames herself for the death of her young brother and wants to stop experimenting with hearing aids). That still leaves a nagging question: How did it get pounded in without an immediate monster attack?

The producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form were questioned about the nail and the best they came up with was saying that the family couldn’t risk the noise of removing a nail. Which… Fine. But why, or even how, did they get it there in the first place?!

3. Hereditary

While there are many that are contemptuous of this horror hit (hence the fact the influential audience test score called Cinemascore gave it a D+), those that view it favorably tend to be passionate about it. It is deliberate in its pacing and unpredictability, and its art design is as subtly creepy as it is beautiful. Near the beginning, a family learns that a recently departed grandmother’s grave has been desecrated and things… well, they get even more grisly and disturbing from there, including the death of of the main character’s young daughter, Charlie, which culminates in a truly horrifying ending.

While it could be fairly said that writer-director Ari Aster attempted a much more grounded form of occult horror, he still left some substantial holes in the story. Staci Wilson of At Home in Hollywood pointed out that the cemetery calls the family to inform them of the desecration. However, later in the movie Charlie’s remains are also seen, and the movie devotes time to seeing her burial. So how is the family not being told about this desecration? How are the police not being informed of it? With a clear connection between the two desecrated graves, why are the police not investigating the family? Aster has to really fill the run-time with unsettling imagery to keep the viewer’s mind off matters like that.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

While it might not have achieved the heights of critical hype and commercial success of 2008’s The Dark Knight, this 2012 film still made quite an impression with its story of how Bane practically paralyzes the billionaire vigilante Bruce Wayne and conquers the city of Gotham. It makes Bruce’s eventual recovery and triumph all the more compelling, especially with how costly it was in the end. And for this entry, we’re going to go ahead and ignore the well-established plot hole of how Bruce somehow got halfway around the world and snuck into Gotham despite being, at this point, a former billionaire with no resources.

However, one of the greatest problems with the story was that Bruce Wayne recovering from his injury and going through the spiritual journey that allows him to go confront Bane again on more favorable terms takes five months. Can you imagine any administration allowing a city to fall into the hands of criminals to such an extent that people physically cannot enter the city? We can just see some commentators saying something like “sure, look at Chicago, New Orleans, etc,” but you know what we mean. Even in a series where urban crime is to an extent decided by costumed heroes and villains having fistfights, that’s just silly. Silly in a way that the movies directed by Christopher Nolan have tried their hardest not to be.

1. The Sixth Sense

One of the biggest hits of 1999 and the possessor of perhaps the most famous twist in modern cinema history, this film had members of entertainment media predicting that M. Night Shyamalan would be the next Steven Spielberg. We’ll see if his recent hit Split will put him back on course to achieving that honor, but we can always appreciate his story of a child who could see the many ghosts that walk among us. One or two oft-parodied scenes dominate most people’s memories of this film, but there’s a particularly touching scene where Cole Sear conquers his fear of ghosts by helping bring closure to the ghost of Kyra Collins.

Problem with it is that Kyra’s sequence brings with it all sorts of problems. For one thing, it’s said of the ghosts that “they see what they want to see,” so why is she the only one who’s aware she’s dead? There’s also the fact that the way she imparts the truth to Cole for him to pass on to her father is by pushing a VHS tape out from under her bed when he goes to her house during the funeral. But if Collins is aware she’s dead, and has apparently already watched the tape (otherwise she wouldn’t know that it has the information that would identify her murderer on it), then she must be able to move the tape around considerably. So what’s to stop her from just showing it to her father herself without seeking out Cole Sear? Like the rest of these, it’s hardly a movie ruining problem, but it’s enough to make you wonder how such inconsistency was never picked up by critics or harped on during the years-long Shyamalan backlash.


Plot Holes Exposed –

WIF @ the Movies

Computer Generated Imagery… Not!

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Practical Effects

You Thought Were

Computer Generated

One of the most important aspects of the film-making is keeping the audience immersed in the world it’s being shown. Whether the characters are in a fantasy world or jumping out of a moving car, the audiences’ willingness to go along with the story is, in large part, due to the viewer’s willingness to suspend disbelief. The goal of a filmmaker is to keep the audience so entranced that it’s only afterward that they begin to question or wonder how some of the amazing feats were accomplished.

