Trivia / Lifeforce

  • Box Office Bomb: The film cost $25 million to make and Cannon expected it to be a blockbuster. Final box office gross: $11 million.
  • Creator Killer: After the failure of the film, Tobe Hooper never worked on a big budget movie again and most stuck to tv shows and smaller projects. It is also, in many ways, a example of things to come for The Cannon Group. The film studio folded a few years later due to a string of similar box office bombs.
  • Development Hell: At some point, two TV series were announced based on the property: one by Ringleader Studio in 2013 and based on the book and another by Chiller TV in 2015 and based on the film. So far, both project failed to materialize.
  • Disowned Adaptation: After its release, Colin Wilson recalled that author John Fowles regarded the film adaptation of Fowles' own novel The Magus as the worst film adaptation of a novel ever. Wilson told Fowles there was now a worse one, the film adaptation of "Lifeforce".
  • Executive Meddling: Tobe Hooper initially wanted to make Lifeforce a much sillier movie titled The Space Vampires, the same name as the book on which it is based. The execs forced him to make the story more serious, and switch to the present title.
    • When Tristar Pictures picked up the film for domestic distribution, they cut 15 minutes from the film and had some of Henry Mancini's score replaced with work by Michael Kamen. Due to the cuts, the US version is rather confusing at times.
    • The execs, particularly The Cannon Group co-owner Menahen Golan, also demanded for more shoots of Mathilda May to be included in the movie.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Patrick Stewart admits that the only reason he agreed to be in this movie was to pay for repairs to a bay window at his house.
  • Old Shame:
    • Surprisingly averted with Mathilda May who played the Space Girl. In a interview included in the Blue ray release ("Dangerous Beauty with Mathilda May") and while she does ponder how she accepted the role in the first place and states that today she wouldn't take it, May shows not regret or remorse for her participation in the film and is proud of her work and the guts that took to do it. This seems to contradict that rumors circulated about her being embarrassed of the movie, to the point of not include it in her filmography.
    • In the other hand, Patrick Stewart describes the movie as "the nadir of his career" and, as stated above, took the job solely because he was in need of some cash.
  • Troubled Production: The film went over-budget, leaving several and (allegedly vital) scenes to not be filmed because there wasn't any money left. This is reflected on the movie's rather disjointed nature that translated into mediocre reviews and poor box office performance. The failure of Lifeforce effectively killed Tobe Hooper's Hollywood career and contributed to Cannon Films going the way of the dodo in the early 90s.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Michael Winner was offered the chance to direct the film.
    • James Horner was first asked to write the score.
    • Quite a few Doctors were considered for roles - Patrick Troughton for Fallada, Sir Percy Heseltine and Dr. Armstrong; Jon Pertwee for Dr. Armstrong, Sir Percy Heseltine and Dr. Hans Fallada.; Tom Baker for Dr. Armstrong; Peter Davison for Dr. Armstrong and Roger Derebridge; and Peter Capaldi for Rawlins. In addition, Nicholas Courtney was considered for Dr. Armstrong, Sir Percy Heseltine and The Pathologist, Elisabeth Sladen was offered the roles of Ellen Donaldson and The Space Girl, Janet Fielding was also considered for The Space Girl and Anthony Ainley was considered for Dr. Armstrong, Dr. Leonard Bukovsky, Sir Percy Heseltine and Dr. Hans Fallada.
    • Patrick Macnee was considered for Dr. Hans Fallada, Dr. Armstrong and Sir Percy Heseltine.
    • Paul Darrow was considered for Col. Colin Caine, Dr, Armstrong, Dr. Leonard Bukovsky, Lamson and Kelly.
    • Christopher Lee was considered for Dr. Hans Fallada, Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Leonard Bukovsky.
    • Peter Cushing was considered for Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Hans Fallada.
    • Julian Glover was considered for Dr. Bukovsky and Dr. Armstrong.
    • Derek Jacobi was considered for Dr. Bukovsky and Dr. Armstrong.
    • David Warner was in the running for Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Bukovsky.
    • Michael Caine was originally offered the role of Colonel Colin Caine.
    • Cannon tried to get Anthony Hopkins to play Caine who turned it down; then the film company thought they had a deal with Terence Stamp but for some reason that fell through.
    • Jonathan Pryce was considered for Dr. Leonard Bukovsky, Dr. Armstrong and Roger Derebridge.
    • Lewis Collins was considered for Col. Colin Caine and Roger Derebridge.
    • Trevor Howard was considered for Dr. Armstrong, Dr. Hans Fallada, and Sir Percy Heseltine.
    • Nigel Hawthorne was considered for Hans Fallada, Sir Percy Helestine, Dr. Bukovsky and Dr. Armstrong.
    • Peter Vaughan was considered for Fallanda, Bukovsky, Dr.Armstrong and Sir Percy
    • Klaus Kinski was announced to play Dr. Hans Fallanda, but dropped out. He was also considered for Bukovsky as well.
    • Brian Cox and Bill Nighy were considered for Roger Derebridge.
    • Edward Woodward was considered for Dr. Armstrong.
    • Max von Sydow was considered for Dr. Hans Fallada.
    • Graham Chapman was considered for Dr. Armstrong.
    • BRIAN BLESSED was considered for Dr. Leonard Bukovsky.
  • Working Title: The Space Vampires, same as the book. Cannon changed it because they wanted it to be a blockbuster and didn't want it to sound like one of their exploitation films.

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