Wham! Bam! Thank you ma’am! Here are 15 facts about the 2007 action genre homage Shoot ‘Em Up.
1. IT’S INFLUENCED BY SOME WIDE-RANGING CLASSICS.
Writer/director Michael Davis imagined Shoot ‘Em Up as an homage to Sergio Leone’s Man With No Name trilogy and John Woo’s influential Hong Kong action movie Hard Boiled.
2. DAVIS USED HIS OWN DRAWINGS TO GET THE MOVIE MADE.
As a pitch for studios to make the movie, Davis cut together a 15-minute animatic reel of his own hand-drawn sketches to portray the type of action he wanted to put onscreen.
3. DAVIS KEPT TWO SPECIFIC RULES IN MIND WHILE WRITING HIS SCRIPT.
There could be no explosions and all of the action had to be gun-centric.
4. CLIVE OWEN HAD A HAND IN WRITING THE SCRIPT.
Owen wrote the scene where he teaches the baby the parts of his gun.
5. THE ROCK MUSIC SOUNDTRACK WASN’T ADDED UNTIL MUCH LATER.
Davis was originally puzzled about what music to use for the movie—until the studio heads, impressed by an early cut of the movie, expanded the budget so he could afford the rights to songs from bands like Nirvana, Motörhead, AC/DC, and Mötley Crüe.
6. PAUL GIAMATTI WAS CAST AS THE VILLIAN BECAUSE HE’S USUALLY SO NICE.
Davis wanted an unorthodox villain, so he cast Giamatti against-type. Davis particularly enjoyed Giamatti’s lovable loser character with a hot temper from 2004’s Sideways.
7. GIAMATTI CAN THANK HIS CHARACTER FOR A REAL-LIFE FASHION EMERGENCY.
The actor was forced to wear his character’s intentionally bad comb over and scraggly goatee to the 2005 Academy Awards—during which Sideways won the Best Adapted Screenplay award—because Shoot ‘Em Up was shooting at the same time.
8. ITALIAN ACTRESS MONICA BELLUCCI’S MULTI-LINGUAL TALENTS PROVED USEFUL.
She dubbed her own voice for the movie’s Italian and French versions.
9. THE TWINS WHO PLAYED THE BABY WERE CAST BEFORE THEY WERE BORN.
The production got approval to cast Sidney and Lucas Mende-Gibson as Baby Oliver while their mother was 8½ months pregnant.
10. THE MENDE-GIBSONS WEREN’T THE ONLY BABIES USED.
Five fake babies were used for stunt sequences—two animatronic babies that moved their arms and legs and three artificial dolls whose faces were made more lifelike with CGI in post-production.
11. CIRQUE DU SOLEIL HELPED CLIVE OWEN WITH HIS STUNTS.
The Canada-based circus provided Owen with a special harness to make it more comfortable to shoot the green screen skydiving scenes, which involved the actor being strapped in for 4 days straight at up to 9 hours at a time.
12. THE MOVIE HAS A LOT OF FIREPOWER.
The characters wield over 200 different firearms during the 86-minute film.
13. AND A TON OF FAKE BLOOD.
Roughly $70,000 was budgeted for the squibs, the fake-blood-filled practical effect used to make it look like someone has been shot, alone.
14. THE END CREDIT SEQUENCE WAS INTENTIONALLY A BOND MOVIE KNOCKOFF.
It was a nod to the 007 movies’ elaborately stylized opening sequences.
15. A KEY STUNT GOT THE MYTHBUSTERS TREATMENT.
Unfortunately, the Mythbusters found that you could not, in fact, spin a merry-go-round by firing bullets at it like Clive Owen’s character does in the movie.