And because of the advancements in CGI, many audience members simply write off the incredible as ordinary. Many believe that the stunts are simply CGI when, in fact, some of the most powerful scenes in recent memory have been real, practical, extremely dangerous stunts.

10. The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan is something of a realist. One of the best directors of his generation, he has resisted the switch to digital and has continued to shoot on film; it’s not surprising, then, that he’d do everything in his power to make CGI as limited as possible in his blockbuster works. A daring filmmaker who continues to tell stories in a unique narrative style and voice, Nolan was at the helm of the revitalization of the Batman franchise. In one of the most iconic scenes from The Dark Knight, Batman attempts to save Harvey Dent from the Joker, who is determined to blow up a police escort. In the well-known tunnel sequence, the Batmobile rams into a garbage truck. The scene left many scratching their heads, marveling about the realism of CGI. The truth is that it was real. Every bit.

Nolan and his team constructed a one-third scale model of the Batmobile, as well as the truck and that particularly part of Chicago’s lower Wacker Drive. Nolan’s stunt team placed both models on a guide and smashed them into each other to create the scene. The same strategy was used for the semi-trailer truck that flips on its head. All in all, the plan was executed brilliantly and viewer is left marveling at the world they created.

9. The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan was at it again in the final installment of his Batman trilogy. According to Nolan, one of his proudest moments was executing the opening scene, where Bane escapes from the CIA plane, mid-flight. It’s an exhilarating sequence, that – again – did not use CGI. The scene was filmed in Scotland, over the Cairngorm Mountains of the Scottish Highlands. It’s the highest mountain range in the UK and is described as incredibly cold, with incessant winds and an unforgiving climate. The CIA plane used in the film was a Lockheed C-130 Hercules, commissioned by the US military. It was a perfect fit for the stunt with a stall speed as low as 111 miles per hour. Nolan and his camera crew were able to follow the plane in a helicopter, recording the exterior action. The particulars are so difficult to describe in detail that when Nolan was asked about the stunt, he said “It was sort of an incredible coming together of lots and lots of planning by a lot of members of the team who worked for months rehearsing all these parachute jumps.”

The action inside the plane was much more straightforward. It was accomplished by building a simulator, where Nolan could rotate, shake and twist the fuselage, making the actors almost weightless inside the device. Put together, Nolan was able to add another jaw-dropping scene to his filmography.

8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

One of the most highly anticipated films in recent memory, Star Wars: The Force Awakens made sure to capitalize off the hype, introducing several real props, creatures, and locations. Probably the most notable prop was the droid BB-8. JJ Abrams and crew made sure they had a BB-8 for whatever sequence they were filming. They constructed a BB-8 that could show emotion when held be actors, a BB-8 that could be thrown around and stay upright, a BB-8 controlled by rod puppeteers, and even a fully functioning droid that could roll around like a possessed bowling ball.

Abrams and crew didn’t phone it in with CGI when they really probably could have, either. Don’t get us wrong; there’s obviously a ton of CGI in a movie featuring literal spaceship battles. But even small effects like Rey’s food materializing was real. A sequence that was on screen for seconds took more than 3 months to develop and execute. And while it may not seem worth it, the smallest things can take a viewer out of a world, and The Force Awakens did a great job of refusing to allow the audience to easily fall astray.

7. Apollo 13

One of the best films depicting NASA astronauts is Ron Howard’s Apollo 13. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton, the film depicts the aborted 1970 lunar mission, which became a mission of survival. Instead of using CGI, Howard wanted to create an atmosphere or experience that allowed viewers to truly appreciate the fear and unease that the astronauts experienced. Howard utilized NASA’s “Vomit Comet” KC-135 airplane, designed for one purpose: creating a zero-G environment on Earth.

In order to accomplish such a feat, the KC-135 does a series of parabolic arcs at very fast speeds; this results in a window of weightlessness for the passengers. According to reports, it took more than 600 arcs for Howard to get the take he liked. It’s now clear that he knew what he was doing: the movie was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and grossed more than $355 million worldwide.

