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Trivia / Last Action Hero

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Austin O'Brien recalled Arnold Schwarzenegger's attention to detail:
    During the first week on set we kept screen-testing cars — Arnold and I would drive around in different vehicles, trying to find an iconic car for Slater. That was such a strange process. I also remember Slater’s boots being a really big deal.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $85 million. Box office, $50,016,394 (domestic), $137,298,489 (worldwide). Had the misfortune of being released the weekend after Jurassic Park, due to Columbia thinking that movie wouldn't be as popular as it turned out to be and refusing to move the date for theirs.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit:
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    • Upon the film's release, "What the Hell Have I", a new Alice in Chains song recorded for the film's soundtrack was better received than the movie.
    • As well as "Angry Again" by Megadeth.
    • Same goes for "Real World" by Queensrÿche.
    • Hell, even Def Leppard's "Two Steps Behind" got better exposure.
    • Even today, "Big Gun" by AC/DC gets airtime on classic rock stations.
  • California Doubling: Los Angeles doubled for New York during the real world segments.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Timothy Dalton was also considered for Benedict. He has a cameo at the Jack Slater IV premier.
  • Christmas Rushed: It was rushed to open for the 1993 big summer movie season, to the point that post-production on the film was only finished a few weeks before its initial release when the test screenings went awry. Columbia Pictures also refused to change the specific release date, meaning it had no choice but to open the weekend after Jurassic Park.
  • Contractual Immortality: Lampshaded. Danny tries to invoke this this with Benedict by playing Chicken with him while Danny is on a girl's bike, and Benedict is in a limo. Danny kept saying that because he's the hero, it has to work, but backs off at the last second after realizing he's just the Plucky Comic Relief, and this trope does not apply to him.
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    • Danny also tries to remind Jack of this when he tries to play Chicken in the real world.
    • Also lampshaded when Danny tells Jack he can't die until the box office grosses wane.
    • Perhaps not even then-the Reaper says that Jack isn't on any of his lists (which makes him curious enough to investigate).note 
  • Deleted Role: Tori Spelling had a cameo as herself but it was eventually left on the cutting room floor.
  • Distanced from Current Events: The giant Jack Slater balloon initially held dynamite. Thanks to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, it was changed into a walkie-talkie.
  • Dueling Movies: The film suffered at the box office when it opened on the same weekend as Jurassic Park.
  • Fake Nationality: Mexican Anthony Quinn plays an Italian Mob Boss. He would also play one in Avenging Angelo.
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  • Follow the Leader: Arnold Schwarzenegger asked Robert Patrick to make a cameo as the T-1000 specifically because he saw Wayne's World.
  • Genre-Killer: The film openly acknowledged at one point that action films were fading in popularity. Its disappointing performance confirmed the trend.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Some trailers have clips from deleted and alternate scenes, like an extended version of the Hamlet spoof where Arnie is in some water shooting at someone, Danny being blown away into the movie after dynamite pops out of screen, and an alternate take and angle for Slater's "I hate when that happens" line after he gets out of the tar pit. (Other deleted scenes from the original 140-minute rough cut include Danny telling Jack how his father died from cancer, and a group of kids seeing Jack while he is walking across the street in the rain with Danny looking for Benedict — they think he is Schwarzenegger so they ask him for his autograph...which he signs.)
  • Old Shame:
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger considered this his first real failure after an unbroken string of successes, and the beginning of the end of his film career. Though he's found it amusing that /r/movies likes it and won't let him live it down.
    • John McTiernan has also expressed regret in making the film.
  • The Other Marty: Tony Curtis was cast in a major cameo, but was replaced.
  • Referenced by...: Fairly OddParents episode "Movie Magic" features actor Arnold Schwartzengerman in a movie adapting Hamlet (which is a reference to Last Action Hero), except his lines are all references to various Arnie movies ("I'll be back.... with weapons.").
  • Troubled Production: As detailed here. In a nutshell, the script was extensively rewritten to the point that instead of parodying 1980s action movies, it was an Indecisive Parody that was as much of a Deconstructor Fleet as a farcical actioner; once production actually begun, it was less than a year before the scheduled release, with the crew at times working 18-hour days and director John McTiernan to become a paranoid jerk (in one scene, Austin O'Brien passed out after his harness suffocated him during a scene taking place on a skyline) and barely caring during editing. Then Columbia overhyped the movie with millions of dollars' worth in advertisements, only to not hear Arnold's advice to move the release date because he felt Jurassic Park coming out the week before would hurt Last Action Hero (they declined for fear of negative publicity), and indeed the movie flopped,derailing the careers of Arnie and director McTiernan.
  • Uncredited Role:
    • Carrie Fisher was an uncredited script doctor for the screenplay.
    • Danny DeVito was the uncredited voice of Whiskers the cartoon cat cop.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The film naturally reflects the transition of pop culture between the 1980s and 1990s, mixing the first signs of the "new" Times Square with the disappearing movie palaces and grittiness of 42nd Street, as well as an acknowledgment that the popularity of action films was already waning — not to mention the blending of Danny's grunge-inspired clothes with the elegant suits worn at the premiere.
  • Voice-Only Cameo: Danny DeVito is the voice of cartoon cat Whiskers.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Benedict was originally intended to be Alan Rickman - a line in the shooting script has Danny warn Jack that he almost beat both Bruce Willis and Kevin Costner. Charles Dance said in interviews that, after being told that he had won a part turned down by Rickman because of the salary, he wore a t-shirt on set which read; "I'm Cheaper Than Alan Rickman!".
    • Steven Spielberg was offered the chance to direct this film, but he turned it down to go make Schindler's List instead.
    • Robert Zemeckis was in contention to direct at one point.
    • The original script was much darker — the theater owner was supposed to be the main villain, and Danny was going to turn to the dark side and start killing lots of people, with Slater trying to stop him (including preventing him from killing the guy who robbed him).
    • The original script contained a scene where dozens of iconic movie villains invade the real world, something Benedict merely teases at.
  • Working Title: Extremely Violent.

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