Cast Away: 15 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Tom Hanks Movie


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Cast Away Tom Hanks sits on a beach, with a stick

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Warning: spoilers for Cast Away are in play. When you’re not acquainted with the movie, you may wish to flip away from this text. In case your identify occurs to be Wilson, we’re doubly sorry for this truth.

Virtually 20 years in the past, director Robert Zemeckis and actor Tom Hanks took a reasonably large gamble. With the creation of Cast Away, the workforce that made Forest Gump an award successful blockbuster wished to inform a particular story, and so they wished to do it in a relatively unconventional approach. On the time, it sounded loopy, however if you look over some key behind the scenes information, the eye paid to the movie’s particulars are a part of what made it an enormous success.

We’ve chosen fifteen key information behind Cast Away’s distinctive manufacturing to spotlight simply that, as the trail that Zemeckis’ 2000 movie took was one which solely it may observe. It’s a story of check screenings, quite a few rewrites, and naturally, Wilson the Volleyball. Even the inspiration behind the movie reveals how wild this whole story is, as it began with Tom Hanks doing a little mild studying.

Cast Away Tom Hanks looking through FedEx boxes

The Concept For Cast Away All Began With An Article About Fed-Ex

Because it seems, Tom Hanks was the primary occasion behind the creation of Cast Away. In line with a THR roundtable he was part of, Hanks credit the genesis of the story to the next expertise:

I used to be studying an article about FedEx, and I spotted that 747s full of packages fly throughout the Pacific thrice a day. And I simply thought, ‘What occurs if that goes down?’

Tom Hanks then took the story to author William Broyles Jr. and director Robert Zemeckis, and thru the course of six years, the plot for Cast Away was banged out. And whereas Fed-Ex impressed the story, it additionally performed a reasonably large a part of the motion. The movie had utilization of the brand, some key advisors, and even the CEO of Fed Ex itself all for the taking, and for no cash down.

Cast Away Tom Hanks laughs at his fire

Cast Away Was Virtually A Comedy

To assume that within the story breaking course of for Cast Away, the film had virtually grew to become a comedy, is definitely fairly humorous. When Tom Hanks was engaged on the script with William Broyles Jr, he had initially envisioned Chuck’s island journey as amusing riot, with loads of shenanigans available on his personal piece of supposed paradise. Over time although, the script took a reverse Dr. Strangelove strategy and have become a extra severe story of survival and resilience.

Cast Away Tom Hanks lies on the ground, looking at Wilson

There’s A Draft Of The Script The place Wilson Got here To Life

When you haven’t listened to the director and crew commentary of Cast Away, you’re significantly lacking out on some attention-grabbing information. One particularly talked about that that there was a draft of the movie the place Wilson was going to return to life and discuss. Different attention-grabbing ideas that had been revealed to be dumped, by means of director Robert Zemeckis and different audio system, had been a imaginative and prescient of Kelly (Helen Hunt) in Chuck’s cave fireplace, and another odds and ends.

You’re most likely questioning what number of drafts one must undergo to be able to get to that kind of level. Nicely, based on Zemeckis, that quantity was fairly huge:

We did 125 rewrites, so there have been like tens of millions of modifications, a whole lot of hundreds of them. Which is the method that you just undergo if you make a film. Nothing’s ever simply written ever. Screenplays are simply endlessly rewritten, and endlessly rewritten.

To crib some dialogue from one other Robert Zemeckis basic, that’s fairly heavy.

Cast Away Tom Hanks wading in the waters

Cast Away’s Author Lived Some Of The Character’s Expertise As Inspiration

Tom Hanks wished to work with Cast Away author William Broyles Jr. after the 2 had collaborated on director Ron Howard’s historic epic Apollo 13. Bringing the script to Broyles was a key resolution, as a result of with out forming the workforce he put collectively for Cast Away, the script would have by no means gotten off the bottom. When getting down to write the story for the movie, Broyles really went to a survival camp to study the entire numerous expertise that Chuck Nolan would wish to outlive on an island. Killing and consuming fish, harvesting coconuts, all of the fundamentals had been discovered by Broyles throughout his time within the wild.

