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Trivia / Dead Calm

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  • Career Resurrection: For Graeme Revell, along with turning him into a celebrated composer. Back in the day, he was part of the Industrial band SPK. SPK disbanded in 1988, leaving him jobless. Due to a lucky coincidence, SPK's In Flagrante Delicto was heard by one of the producers and he decided to hire Revell to make entire soundtrack like that.
  • Executive Meddling: Fearing bad word-of-mouth, studio heads forced a new (or rather, extended) ending.
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  • Romance on the Set: Sam Neill met his wife, Noriko Watanabe, during production.
  • Saved from Development Hell: Orson Welles planned to produce a straight adaptation to Charles Williams' novel, titled The Deep, with him playing Russ Brewer, captain of Hughie's ship and with filming beginning in 1966. Welles never finished it, leaving an incomplete film in two workprints with several major scenes never filmed. It wasn't until 1989 that an adaptation was completed, though it bears little similarity to the book.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • Nicole Kidman turned from unknown Australian actress into a rising starlet overnight due to her role as Rae.
    • Billy Zane was previously playing only extras.
    • As mentioned above, Graeme Revell became an established name in the soundtrack business.
  • What Could Have Been: The film was meant to end with Rae bashing in Hughie's head with the spear gun and throwing him on the inflatable life raft, before rescuing John. The last shot was of them hugging, giving closure for her character arc. Test audiences were unsatisfied with the ambiguity of Hughie's fate (implied to have died from his head injury) and an extended ending was filmed in which Hughie returns, tries to strangle Rae and is unambiguously killed by John.
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