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Trivia / Demolition Man

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For the movie:

  • Career Resurrection: Along with Cliffhanger, this film revived Sylvester Stallone's career after a series of duds in the early 1990s.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • This was one of the first movies to show off Wesley Snipes' martial arts skills. Much like Bruce Lee, he would have to slow down his moves so they would actually show up on camera.
    • Denis Leary in the 1990's was famous for his motormouth rants in his comedy routine. His character falls into these.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Slovenia: Desolation
    • Croatia: Tough Guy
    • Estonia and Mexico: Shredder
    • Bulgaria: Destroyers
    • Hungary: The Destroyer
    • Lithuania: All Destructive
  • Defictionalization: The Taco Bell logo seen in this movie was later used as a tie-in by the restaurant and eventually became the basis for their current logo. It turns out the heads of Taco Bell at the time were big fans of the movie and did so as a shout-out.
  • Deleted Scene: This video details what was cut from the film.
  • Doing It for the Art: Nigel Hawthorne, inexperienced in cinema, took the role of Cocteau to prove that he had screen presence for the producers of The Madness of King George. Hawthorne wanted to reprise the stage role for the movie version. As it transpired this was unnecessary as Hawthorne was the producers' automatic choice for the lead.
  • Dueling-Stars Movie: Stallone vs. Snipes. Most of the posters had this phrase and nothing more.
  • Early Draft Tie-In: The comic book keeps the sub plot about Spartan's daughter living with the sewer people.
  • Advertisement:
  • Hey, It's That Gun!: The "neutron accelerator" is an HK G11 concept rifle from the 1980's.
  • Hostility on the Set: Nigel Hawthorne didn't get on with either Sylvester Stallone or Wesley Snipes, describing the former as "rude and arrogant" and claiming that they'd often keep everyone onset waiting.
  • Inspiration for the Work: Peter Lenkov had been inspired by Lethal Weapon (1987) and wanted to do something about cops, and had also read about celebrities wanting to be cryogenically frozen.
  • Looping Lines: The "Pizza Hut" edit of the film required a bit of ADR juggling, nonetheless the fact that multiple main characters are clearly saying "Taco Bell" in close-up shots gives away the dubbing.
  • No Stunt Double: According to Denis Leary, Wesley Snipes insisted on doing his own action scenes. It got to the point where the crew would wait for Snipes to leave for the day and then film scenes with his stunt double.
  • Old Shame:
    • In a retrospective on his filmography, Denis Leary called the film a "giant piece of shit".
    • Nigel Hawthorne described his time onset as "miserable", as Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes would keep everyone waiting.
  • One for the Money; One for the Art: Nigel Hawthorne appeared in this film because he had little feature film experience and felt he needed to prove he had screen presence because he wanted to play King George III in the then-upcoming film adaptation of The Madness of George III (a role he'd played on stage). As it turned out, he hadn't needed to go through the miserable experience of making Demolition Man because he'd always been the only choice to play George III.
  • The Other Marty: Lori Petty was originally cast as Huxley, but was fired after two days of filming due to what Joel Silver described as "creative differences". Petty attributed it to personality differences, as she and Sylvester Stallone did not get along, and said "Sly and I were like oil and water."
  • Quote Source: From the Mouths of Babes.
  • Referenced by...: The car that Ma'am drives in Bicentennial Man is the same car used in this film.
  • Saved from Development Hell: The original draft of the movie was sold in 1988. It had a serious, darker tone and had Spartan ending up with his much older wife. The writer wanted Mickey Rourke to star.
  • Science Marches On: Among the things listed as "not good for you, hence illegal" are spicy foods. Since the movie came out, though, spicy foods have been shown to help burn calories and reduce blood pressure. Also, dark chocolate has been shown to have antioxidants which can reduce free radicals in the body, lowering risk of cancer.
  • Spared by the Cut: Amongst the deleted material, Zachary Lamb was originally shot by Phoenix as the latter stole a car and would die in Spartan's arms.
  • Stillborn Franchise: In 1993, US Magazine reported a sequel was planned for 1995. In 2006, Sylvester Stallone was asked about a sequel and he said, "I'd like to make a sequel to Demolition Man, but I believe that ship has sailed and maybe there are more challenges waiting on the horizon." On May 4, 2020, Stallone said a sequel is in development.
  • Uncredited Role: Fred Dekker did uncredited re-writes on the script. When he was brought on, the script began in the future and Spartan was introduced when he was brought out of suspended animation. Dekker suggested that this movie open with a prologue set in 1996 to showcase Spartan and Phoenix in their natural environment, saying that "If you don't show Kansas, Oz isn't all that special."
  • Translation Matchmaking:
    • Kuwait: Rambo the Destroyer
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The whole film's premise of a future society where everything bad you say and do is banned is a pretty clear product of the Early '90s backlash to the concept of "Political Correctness". (Although looked upon through the lens of late 2010s eyes, the "backlash" part falls into YMMV as a number of statements made in the film.)
  • Vindicated by Cable: Wasn't particularly popular in its day, but now it's a Cult Classic that's beloved by fans of 90s action movies. It helps also that, much like Last Action Hero, more viewers today understand that it's not really an unironically straight action film, and better recognize the satirical aspect that caught contemporary critics and audiences off-guard.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In some early drafts, Lenina Huxley would have been revealed to be John Spartan's daughter. Obviously Lenina being John's daughter would have eliminated the romance angle for the two characters.
    • Another draft of the script was for Spartan to have a daughter (named Katie Spartan) be a resident of the Wasteland and one of Edgar Friendly's Scraps. During the shootout in the Wasteland, the woman Spartan was protecting was Katie, and she would later appear at the end, alongside Friendly.
    • Spartan was written with Jean-Claude Van Damme in mind, while Simon Phoenix was written for Steven Seagal.
    • When Sylvester Stallone got on board, he tried to convince Jackie Chan to take the part of Phoenix, which would have made Huxley's Saw It in a Movie Once moment a whole lot funnier. He turned down the role, as he didn't want to confuse audiences by suddenly appearing as a villain.
    • Edgar Friendly was originally known as "Thomas Payne" in the original script, which would have made a hell of a shout-out considering the character. Unfortunately, Payne was also the surname of a villain from another action movie starring Sandra Bullock.
    • It was originally planned to have Spartan and Phoenix meet face-to-face without a fight, but then it was decided that it would be much better if they tried to kill each other.

For the pinball table:

  • Wag the Director: According to artist Doug Watson, his backglass artwork proposals were repeatedly rejected by Wesley Snipes, who wanted to ensure his career wasn't jeopardized by having him look like a crazed character. Linda Deal did the final backglass art.


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