6. Skyfall

Good filmmakers certainly know how to catch an audience’s attention. The opening scene from Skyfall is no different. Every kick and punch thrown in the scene is actually performed by Daniel Craig and his counterpart on top of a speeding train. The only thing keeping them from falling is a wire that’s as thin as one’s finger. Bond films are notorious for real stunts that push the boundaries.

In Spectre, the follow-up installment in the Bond franchise, filmmakers set a Guinness record for stunts in a single production. So next time you’re watching a Bond film, make sure you take a second to appreciate the risks that some of these men and women are taking for our entertainment.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road

This is one of the most unique examples on our list because of its utilization of both CGI and real stunts to make compelling scenes. In that iconic scene where Tom Hardy is dangling perilously close to the ground, that’s completely real. All that was keeping Hardy from being roadkill was a thin cable. The sequence in question was also filmed while Hardy’s son was on set, too. Director George Miller, when asked what would happen if the cable snapped, remarked, “He’d probably go under the wheels.” Good one, George. Miller is known for pushing the limits of ordinary film practices. He hired “Cirque du Soleil performers to rock around on Chinese acrobat poles while a camera rig weaved through them at up to 100 mph.”

If that wasn’t enough, the film’s production also saw the invention of a new way to flip a car: a “nitrogen-powered metallic blade” was designed to pop down on the car, forcing it to make those ridiculous flips in the movie. Not bad for the director of Happy Feet and Babe: Pig in the City. That’ll do, George. That’ll do.

4. Mission: Impossible (Pretty Much the Whole Film Franchise)

Tom Cruise is notorious for doing most of his own stunts in his films. Shooting the upcoming installment in the Mission: Impossible series, Cruise even broke his ankle trying to jump to an adjacent rooftop. This wasn’t the first time Cruise has put himself into harm’s way. In the original, he dangled from a ceiling; in the sequel he hung off the side of a cliff. In Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, he scaled the side of Burj Khalifa. And in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, he clung to a side of a flying plane.

Each of these stunts was performed by Cruise, without the use of stuntmen. Talk about courage (or lunacy… or maybe a little bit of both). In Rogue Nation, Cruise only had wires attached to his body as he gripped the side of a flying plane. We suppose that’s why they pay him the big bucks.

3. The Amazing Spider-Man

One of the unique bits of the Spider-Man reboot was director Marc Webb’s decision to make the web-slinging aspects of the film real. In past Spider-Man movies, the web-slinging was mostly all CGI and it became apparent in scenes that took many viewers out of the movie. Instead, The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel relied mostly on stuntmen and Andrew Garfield himself, who was willing to participate in the action. Stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong described in an interview the difficult process of executing such a stunt. Through his research, he found that the difficulty in the execution was based, in part, on the past versions of Spider-Man depicting his downward swing as the same as his upward motion.

Armstrong and his team constructed “a track being pulled by a high-speed winch to help emulate Spidey’s web-swinging ways.” He’d go on to describe it as cracking a whip. A stuntman would “drop into the bottom of the pendulum, and as he reached the bottom of his arc, someone driving the winch would pull a dolly along to the next spot.” With a little digital effects to boot, The Amazing Spider-Man films created a whole new way of looking at one of our favorite superheroes.

2. The Matrix Reloaded

Don’t jump down our throats. We know The Matrix Reloaded relied on a heavy amount of CGI. However, it’d surprise most readers to know how many of the action sequences actually relied upon real stunts. One of the most memorable sequences in the entire trilogy, the Agents chasing Morpheus and Trinity on the highway, was no exception.

Although the Agent seen jumping from the hood of a vehicle was added later in post production, the chain reaction of car crashes and the actual implosion of the car was real. The Wachowskis managed to oversee the use of special rigs, cannons, and ramps to create the massively destructive sequence. The filmmakers choice to use real stunts and props is one of the major reasons The Matrix series has, for the most part, continued to stand the test of time.

1. Inception

Hey, we couldn’t end our list without another Christopher Nolan movie. The uncompromising auteur has managed to consistently create stunning visual sequences without relying on CGI. Probably the most memorable scene in Inception was Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page’s characters conversation at a coffee shop in Paris. Suddenly, an explosion sends debris, and broken glass into the air. All the while, DiCaprio and Page remain in the center of the storm.

