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15 Things You Might Not Know About The Perfect Storm

The tragic true story of a confluence of storms destroying the Andrea Gail and its crew off the shore of Gloucester, Massachusetts was first written about in a best-selling book by Sebastian Junger. Then, 15 years ago today, it became a hit movie starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly, and Diane Lane. Here are 15 things you might not know about The Perfect Storm.

1. MEL GIBSON, HARRISON FORD, AND NICOLAS CAGE ALL TURNED DOWN PARTS.

Unlike Cage and Ford, Gibson simply wanted too much money ($25 million). Gibson’s The Patriot ended up opening on the same weekend as The Perfect Storm and came in second.

2. GEORGE CLOONEY WANTED TO PLAY BOBBY.

Director Wolfgang Petersen convinced Clooney that he was the perfect age to play the 37-year-old captain Billy Tyne.

3. CLOONEY AND WAHLBERG DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE BOSTON ACCENTS.

Wahlberg spent a lot of time and effort getting rid of his local accent, and called it “a real turnoff” that he would have to resurrect his old speaking habits. Clooney flat out refused, saying audiences would focus on his accent rather than pay attention to the movie.

4. THE FAMILIES OF THE ANDREA GAIL CREW MEMBERS UNSUCCESSFULLY SUED THE PRODUCERS.

They were upset that the names of their family members weren’t changed, but some facts from the 1991 incident were. Among the major discrepancies: Linda Greenlaw never actually placed a distress call, because she didn’t hear any urgency in Tyne’s voice. There was also no romance between Tyne and Greenlaw.

5. ONLY ONE CHARACTER WAS MADE UP FOR THE MOVIE.

Irene “Big Red” Johnson was pure invention.

6. MICHAEL IRONSIDE WAS ALMOST TOO PERFECTLY CAST AS BOB BROWN.

The actor looked so much like him that a Gloucester local thought Ironside was Brown.

7. WAHLBERG SLEPT IN BOBBY SHATFORD’S ROOM WITH BOBBY’S BROTHER.

He wanted to pay his respects and do his research. He briefly lived in Bobby’s tiny room about The Crow’s Nest bar with Bobby’s brother, Rick.

8. THE DIRECTOR FELT PRESSURE FROM A LOCAL BOAT CAPTAIN TO GET IT RIGHT.

A drunk Gloucester captain didn’t know Petersen’s background when he told him at The Crow's Nest to “make it real.” It motivated Petersen—who grew up in the German port city of Hamburg and had previously directed Das Boot—even more to get it right.

9. AT LEAST HALF OF THE CAST AND CREW GOT SEASICK.

Wahlberg vomited at least once. The cast and crew had to deal with going out on the water during Tropical Storm Floyd and with water tanks, wave machines, and water cannons. The galley was set on a rocking platform. Karen Allen thought she might drown and nobody would notice.

10. CHRISTOPHER MCDONALD HAD TO SAY THE NAME OF THE MOVIE 25 TIMES.

Petersen made sure that McDonald (who played meterologist Todd Gross) said his line—“This could be ... the perfect storm”—just right.

11. YES, CLOONEY DID HIS PRACTICAL JOKES ON SET.

John Hawkes (Bugsy), Wahlberg, and Diane Lane (Christina) all claimed that his jokes were funny and lightened up the sometimes grueling shooting, but none got into specifics.

12. JAMES HORNER COMPOSED THE SCORE.

The accomplished film composer also worked on and won an Oscar for that other ship disaster movie, Titanic. Tragically, he recently died in a plane crash.

13. NO FISH WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THE FILM.

The fish caracasses were rubber. The live fish were robotic.

14. THE STUDIO DIDN’T WANT JOURNALISTS OR ACTORS TO SPOIL THE ENDING.

Considering that it was based on a real-life event and a best-selling book, some journalists thought it was ridiculous that, in the official press kit, Warner Bros. asked writers to not give away the ending. The actors were given the same mandate, too; John C. Reilly confirmed that he was told not to reveal how the movie ends on a Daily Show appearance promoting the film, but he did offer that “not everyone makes it out alive.”

15. THE BOAT FROM THE MOVIE CAUGHT FIRE.

The Lady Grace was sold on eBay for $145,000 to Legal Sea Foods (the company earmarked funds for the families of the Andrea Gail crew.) It was later bought by seafood processor Intershell, and was under construction to become a clamming vessel in 2004 when it caught fire, causing about $150,000 worth of damages.

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4 Fascinating Facts About John Wayne
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Fox Photos, Getty Images

Most people know John Wayne, who would have been 111 years old today, for his cowboy persona. But there was much more to the Duke than that famous swagger. Here are a few facts about Duke that might surprise you.

