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Wired (1989) Poster

(1989)

Trivia

According to Michael Chiklis, during a chance meeting with Jim Belushi, he apologized to Belushi for causing pain to the Belushi family. The two men hugged and agreed to put it behind them.
Jim Belushi went to producer Edward S. Feldman's office and trashed his desk in protest of this film. Feldman was not in his office at the time but Belushi told Feldman's secretary "Tell him I was here".
Michael Chiklis was chosen over 200 other candidates for the role of John Belushi. Chiklis first auditioned in 1985 and was finally cast in 1988 after numerous rounds of auditions. This was the first film Chiklis auditioned for.
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Dan Aykroyd publicly stated his disdain for the film and claimed that he hired witches to put a curse on it. Aykroyd had J.T. Walsh fired from Loose Cannons (1990) because he starred in this film.
Michael Chiklis gained 30 pounds and and wore brown contact lenses over his blue eyes in order to resemble John Belushi.
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Dan Aykroyd, Judith Belushi-Pisano, Jim Belushi and many other friends and relatives of John Belushi boycotted the film, because it made "John's life look bad". This ultimately ended with the film being a bomb in the box office.
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Michael Chiklis' feature film debut. This is also his first Hollywood production; guest roles in Miami Vice (1984) and B.L. Stryker (1989) were filmed later but debuted earlier.
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Bob Woodward, who wrote the book on which this film is based, served as an uncredited technical advisor.
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Arnie Fromson is based on Belushi's manager, Bernie Brillstein.
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Because the film is an "unauthorized" biopic, many of the skits and song numbers performed on Saturday Night Live (1975) were copyrighted by NBC, so in the film, some were made-up and not in fact actual skits and numbers John performed (i.e. "The Samurai Baseball" skit and the "634-5789" Blues Brothers number). Similarly, where Belushi famously mocked Joe Cocker's performance of "With a Little Help from My Friends" at Woodstock, in the film Cocker's later hit "You Are So Beautiful" is performed.
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In the scene where John Landis is walking across the set from The Blues Brothers (1980), a helicopter can be heard in the background. See Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).
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The producers received a letter from an attorney representing Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Landis, Bernie Brillstein, Michael Ovitz and Lorne Michaels. The attorney warned the producers not to depict his clients in the film or he would file a lawsuit for invasion of privacy on their behalf. Ovitz also called producer Edward S. Feldman and tried to discourage him from making the film.
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Michael Chiklis claimed that it took the producers three years to cast the role of John Belushi. Then aged 25, Chiklis heard about auditions for the part when he was weeks away from picking up his theatre arts degree at Boston University: "I rushed down to try out... In the first 24 hours, I was called back 57 times to see different people. It was the first movie I ever read for. I was called back three times at first, then six to eight months would go by and I'd be called again, asked to perform two to three times, then nothing for maybe 10 months. I'd just about given up hope, then I'd get another call for more auditions."
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Principal photography commenced in May 1988 and finished in the autumn of that year. The film was completed by the end of 1988; however, it did not receive a theatrical release until August 1989. The producers had problems finding a distributor for the film, as many of the major studios refused to distribute it. Several independent studios such as New Visions (then headed by Taylor Hackford) backed away from it. Atlantic Entertainment was about to distribute the film, but financial problems prevented that from happening, so Taurus Entertainment agreed to distribute the film.
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In his book Tell Me How You Love The Picture: A Hollywood Life (2005), producer Edward S. Feldman recalled the film's difficulties securing a distributor. Feldman accused Hollywood powerbroker Michael Ovitz - whose Creative Artists Agency had represented John Belushi, as well as Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray - of using his influence to sabotage the production and distribution of the film.. Ovitz himself claimed that "The film will rise or fall based on its own merits... We have nothing to do with the movie." Some studio executives claimed that their reluctance to distribute Wired (1989) was due to the film's dubious quality, rather than its subject matter. Bernie Brillstein accused the filmmakers of generating the controversy around the film themselves, in an attempt to improve its commercial prospects: "The only thing that the producers have to hang on to is the image of Wired as "the movie that Hollywood tried to stop"... I think this is a very good plan to get some excitement for the movie."
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Michael Chiklis' participation in Wired derailed the actor's career for 18 months: "After Wired (1989), everyone was afraid to touch me for fear of reprisal... It was a bittersweet situation. All of a sudden, I was starring in a major motion picture and the next thing you know, I'm being asked by reporters, 'Do you think you'll be blackballed?'"
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The film was criticised due to the addition of several fictional elements that were not present in the book, such as the guardian angel character, and the addition of Bob Woodward himself as a character.
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Bob Woodward sought to sell the book's film rights as early as 1984 - the year the book was published - but he found little interest in Hollywood for the project. Woodward later claimed, "A large portion of Hollywood didn't want this movie made because there's too much truth in it."
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Producers Edward S. Feldman and Charles R. Meeker bought the film rights to the book for the relatively modest sum of $300,000, and, lacking major studio funding, put up $1 million of the film's $13 million budget themselves. The rest of the film's funding came from the New Zealand conglomerate Lion Nathan.
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One scene features Joe Strummer's song "Love Kills", from the soundtrack to Sid and Nancy (1986) - another biopic about a celebrity drug casualty.
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John Landis and Bill Murray threatened to sue for invasion of privacy if their names were used in the film. The former is portrayed as a nameless director, while the latter doesn't appear at all.
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The film depicts John Landis punching a coked-out John Belushi in the face during the filming of The Blues Brothers (1980). This event, recounted directly from the opening of Bob Woodward's book, was dismissed by Landis as "not true"
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Many real-life celebrities who figured prominently in John Belushi's life and in Bob Woodward's book, including Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Ed Begley Jr., Treat Williams, Carrie Fisher and Steven Spielberg are not depicted in the film at all.
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While The Blues Brothers never performed "634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)" on Saturday Night Live (1975), it was featured in Blues Brothers 2000 (1998).
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At one point, John Belushi quotes the famous "I coulda been a contender" scene from On the Waterfront (1954). Belushi once impersonated Marlon Brando on Saturday Night Live (1975).
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Aside from Dan Aykroyd, none of John Belushi's costars from Saturday Night Live (1975) appear in the film, although Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman are mentioned.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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