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Trivia / Apocalypto

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  • Amateur Cast: A lot of roles were filled by Mayan people who had never acted before.
  • Big Name Fan: The film received lavish praise from many big names in Hollywood. Robert Duvall called it maybe the best film he'd seen in 25 years. Directors Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese both gave the film high praise. Spike Lee put it on his "essential films for filmmakers" list in 2013, the most recent film on the list.
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  • California Doubling: Although they did film in Mexico, they picked Veracruz (in the middle of the gulf coast) to double for Yucatan and the Caribbean; this is especially noticeable in the scenes on the beach.
  • Doing It for the Art: Mel Gibson specifically wanted actual buildings constructed, as opposed to relying on CGI. Extensive historical research was done on the period, with any artistic license done for the sake of cinematic beauty. Additionally, a dialect coach was on set every day to help the actors.
  • Genius Bonus - The name of the city where the slaves are taken is never identified in the film, but an expert on things Mayan would guess that it is probably Copan, which was near the border between Guatemala and Honduras. Like the city depicted, Copan was within walking (or, in this case, running) distance of both the Caribbean Sea and a major river.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: In North America, the film was out of print for years, with no possible way to watch it digitally without piracy. However, it is still in print in the UK, with Amazon offering downloads and region 2 discs for regular prices in spring 2020. Samuel Goldwyn Films has also announced plans to re-release the Blu-ray stateside in July 2020.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: The jaguar chasing Rudy Youngblood had to restrained by a tether for the chase scene; Mel Gibson remarking "you can't train a jaguar".
  • No Dub for You: This movie is one of the few Hollywood films when this trope is enforced, as, by Mel Gibson's request, the movie wasn't dubbed on any foreign language, just like his previous film. Unlike that film, there's a single exception on that rule: Japan is the only country when the film received a dub, very likely to help the audience to empathize with both the characters and the very Latin American setting.
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  • The Other Marty: The teaser trailer features an almost entirely different cast to the one that ends up in the final film.
  • Production Posse: Farhad Safinia and Mel Gibson reunited for The Professor & the Madman, this time with Farhad directing and writing. The former had been an assistant on The Passion of the Christ.
  • Troubled Production: A mild example. Heavy rains in Mexico led to a delay in filming, and that meant the release date had to be pushed back two months.
  • Write What You Know: Mel Gibson was once called "almost" as an insult in school, and this inspired the moment where Jaguar Paw is called "almost" by a headhunter.


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