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7 Things You Might Not Know About Geek Movies

7 Things You Might Not Know About Geek Movies

Analyzing our favorite movies featuring ghosts, aliens, clones and more is part of what makes “trivia” so trivial. Nobody know everything, except for maybe the Face of Boe from Doctor Who, but even then, it’s tricky to round up all the odd facts about everything. But, for now, here are seven things you might not know about the behind-the-scenes of the some classic (and not-so-classic) geek films.

7. Nicholas Meyer Re-wrote The Wrath of Khan in Less than Two Weeks

It’s detailed in his memoir A View from the Bridge, but Nicholas Meyer offered to fix the whole Wrath of Khan screenplay in record time. In order to get this done, he also realized he wouldn’t get final writing credit on the movie because there wasn’t enough time to work out the legalities. He didn’t care, and went and wrote and directed what might be the best Star Trek movie ever.

6. Harrison Ford Was in E.T.

Yeah. As Elliot’s principle at the school, but the scene was cut! Okay. So, if Harrison Ford is in E.T. and Star Wars and Indiana Jones and the E.T. creatures are (famously?) seen in The Phantom Menace senate scene, then does it stand to reason we’re dealing with a shared universe? Let’s get these Marvel-style crossover movies going already!

 5. Sigourney Weaver Ad-libbed in Ghostbusters

With so many hilarious well-known comedians in Ghostbusters, you’d probably worry Sigourney Weaver was relegated to being “the normal one” on the set. But, according to the Ghostbusters DVD commentary from Harold Ramis, Weaver was frequently coming up with new interpretations of lines. Her best? “You’re don’t seem like a scientist. You’re more like a game show host.”

4. Sigourney Weaver Really Did that Reverse Basketball No-Look Shot in Alien: Resurrection

Speaking of how great Sigourney Weaver is, she’s also a basketball star. In the weird and crazy film Alien: Resurrection (written by Joss Whedon ya’ll!) there’s a crazy scene in which clone/alien Ripley throws a basketball over her head into a basketball hoop. Here’s the thing: Weaver really made the shot, though no one expected it to happen. She didn’t even know she made it. Don’t believe it? Watch the behind-the-scenes footage of the whole scene. There’s a second camera on Ron Pearlman’s face when the ball goes in the basket which tells the whole story.

3. James Cameron made the cast of Aliens Read Starship Troopers

Jumping back in time from Alien: Resurrection to Aliens, director James Cameron wanted his marines to have a similar vibe to the roughnecks from the classic Heinlein novel Starship Troopers. And so, everybody had to do their reading homework. Game over, man. (Time to read.)

2.  Paul Verhoeven Nearly Passed on RoboCop

The infamous director of Total Recall and the film version of Starship Troopers supposedly threw the RoboCop script in the garbage when he say the tagline was “the future of law enforcement.” It took a while for him to figure out there were more sinister, interesting elements to the story.

1. Michael Chabon Has Screenwriting Credit for Spider-Man 2 and John Carter

The Pulitzer Prize winning author of the The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, also has screenwriting credit on Sam Rami’s 2004 movie, Spider-Man 2. Far from being a snobby literary stuffed-shirt, Chabon also has helped write the screenplay for the big screen adaptation of John Carter. Unlike his books, the films Chabon has participated in the writing of aren’t as praised, which is really too bad, because both are totally solid.

What's your favorite movie trivia nugget?

Tags: movies, star wars, trivia, star trek, facts

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About the Author
Ryan Britt

Ryan Britt is the author of Luke Skywalker Can't Read and Other Geeky Truths, forthcoming from Plume (Penguin) Books on 11.24.15. He's written for The New York Times, Electric Literature, The Awl, VICE Motherboard, Clarkesworld Magazine, and is a consulting editor for Story Magazine. He lives in New York City.

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