9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Gamer

Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Here are nine winning facts about directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s 2009 action-packed shoot-em-up, Gamer.

1. IT WAS AT THE FOREFRONT OF DIGITAL CINEMA TECHNOLOGY.

Gamer was one of the first major motion pictures to be shot digitally using the RED ONE movie camera, which allows 4K footage to be transferred immediately to a flash card after filming in order to speed up the post-production process. RED cameras are now commonplace in the industry, with everything from expensive blockbusters like Deadpool 2 to documentaries like Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time using them.

2. BUT WAS MAYBE A LITTLE TOO AHEAD OF ITS TIME.

The filmmakers originally planned to shoot Gamer in 3D (before Avatar reignited the trend), but budget constraints forced them to scrap the idea. It was later converted to 3D for the movie’s home video release.

3. THE FILMMAKERS BLEW UP DOWNTOWN ALBUQUERQUE DURING SHOOTING.

Gamer was shot entirely on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in order to shoot the urban battle sequences, the filmmakers were given an entire intersection of downtown Albuquerque. They even built fake buildings in vacant areas of the intersection in order to blow them up for the battle scenes.

4. THE DIRECTORS AREN'T HUGE GAMERS AS ADULTS.

Though the movie looks at the darker side of what a video game world is capable of, Neveldine and Taylor weren't big gamers before diving into research for the movie. "As a kid, I was a huge gamer. I was never off of the Pac-Man or the original Nintendo. I didn’t follow that through," Neveldine said. Taylor responded with, "I feel like I probably would be one if I had the time."

5. LUDACRIS’S ROLE WAS WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY FOR HIM.

The rapper/actor was such a big fan of Crank that he asked the directing duo to write a role for him in their next movie. They obliged by writing the role of Brother, the leader of the underground activist organization, just for him.

6. BEFORE MAKING GAMER, MARK NEVELDINE ALMOST ADAPTED A REAL VIDEO GAME.

Years before Gamer hit the screen, Neveldine was hired to write the script for a movie adaptation of the Grand Theft Auto video game series. There was one problem, though: There was already a movie called Grand Theft Auto that Ron Howard starred in and directed back in 1977. The rights issues delayed the project, which Neveldine eventually left.

7. TOXIC AVENGER FANS MAY SPOT A FAMILIAR FACE IN THE DOWNTOWN BATTLE SCENE.

Troma Entertainment co-founder Lloyd Kaufman makes a cameo (at :42 in the video above) as a Genericon during one of the movie's action scenes.

8. THERE'S A RUNNING MAN EASTER EGG IN THE MOVIE.

Gamer and 1987's The Running Man share plenty of themes, but eagle-eyed fans may notice that there's even more that the two movies have in common. According to Brian Taylor, one of the costumes that Arnold Schwarzenegger wears in Running Man can be seen on one of the characters in the Society in Gamer.

9. THE FILMMAKERS SHOT MUCH OF THE MOVIE ON ROLLER BLADES.

Neveldine concocted a technique he dubbed the “Rollercam”—holding the camera while skating on roller blades—in order to get up close to the intense action.

Isaac Hempstead Wright Explains Bran Stark's Intense Staring in Game of Thrones

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

There's always been something off with Brandon Stark's empty stare that we see so often in Game of Thrones. This week, actor Isaac Hempstead Wright explained exactly how he pulls it off.

The 20-year-old went on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and shared a few of his experiences from working on the show, including accidentally dropping a spoiler in his math class and the interesting sex ed talk he was forced to have with his mom given his tender age when he began filming the show.

He also talked about his "intense stare"—and his preparation for the role may not be as deep as you think.

"I'm kind of getting good at this sort of intense stare," the star began. "But it's actually aided by the fact that I'm completely blind when I'm on set. I don't have my glasses, and I don't have contact lenses."

"How thick are the glasses?" Kimmel asks him, to which Hempstead Wright replies, "They're not that thick, but I need them to see."

He recalled another time when his vision problems aided his character. In season 7, while filming a scene with Sophie Turner (a.k.a. Sansa Stark), he recalled Turner making a comment along the lines of "Isaac, your stare is like—you're staring into my soul!" to which the actor replied "I can't see you!"

Actors—they're just like us.

Richard Madden Shared a Hilarious Throwback Photo With Game of Thrones Co-Stars Kit Harington and Alfie Allen

Charley Gallay, Getty Images for Netflix
Charley Gallay, Getty Images for Netflix

Richard Madden may not have held the title of King in the North for long on Game of Thrones, but his memories of his time on the series—and the lasting friendships he forged—live on. Madden, who played Robb Stark, was famously killed off in season 3’s penultimate episode, “The Rains of Castamere” (a.k.a. The Red Wedding episode). But he has continued to champion the series, and his former colleagues, in the years since his premature demise. People spotted his latest tribute to his Game of Thrones days: a #TBT Instagram post that serves as a stark (no pun intended) reminder of just how long we’ve all been watching the epic HBO series.

The image features Madden with co-stars Kit Harington and Alfie Allen—each of whom is almost recognizable—after taking a ride on the Wheel of Belfast following their first read-through of Game of Thrones’s pilot episode. Which means that Madden’s caption that the photo is about 10 years old is pretty spot-on; the original pilot episode filmed in Northern Ireland in 2009, which would make all three of the actors about 22 years old at the time.

The show's actors have remained tight even after Madden’s brutal on-screen murder. In June 2018, Madden was a guest at Harington and fellow Game of Thrones co-star Rose Leslie’s wedding. Just a few months later, the 32-year-old actor—who won a Golden Globe earlier this year for his Netflix series The Bodyguard—was there to support his on-screen little sister Maisie Williams when she made her stage debut in I and You at London’s Hampstead Theatre. Which means that Madden might know more than any of us do in terms of how Game of Thrones will end, and could have been on to something when he predicted that ultimately, "[I]t’s just going to be three dragons flying around and everyone else is dead.” Hey, it could happen!

[h/t People]

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