The sequence was executed by production designer Chris Corbould, shooting a series of air cannons while director of photography Wally Pfister shot at 1,500 frames per second. It made for one of the most memorable parts of the movie, introducing the audience to the idea of Inception. Not to be outdone, later in the film there’s a fight scene featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a hotel room and hallway, in which the room continues to rotate, allowing the combatants to run up the walls and on the ceiling. As you’ve no doubt guessed by now, particularly if you watched the video up above, that was all done entirely with practical sets and stunts.


Computer Generated Imagery… Not! –

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Fictional Character Back-stories

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 Weird Things

That Inspired Your

Favorite Fictional Characters

Nobody pulls a fictional character out of thin air. Even the craziest, most ridiculously over-the-top characters have some basis in reality. Today we want to discuss ten of the most curious inspirations we could find. For example, did you know that …

10. Shredder was Inspired by a Guy

with Cheese Graters in His Arms

shredder

Master Shredder is the eternal enemy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: a seven-foot-tall tall, armor-clad master of martial arts capable of punching clear through a man’s chest. Surely such an awe-inspiring and badass character was inspired by something equally as awesome, like a monster truck catching fire or a samurai sword made of crystal plasma?

But alas, no. Master Shredder, easily one of the most intimidating characters from any cartoon, was actually inspired by a guy shoving cheese graters on his arms. To explain, as we’ve discussed before, the guy who originally designed Master Shredder was inspired to create him while he washing his dishes and happened to put his hand through his big-ass cheese grater. At that moment he stopped to think about how radical a character would be if he had two such weapons attached to his arms all of the time. As a direct result of that moment, Master Shredder was born.

9. Dragonball Z Characters are Named After Vegtables.

Goku is Based on a Monkey God

goku

If you didn’t watch Dragonball Z as a kid, then stop reading this, set aside two hours, and go watch this fight scene. Don’t worry if anyone looks at you funny, they’re probably just confused about why you’re not fist-pumping constantly. The series revolves mostly around the adventures of Goku — a super powered alien who can destroy continents with his fists — and his various battles with other similarly-powered entities.

So of course, almost all of the main characters have names based on food puns. Goku, for example, is known as Kakarot within the show, which is a pun on the word “carrot”. His friend Krillin is based on the Japanese word for “chestnut”, in reference to his bald head. Goku’s son, Gohan, is a pun on the Japanese word for “rice”, whereas his mortal enemy-turned-friend, Vegeta, is literally a pun on the word “vegetable” because sometimes it’s easier to just be direct.

As for Goku himself, he’s based on legendary Chinese figure Sun Wukong, a monkey king/god who possessed a staff that could literally fill the entire universe if he wanted it to. Because of course the guy whose name means “carrot” is based on that guy.

8. Patrick Bateman is Based on

Tom Cruise

patrick-bateman

Patrick Bateman is the main character of the American Psycho book and subsequent movie of the same name. In regards to the latter, Christian Bale was brought in to play the inimitable Patrick Bateman, a self-confessed narcissistic serial killer who butchers people he doesn’t like as and when he feels like it.

To get into the mind-set of such a fundamentally repugnant character, Bale didn’t watch interviews with serial killers or people with comparable mental issues to Bateman. Instead, he watched an interview with Tom Cruise. According to director Mary Harron, Bale called her up out of the blue one day to gush about how freaking creepy Tom Cruise was and how he was the perfect inspiration for how he’d portray Bateman onscreen. According to Harron, Bale was taken with how Cruise “had this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes”, and he incorporated it into his portrayal of the character.

7. Michael Myers was Based on

One Very Creepy Kid

michael-myers

Michael Myers is the star of the Halloween series of movies. He’s a merciless, unstoppable killing machine who has spent more time on camera stabbing things than Gordon Ramsey. He’s a legendary character in his own right, and he stands amongst other 80′s slasher villains as one of the most iconic characters of that era of film making. He was also based on one very scary child.