Cast Away Tom Hanks finds Wilson

Wilson’s Character Got here Out Of A Actual Life Expertise

Wilson the Volleyball is among the hottest inanimate objects of movie historical past, all because of the plausible relationship that Tom Hanks had along with his Cast Away co-star. A part of that believability was because of the Academy Award successful chops Hanks shows on display screen, however the different key ingredient got here from the truth that William Broyles Jr. really met a volleyball throughout his survival camp journey. A random Wilson volleyball that Broyles discovered on the seashore grew to become a random dialog companion, and finally discovered its approach into the ultimate script.

Cast Away Helen Hunt smiling at the copy machine

Cast Away Truly Cast A Copy Machine

One other enjoyable level from the Cast Away commentary got here from sound designer Randy Thom, who revealed the truth that the copy machine in Tom Hanks & Helen Hunt’s first scene collectively was handpicked by Robert Zemeckis:

Bob forged that replicate machine for sound. He auditioned a lot of copying machines, and he wished a duplicate machine that will have a type of musical rhythm to it. In post-production actually, we tried to reinforce the sound of that replicate machine. Bob was good sufficient to hearken to our makes an attempt, however he mentioned, ‘Nope, I like the unique one which I forged”, and in order that’s the one we used.’

One has to surprise if the copy machine and Wilson the Volleyball have the identical agent, as that’s two inanimate objects that landed essential Hollywood roles.

Cast Away Tom Hanks looking away from tally marks on a tree

Cast Away Went With out A Musical Rating For A Very Necessary Cause

When you haven’t seen it earlier than, most of Cast Away is devoid of a typical Hollywood soundtrack. That wasn’t for an absence of making an attempt, as Robert Zemeckis’ commentary offered the next rationalization:

I at all times knew, as soon as I began capturing the film, that there was gonna be no music. I did my due diligence, and tried temp music, and I had lengthy conversations with [Alan] Silvestri, my composer, and it simply didn’t work, as a result of music is hard, in that it leads the viewers to what they’re speculated to be feeling.

As a substitute, Zemeckis and sound designer Randy Thom determined to “rating the film with sound results”, with numerous motifs current within the sound results at any given second. Alan Silvestri’s restricted musical rating finally does come into play throughout essential moments of Chuck’s journey off the island, and his return to the mainland.

Cast Away Tom Hanks sits teary eyed in a study

Cast Away’s Sound Division Virtually Triggered An Incident With Skywalker Ranch Safety

Sound was a extremely essential part to how Cast Away labored as a movie, particularly with the absence of a musical rating. Randy Thom’s commentary on working with the movie’s soundscape finally highlighted this truth by point out how the sound division wished to simulate outside acoustics with studio recorded dialogue.

The approach that Thom and his crew cracked this problem was that they’d report pristine audio within the studio, play it exterior by means of a speaker, and re-record it to offer it the precise sound. This course of was executed at Skywalker Ranch, in an space that they thought wouldn’t arouse suspicion, and but when it got here to recording the scene the place Tom Hanks yells “Assist!” on the high of its lungs, it drew consideration fairly rapidly:

…folks did hear [it], and so the safety division on the ranch confirmed up and mentioned ‘What’s taking place? Is any individual in peril?’ However no one was in peril, we shooed them away, and continued our recording.

Think about what would have occurred if that incident occurred throughout the manufacturing of a Star Wars movie.

Cast Away Wilson sitting in the dirt

Wilson Grew to become An Award Successful Actor As A End result

Wilson, Wilson, Wilson. The volleyball of the hour has been a constant punchline, and one in all cinema’s finest buddies for all times. However Cast Away really landed this inflated actor a once-in-a-lifetime honor, because of the sixth Critic’s Selection Awards. He took house the trophy for Finest Inanimate Object within the movie’s awards season blitz, and Wilson nonetheless stays its sole recipient. Must you wish to ask him about his numerous exploits within the trade, you’ll be able to seek the advice of him your self in your very own residence. Be warned although, in true Robert Zemeckis film vogue, he solely speaks to those that really imagine.

