How the film "Big Trouble in Little China" was filmed: footage from the filming and 25 interesting facts about the film (22 photos)

Category: Movie, PEGI 0+
19 February 2024

Let's take a look at Big Trouble from the inside out: how it was filmed, what was implied, how much it cost, etc.

1. The history of the creation of this film begins with two screenwriters - Gary Goldman and David Z. Weinstein, who wrote a funny comedy-fantasy story with action elements in the Western genre, the events of which develop at the end of the 19th century. Yes, yes, according to the original plan, the heroes were supposed to go to San Francisco during the Wild West.

But the producers didn’t like this idea. More precisely, they liked the script itself, but the timing of the future film did not suit the studio bosses. And the scriptwriters flatly refused to make any changes and move the action to our time.

Screenwriter Harry Goldman

Then investors acted easier. They hired screenwriter W.D. Richter, who changed the script so that all the events fit organically into our time. And the film company “20th century FOX” ended up filming the film.

Moreover, studio bosses and future director John Carpenter believed that Richter should be the sole screenwriter for the film. But then the Diaspora Screenwriters Guild intervened. And in the end, after long proceedings, Goldman and Weinstein were still retained as screenwriters, and Richter was listed as an adaptation screenwriter.

2. The director of the future film was John Carpenter, who was already known for such cult films as “Halloween”, “The Thing”, “Escape from New York”, etc. Carpenter did not appreciate the script itself, but found the idea and many of its elements interesting .

Dennis Dun and John Carpenter

By the way, the film "Big Trouble in Little China" was the fourth collaboration between John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. John Carpenter immediately wanted to cast Russell in the lead role, but the producers turned him down because they wanted to cast Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson or Jeff Bridges. But they all eventually refused due to being busy with other projects. Then the bosses went to meet the director. And Kurt Russell agreed to this role. Moreover, for her sake, he refused the role of Connor McCloud in the film “Highlander.”

John Carpenter and Kurt Russell

Initially, Russell thought that he could not cope with the role, but when he learned that his hero was mostly a talker with a lot of shortcomings, he became interested in this role.

3. John Carpenter wanted to see Jackie Chan in the role of Wang Chi (the second main character). But the producers refused his request, since at that time Jackie spoke very little English. And Chan himself did not want to act in this film. Therefore, this role went to Dennis Dan.

4. Kim Cattrall, who played Gracie Lo, participated in the theatrical production of “Three Sisters” (A.P. Chekhov), so she was allowed to shoot the film until a maximum of 16.30.

And by the way, initially the producers did not want to take her for this role at all, since they only remembered her from her role in the film “Police Academy,” which is why they felt that she could not cope with this role. But Carpenter insisted that she play Gracie Lo.

5. Kurt Russell said that he caught the flu during filming and just felt terrible. But at the same time, he did not stop filming, but continued to play as if nothing had happened.

6. In order to get in shape, before filming the film, Kurt Russell actively engaged in sports for two months.

7. Carpenter decided to move away from the standard approach to action films, where the main character tears everyone to smithereens. Here the main character is a very clumsy talker who can go out of his way even before filming begins. And despite the fact that Jack Burton is the main character, in fact he only helps Wang Chi.

8. The same head with eyes that appeared in the film in just a couple of scenes cost the studio 100 thousand dollars.

According to the visual effects artists, this flying eye monster was the most challenging element to create. The doll was controlled by a good 6 operators, and a huge number of cables protruded from the structure and were connected toa remote control with which operators controlled facial expressions. Well, then the whole thing, of course, began with effects.

9. Actresses Kim Cattrall and Susie Pie, who played Gracie Lo and Miao Ying, actually have brown eyes. But they wore green lenses especially for the film.

10. Egg Shen's premises are the same premises where the Ghostbusters from the 1984 film of the same name were based.

11. As it turned out, while Carpenter was filming his film, the Paramount Pictures studio was filming the film “The Golden Child,” which also told a kind of mystical story with comedy elements, taking place in Chinatown.

Carpenter was afraid that if The Golden Child was released early, his film would be accused of plagiarism. Then he did everything to ensure that his tape came out earlier. And he succeeded.

