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Trivia / Ed Wood

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Trivia for the film:

  • Acclaimed Flop: Won two Oscars and was critically loved, but made little over $5 million (on an $18 million budget).note 
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $18 million. Box office, $5.9 million. This was Tim Burton's first film to not do well at the box office. It was also the very last movie released while Jeffrey Katzenberg was still on distributor Disney's lot; he left the lot and ended his involvement with the studio the next day. The film did win two Oscars though (Best Makeup and Best Supporting Actor for Martin Landau's performance as Bela Lugosi).
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  • Cast the Expert: Tor Johnson, a professional wrestler turned actor, is played here by professional wrestler George "The Animal" Steele.
  • Colbert Bump: Unsurprisingly, the film helped the films of the real Ed Wood gain significantly more popularity in the mainstream (and even a significant LGBT Fanbase) after they'd only been known in small circles of b-movie enthusiasts.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Tim Burton regards this as his best film.
  • Creator Recovery: At the time, Johnny Depp was depressed about films and filmmaking. By accepting this part, it gave him a "chance to stretch out and have some fun", and working with Martin Landau, "rejuvenated my love for acting".
  • Executive Meddling: Tim Burton had to endure a lot of studio pressure to get the film made. Arguably justified by the film's eventual financial failure.
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  • Playing Against Type: An oddly specific example in Maurice LaMarche, who dubbed over the physical performance of Vincent D'Onofrio as Orson Welles. LaMarche has become legendary for his countless lampoonings of Welles, but this is so far the only time he's ever played him straight.note 
  • Real-Life Relative: Averted. Martin Landau stars and his daughter Juliet plays Loretta King, but the two aren't related in-universe.
  • Reality Subtext: Tim Burton agreed to do this movie when he saw how much Wood's relationship with his childhood horror movie hero Bela Lugosi reminded him of his own relationship with his childhood horror movie hero Vincent Price.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Why is the film shot in black and white? To evoke the kind of low-budget aesthetic Wood himself was infamous for? Probably; but it was actually because nobody working on the film knew what Bela Lugosi looked like in color (Lugosi had made exactly one obscure color picture, Scared To Death).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Originally the film was written as a miniseries, with Michael Lehmann attached as director as Tim Burton as executive producer. During development it was changed to being a film, and Lehmann and Burton swapped roles. Initially the screenplay tried to keep as much of the story from the miniseries as possible, which resulted in earlier drafts being so long that it would have made for a three-hour film, but it was eventually pared down to get the 127-minute running time of the end product.
    • Part of the longer screenplay featured Wood's ultimately doomed marriage to Norma McCarty, which was depicted as taking place over the course of less than a day, and ending the minute she found out he was a cross-dresser.note 
      • Another part of the longer screenplay featured the hand that George Weiss had with the last minute production stages of Glen or Glenda, including adding the porno footage to increase the film's running time to the minimum length, persuading Ed to use an alias for his credit as Glen to avoid being cast in a bad light with film producers, and mentioning how he attempted alternative titles for the movie to sound more appealing to audiences (Which failed miserably.) Tim Burton probably felt these facts were not important enough to bother putting into the movie.


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