Cast Away Tom Hanks spearing a fish

Tom Hanks Took A Yr Between Capturing To Lose The Weight

Cast Away had one fairly particular catch when it got here to being made: it wanted to close down manufacturing for a yr, in order that Tom Hanks may lose the 50 kilos he placed on for Chuck Nolan’s pre-island life, and switch right into a tanned, svelte Fed-Ex stalwart. So what’s a director to do to be able to preserve the studio’s religion in such a challenge? Make one other film, with the identical crew, within the low season. Robert Zemeckis admitted as a lot on Cast Away’s commentary:

The solely approach I may then actually make it turn into fiscally sound was to do one other film in between, in order that I may simply roll the manufacturing firm onto one other film in order that we didn’t should pay folks for sitting round for a yr.

For these of you retaining rating at house, this gamble paid off two fold, as Cast Away was the third highest grossing film of 2000’s worldwide movie market, and What Lies Beneath was the 10th. Each movies had been launched in the identical yr, with the latter challenge beating Cast Away to theaters by about 5 months. And all it took was Tom Hanks’ intense private coaching necessities, and a few fairly artistic moviemaking.

Cast Away Tom Hanks looking over the ice skates

Tom Hanks Virtually Died Throughout The Filming Of Cast Away

A random staph an infection virtually robbed the world of Tom Hanks, as he lower his leg throughout a scene in Cast Away and refused to have it handled for an prolonged time frame. Chopping it right down to the wire, the actor was supposedly an hour away from dying as a result of his staph an infection. In mild of his latest profitable battle in opposition to the Coronavirus, we are able to now rely two occasions that Tom Hanks’ DNA beat the satan.

Lost cast lineup in the jungle

We Wouldn’t Have Misplaced If It Wasn’t For Cast Away

It’s a reasonably lengthy and complex story, but when it wasn’t for Cast Away inspiring an ABC government to wish to adapt the movie right into a TV sequence, we’d have by no means gotten the hit supernatural thriller sequence Misplaced. Whereas Cast Away: The Sequence by no means left the tarmac, the concept was given to a author who would spin it into one other concept, which was then given to J.J. Abrams for additional work. The relaxation, as they are saying, is fan fueled historical past.

Cast Away the angel box in the passenger's seat

What Was In The Field Tom Hanks’ Character Would not Open?

The biggest query of Cast Away historical past, very similar to the ending of Seven, facilities across the contents of 1 mysterious field. The “Angel Field” that accompanied Chuck Nolan on his journey to the abandoned island was proven to be an enormous inspiration to him, because it impressed him to outlive and get house to his supposedly ready fiancée. However based on Cracked, a scene from the broadly circulated third draft of the script had a deleted scene that advised us precisely what was in there. Stage path from that draft noticed Tom Hanks doing the next:

Casually he reaches over and cuts it open with a stone knife. Inside he finds two bottles of inexperienced salsa. And a letter.

The letter was from ranch proprietor Bettina (Lari White), as she was begging her husband, Dick to return again. As we noticed at first of the movie, and within the last scene between Hanks and White’s characters, Dick stayed in Russia along with his mistress, and Chuck Nolan might need been heading over to ask Bettina on a date after their earlier encounter. Although possibly he ought to have opened that field, in order to not waste some good salsa.

Cast Away Tom Hanks shouting in front of a bigger fire

Check Audiences Have been Brutal To Cast Away

Closing out the movie’s commentary monitor was a reasonably attention-grabbing truth: Cast Away was Robert Zemeckis’ lowest examined film he’d ever made on the time of recording his commentary. The director opined that the numbers indicated this film ought to have flopped, as an alternative of changing into the third highest grossing movie of its yr.

Whereas these check screenings revealed the truth that Chuck and Kelly do not find yourself collectively stymied teen ladies, it additionally highlighted that ladies 21 and over completely obtained it. Due to the movie’s success in bringing moviegoers who hadn’t been to the flicks in a very long time again to the desk, Zemeckis now rejects the notion of check audiences.

The directing profession of Robert Zemeckis and the performing profession of Tom Hanks have each been numerous experiences which have yielded some fairly wild tales. However the ones we’ve advised you from the manufacturing of Cast Away are unquestionable highlights in that specific subject, and you’ll see why as you watch the movie.

As luck would have it, you might do exactly that on HBO Max, do you have to be a subscriber. When you aren’t, then you’ll be able to at all times benefit from the 7-day free trial that’s being supplied, and strand your self on this quickly to be minted basic.

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