Trivia / Empire of the Sun

  • Actor-Shared Background: Eric Flynn plays a British prisoner. He had been in a POW camp as a child.
  • Creator Cameo: JG Ballard, author of the book, appears as an extra in the costume party.
  • Deleted Role: Many of the actors in the POW camp had larger parts but those portions of the film were heavily cut down from what was shot. Robert Stephens and Paul McGann claimed they filmed larger parts of the film, but most of their scenes were cut.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Steven Spielberg considered this one of his more important, serious works, but it remains overshadowed in the public by Indiana Jones, Jaws, E.T. and Schindler's List. Critics such as Joseph McBride and Andrew Sarris generally agree with Spielberg and rate it as one of his very best films.
  • Non-Singing Voice: James Rainbird sings "Suo Gân" in place of Christian Bale.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Christian Bale before he was the Christian Bale.
  • Star-Making Role: "And introducing Christian Bale".
  • What Could Have Been: David Lean originally wanted to direct before the project went to Steven Spielberg. It was Lean who suggested Nigel Havers for the role of Dr Rawlins.