True, this did not save the film, since “The Golden Child” was much more successful at the box office.

By the way, Victor Wong, who played Egg Shen in Trouble, also starred in the film The Golden Child.

12. After the death of the lightning master, Chinese characters that mean "Carpenter" can be seen on the wall. By the way, “carpenter” in English is Carpenter, just like the director’s last name. Coincidence? Don't think.

13. It was this film that inspired the creators of the game “Mortal Kombat” John Tobias and Ed Boon when they created such characters as Lord Raiden and Shang Tsung for their future game.

And by the way, about Shang Tsung. In the film Mortal Kombat (1995), the role of Shang Tsung was played by actor Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa. But he began his acting career with episodic roles. For example, he appeared as an extra in the film “Big Trouble in Little China” as one of the villain’s henchmen. True, Jack Burton shot him a second after his appearance.

Well, in order not to deviate from the topic with the game "Mortal Kombat", I will highlight one more point. In "Trouble" you can see a certain fan in the hands of Egg Shen, which easily reflects lightning. The authors of “Mortal Kombat” also took note of this item and provided it to Princess Kitana in the second and subsequent parts of the game.

14. John Carpenter is famous for composing the music for many of his films himself. And the film "Big Trouble in Little China" was no exception.

According to the director, he did not want his film to have standard oriental motifs, which are usually done for Asian films. And by the way, he was even nominated for a Saturn Award for the music for this film.

15. In 2015, rumors appeared about the possible filming of a remake of the film “Big Trouble in Little China”, in which Dwayne Johnson would play the main role. By the way, he himself started these rumors, because he was inspired by the idea of ​​making a remake with his loved ones. But director John Carpenter said he would not remake the film.

And a little later, in 2018, producer Hiram Garcia announced that there would still be a film. But this will not be a remake, but a continuation of the original. The same information was confirmed by Dwayne Johnson, who is going to not only play the main role, but also become the producer of the film. But now 6 years have passed, and I haven’t heard any more news.

16. About 40 minutes of scenes were cut from the film to fit the timing. But fortunately, there was nothing significant in these scenes.

17. With a budget of $25 million, Big Trouble in Little China grossed $11.1 million, which was a box office failure. But the ratings during test screenings were simply off the charts. Carpenter was simply confident of success. But, unfortunately, there was no success. But now the film is a cult classic that is still enjoyable to watch today.

After the film's failure, John Carpenter accused studio bosses of setting the film's premiere on an inconvenient date, interfering with the filming process, and not allocating money for advertising.

As Carpenter said, no one really knew that he had a new film coming out, and the audience simply did not understand what they were getting into. And if an appropriate advertising campaign had been carried out, the success of the film would have been guaranteed.

18. The opening scene of the film, where Egg Shen talks to the lawyer, was filmed after filming had ended. The bosses of the 20th century FOX company insisted on this stage in order to show Jack Burton in a more heroic light, otherwise he turned out to be too clumsy a hero.

19. To better prepare for the role, Kurt Russell even learned to drive a truck. True, John Carpenter was afraid that Kurt would run over someone on the set.

20. Some of the scenery from this film was later used in Janet Jackson's "When I Think Of You" video.

21. The scene where the car drives straight towards the heroes was filmed backwards. That is. During filming, the car was moving backwards. This was done in order to get as close to the actors as possible. The same move was used during the filming of the film Home Alone, when bandits in a van stopped a couple of centimeters from Kevin.

22. In the scene where a crowd of Asians (red and blue) fight wall to wall, real martial artists participated, and not just extras.

23. James Hong, who played the villain Lo Pan, complained that it was terribly uncomfortable for him to act in makeup, as it squeezed his face too much.

James Hong and John Carpenter

24. For the scene where the heroes fight in the air, trampolines were used. This method turned out to be cheaper than using safety ropes.

25. Carpenter liked the skillful fighting of Jeff Imada, who played one of the girl's kidnappers at the beginning of the film, so much that John Carpenter later began using him in many of his films as a fight coordinator.

Add your comment
  • bowtiesmilelaughingblushsmileyrelaxedsmirk

You might be interested in: