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Trivia / The Golden Child

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $25 million. Box office, $79,817,937. Yes, distributor Paramount DID consider this a box office disappointment for the same reasons as Harlem Nights: it made nowhere near as much money as the previous film to star Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop. Paramount was also having trouble with losing studio bosses Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg to Walt Disney Productions, and this, in contrast to this movie's original director John Carpenter's eventual take on Fantasy China, Big Trouble in Little China (which has three major actors from this film), was badly panned by critics. Murphy has also more or less disowned this film.
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  • Dueling Movies: By an amazing coincidence, this movie came out at about the same time as another action-comedy about Eastern mysticism, Big Trouble in Little China.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: A teaser trailer was released in the summer of 1986 featuring no footage from the film, consisting of Eddie Murphy riding a yak through a blizzard, complaining, "If I'm the Chosen One, how come I'm freezing while you're sitting in a warm movie theater? Chosen One, my behind! Why couldn't someone choose me to go to the Bahamas?" Vilmos Zsigmond did the cinematography for the teaser, which remains unreleased on home video and unavailable on YouTube.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: Like Beverly Hills Cop, the film started as a serious action film and then became an Eddie Murphy comedy.
  • Old Shame: Eddie Murphy trashed this movie while promoting Coming to America, saying the original script was far better than the finished product (indeed, the novelization is closer to what was intended).
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  • Recycled Set: In the dream, when Chandler meets Sardo, Fu and "The Fat dude" and Sardo carves the dagger on Chandler's arm, the set is the same used in the last few seasons of Webster
  • Those Two Actors: Victor Wong ("The Old Man") also plays Egg Shen in Big Trouble in Little China. His costar James Hong (David Lo Pan) is Dr. Hong. The two would appear together again in Paper Dragons.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In a brilliant example of Tropes Are Not Bad, Mel Gibson was considered for Jarrell. Face it: this movie has a rather cheesy and predictable plot, but it's being carried by Murphy's humor. Now imagine the movie without comedy but with Gibson.
    • John Carpenter was originally attached to direct, but opted to make the similar Big Trouble in Little China.
    • John Barry wrote a score for the film, but it was rejected in favor of Michel Colombier's synthesizer music. Two Barry compositions remain in the soundtrack, one of those being Ann Wilson's "Best Man in The World" (La-La Land released the complete work of both composers).
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    • Alan Silvestri was originally set to provide the music score for the film but turned the project down.
    • Eddie Murphy wanted George Miller to direct. He turned it down because Murphy kept him waiting in a meeting for hours.


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