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Top 10 Biggest Behind-the-Scenes Movie Coincidences

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Matt Wende

Sometimes the story behind a movie is better than the movie itself. For this list, we’re looking at weird or wacky movie-related occurrences that are almost impossibly coincidental, but as far as we know… are true, or at least have been claimed or reported to be. Our list includes “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), “Troy” (2004), “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), “Kick-Ass” (2010), and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Biggest Coincidences Behind a Film’s Production.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Biggest+a+coincidences+in+Movies. Special thanks to our users Brennan Young, David Ram, Shannon Dowling, and Paras Ninos for suggesting this idea!

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Script written by Matt Wende

Top 10 Biggest Coincidences Behind a Film’s Production


Sometimes the story behind a movie is better than the movie itself. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Biggest Coincidences Behind a Film’s Production.



For this list, we’re looking at weird or wacky movie-related occurrences that are almost impossibly coincidental, but as far as we know… are true, or at least have been claimed or reported to be.





#10: A Sign from God

“The Passion of the Christ” (2004)


“The Passion of the Christ” was a daring film that challenged many an audience member. Throughout almost the entire film, actor Jim Caviezel brings to life the torture that Jesus of Nazareth suffered before being crucified. It’s tough to watch, but during shooting the Sermon on the Mount – as explained by the actor himself – Caviezel was struck by lightning. On any other film, this would have been reported as an unfortunate accident, but considering the subject’s relation to God, it’s difficult not to wonder if director Mel Gibson was getting a message from the big guy upstairs.






#9: Magical Coat

“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)




Given how iconic the movie is in its own right, It may surprise some to know that “The Wizard of Oz” was originally a book written by L. Frank Baum, who unfortunately died long before the film ever went into production. When working on the illustrious production design, the costume department went to second hand stores for Professor Marvel, in order to achieve a dignified yet worn out look. According to journalist Aljean Harmetz, they managed to snag a coat that would work, but hearts stopped when they checked the label indicating the jacket’s former owner – L. Frank Baum, the original book’s author. This insane coincidence is almost enough to make you believe in magic.





#8: Quicksilver, Meet Quicksilver

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015) & “Kick-Ass” (2010)




While in dire financial straits during the ‘90s, Marvel sold the film rights of the “X-Men” franchise to 20th Century Fox, while holding onto the rights of “The Avengers”. Since the character Quicksilver is both an X-Man and an Avenger, both companies simultaneously owned the film rights to him. Fast forward a near-twenty years, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-Men film franchises are killing it, and both produce movies featuring Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and Evan Peters in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Weirdly these two actors had worked together in another comic book movie called “Kick-Ass”, in which they are close friends with aspirations of being superheroes.







#7: Fall of Achilles

“Troy”(2004)


The tale of Achilles and the siege of troy are legendary. Literally, there’s a legend about it. And in said legend, Achilles was the son of a goddess, who dipped him in waters that would make him invincible, with his only vulnerable point being where his mother held him: his ankle. While the 2004 film “Troy” attempted to bring a more grounded approach to the warrior’s story, actor Brad Pitt tore his – you guessed it - Achilles’ tendon while on set. Because it was an extremely painful injury, production of the epic had to shut down for ten weeks while Brad Pitt recovered.





#6: A Bad Omen

“The Omen” (1976)


Okay, it’s fun to joke around, but this is seriously frickin’ creepy. “The Omen” is the story of a family who find themselves raising the Antichrist. Bummer, right? But what happened when the cameras weren’t rolling is even scarier. Lead actor Gregory Peck’s son was found dead 2 months before shooting began and he narrowly missed being on a plane that crashed and killed all its passengers. Then, two separate planes carrying two crew members were struck by lightning, while animal trainers lost control of some of the animals used in the movie, and the film’s director stayed in a hotel bombed by the IRA before being hit by a car. More accidents befell the crew, and continued through the film’s sequels. While shooting the 2006 remake, over thirteen thousand feet of film mysteriously went missing, which is an unheard of amount.



#5: Double Oscar Prediction

“The Godfather” (1972), “The Godfather Part II” (1974) & “Raging Bull” (1980)


After getting passed up to play Sonny Corleone in the original “Godfather,” Robert De Niro was cast to play a young Vito Corleone in “The Godfather Part II”. For his work, De Niro received an Oscar for best Supporting Actor. Robert De Niro would later go on to take home his second Oscar, this time for best actor in a leading role, for playing Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull”. In the original film, as the older Don Vito Corleone buys oranges, a poster advertising a Jake LaMotta fight can clearly be seen in the background. That means in one shot of the Godfather, both of De Niro’s Oscar winning roles can be seen.





#4: 9/11 Filming Location

“Nosebleed” (Unreleased)


Many have looked at old movies and pointed to apparent predictions of the September 11 attacks - notable examples include the passport expiry date of Neo from “The Matrix” being 9/11/2001. But this example is by far the most shocking. At the time, Jackie Chan was originally supposed to star in an action comedy titled “Nosebleed”, but he felt the script was weak and needed work, so they delayed production. Thankfully so, because the shoot was supposed to take place in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and by some reports even featured a terrorist attack. In the wake of the attacks, talks of rewriting the project were tossed around, but it was eventually scrapped.



#3: The Line of Duty

“Code of the Secret Service” (1939)


Before Ronald Reagan became the Republican poster boy that he is today, he was an actor. This is important, because he was tasked with playing in a series of movies about the United States Secret Service. Apparently, Reagan was not fond of these movies, so it’s ironic enough that years later he would become president and be protected by the Secret Service - but hold on, this story gets better. Years later, as a gunman opened fire and attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, the man widely credited with saving his life was Special Agent in Charge Jerry Parr, who stated he was inspired to join the Secret Service after seeing the film “Code of the Secret Service”, starring – you guessed it – Ronald Reagan.





#2: The Book from London

“The Girl from Petrovka” (1974)


In the early ‘70s, Anthony Hopkins was cast to play a role in the adaptation of “The Girl from Petrovka”. Like any good actor, he decided to read the source material to prepare for the role. Problem is, he had a hell of time finding a copy of the book. Just when he was ready to give up his search though, he found a copy sitting on a park bench. A while later, Hopkins met the author of the book, George Feifer, who said that he himself had lost his personal copy, after he lent it to a friend who had lost it somewhere in London. As it turns out, Hopkins had accidentally found the book belonging to the original author.





#1: Tragic Family

“Game of Death” (1978)


This is a story as tragic as it is coincidental. While shooting the original “Game of Death” in the early ‘70s, Bruce Lee died during its production. To justify his character’s sudden change in appearance, as he was replaced by a different actor, the story of the 1978 version was altered to have Lee’s character get shot while on a movie set. Years later, Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, died on the set of “The Crow”, after he was shot with an improperly handled gun. While this coincidence is as devastating as it is unpredictable, both actors are remembered fondly for their work in the industry and martial arts.

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