Trivia / Tombstone

  • Dawson Casting: Dana Delany as Josephine Marcus. Delany was 36 when she played the role of a 20-year-old actress working the towns of the Wild West. Also, Thomas Haden Church as Billy Clanton; he was 33 years old, playing a man who died at age 19.
  • Dueling Movies: Dueled with Wyatt Earp (1994) with Kevin Costner. Where Costner's film was an epic (over 3 hours!) focused on Wyatt's life, Tombstone was an ensemble film centering mostly on the events in Tombstone and the immediate aftermath. Tombstone was also the clear victor at the box office, more than doubling its modest $25 million budget with a domestic take of $56m (the equivalent of just over $80 million today). Wyatt Earp, on the other hand, had more than double the budget ($65m) of Tombstone but wound up with half the gross, with a meager $26m domestic total, one of a string of flops in the mid-90s for Kevin Costner.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Val Kilmer got the emaciated and sickly look of Doc Holliday by eating almost nothing but onions and tomatoes for weeks before filming started.
  • Troubled Production: From the start, Kevin Costner was placing pressure on studios not to finance the picture (Tombstone and Wyatt Earp were two halves of the same project that more or less split off due to Creative Differences between Costner and writer Kevin Jarre), with Buena Vista (Disney) stepping up at the last minute. Disney refused to have anything to do with the original choice for Holliday, Willem Dafoe, due to the controversy still surrounding The Last Temptation of Christ. Jarre was originally set to direct, but was fired due to his refusal to cut the screenplay (both Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer have stated the original shooting script was about 30 pages too long). Disney hired George P. Cosmatos to finish the film; Kurt Russell (who had significant pull behind the scenes with both cast and crew) has in recent years made the claim that he directed the picture with Cosmatos as a front (he was the same guy who did Rambo: First Blood Part II, so he was at the very least agreeable to actor input), although Michael Biehn has denied Russell's claims, and at least some of Jarre's directorial work is still in the film. As a cherry on top of all of this, the actor playing Old Man Clanton, Robert Mitchum, was injured in a horse-riding accident, which led to the part being cut entirely (although Mitchum was able to do the beginning and ending narrations) and much of his dialogue given to Curly Bill.