Jump to: Spoilers (10)
James McAvoy screentested for the lead role in early 2006, but was initially rejected, as the studio wanted a more "conventional" leading man. He was later recalled when the producers decided that his character was more "the runt of the litter." The studio ultimately changed its mind and wanted someone geeky. McAvoy got the part.
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Originally a comic book by Top Cow Productions, written by Mark Millar.
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James McAvoy worked out to improve his physique for the film's action scenes, and suffered several injuries during shooting, including a twisted ankle and an injured knee.
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Director Timur Bekmambetov is planning a sequel, though creator Mark Millar has denied that he will write one. He is instead creating a story along with the producers.
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Angelina Jolie was coming out of her pregnancy, and A Mighty Heart (2007), and wanted to make an action film. Ian Livingston, President of Eidos at the time, confirmed that there were talks with Paramount to make a third Tomb Raider movie. The movie had to be shot and be released by the end of 2007, due to Paramount's contract. That was impossible, so the plans were scrapped. Angelina Jolie decided to film this movie, and she personally picked the Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) writer to tailor the role of Fox for her, and completely re-shape the film to her likes.
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While on location in Chicago, The Dark Knight (2008) was the neighboring film production, in which Morgan Freeman worked while shooting this film. On one occasion, Mark Millar, the creator, snuck onto the neighboring set to see the Batpod which was used for filming. He was evicted from the set when security and producer Lauren Shuler Donner (who visited the set as well) caught him in the act.
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In the office at the end of the film a nameplate is visible on one of the cubicle walls. The nameplate reads "J.G Millar" which is a composite of writer Mark Millar and artist J.G. Jones, on whose comic the film is based.
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In the office at the end of the film, a photo of Angelina Jolie appears at the left of the computer screen, which is a screenshot of her just before entering Wesley's room in the middle of the movie.
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The graphic novel features superhero costumes worn by many characters, but the film eliminates them, except the leather attire worn by Wesley and The Fox.
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One of Cross' victims is identified by the Gunsmith as "Rictus". The main antagonist in the comic book is Mister Rictus.
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The graphic novel that inspired the movie is actually about super-villains who took over the world and defeated almost every super-hero. The movie took a less fantastic/supernatural approach, and some characters were not used such as Shithead, a monster made with the feces of 666 of the most evil people on Earth, including Hitler.
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Danny Elfman was invited to do the score, and accepted because he was a fan of Timur Bekmambetov's previous films, Night Watch (2004) and Day Watch (2006).
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The first film to use Red Digital Cinema's Red One digital cameras. Several prototypes were used, alongside film cameras, to shoot about ten scenes. However, no Red One footage appears in the final cut of the film.
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After Wesley leaves his job, you can see a sign for "Wicked: The Musical" in the background. Producer Marc Platt produced the Broadway show.
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About 53 minutes into movie, Morgan Freeman's character decodes names from the woven fabric's yarn as strings of zeros and ones. This is actually ASCII code used in computers and electronic data processing. In ASCII, capital A is represented by numeric value 65, which is written in 8-bit binary number system 01000001, B has ASCII value 66, C has 67 and so on.
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Screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas named several of the movie's characters after people from their college alma mater, Baylor University. Robert Darden, the name of Wesley's first target for assassination, is the writing professor in whose class they first met. They have used the name Darden for the first victim in several other films, as well: 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). Sloan, the character played by Morgan Freeman, is taken from the University's previous President, who was forced to step down under pressure from faculty and alumni.
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The script went through several revisions, with the most significant one being the third act that was re-written by Chris Morgan in mid-2006. The first draft was rejected by Mark Millar, because he felt the script was too tame and Americanized. Dean Georgaris also contributed a re-write, and tailored the role of The Fox specially for Angelina Jolie. Finally, original writers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt then put in the final re-write to even out the voice of Wesley, which was established in the first draft.
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James McAvoy would go on to play young Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise, Chris Pratt would go on to play Peter Quill a.k.a. Star Lord in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Morgan Freeman played Lucius Fox in the Dark Knight trilogy.
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The train is a Czech Railways 680 class "Pendolino", made by the French company Alstom.
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When Wesley smashes his keyboard into his best friend's head as he leaves the office, the letters that come flying off the keyboard towards the screen spell "fuck you".
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For the Russian dubbing, many Russian film stars from Night Watch (2004), Day Watch (2006) and The Irony of Fate 2 (2007) took part: Sergey Bezrukov for James McAvoy, Galina Tyunina for Angelina Jolie, Yuriy Kutsenko, Valeriy Zolotukhin and others. The Russian dubbing script was written by Sergey Lukyanenko.
