15 Wildly Juicy Events In '90s Movie History That Are All But Forgotten Today

15 Wildly Juicy Events In '90s Movie History That Are All But Forgotten Today
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15 Wildly Juicy Events In '90s Movie History That Are All But Forgotten Today

The '90s were a weird time in Hollywood, baby.

mikespohr-v2-3127-1555631839-0_large.jpg?downsize=120:*&output-format=jpg&output-quality=autoby Mike Spohr

BuzzFeed Staff


1. Tom Cruise famously played the lead role of Lestat in the 1994 film adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, but both Anne Rice and co-star Brad Pitt "hated him," and neither wanted Cruise in the film. In fact, Pitt only signed on to the project because he thought he'd be acting opposite Daniel Day-Lewis as Lestat.


Francois Duhamel / Sygma via Getty Images

“Oh, they hated him,” director Neil Jordan recently said with a laugh. “Anne Rice found it perplexing. As did Brad Pitt, actually.”  

But Jordan stood by the casting of Cruise, saying, “I’ve always thought he’s a great actor." He also said Cruise's life as a megastar prepared him to play a vampire. "Famous people don’t want to go out into an unmediated space. They have to control who they meet and how they meet them. They have to control their image. It’s almost like they live in a spectral kind of world."

2. The 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct became a massive hit in part because of the buzz surrounding the interrogation scene where star Sharon Stone — who was not wearing any underwear — briefly uncrossed her legs. But according to Stone, she was tricked into the nudity by director Paul Verhoeven.



In her 2021 memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, Sharon wrote that while filming the famous scene, Verhoeven told her, ‘We can’t see anything — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.’”

It was only at an early screening full of industry professionals that she learned the truth. “That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time," she wrote.

Sharon slapped Verhoeven in the projection booth after the screening, then called her lawyer to see if she could get an injunction preventing the release of the film with the scene.

Ultimately, though, she decided to allow the scene to be included “because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.”

3. Put this one in the "Only in the '90s" category: Drew Barrymore was just 16 years old when she filmed the erotic thriller Poison Ivy, which can only be described as a remake of Fatal Attraction, but with a teenage girl destroying the middle-aged man's life instead of, you know, Glenn Close.


New Line Cinema / ©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

If the above didn't gross you out enough, versions of the film's poster used the following pull quote from a movie critic: "Drew Barrymore rivals Sharon Stone in indulging her basic instincts."

4. Speaking of Poison Ivy, Leonardo DiCaprio made his theatrical film debut in it, but only appeared for five seconds — just walking out of a classroom — because the future Academy Award-winning actor kept blowing his lines.


Fotos International / Getty Images / New Line

Leonardo told Marc Maron on his WTF podcast that he was cast as a character who was supposed to deliver a somewhat wordy insult to Sara Gilbert's character. He couldn't get it right, though, so the director simplified things and told him to just enter the room, look at Sarah, and say, "Problems." In the end, the whole bit was cut from the movie.

5. Hardcore movie fans know that before Mike Myers was hired to voice Shrek, Myers' Saturday Night Live co-star Chris Farley first had the job, and worked on the film for over a year — completing 80-90% of Shrek's lines — before his death of a drug overdose at age 33 on December 18, 1997. But what's less known is that even after Farley's death, the studio tried to finish and release the film using Farley's voice...plus the voice of his brother John.


©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection; Todd Williamson / WireImage

Farley's brother John recently appeared on the Fly on the Wall with Dana Carvey and David Spade podcast and said, “He had, like, five (looping) days left, he’d shot it all.” He then says the studio asked him to finish the missing audio. “But it was right after (Chris’s death), like ’97, so I said ‘No, thanks.’ Now, I’m looking at it like, Dear God, what have I passed up?” 

The studio wanted John to imitate his brother’s voice, which John said he could do “back in the day.” He then reiterated, “It was way too soon. So, I was like, ‘forget it.’” 

6. Writer/director John Hughes wrote the screenplay for 1990's Home Alone in just nine days — and the last 44 pages in just eight hours — after a stressful family trip to Europe that left him thinking: What if one of my kids has been accidentally left behind at home?


MTV; ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Hughes was infamous for how quickly he wrote his screenplays, and even completed Ferris Bueller's Day Off in less than a week.

7. Alec Baldwin originated the role of Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October but was replaced by Harrison Ford in the next Jack Ryan film, Patriot Games. If you ask Baldwin why, he'll say it's because Ford totally screwed him.


aramount Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection / Paramount

In his book Nevertheless, Baldwin claims that he was in the middle of negotiating with the studio for the sequel when Ford approached them about taking over the role. Baldwin goes on to allege that The Hunt for Red October director John McTiernan asked Ford if he felt bad for snatching the role from Baldwin, and Ford replied, “Fuck him.” Baldwin later described Ford as “a little man, short, scrawny, and wiry, whose soft voice sounds as if it’s coming from behind a door." 

In Ford’s defense, Baldwin was starring in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway when negotiating for the sequel, and the studio was frustrated with his unwillingness to say when exactly he’d be done with the play and available to film Patriot Games. So, the studio's move to Ford wasn’t totally unwarranted.

Ford played Ryan a second time in Clear and Present Danger, which usurped The Hunt for Red October as the highest-grossing film in the Jack Ryan franchise (a fact that must pain Baldwin to no end).

8. In 2023, movies premiere online all the time, but that wasn't the case in the '90s when Party Girl starring Parker Posey became the first ever movie to premiere over the computer — all the way back on June 3, 1995.


(c)First Look Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

As you might imagine, the quality of the stream was...not good. According to Defector (which did an interesting deep dive on this historical event), the web hosting company operated on only 1.5 Mbps (which was significantly less than the current average of 42.86 Mbps). 

Film critic Lucy Mohr, who was hired to MC the streaming event (which cost $7.50 to watch, by the way), said that, looking back, it is likely the lowest-fidelity movie ever to stream over the internet. She then compared it to Eadweard Muybridge’s project Horse in Motion, which — in 1876, long before movies really began — showed a series of photos that, when looked at in succession, gave the appearance of a moving horse. So, yeah...early days stuff.

Still, Party Girl deserves credit for going first (it's also a cult classic worth watching if you're a fan of Parker Posey and/or indie '90s movies).

9. Toy Story 2 was a massive hit in 1999 — grossing $511 million worldwide and easily topping the first film's $394 million total. The sequel was better reviewed than the first film, too! But if Disney had its way, the classic movie would have been released direct-to-video.


Buena Vista Pictures / ©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Disney had previously made successful direct-to-video sequels to their hit animated films (like Aladdin 2: Return of Jafar), and the strategy had become their model for keeping the characters alive...and making the sequels more affordably. Pixar, however, pushed back on downgrading the Toy Story franchise to direct-to-video, and got their theatrical release...something Disney is surely happy with today.

10. Kevin Costner tried to make a sequel to The Bodyguard — but this time around, instead of protecting Whitney Houston, he would've been guarding Princess Diana!


Warner Bros., Princess Diana Archive / Getty Images

The Bodyguard — starring Kevin Costner as a former Secret Service agent hired to protect a music star played by Whitney Houston — was a huge hit in 1992. Even if you never saw the film, you almost certainly know the soundtrack, which featured Houston's smash "I Will Always Love You.”

A few years later, Costner pursued a wild idea — to make a sequel where his bodyguard character would be tasked with protecting a member of the royal family, and he wanted Princess Diana to star! According to Costner, Diana was cautiously interested in making her film debut and consented to Costner having a script written for them. Sadly, the finished script reached Costner’s desk just a day before she died.

11. The Crow — about a rock musician brought back from the dead to avenge his and his fiancé’s murder — was one of the biggest hits in the summer of 1994 and made a star of its lead actor Brandon Lee. Tragically, though, Lee didn't live to see any of it because he was killed on set while filming the scene where his character was to be shot and killed.



The death of Lee (whose father Bruce also died tragically young) was due to a series of mistakes by the production team that led to the 28-year-old star being shot with the remnants of a real bullet instead of a dummy cartridge. Cameras were rolling when the actor fired the gun, fatally wounding Lee.

Paramount decided against proceeding with the film, but Miramax picked it up — and added $8 million to help finish the production. After some rewrites, Lee’s remaining scenes were completed using a stunt double and CGI effects (that were revolutionary at the time). The Crow’s long hair — and the dark, grimy nature of the film's cinematography — helped make this subterfuge convincing.

12. This year's The Super Mario Bros. Movie with Chris Pratt isn't the first big screen adaptation of the classic game. Super Mario Bros. — starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the brothers — was one of the biggest critical and commercial bombs of 1993, and the production was every bit as messy.


Buena Vista Pictures

According to Leguizamo's autobiography, it was clear to everyone early on that the movie would be a disaster, so the onscreen Mario and Luigi spent a lot of their days dipping into Hoskins's scotch to make the experience less interminable.

Unfortunately, during one take, an inebriated Leguizamo was behind the wheel of their characters' van (not a good idea!) when he hit the gas too fast and the door closed on Hoskins' hand, breaking his finger. If you look closely, you can see Hoskins wears a cast on his finger at times in the movie.

13. 1998's Michael Bay directed sci-fi film Armageddon — about a team of blue-collar deep-core drillers sent by NASA to stop an asteroid on a collision course with Earth — was one of the decade's biggest hits, grossing $534 million worldwide. It also had a reputation of being a bit silly, and on the film's DVD commentary, star Ben Affleck riled up Bay by asking, "Why was it easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers?" Bay responded by saying, "Shut the fuck up."


Touchstone Pictures / ©Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Affleck, despite the slight tension in the room, didn't shut up. He continued making fun of the film's concept on the commentary track for several more minutes.

14. Nicolas Cage won Best Actor for his towering performance as a deeply troubled alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas, and got drunk for real when filming some of his scenes.


United Artists

Cage told James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio, "I never drink when I act, but I wanted to incorporate in some scenes actual drinking. So, that scene in the casino when I'm freaking out, I'm really drunk."

In the scene, when security pulls Cage's character from the casino, Cage repeatedly screams, "I am his father!" This line was improvised by the actor. He told Lipton, "That was sort of a primal scream that came out of me that wasn't in the script."

15. And lastly, Edward Furlong — who burst on to the scene playing John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day — became one of the biggest teen actors of the '90s simply because he went to hang with his buddies at The Boys' Club.


Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

Furlong grew up in the greater Los Angeles area, but was a regular working-class kid (living with his mom and, later, his aunt — his father wasn’t in the picture) who hung out with his friends at The Boys’ Club and collected CDs. So, when he walked into The Boys’ Club one day in the early ‘90s, he had no reason to think anything out of the ordinary was about to happen — but it definitely was.

Mali Finn, the casting director for Terminator 2: Judgement Day, had grown tired of all the professional actor kids who’d auditioned for the role of young John Connor, and decided to go look for a more natural kid out in the world. One of her stops? The Boys’ Club, where she spotted Furlong playing with his friends.

Furlong — who'd never acted a day in his life — was very suspicious when this random woman approached him and asked if she could talk to him. As he told the Los Angeles Times, “I didn’t know who she was. She came over to me and said, ‘Can I talk with you?’ So, I said, ‘What did I do wrong?’”

After three intense interviews and some acting lessons, Furlong found himself on set acting opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. He finished the ‘90s as one of the decade's most popular teen stars, with additional roles in films like American History X, Pecker, and Detroit Rock City. All thanks to The Boys’ Club!

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