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Trivia / The Good Son

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  • Completely Different Title: South America decided to throw the subtlety out the window, and named the movie The Evil Angel instead.
  • Creator Killer:
    • While it was a box office success, it was also one of the most critically despised movies of the 1990's, and the critical thrashing led Joseph Ruben's producing career to wind up on the rocks in addition to denting his directing reputation; he was not credited as a producer again until 2014.
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    • The critical failure of this film killed off Ian McEwan's screenwriting career. It would be another 13 years before one of his screenplays would be filmed.
  • Executive Meddling: Culkin's casting was entirely the result of this, but a lot more meddling happened behind the scenes.
  • No Stunt Double: When Henry gets dropped by his mother, a shot of Macaulay Culkin himself and not a stunt double falling away from the camera on the actual cliff was required. After discussions with Culkin and his parents, he agreed to do a 30-foot fall on a cable on the actual cliff, 180 feet above the freezing lake, but he wanted one thing in return for this act of bravery: a BB gun. Culkin performed the cable fall perfectly and was given his BB gun.
  • The Other Marty:
    • Michael Klesic was the original choice to play Henry. Unfortunately, production stalled when the budget ran out, and when Fox finally started to get the film off the ground, Klesic was deemed too old for the part and it was passed on to Jesse Bradford. Sets for filming had already been built by the time Macaulay Culkin's father and manager, Kit Culkin, made Fox screw Bradford out of his role in favor of Macaulay.
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    • Mary Steenburgen was the original choice to play Susan, but when filming was pushed back a year due to Culkin's casting, Steenburgen moved on and was replaced by Wendy Crewson.
  • Playing Against Type: Macaulay Culkin. Big time.
  • Real-Life Relative: Connie is played by Macaulay's sister Quinn Culkin, while the photograph of baby Richard is actually a photo of his brother Rory.
  • Star-Derailing Role: This was the first of five movies through 1993 and 1994 that resulted in Macaulay Culkin dropping out of Hollywood.
  • Troubled Production:
    • After impressing Fox executives with his recently published novel The Child in Time, Ian McEwan presented an original script, which combined the thriller and children genres. Despite initial trepidation, the financial success of Home Alone and The Silence of the Lambs convinced Fox to accept McEwan's script.
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    • During the early stages of production, Michael Lehmann replaced original director Brian Gilbert after funding ran out. When Fox was negotiating Macaulay Culkin's contract for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, his manager and father Kit convinced the studio to have Culkin star in The Good Son for his participation in Home Alone 2. Lehmann and co-producer Lawrence Mark bailed the film in protest, and both were replaced by Joseph Ruben.
    • Disagreements between McEwan and Ruben over the creative direction led to the former being fired and replaced by Ruben's collaborator David Loughery. When McEwan threatened to sue the studio if he was forced to share writing credit with Loughery, Fox agreed to give McEwan sole writing credit for the film, even though it was Loughery's screenplay that was used in the final film.


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