1. A BODY SURFING ACCIDENT CHANGED HIS CAREER. 

John Wayne, surfer? Yep—and if he hadn’t spent a lot of time doing it, he may never have become the legend he did. Like many USC students, Wayne (then known as Marion Morrison) spent a good deal of his extracurricular time in the ocean. After he sustained a serious shoulder injury while bodysurfing, Morrison lost his place on the football team. He also lost the football scholarship that had landed him a spot at USC in the first place. Unable to pay his fraternity for room and board, Morrison quit school and, with the help of his former football coach, found a job as the prop guy at Fox Studios in 1927. It didn’t take long for someone to realize that Morrison belonged in front of a camera; he had his first leading role in The Big Trail in 1930.

2. HE TOOK HIS NICKNAME FROM HIS BELOVED FAMILY POOCH. 

Marion Morrison had never been fond of his feminine-sounding name. He was often given a hard time about it growing up, so to combat that, he gave himself a nickname: Duke. It was his dog’s name. Morrison was so fond of his family’s Airedale Terrier when he was younger that the family took to calling the dog “Big Duke” and Marion “Little Duke,” which he quite liked. But when he was starting his Hollywood career, movie execs decided that “Duke Morrison” sounded like a stuntman, not a leading man. The head of Fox Studios was a fan of Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne, so Morrison’s new surname was quickly settled. After testing out various first names for compatibility, the group decided that “John” had a nice symmetry to it, and so John Wayne was born. Still, the man himself always preferred his original nickname. “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me,” he once said. “I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne.”

3. HE WAS A CHESS FANATIC. 

Anyone who knew John Wayne personally knew what an avid chess player he was. He often brought a miniature board with him so he could play between scenes on set.

When Wayne accompanied his third wife, Pilar Pallete, while she played in amateur tennis tournaments, officials would stock a trailer with booze and a chess set for him. The star would hang a sign outside of the trailer that said, “Do you want to play chess with John Wayne?” and then happily spend the day drinking and trouncing his fans—for Wayne wasn’t just a fan of chess, he was good at chess. It’s said that Jimmy Grant, Wayne’s favorite screenwriter, played chess with the Duke for more than 20 years without ever winning a single match.

Other famous chess partners included Marlene Dietrich, Rock Hudson, and Robert Mitchum. During their match, Mitchum reportedly caught him cheating. Wayne's reply: "I was wondering when you were going to say something. Set 'em up, we'll play again."

4. HE COINED THE TERM "THE BIG C."

If you say you know someone battling “The Big C” these days, everyone immediately knows what you’re referring to. But no one called it that before Wayne came up with the term, evidently trying to make it less scary. Worried that Hollywood would stop hiring him if they knew how sick he was with lung cancer in the early 1960s, Wayne called a press conference in his living room shortly after an operation that removed a rib and half of one lung. “They told me to withhold my cancer operation from the public because it would hurt my image,” he told reporters. “Isn’t there a good image in John Wayne beating cancer? Sure, I licked the Big C.”

Wayne's daughter, Aissa Wayne, later said that the 1964 press conference was the one and only time she heard her father call it “cancer,” even when he developed cancer again, this time in his stomach, 15 years later. Sadly, Wayne lost his second battle with the Big C and died on June 11, 1979 at the age of 72.

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Move Over, Star Wars Land: A Star Trek World May Be Coming to Universal Studios
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As Disney gears up for the 2019 openings of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at both its Florida and California amusement parks, there may be some sci-fi-themed competition on the horizon. According to Disney and More, there’s a rumor out there that Universal is planning a fourth Orlando theme park, which will include a land dedicated to all things Star Trek.

The blog also states that there have been rumblings that a Star Trek stage show at Universal would take the place of the now-defunct Terminator 2 3D show, but that’s just one option, with a Bourne Identity attraction being the other. Instead, the potential Star Trek show could be expanded to a whole area of the rumored fourth park, with a focus on a recreation of a sci-fi city, according to the site.

This rumored park would be the most high-profile Trek attraction since Las Vegas's Star Trek: The Experience (as seen in the main image). Housed at the Las Vegas Hilton from 1998 to 2008, Star Trek: The Experience included a restaurant based on Quark's bar from Deep Space Nine and the popular Borg Invasion 4D, which was an attraction that combined motion platforms, live actors, and a short 3D film to simulate a Borg takeover.

Any potential Star Trek land would be much further off than Galaxy's Edge's fall 2019 debut in Orlando. But with two new Trek movies on the horizon, and Star Trek: Discovery returning to CBS All Access for a second season in 2018, the venerable sci-fi franchise might just be able to ride a wave of momentum to become real competition for Star Wars—if not at the box office, then at least as a theme park.

[h/t Screen Rant]

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