Trivia / Last Action Hero

  • Actor Allusion:
    • The Stallone-Schwarzenegger jabs continue. In Slater's world, Sylvester Stallone is The Terminator. Danny cannot believe it. More directly, the fact that F. Murray Abraham played Salieri in Amadeus is mentioned, then it becomes a plot point.
    • This is the second time Tom Noonan plays a serial killer.
    • More like Director Allusion: When Jack and Danny are in the video store we see the boxes for Film/Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, and Medicine Man, which were all directed by John Mc Tiernan.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $85 million. Box office, $50,016,394 (domestic), $137,298,489 (worldwide). Had the misfortune of being released the weekend after Jurassic Park.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit:
    • Upon the film's release, "What the Hell Have I", a new Alice in Chains song recorded for the film's soundtrack was better received than the movie.
    • As well as "Angry Again" by Megadeth.
    • Same goes for "Real World" by Queensr˙che.
    • Hell, even Def Leppard's "Two Steps Behind" got better exposure.
    • Even today, "Big Gun" by AC/DC gets airtime on classic rock stations.
  • Christmas Rushed: It was rushed to open for the 1993 big summer movie season, to the point that post-production on the film was only finished a few weeks before its initial release.
  • Contractual Immortality: Lampshaded. Danny tries to invoke this this with Benedict by playing Chicken with him while Danny is on a girl's bike, and Benedict is in a limo. Danny kept saying that because he's the hero, it has to work, but backs off at the last second after realizing he's just the Plucky Comic Relief, and this trope does not apply to him.
    • Danny also tries to remind Jack of this when he tries to play Chicken in the real world.
    • Also lampshaded when Danny tells Jack he can't die until the box office grosses wane.
    • Perhaps not even then-the Reaper says that Jack isn't on any of his lists (which makes him curious enough to investigate).note 
  • Deleted Role: Tori Spelling had a cameo as herself but it was eventually left on the cutting room floor.
  • Dueling Movies: The film suffered at the box office when it opened on the same weekend as Jurassic Park.
  • Fake Nationality: Mexican Anthony Quinn plays an Italian Mob Boss.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Some trailers shows few deleted and alternate scenes, like extended Hamlet action scene where Arnie is in some water shooting at someone, Danny being blown away into the movie after dynamite pops out of screen, alternate take and angle for Slater's "I hate when that happens" line after he gets out of the tar pit. Couple other deleted scenes from original 140 minutes long rough cut include dialogue scene between Danny and Jack in which Danny says how his father died from cancer and scene where group of kids see Jack while he is walking across the streets in the rain with Danny looking for Benedict and they think he is Schwarzenegger so they ask him for his autograph which he signs.
  • Old Shame: Arnold Schwarzenegger considered this his first real failure after an unbroken string of successes. He also considered it the beginning of the end of his film career.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Buckethead teamed up with Michael Kamen to score the film (Buckethead did the guitar solos while Kamen composed everything else).
  • Troubled Production: As detailed here http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/last-action-hero/. In a nutshell...
    • The project first started when two college graduates, Zak Penn and Adam Leff, wanted to make a movie parodying 1980s action movies after being inspired by The Simpsons (who ironically went on to mock Last Action Hero). After binge watching loads of action movies, they wrote a complete script and sent it to up and coming agent Chris Moore, who loved the idea so much that he sent the script to various studios, which resulted in a bidding war won by Columbia with a $350,000 bid. Because the premise was so popular, it also managed to attract Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom no one expected to sign off on a parody flick like this.
    • At the time, it seemed like a dream come true for Pen and Leff. That is, until Schwarzenegger felt that the script wasn't all that professional, and that the violence needed to be toned down. Because of the changes, Penn and Leff were kicked off of their own project. Schwarzenegger got Shane Black, hot off of the success of The Last Boy Scout, to do rewrites. Black and his co-writer, David Arnott, thought that the job was going to be a breeze, having already come up with some clever jokes that pleased the suits at Columbia. However, Black's optimism screeched to a halt when action movie director John McTiernan was hired as the film's director. Since McTiernan was already experienced in the action genre that the movie was attempting to parody, many saw it as a mistake, wanting someone outside of the genre like Robert Zemeckis or John Landis, both well known for picking apart genres. McTiernan, after looking at Black's script, proceeded to rewrite it several times.
    • Black and Arnott were later fired from the movie, with rewrites being given to an uncredited William Goldman, Carrie Fisher, and Larry Ferguson. Because of how stressful it was rewriting the movie, McTiernan called Black one night in order to get advice on how to write some of the action scenes, an act that Black considered not only ironic, but also insulting.
    • After multiple rewrites, the script was finally complete, and production began in August 1992, with a $60 million budget (an incredibly large amount of money back then) and a release date of June 1993. The short timeframe it took to make the movie caused McTiernan to become a paranoid jerk. He claimed that Black and Arnott were conspiring against him after they visited Schwarzenegger's trailer to say "hi", and later called Penn to allow him to return to the movie as a cameo, purposefully blocking him from the scene and making his cameo unnoticeable.
    • Meanwhile, the crew couldn’t decide on whether to make it a kids' movie or an action movie. Because of how rushed the filmmaking process was, McTiernan and the rest of the crew had to work 18-hour days. Actor Austin O'Brien (Danny) didn’t get a chance to see how rushed the production was until he passed out after his harness suffocated him during a scene taking place on a skyline. McTiernan literally came up to him afterwards and told him, "we cannot afford to stop shooting."
    • After the chaotic filming came to an end, the only thing left was to edit it... which presented even more problems. With three weeks left until the movie's release, McTiernan didn't bother to edit all that much, leaving entire sequences in because of the lack of time. Because Black was feeling generous, he decided to take a look at McTiernan's cut of the movie... which he described as a complete mess filled with random scenes, poor casting, and none of his original dialogue. McTiernan described this part of making the movie as "the worst time I've ever had in this business." By this point, the movie wasn't what Penn and Leff had in mind. Rather than being an Affectionate Parody of action movies, the movie instead became a barrage of Hollywood in-jokes and cameos that ended up going against the movie.
    • Then it came time to market the movie. After a disastrous test screening, Columbia forced McTiernan to reshoot the ending, a task he wasn't into. Columbia then spent loads of money on weird marketing strategies for the movie, such as a NASA rocket that had the movie's logo on it, which ended up getting delayed until months after the movie was in theaters. Even McTiernan was against the marketing for the movie, claiming that Columbia was overhyping it.
    • And just a little bit before the movie's release, out came a movie that no one saw coming; a movie that everyone expected to flop. That movie was Jurassic Park, which was released the same weekend as Last Action Hero, destroying the movie in ticket and toy sales, along with getting better reviews. The movie ended up flopping pretty badly, and it would prove to Schwarzenegger that he wasn't the unstoppable money maker that he thought he was, as his career would take a downfall, with the exception of True Lies. McTiernan's career was also never the same after this movie.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Benedict was originally intended to be Alan Rickman - a line in the shooting script has Danny warn Jack that he almost beat both Bruce Willis and Kevin Costner. Charles Dance said in interviews that, after being told that he had won a part turned down by Rickman because of the salary, he wore a t-shirt on set which read; "I'm Cheaper Than Alan Rickman!".
    • Timothy Dalton was also considered for Benedict.
    • Steven Spielberg was offered the chance to direct this film, but he turned it down to go make Schindler's List instead.
    • Robert Zemeckis was in contention to direct at one point.
  • Working Title: Extremely Violent.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/LastActionHero