Such a random fact but I learned about this fact today so I figured why not. Everyone knows director Oliver Stone for such classic films as “Platoon” in 1986, “JFK” in 1991, and “Any Given Sunday” in 1995. However, before all this he was a simple screenwriter for such films as “Scarface” in 1983 which was directed by Brian De Palma who later directed the original “Mission: Impossible” in 1996. And that is where our movie fact lies. The main character Tony Montana (Played by Al Pacino), was partially based off Tony Camonte who was the main character of the original 1932 film “Scarface” for which Palma’s version was based off of. Notice the last name difference between the 1932 version and the 1983 version of the main character. Here is the random fact for tonight. The change of Tony’s last name to Montana was inspired by former NFL quarterback Joe Montana, who is Stone’s favorite football player. It’s strange the inspiration from which people get when writing screenplays and characters. That was a random piece of inspiration by anyone’s standards but now the name and character is incredibly popular. The name Tony Montana is solidified in pop culture as well. So I guess Stone made a good call or, in this case, called a good play on that name choice. Pun intended.
“The human animal is a beast that eventually has to die. If he’s got money, he buys and he buys and he buys. The reason he buys everything he can is because of some crazy hope that one of the things he buys will be life everlasting.”
– Burt Ives, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
You know I was watching “Star Trek” from 2009 and I was interested at home many cast members I saw from various films from the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” both past and future or random connections they have to the films. Two of them were just in the opening scene alone of “Star Trek”. First, you have Faran Tahir (Played Captain Robau) who starred in the first “Iron Man” in 2008 as secondary villain Raza. Second, you have Christ Hemsworth (Played George Samuel Kirk, Sr.) who would go on to star as the hero Thor in 2011’s “Thor”, 2012’s “The Avengers”, and 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World”. Throughout “Star Trek” you have actress Zoe Saldana (Played Nyota Uhura) who will star as Gamora in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”. You also have Eric Bana (Played Nero) who was the first actor to play Bruce Banner/Hulk in director Ang Lee’s 2003 “Hulk” and this is considered a spiritual predecessor to 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” that starred Edward Norton the character Bana originally played. Marvel Studios has expanded to the point you will see many actors from many different types of films starring in a Marvel film. As the “Phases” of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” progress it will come apparent that we as the audience will notice more and more actors in movies like and different from “Star Trek” that will don superhero characters. I wonder who will join the roster next.
“Regrets are a waste of time. They’re the past crippling you in the present.”
– Lindsay Duncan, “Under the Tuscan Sun”
Some people are just born to play a role. Take actor Mark Ruffalo. He was the original choice for Bruce Banner back when “The Incredible Hulk” was being made back in 2008. Louis Letterier, the director of the film, was the one who wanted Ruffalo, but Marvel Studio execs wanted Edward Norton which is how Norton was cast. Yet, when the 2012 film “The Avengers” came out it was none other than Ruffalo himself who ended up donning the famous role of the scientist turned monster. Like I said, some people are just born for roles. Not only was Ruffalo praised for his portrayal, but many thought he surpassed Norton and actor Eric Bana, Bana being the first one to play the character for the silver screen with director Ang Lee’s 2003 film “Hulk”. Now, Ruffalo is the set actor to play Bruce Banner in future Marvel films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Congrats to you Mr. Ruffalo, you have arrived.
“Without faith, without belief in something, what are we?”
– Clive Owen, “King Arthur”
Some may know actor Pat Hingle. He has acted since the 1950’s but most know him as the first actor to play Commissioner Gordon in the Batman films from 1989 to 1997. Just to be clear, those movies were “Batman” in 1989, “Batman Returns” in 1992, “Batman Forever” in 1995, and “Batman & Robin” in 1997. He is one of only two actors to play in all four of these films along with actor Michael Gough who played Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth. Anyway, Hingle was in many things before that. He was in “Hang ‘Em High” in 1968 as the character Judge Adam Fenton. He played along actor Clint Eastwood. He was also the narrator and voiced the character of Rooter in the 1988 animated film “The Land Before Time” that was produced by Steven Spielberg. His final film is interesting. It was “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” in 2006 as the character Larry Dennit, Sr. who, to familiarize you, was the original owner of the racing team of the main character Ricky Bobby (Played by Will Ferrell). It is strange how some actors go out. He may have been mostly known as Commissioner Gordon in the modern era but he has left a legacy of films that extends into the decades. May he rest in peace and may his films become classics that are never forgotten.
“Don’t let your past dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you will become.”
– Louis Mandylor, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”
Whoopi Godberg is one of the few entertainers who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. She has won two Emmys for “Outstanding Talk Show Host” for her work on “The View” in 1997 as well as “Outstanding Special Class Special” for “Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel” in 2001. She won a Grammy for “Best Comedy Performance Single or Album” for “Original Broadway Show Recording” in 1985. She won an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress” in 1990 for the film “Ghost”. Finally, she won a Tony as a producer for the Broadway production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”. This was done in 1985 also, the same year she won her Grammy. Some talents can just do it all. Whoopi Godberg is just one of those people.
“You don’t know what you like until you try it.”
– Gloria Grahame, “The Greatest Show on Earth”