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Trivia / Dogma

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  • California Doubling: Most of the film was shot in and around Pittsburgh, which stands in for various other parts of the US.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Kevin Smith found Linda Fiorentino so difficult to work with that he regretted not casting his first choice, Janeane Garofalo (who played Bethany's co-worker Liz).
    • Alanis Morissette was originally meant to play Bethany Sloan, but was unable to because of her 1998-99 world tour. By the time she was able to work on the film, the role had been cast, so she was offered the chance to play God as compensation.
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    • Jason Lee was originally cast as Loki. Scheduling conflicts meant he had to take the smaller role of Azrael.
  • Channel Hop: Disney, who owned Miramax Films at the time, got cold feet when the Catholic League began protesting the film and forced the Weinstein brothers to buy the film themselves. The Weinsteins then licensed it to Lionsgate for theatrical distribution and Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment for home video (Lionsgate was, at the time, a relatively-obscure, primarily Canadian film company with an even smaller home entertainment arm; they wouldn't acquire Artisan Entertainment for a couple more years). The result was Dogma becoming Lionsgate's highest-grossing film until Twilight and one of the highest-grossing independent films ever.
  • Creator Backlash: Mocked; when a group of people announced they were going to picket his film at a theater near where he lives, Kevin Smith himself showed up and picketed the film too with a "Dogma is dogshit" banner. He ends up being filmed by a news crew as a protester, and the reporter recognized him. The funniest part was that the protest was slated to be a group of 500 people, of which there were... five. He went on to say that he was most disappointed that nobody had even gone to the effort of making a sign as nice and detailed as his.
  • Deleted Scene: A whole bunch of 'em
    • There was a deleted scene, which made it all the way to the Cannes screening, of Azrael giving his take on Hell of being a place of eternal Heroic Self-Deprecation, making it a place of eternal suffering. This being bad for Fallen Angels, which is shown with Bartleby, that being away from God is bad enough, but humanity's guilt in creating a hellhole drove them so insane that Azrael prefers oblivion than undergoing eternal Sanity Slippage. It was cut for making him seem too sympathetic.
    • There was also a climactic face-off in the hospital between Silent Bob, a badly burned and half-decomposed Triplet, and the Golgothan. The battle was to end with the Triplet killing Bethany (temporarily), and God, newly liberated, transforming the Golgothan into flowers. Test audiences felt there was "too much Golgothan", and the film's run time already exceeded two hours, so the scene was eliminated.
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  • Development Hell: Hahaha... no, but seriously. Kevin Smith started writing this movie before he wrote Clerks, but after listening to a radio interview with Robert Rodriguez about the importance of writing around what was readily available, Smith wisely decided that it was too ambitious and started writing a film about the convenience store he worked in instead. He then considered doing this as his follow up, but felt that he still needed more experience as a filmmaker first.
  • Hostility on the Set: Using his indie cred and connections, Smith managed to assemble an all-star cast which included Men in Black's Linda Fionrentino, who was already gaining a reputation for being difficult to work with. This project was Fionrentino's last stab at relevancy and she repaid Smith by making his life a living hell, going so far as to not even speak to him on certain days.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Staunchly atheist George Carlin as a priest (a corrupt one, so it's not that ironic). He's also seen playing Office Golf, despite (or rather because of) Carlin having several standup routines about how much he loathed golf.
  • Life Imitates Art: As if "Buddy Christ" had not been Memetic Mutation enough on its own, along comes this to make things interesting.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The film's last home video release was in 2008 for blu-ray. By that point, all of the licensing deals which the Weinsteins had made had expired and because they were made prior to streaming becoming popular, a digital release was never negotiated and all home released of the film have since gone out of print. The exclusive rights to the film are still held by the Weinsteins, who Kevin Smith wants nothing to do with any more after Harvey Weinstein's extensive history of sexual abuse has been unearthed (he'd already been on bad terms with Weinstein since 2011, when Weinstein acted extremely disrespectfully at the premiere of Smith's film Red State, so it was personal and thensome).
  • Name's the Same: The angel Loki shares the name of the Norse trickster god; the angel Bartleby shares the name of a character from a Herman Melville short story.
  • No Export for You: The UK is stuck with a vanilla DVD (the extras are a trailer and few minutes of TV interviews with the cast). More galling because this edition is produced by Film Four who co-funded the production!
  • Orphaned Reference: Cardinal Glick places an odd emphasis on God being male, considering the final cut has nobody telling him otherwise.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The afore-mentioned copyright mix-up, along with Kevin Smith understandably not wanting to renegotiate a new distribution deal with the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein, who still owns the rights to the film, are what's presently keeping it from getting a digital release. As he put it, "My film about angels is owned by the devil."
  • Star-Derailing Role: After the film came out, Kevin Smith went on at length to anyone who'd listen about how uncooperative Linda Fiorentino was. As this was the latest in a string of negative stories about her on-set behavior, it severely dampened her already failing acting career, and most of her roles since have been either bombs or direct-to-video.
  • Stillborn Franchise: After 9/11, Kevin Smith toyed with the idea of doing a sequel about Islam and it's relationship with Christianity, feeling that both the tragedy itself and the fallout afterwards were extremely religiously charged from both sides. He eventually decided the subject was too complicated for him to handle gracefully and abandoned the idea.note 
  • Throw It In!:
    • Rufus' reply, "Know him? Nigga owes me twelve bucks!" when asked if he knows Christ, was one of the few lines ad-libbed by Chris Rock. When Rufus awakens on the train, he says the words "poopy trim", this was not in the script, but had been used in ''Mallrats, when Willam is standing in front of the magic eye poster, he is woken from his trance by Brodie, and he says "poopy trim", and another ad-lib is when Rock calls Silent Bob "biggie". It was originally written as "tubby".
    • On the train when Silent Bob grabs Bartleby, he yells, "Schüler Bob? I'll get you for this Schüler Bob!" Ben Affleck ad-libbed the line, much to the amusement of the cast and crew, intending it to be Silent Bob in German. Kevin Smith left it in even though Schüler is actually German for pupil.
    • In the the gun shop, you can see Ben pick up a knife and play with it. If you continue to watch Ben, you will see him cut his finger. He then recoils with a look of shock on his face. This is joked about in the DVD Commentary too.
  • Trolling Creator: Unbeknown to protesters, Kevin Smith joined one of the Catholic groups that protested his film, with a sign that said "Dogma is Dogshit". He managed to get interviewed by a reporter who recognized him, though Smith managed to stay incognito by giving his friend's name as his own (Bryan Johnson; also present at the protest rally) and telling her that he is often mistaken for the Clerks director. During the interview, Smith (as Johnson) also made the comment that he kind of liked his first film.
  • Uncredited Role: While Ethan Suplee did the voice of the Golgothan, there's no record of who physically portrayed the Golgothan.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The opening scene takes place in an airport, where Bartleby enjoys watching people meeting their loved ones right as they come off the plane.
  • What Could Have Been
    • Joey Lauren Adams was going to play Bethany, but Miramax only agreed to finance the production if it had a more recognizable actress in the role.
    • An earlier version of the script available here features scenes of Jay and Silent Bob singing, a full explanation of the Stygian triplets, as well as the second fight against Noman the Golgothan. These scenes are also available on the 2-disc DVD.
    • Kevin Smith jokes that he originally wanted to end the film by God answering Bethany's "Why are we here?" question with "I've got one word for you, just one: plastics!," resulting in everyone's head blowing up.
    • Gillian Anderson was considered for Bethany.
    • At one point, Alanis Morissette (yes, God herself) was going to play Bethany, but declined because it would have conflicted with her touring schedule. Emma Thompson was also offered the role, but she turned it down in order to have a baby.
    • God was at one point supposed to be played by Holly Hunter (see above). Shannen Doherty (who had been in another Smith film, Mallrats) wanted the role.
    • Before Howard Shore, Danny Elfman was approached to score the film, but he was unavailable.
    • Smith pursued Robert Rodriguez to direct the filmnote . Rodriguez enjoyed the script but, in seeing how personal the story was, insisted that Smith himself direct.
    • Samuel L. Jackson and Will Smith were considered for Rufus.
    • Bill Murray, Adam Sandler and John Travolta were all considered for Azrael. Sandler turned it down in order to star in Big Daddy (which, oddly enough, also starred Joey Lauren Adams).
    • Albert Brooks and Chevy Chase were offered the role of Cardinal Glick.
    • The boardroom massacre was supposed to be a John Woo-type action sequence (hence the big stunt guys in suits) but Smith decided to change it at the last minute.
    • A few of Kevin's early plans for the unmade sequel were eventually revealed: The film would have followed Bethany's daughter, the new last scion, to be played either by Alanis Morissette or an actress who looked sufficiently similar to her. Her adventure to save humanity from a new religious threat would have involved recruiting Jay and Silent Bob, the latter of whom had become a loud, shouty, obnoxious televangelist preacher after the events of the first film.
  • Working Title: While in production, the project's name was Bearclaw.


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