10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pathfinder
Some people will tell you that Pathfinder is a terrible movie but those same people are also probably going to see every Mark Wahlberg Transformers movie that comes out. Pathfinder most certainly isn’t a great movie but it does enough visually that it really makes it different from anything else I can think of. The filmmakers were trying to make a living, breathing graphic novel and I would say that they succeeded. The movie never feels epic like Braveheart, and it never seems overly heroic like Gladiator, but it does have some really cool scenes featuring fantasy Vikings fighting that guy from Lord of the Rings.
This is 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pathfinder…
1. Marcus Nispel wanted to do a movie about gladiators but Gladiator screwed up those plans. Then he wanted to do a movie about pirates but Pirates of the Caribbean screwed up those plans. So he finally decided to make a movie about Vikings and the Native Americans meeting each other.
2. After Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nispel ran into Mike Medavoy and they bonded over the idea of “remaking” an 80’s movie called Pathfinder. It would obviously be a different take and one that mended together the ideas that both Marcus and Mike wanted to bring to the screen.
3. They wanted to be authentic with the Indians but they decided to take license with the Viking characters. It’s more of their Arthurian take on a Viking child in the Americas. The historical research on the Vikings wasn’t exciting enough for them so they went for a more fantastical route.
4. Nispel really wanted to make a version of First Blood and Tarzan mixed together. A movie that you could “play in the sandbox”. The story changed many times during filming and you can see the influences of both of those during different times during the film.
5. Ghost didn’t have any lines in the original script but it also had the Native tribe getting killed very quickly so there wasn’t much time getting to know the Natives. It also had a younger kid playing Ghost (15 or 16) who was dealing with his own identity crisis for the first part of the movie.
6. The casting for the little girl was interesting. They found the girl and were worried about the scene with her crying over her slaughtered people being too much but her agent reassured them that she was a pro. The day of the scene the little girl asked for 30 seconds before they rolled, she pulled out a letter and read it to herself and then she turned around and delivered an intensely emotional performance.
7. They had 90 total hospitalizations. 20 in a two day period. Most of them were leg injuries from crew members who were working on the rugged terrain. They were calling the movie “Crewfinder” in the Vancouver area during filming because they were always looking for more people to work on the film.
8. FOX brought Clancy Brown to Nispel to do the movie. The character was originally meant to be just a silhouette; more a shadowy evil figure than a man.
9. Russell Means pulled an Anthony Hopkins from The Edge on that bear. The scene with the bear was in a makeshift cave that wasn’t really a cave. It was more like an area where three large rocks had fallen on one another and made something that might resemble a cave. They didn’t want the bear trapped in the cave just in case it decided it wanted to eat its way out so that is why most of those scenes are filmed very tight.
10. The scene with Ghost jumping out of the water to hack the Viking dude up was used quite a bit for the trailer but it was also much more important than you might think. Marcus Nispel had filmed the scene with some random actors in L.A. to originally get buyers for the film distribution.