Trivia / The Avengers (1998)

  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Eddie Izzard claimed the only reason he agreed to do this film was because he just wanted to meet Sean Connery.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget: $60 million. Box Office: $23,384,939.
  • Casting Gag: Sean Connery as a villain that wouldn't look out of place in a James Bond film.
  • Creator Backlash: The failure of this and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were what persuaded Sean Connery to retire from acting.
  • Creator Killer: Director Jeremiah Chechik's career was electrocuted by this movie being a massive critical and commercial bomb (not screening the movie for critics and trying to justify the move by saying he wanted the press and audience "to experience the movie together" blew up in his face and added to the problems.) He wouldn't direct again for 15 years, and he's still wallowing in the C-list of directors.
  • Deleted Role: Roger Lloyd Pack filmed scenes as a professor working on the Prospero Programme during an opening sequence which was deleted from the final print. He can still be glimpsed in the trailer.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Patrick Macnee hated the film.
  • Fake Brit: Uma Thurman as Emma Peel.
  • Franchise Killer: Gunned down any ideas of adapting a modern-day successor to the classic British spy show.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: A huge chunk of the storyline was cut out prior to release, including a major opening sequence setting the plot. The trailer features footage from these deleted scenes, such as the fake Emma Peel uttering the code phrase "How now, brown cow?"
  • Name's the Same: If anyone tells you that The Avengers is their favorite movie of all time, chances are they don't mean this movie.
  • Not Screened for Critics: One of the most well-known examples.
  • Playing Against Type: Sean Connery as a supervillain.
  • Star-Derailing Role: This film, along with Batman & Robin the year prior, banished Uma Thurman's career to the B-list until she was able to claw her way back out with Kill Bill, which was ironically another Quentin Tarantino project (He was responsible for her stardom from Pulp Fiction). It was a near-miss for Ralph Fiennes, who was saved by The English Patient coming out after this and turning him into a star, but this also applies to Connery, whose experience with this and Extraordinary Gentlemen prompted his retirement.
  • Stillborn Franchise: This film's failure quashed all thoughts of making The Avengers a film series.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Mel Gibson was considered for John Steed.
    • Diana Rigg was asked to play Alice. Upon seeing the script, she refused.
    • Michael Caine was in the running for the role of Sir August De Wynter.
    • A lengthy subplot was deleted from the final cut involving Emma Peel's brother in law Valentine. He would apparently die in an explosion with Peter in the opening, only to later get revealed as the Big Bad - faking his death and staging the visions to make Emma think she was going mad.
    • At one point, David Fincher was interested in writing and directing the film with Charles Dance starring as John Steed. Nicholas Myer was also considered to direct.
    • The original script follows the same plot structure with a few differences . The most important details , which were either altered or trimmed altogether from the finished film, are the following:
      • In the opening sequence Emma Peel is working at Prospero Weather Base with her husband Peter Peel and his brother Valentine Peel. All the scientists are dealing with climatic changes. Peter gives Emma a ring. Shortly thereafter the base is blown up. Peter and Valentine are killed in the explosion but Emma barely makes it out alive.
      • The main villain is not named De Winter but Merriweather.
      • During the course of the plot, Emma has sporadic visions with Peter talking to her. This stresses the question if she is delusional or not and if she has a split personality.
      • The murder attempt scene does not take place during a snow blizzard but at a desert. This increases the hallucinating atmosphere and makes Steed more confused after waking up, wondering if this incident was a dream or not. Evil Emma was of course riding a camel during the attack.
      • During the final scenes Emma confronted Father in a massive room full of giant mirrors.
      • In the finale it was revealed that the evil mastermind was Valentine Peel in disguise. He had staged his death, was the culprit behind the explosion and killed Peter because he wanted the ring which contained important information about the weather. In an attempt to trick Emma, Valentine initially appears as disguised Peter in order to deceive her to hand him the ring. All the visions that Emma had were staged by Valentine.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheAvengers1998