10 Things You Didn’t Know About Demolition Man
If we were to build a monument in the Mount Rushmore style featuring the greatest action stars to ever live, Sylvester Stallone’s gnarled face would most likely grace that rocky feature. Who the remaining members would be is a question best left for another day, but a recent viewing of the 1993 hit Demolition Man reminded me just how great Stallone was even outside of his most memorable characters. Sure, Rocky Balboa and John Rambo are two characters that he was able to re-visit on several occasions, bringing further depth to them as they matured through the years. John Spartan, the central badass of Demolition Man, wasn’t given the opportunity to have more adventures but it takes nothing away from his place amongst the coolest of Stallone’s characters. If there are other fans of John Spartan out there (and I’m pretty sure there are), then you are in for quite a treat. I present to you 10 Things you didn’t know about Demolition Man…
- The two original choices for the leads were Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme. JCVD was to play the villain but after lobbying for the hero role it became clear that Seagal didn’t wish to play the bad guy either. In the end, neither of them would be in the film.
- When Stallone had taken the role of John Spartan, he had tried to get Jackie Chan to play the villain. Chan was a good friend of his but Chan didn’t think that Chinese audiences would appreciate him taking the role of the maniacal Simon Phoenix. Being Hollywood, they most certainly would have changed the name too.
- Wesley Snipes didn’t want to play the villain either but director Marco Brambilla and producer Joel Silver visited him on set of his film Rising Sun and convinced him to take the role. He hated his blonde hair and went so far as to shave his head after filming had wrapped. NBA player Dennis Rodman would adopt the look after seeing the film.
- Snipes improvised many of his lines used in the film. The scene where he speaks Spanish after he is brought out of cryosleep and interrogated was completely ad-libbed. The filmmakers thought it showed his utter contempt for authority.
- Lori Petty, of Point Break fame, was originally cast as the female lead Lenina Huxley and actually filmed one scene with Stallone but Sandra Bullock was brought in after Petty and the filmmakers had decided to go their separate ways.
- Many food franchises were considered before Taco Bell was used. Many of them were afraid of the ‘R’ rating that the film had but Taco Bell even filmed some commercials that linked with the movie.
- GM was another big sponsor on set. All of the cars were supplied by GM free of charge. They even gave the filmmakers free reign to use futuristic prototypes that they had been working on.
- A sub-plot involving John Spartan’s daughter was scrapped in post-production. The character was living underground with Denis Leary and his followers and you can even see her standing with them at the end of the film. The director thought that it slowed down the fast pace of the film too much.
- There were some crazy ideas for fights to be had between Sly and Snipes. One idea would have seen them fighting each other while on fire. That obviously never happened, but the final fight between the two was mostly choreographed and filmed by both Stallone and Snipes.
- In Kuwait the Arabic title of the film was “Rambo the Destroyer”.