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The second film in which James McAvoy stars as a man out to avenge his father. The other film was Strings (2004).
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Terrance Stamp's fourth comic book movie: He played General Zod in Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980), and he played Stick in Elektra (2005).
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Vehicles featured include a Dodge Viper SRT-10; 1966 Ford Mustang; Chevrolet Corvette [C4]; the police cars were Ford Crown Victorias and a 2000 Chevrolet Impala 9C1; elevated subway trains; garbage truck; a Chevrolet Step Van; an express train; and a 1971 VAZ 2101 Zhiguli.
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On Dec 16, 2014, the amalgam british band McBusted made a video for their song Get Over It, with the intro of the video influenced by the movie's first act with Tom Fletcher hitting his boss' face with a keyboard as Wesley.
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The film's cast includes three Oscar winners: Common, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie; and one Oscar nominee: Terence Stamp.
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The man pictured in the poster next to Cross' shoulder when he is on the train is the president of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus.
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When Wesley leaves the building after walking out on his job, the camera pans by a newspaper stand. The headline reads, "WANTED", with side-by-side pictures of James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie.
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Branko Tomovic auditioned for the part of The Repairman.
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In the scene where Wesley's first being shown the bending bullet move Sloan asks him to shoot around a pig carcass, to which he asks "You want me to shoot Wilbur?" This is a reference to the pig Wilbur from Charlotte's Web.
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Escape (The Pina Colada Song) plays at the end of the first major action sequence just after Wesley meets Fox. The same song plays in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) when Starlord escapes the prison. Chris Pratt (Starlord) also plays Wesley's "best bud" Barry.
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Dax Shepard was considered for the role of Wesley.
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Morgan Freeman's second comic book film. He previously starred as Lucius Fox in Batman Begins (2005), This movie, Wanted (June 2008), He then appears in The Dark Knight (July 2008), Dark Knight Rises (2012), and RED (2010).
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Angelina Jolie had previously starred as an assassin in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005).
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Terrance Stamp previously starred in a comic book movie about a female assassin - Elektra (2005).
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Angelina Jolie asked for Fox to get killed, reasoning that "if she was to find out she had killed people unjustly and was a part of something that wasn't fair, then she should take her own life".
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At the beginning of the movie, Wesley walks outside of his apartment and looks up to see Cross' house. To the left of it, is a telephone pole with a flyer that says "Your Father's Son" revealing that Cross is Wesley's real father.
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At the end of the movie, when Wesley backs the truck into the doors of the fraternity and the rats are crawling out, the letters on the ground spell out FATE.
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Each time Wesley goes to the ATM, there is a flyer reading "Career Change?", indicating that Wesley will join the Fraternity.
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In the scene where Sloan (Morgan Freeman) reveals that Wesley (James McAvoy) is staying in his father's room, he picks up a picture, and it reveals that Cross is in picture with Sloan, and the man who is not his father, who Wesley assumes to be.
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In the final library scene, Fox decides to follow the code, and the bullet she shoots has the word 'Goodbye' engraved on it. You can see the word clearly just prior to it entering the first assassin's head.
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During the conversation between Wesley and the Priest, he explains to Wesley that his father (Cross) did not want to hurt him or get him involved with the Fraternity. Throughout the movie, each gunfight with Cross will show that every bullet fired from his gun was aimed at either Fox or an active member of the Fraternity. The only time Cross shot Wesley was during the chase, in particular, when Mole was shot unintentionally by Wesley. The only reason Cross did this deed, other than to lure him closer to his son, was to save his life. Mole was K.I.A. by Wesley, the targets son, so if Cross had not shot him, Wesley may be suspected and killed by the Fraternity rather than the idea of Cross trying to kill them all during pursuit.
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The current headquarters of the Fraternity, Textile Factory no. 17 in Chicago, Il. is built in the exact same shape as the birth place of the Fraternity, a monastery in Czech Republic, Eastern Moravia.
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Wesley takes out a target in a limo. The target is listening to Andrea Bocelli. As the target sees Wesley overtake him for the kill, the lyrics for the title of the track "Time to Say Goodbye" play. To which Wesley replies with a sardonic "I'm sorry."
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In James McAvoy's earlier film Strings (2004), McAvoy's character in that film Hal Tara sets out to avenge his father whom has been murdered, only to discover that it his father was not murdered and had committed suicide. The same things happens to Wesley Gibson in this film. Wesley joins The Fraternity so he can avenge his father whom was killed by Cross. But, Wesley soon discovers that his deceased father was not his deceased father, but Cross himself.
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