For the Sorcerer movie:
- Creator Killer: William Friedkin lost his Auteur License with that movie, and had a irregular career afterwards.
- Troubled Production: It was supposed to be a "little 2.5 million in-between movie" by William Friedkin, particularly as he had just went through Hell with The Exorcist. Then he decided to go all the way, with four different locations, most prominently in Latin America, providing an antipode experience to what Coppola was facing in Southeast Asia with Apocalypse Now. Actors refused the movie even when they liked the script due to having to travel to Ecuador and Dominican Republic, and one of the eventual stars, Roy Scheider, was tougher with Friedkin than when they did The French Connection. The ten month shoot was described as "Friedkin took his camera crew to the jungle and never quite returned", with the crew being stricken by food poisoning and malaria - the latter including the director himself - and departures due to injury or gangrene; difficult stunts and effects, with at a certain point an arsonist being sent from NYC to help the pyrotechnics; and Friedkin firing a cinematographer, five production managers, and the trucker crew. It divided critics upon release and flopped at the box office, as along with the Non-Indicative Title ("Sorcerer" is the name given to one of the truck, not a wizard) and subtitles to alienate audiences, being released shortly after Star Wars (even replacing it at the Chinese Theater before demand made the space opera return) destroyed any chances. Still, Sorcerer has since been Vindicated by Cable and earned Cult Classic status.
- What Could Have Been: Friedkin originally wanted Steve McQueen, Marcello Mastroianni, and Lino Ventura. Actors such as Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Robert Mitchum and Jean-Paul Belmondo were also invited, but shooting in Latin America made them decline.
For the Sorcerer pinball game:
- Banned in China: Word of God is that Williams Electronics had "tremendous problems" selling Sorcerer in the southern United States, as many operators saw it as demonic and evil.
- So My Wife Can Play: Mark Ritchie created Sorcerer as a second-anniversary gift to his wife Trudy, who enjoys Fantasy Literature, particularly The Lord of the Rings.
- Similarly Named Works: To the Infocom computer adventure game called Sorcerer.