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Obscure Movie Facts You Probably Didn't Know

There are many kinds of movie fans: the casual weekenders just trying to kill some time and hopefully get a few hours of mindless entertainment; those that come to appreciate the art of filmmaking; and, rarer still, those that are so obsessed with movies and every little factoid that they could easily mouth along with every line of movies that don't even make their top 10. The latter category are the folks that are absolutely crushing the movies section at group trivia—and probably the only people who'd already know these crazy film facts. 

Space pessimists

If you get a vague sense of déjà vu while listening to the dialogue in any given installment of the Star Wars movies, there's a reason: every episode contains at least one variation of the line "I have a bad feeling about this."

It all started with the back-to-back utterances in the 1977 original, Star Wars: Episode VI – A New Hope. Luke Skywalker lamented the Millennium Falcon's approach of the Death Star by saying, "I have a very bad feeling about this," and then Han Solo echoed his note of concern while trapped in a trash compactor by saying, "I got a bad feeling about this." Ever since, it's become something of a running joke and has made way into each subsequent film (so far) by way of various characters. Most recently, in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Han uttered his classic line one more time, repeating the exact phrasing from his first mission with the Rebel Alliance.

Isn't it iron-ic?

Robert Downey, Jr.'s turn as Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is without question the single biggest success marker of his lengthy career, but once upon a time, he wasn't such a fan of Ol' Shell-Head. In fact, when he was 16, he was suspended from high school for a day after he nabbed a classmate's copy of an Iron Man comic book (The Invincible Iron Man, to be exact) and called the kid a "nerd."

Even though Downey obviously lacked an early appreciation for the character, he eventually did come around, for obvious reasons, and says he takes his stories "as seriously as Shakespeare."

Thanks for the lift

Only the most ardent Avengers fans will be able to immediately recognize the Captain America: Civil War moment when Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) gets a big trajectory assist from Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) as a nod to a similar scene from Avengers, Vol., Issue 223 (released in September 1982). In the comic, the two teamed up to take down the Taskmaster, who threatened to detonate a cannonball bomb over a carnival crowd after trapping Hawkeye in a literal lion's den. The tagline for that issue was "When Ant-Man and Hawkeye join forces ... somebody's gonna get it!" And with that, the Tony Stark-Bruce Banner bromance just got some serious competition.

Holy repetition, Batman!

If there's one thing fans of the '60s television version of Batman could always count on, it was the ingenuity of Burt Ward's Robin to find a new word to bookend within his "Holy [blank] Batman!" catchphrase. The show, which boasted Adam West as the eponymous masked superhero, ran for just three seasons and 120 episodes, and was followed up with 1966's Batman: The Movie. Somehow in that relatively brief span of time, Robin managed to slightly alter and then utter this phrase a whopping 365 times. Ward mustn't have been too sick of it, though, because in his autobiography, Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights, he included the tagline, "Holy tell-all, Batman!"

Nothing but spacenet

As if Sigourney Weaver's Lieutenant Ellen Ripley wasn't already badass enough, she made an epic behind-the-back swoosh shot in 1991's Alien: Resurrection that the actress actually pulled off without any CGI assistance. "I wasn't even thinking 'get it in,'" Weaver said of her impossible trick shot. "It was a wild thing. I don't think my feet touched the ground for about 10 days." It might've seemed like a miracle movie-making moment, but Weaver definitely put her time in on the court training for the scene beforehand. She was spotted training with UCLA Bruins alum-turned-actor-producer Nigel Miguel at the school's gym to perfect the shot.

Up and down again

The journey Frodo Baggins (Elijah Woods) took from the green, grassy haven of the Shire to the fires of Mordor was not without its fair share of complications. The hobbit might've been brave enough to carry the One Ring across Middle-earth and face down jealous elf queens, giant spiders, and the multiple-personalitied "precious" lover Smeagol/Gollum, but he had a problem keeping himself upright. Whether it was the toll the jewelry's power took on his depth perception or the fact that he was out there climbing mountains with bare, hairy feet, the character fell a whopping 29 times along the course of his journey. To his credit, though, he got back up and kept going after every single slip.

Dawn of Batman vs. Superman

If the Easter egg placement of a Batman vs. Superman sign in the background of 2007's I Am Legend seemed like a bit of wishful thinking, that's because it kinda was—and Legend screenwriter Akiva Goldsman was once in the running to make it happen himself. Director Francis Lawrence told Collider that Goldsman had previously submitted a spec script for his own version of Batman vs. Superman and the pair thought it would be "fun" to predict the flick, knowing his own history of trying to make it happen. While Lawrence and Goldsman came up with the idea for the artwork's inclusion, it was actually something drawn from Warner Bros.' image archives, which means that when a poster for 2016's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice arrived, its similarity to the earlier nod was no coincidence at all.

Why so serious

Heath Ledger's part in The Dark Knight is unforgettable for many reasons, but what fans might not realize is how extensive his work on the movie really was, even behind the scenes. Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for his unsettling performance as the Joker in the sophomore installment of Christopher Nolan's trilogy, was known to have pitched in on his makeup design, and he also got to roll up his sleeves and do a little camera work on TDK, too.

Those videos Joker shot of himself taunting a Batman imposter who still believed in Gotham City's hero were filmed and directed by Ledger himself, with Nolan's blessing. It wasn't the first time he'd helm some short films; he'd also shown a gift for distinct vision with his directorial work on the music videos for Modest Mouse's "King Rat" and N'Fa Jones' "Cause An Effect."

And I'm free... free falling

When a stunt actor is charged with the task of making an actual "leap of faith" maneuver on set, you just know it's gotta be bonkers. For Assassin's Creed, Michael Fassbender's stunt double, Damien Walters, performed a 125-foot free fall for a key scene—one of the highest in 35 years. To prepare for the drop, Walters first tackled a 70-foot plummet to get used to the orientation of the bag, and then he worked his way up to the big jump. After he was done with it, all he could say was, "That's the best feeling, when you walk off and go, 'Oh, I'm all right, yeah.'"


J.K. Simmons might've spent most of his Oscar-winning screen time in 2014's Whiplash mentally traumatizing his students, but in reality, it was the actor who experienced the most excruciating pain during production. During a scene in which his character, Fletcher, has driven his most punished prospect Andrew (Miles Teller) to the brink of a breakdown, the kid reacts by pile-driving his professor to the ground, and in the act the actor actually broke two of Simmons' ribs.

Simmons kept going to finish the movie shoot, which fortunately only had two days left, even though he said his gnarly injury "f***ing hurt." According to Simmons, the reason he was such tough stuff about his co-star's gruffness was because it wasn't the worst on-set injury he'd ever had. He told Esquire that when he was filming an episode of HBO's Oz, he was knocked in the noggin by a camera, which caused an intense head bleed, and he passed out and had to be transported to the hospital to get nine stitches. He returned to work the very next day and was filmed from the other side to conceal the site of his gruesome injury. "That's hardcore," said Simmons. Why yes. Yes it is.