In his early life, John Carpenter, the director of the original movie, visited a mental asylum for no reason we can adequately explain. On this trip, the young director happened upon a very seriously mentally ill child of around 13 years of age. According to Carpenter himself, this child had a stare that was both deeply unsettling while simultaneously being “completely insane”. Carpenter was so shaken by this experience that he directly lifted the whole thing and incorporated into his movie when the time came to characterize Michael.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go write some fan fiction about what Michael Myers would have looked like if John Carpenter saw the same Tom Cruise interview as Christian Bale did.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Myers_(Halloween)#Characterization

6. Batman is Based on Zorro, a Play,

and da Vinci’s Ornithopter

batman

Superheroes don’t come more iconic than Batman; if they did, Batman would probably just punch them through a window and look menacingly towards the sky. Now, fans of the character are probably aware that he shares several similarities with another black-clad hero called Zorro, AKA The Fox. This isn’t an accident — many of Batman’s traits, such as how he masquerades as a rich socialite during the day, are directly inspired by Zorro. Hell, in his actual origin story, the film young Bruce Wayne was watching the night his parents got shot was The Mask of Zorro.

As for why Batman dresses like a giant bat, well that was rather curiously inspired by the villain of a play called “The Bat” (later remade as a movie calledThe Bat Whispers) which features a murderer who stalked his prey while dressed like a big-ass bat. Finally, the wings of Batman’s cape were directly inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Ornithopter drawing, because of course they were.

In other words, Batman, one of the greatest heroes ever known, is directly based on a guy from a play who stabbed people while dressed like a giant bat. Aren’t comics fun?

5. Dory from Finding Nemo was Based on

Ellen before They Cast Ellen to Play Her

Dory

Before anyone says it — yes, we know that Dory from Finding Nemo was voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, and we know that she utterly nailed that part. What we’re here to talk about is the fact that Dory was based on Ellen before Ellen even signed on to do the role.

According to Andrew Stanton, one of the film’s directors, Dory was inspired by an interview he saw Ellen take part in, in which he observed her “change the subject five times before finishing one sentence“.  Building upon that, Stanton wrote the character to be more and more like DeGeneres until eventually he realized that nobody but her could accurately portray the character the way he had in mind.

In other words, before DeGeneres agreed to play Dory, the character was already written to be exactly like her in every way, only as a fish.

4. Daffy Duck is Based on a Real Guy

Who Had No Idea He was Being Mocked

daffy

Daffy Duck is easily one of the most recognizable cartoon characters to have ever existed, and one of his most memorable feature is his incredibly pronounced lisp. Daffy’s uniquely irritating and oddly charming voice has endeared the character to children for decades, so you’d expect the guy who inspired that voice to have at least been aware of it. But apparently he wasn’t. According to this article about the life of Chuck Jones, Daffy’s lisp was directly inspired by a “humorless Warner Brothers producer” named Leon Schlesinger, who spoke in a similar manner. Schlesinger apparently wasn’t very popular around the studio, and the cartoon duck was given his voice as a rather unsubtle screw you. In fact, some of the animators were reportedly terrified of showing  Schlesinger the first cartoon involving Daffy, fearing his wrath once he realized the character was actively taking the piss out of him.

However,  Schlesinger never noticed and, according to Jone’s autobiography, he actually turned to someone after the cartoon ended and innocently asked “That’s a funny voithe! Where’d you get that voithe?” completely oblivious to the mockery.

3. The Terminator was Inspired by a

Nightmare About a Robot Skeleton Carrying Knives

terminator

When someone says something came to them in a dream, they’re almost certainly lying because people don’t remember their dreams — they remember their nightmares. Which is, funnily enough, where the idea of the Terminator came from.

As recounted here, a young, illness-stricken James Cameron suffered from a terrible, horrifying nightmare as a young director, about the top half of a mechanical skeleton dragging itself across his floor. According to the various accounts Cameron has given over the years, the mechanical skeleton was carrying two knives as it edged its way towards him, because apparently his brain thought “a horrifying living skeleton” needed to be just that little bit scarier.

