10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Running Man
When Rob Cohen and the makers of The Running Man optioned the novella written by Richard Bachman they had no idea that old Dick was actually veteran horror master Stephen King. If only they had Googled it they would have known! Dumbasses! Either way, adding Arnold to the cast as the leading man really changed the tone of the film and transformed the ‘everyday Joe’ into a hulking, square-jawed beast of a man. Many of the themes that King used, hell, most of the film save for the title were changed for creative (Arnold) reasons and we were left with the masterpiece that we have today. Would the film have been as good if it had stayed closer to the original story? Who knows? Who cares? This is an amazing action flick and even if you’re well aware of its greatness, I may have just found 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Running Man.
1: They chose LA because at the time it was already a melting pot of different ethnic groups and cultures and it really felt like the “city of the future.”
2: The hero in the novella was an everyman who rises to the occasion and becomes a symbol. They already had signed Arnold on to be the star and he didn’t fit the type of character because of his size and charisma so they just changed the character to match his strengths.
3: Part of the casting decision was made based on the hilarity that might ensue if Arnold and Maria Conchita Alonso’s accents bounced off one another. The producers thought that Maria’s South American accent and Arnold’s Austrian accent would be funny no matter what they were saying.
4: Paula Abdul choreographed the dance scenes for all of the game show dancers.
5: Many of the scenes during the game show featuring the stalkers are shot at an old steel mill that was abandoned due to its toxicity. It was said that in order to build something new on that site they would have to dig to a depth of 60 ft below the surface. The crew filmed there for 8 weeks and many of them got very sick.
6: Many people who worked with Richard Dawson on ‘Family Feud’ said that his real interactions with crew members resembled the way he treated people on The Running Man.
7: The Running Man game show was inspired by a 1980’s Japanese show called ‘Trans American Ultra Quiz’. In it, contestants were tortured and humiliated in various ways until only one of them remained to collect the prize.
8: Mick Fleetwood plays the underground leader by the name of “Mick”. In the backstory, Mick plays himself, who became disillusioned with the government when they burned all of their records (along with other music) and took leadership of the resistance against the totalitarian regime.
9: All of the ICS guards are wearing baseball batting helmets as part of their uniforms.
10: The Running Man inspired the television show ‘American Gladiators’ which is one of my favorite shows of all time.