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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Tony Scott Movies

Tony Scott Movies
Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros.

In wake of the recent, sudden death of celebrated Hollywood filmmaker Tony Scott, we have decided to honor his memory by compiling a list of fun facts about the influential director’s many blockbuster movies.

Tony Scott, half of the Hollywood powerhouse Scott Brothers (his brother is Ridley) died shockingly Sunday afternoon by jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, CA, in an apparent suicide. (According to reports, the filmmaker had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.)

Scott produced, wrote, and directed some of the biggest blockbusters and pop culture staples over his 30 year career, such as ‘Top Gun,’ ‘Beverly Hills Cop II,’ and ‘Crimson Tide,’ among others. Here are some things you may not have known about some of Tony Scott’s biggest hits.

1. Springsteen and REO Speedwagon Were Cut From ‘Top Gun’

REO Speedwagon
REO Speedwagon Vevo

Although ‘Top Gun’ has one of the most successful movie soundtracks to date (it reached and stayed at Billboard’s #1 spot in 1986 for five straight weeks), songs by Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and REO Speedwagon were not included in the film. Although all three were approached by the Scott and mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, they were turned down for various reasons.

Adams refused because he thought the movie glorified war, while REO Speedwagon turned it down because they wouldn’t be allowed to contribute an original composition. Meanwhile, the rights to Springsteen’s ‘Born In The USA’ were unable to be obtained. The band Toto was also originally asked to record the film’s now famous ‘Danger Zone’ track, but the deal fell through due to legal disputes. Thus, Kenny Loggins recorded the song, and music history was made.

2. The love scene in ‘Top Gun’ wasn’t in the original cut of the film

Top Gun Love Scene
Paramount Pictures

There’s a reason that the love scene between Tom Cruise’s character Maverick and Kelly McGillis’ Charlie is in blue: the scene was added after the rest of the movie had been filmed. In initial test screenings, audience’s complained about the lack of a love scene between the two characters. The producers decided to add one, and it was filmed, but by that time McGillis had dyed her hair dark for another role. So the decision to tint the entire scene in blue was made. Ah, artistic choices forced by necessity.

3. Val Kilmer turned down a lead in ‘Crimson Tide’

Val Kilmer
Andy Kropa, Getty Images

Originally producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer approached Val Kilmer to play one of the leads in the blockbuster submarine film. (Kilmer had worked with Scott on ‘Top Gun.’) Unfortunately the actor, who was a far bigger deal during the early ’90s than he is now, ‘MacGruber’ notwithstanding, turned them down. Although exactly which role he was approached to play remains unknown, Kilmer has subsequently since admitted that he has regretted the decision.’Crimson Tide’ went on to earn over $157 million and was nominated and won various awards.

4. Tom Cruise almost romanced Julia Roberts in ‘Days of Thunder’

Days of Thunder
Paramount Pictures

Although Nicole Kidman was reportedly hand picked by Tom Cruise after he saw her in ‘Dead Calm,’ the role of Dr. Claire Lewicki (Cole Trickle’s romantic interest) was offered to various other actresses as well, among them Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Sandra Bullock, Heather Locklear and Jodie Foster. All of them turned it down to pave the way for Kidman, who became Tom’s real life squeeze as a direct result of the film.

5. ‘True Romance’ gave Quentin Tarantino the funds to buy the red Chevy convertible from ‘Pulp Fiction’

Pulp Fiction Chevy Malibu
Miramax

Before Quentin Tarantino was a major filmmaker in his own right, he was just another Hollywood player/video store employee trying to sell his script. He penned the feature ‘True Romance’ and ended up selling it for $10,000. With that money, he bought the red Chevy Malibu convertible that Vincent Vega drives in ‘Pulp Fiction.’

6. The famous “lingerie” line wasn’t in the original script of ‘Enemy of the State’

Will Smith’s character Robert Clayton Dean has a line in the film where he says he wants to buy lingerie to try cross dressing, which is now infamous. However, the line wasn’t in the original script. Smith, a master of comedy, reportedly improvised the line. Smith was at that point mostly known for his comedic and action work, and he admitted that it was difficult for him to supress his comedic insticts in the dramatic role of Dean.

7. Chris Rock had his first feature film role in ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’

When ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ came out, Chris Rock was mostly known as a new, hotshot stand up comedian. His first role in a major motion picture is in ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ as a valet who complains about Axel’s (played by Eddie Murphy) cement truck. Watch him in action above.

8. ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ reused a prop that was in other films

Beverly Hills Cop 2
Paramount Pictures

The license plate 2GAT123 used in the movie is also used in, among others, ‘Traffic,’ ‘S.W.A.T.,’ ‘Pay It Forward,’ ‘Traffic’ and ‘Mulholland Drive.’ Apparently, much like the “555″ area code used in movies, that license plate is the standard fictional California number.

9. A doctor’s office brought about Denzel Washington’s casting in ‘Man On Fire’

Man on Fire
20th Century Fox

Washington and Scott first worked together on ‘Crimson Tide.’ They hadn’t worked together on a picture since. Then, just as ‘Man On Fire’ was starting to be cast, Scott ran into Washington in a medical office waiting room. The two men talked and Scott, who had just watched Dakota Fanning in ‘I Am Sam’ the previous night, thought then of putting the two stars onscreen together. Washington and Scott would reteam for ‘Deja Vu,’ ‘The Taking of Pelham 123′ and ‘Unstoppable,’ all blockbusters that proved that their collaboration was a fruitful as Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott’s.

10. Quentin Tarantino punched up the ‘Crimson Tide’ script

http://youtu.be/j85e4GnUj-U

Scott and Tarantino collaborated again after ‘True Romance’ when the scribe, then red hot off of the success of ‘Pulp Fiction,’ was brought in to add his signature pop culture-influenced style to the tough guy banter in the ‘Crimson Tide’ script. Tarantino’s influence is felt in a scene where two sailors brawl over which is better, the Jack Kirby Silver Surfer comics or the ones by the artist Moebius. Rumor has it Tarantino was paid a million bucks for that exchange alone.

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