This nightmare was so vivid that it stuck with Cameron for the rest of his life. Eventually the director decided to flesh out the nightmare, both metaphorically and literally, by turning it into the script for The Terminator, a movie about a robot skeleton covered in human flesh hunting people down. Now if you’ve ever seen the movie, you may recall that a scene almost exactly like Cameron’s original nightmare occurs right towards the end, only instead of the skeleton hurting anyone, it’s quickly crushed by a giant mechanical press. Wait a sec — does this mean James Cameron filmed this movie just so that he could get closure on a scary dream he once had?

2. King Joffrey was Based on

Emperor Commodus from Gladiator

king-joffrey

Jack Gleeson’s portrayal of King Joffrey from Game of Thrones has been lauded by critics and fans as nothing short of amazing, almost entirely because Gleeson has such a punchable face. Seriously, George RR Martin physically penned a letter to Gleeson after he appeared on the show, just to congratulate him on being such an irritating little butthole. So how did Gleeson pull off being so objectively unlikeable? Well, according to him, he based a lot of his characterization of Joffrey directly on Joaquin Phoenix — more specifically, his portrayal of Emperor Commodus in the Gladiator movie. In fact, according to Gleeson, a lot of the times he was sat on that big iron throne, he was picturing Phoenix’s big smug face and annoying smirk from that movie and trying to emulate it. Considering how many punch holes are in our TV, we think he did a pretty good job.

1. Darth Maul was Based on a Drawing

of a Guy with a Circuit Board on His Face

darth-maul

Because we’re not really into the habit of beating dead horses, we’re not going to discuss how terrible the Star Wars prequels were. We are, however, going to discuss how much we think Darth Maul kicks ass. The answer of course is tons: Darth Maul kicks tons of ass, if only because he settled an office argument about whether or not anyone could actually kill Liam Neeson.

Curiously, the idea for Darth Maul’s unique and rather striking visual appearance was based almost entirely on a caricature drawn by Iain McCaig. The caricature was drawn by McCaig while he was trying to design “Sith Lord” versions of his friends and colleagues as a creative exercise, and it was basically of some guys face with a circuit board pattern on it. This particular drawing just so happened to catch George Lucas’ eye, and he immediately tasked McCaig with fleshing out the idea to create Darth Maul.

Weirdly, McCaig’s initial idea was that of an undead human with red ribbons all over their face, which is what he came up with when Lucas literally told him to just “draw his worst nightmare”. For some reason of another, Lucas didn’t like this idea and he instead just let McCaig wing it, which is when he came up with the idea of drawing caricatures.

From that initial idea, Darth Maul as we know and love him today was born. So let that be a lesson to everyone out there — doodling at work is totally fine, as long as your boss happens to think your drawings looks totally boss.

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Bill Murray, BATMAN?

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From TopTenz

From TopTenz

Bill Murray Almost Played Batman

Bill Murray is awesome on many levels. He’s absolutely hilarious, obviously, and over the years he’s proven himself to be more than just a comedian, he’s a genuinely good actor. So it seems like it would be almost unfair if he somehow came up with a way to make himself even more amazing, right? Because about the only thing that could make him any cooler would be if you combined him with, say, Batman.

Probably not a good idea to have your Batman be more of a clown than the Joker.

Probably not a good idea to have your Batman be more of a clown than the Joker.

And that very thing almost happened when Tim Burton was making his 1989 version of everyone’s favorite brooding superhero. According to Murray himself, he was apparently in the running, though he also plays it off as something that wasn’t particularly serious. And that makes sense of course, considering that Murray has been in high demand for pretty much 30 solid years.

Still, it’s hard to imagine what a Bill Murray version of Batman would have been like, particularly when you take into account this was still the Pete Venkman-era Murray, long before he really gained respect as a serious, dramatic actor. Can you honestly imagine Bill Murray under the cowl, trying to sound intimidating? Hell, can you imagine Bill Murray ever being intimidating under any circumstances, Batman costume or no Batman costume?

This is one of those off the wall casting decisions that in retrospect seems completely bizarre and makes us thankful the filmmakers went in a different direction. You know, kind of like when Spielberg and Lucas decided against casting Shia LeBeouf in an Indiana Jones movie.

Shut up, it didn’t happen, and you’ll never convince me otherwise.

 Bill Murray, BATMAN?