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Drop Dead Fred (1991) Poster

Trivia

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Robin Williams was offered the role of Drop Dead Fred, but instead chose to play Peter Banning in Hook (1991).
The script was originally offered to Tim Burton, but he declined to direct.
Kerri Green, Molly Ringwald, Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder and Lea Thompson were all considered for the role of Elizabeth.
Alec Baldwin, John Getz, Jeff Goldblum, Jeffrey Jones and Rick Moranis were considered for the role of Charles.
The steamboat that Janie lived on is an actual residence.
Josh Brolin, Michael J. Fox, Anthony Michael Hall, Matthew Modine, Keanu Reeves and Charlie Sheen were considered for the role of Mickey Bunce.
The script was picked up by Disney who wanted it to star Goldie Hawn, but not cast Rik Mayall. The writers declined and took it away from them.
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Geena Davis and Beverly D'Angelo were both considered for the role of Janie.
Filmed in 1990 in Minneapolis.
Writers Anthony Fingleton and Carlos Davis wrote the part of Fred just for Rik Mayall, who even threw ideas into the script, such as the opening where Elizabeth's mother reads her a bedtime story and Fred sinking the houseboat.
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Grandma Bunce is played by the director's mother. For the scene where she gets paint thrown on her, yogurt was used. Weeks later, she said she still found some yogurt in her ears.
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The film was released the same year Rik Mayall's popular sitcom Bottom (1991) premiered on British television.
A remake was planned with Russell Brand to star as Fred. However due to the box office failure of Arthur (2011), the project was scrapped.
The film was originally set in the UK, but Rik Mayall wanted to do worldwide films. So the decision was to set this movie in the US.
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Carrie Fisher auditioned for Elizabeth. But she was considered too old, but was offered the role of Janie instead.
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Bridget Fonda did an uncredited cameo in favor of her friend, Phoebe Cates.
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Phoebe Cates' husband Kevin Kline was meant to have a cameo in the film, but it never happened.
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Carrie Fisher re-wrote some of her dialogue.
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PolyGram and Working Title Films did not have US distribution divisions at the time. They often relied on other distributors to handle US distribution for their movies. They were both struggling to find a US distributor to sell the film to. They showed the final cut of Drop Dead Fred to various distributors including Orion Pictures, Miramax Films, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Vestron Pictures, TriStar Pictures, MGM/UA, and 20th Century Fox. All of them called the film "a depressing children's movie on drugs" and turned the movie down. They even brought it to The Geffen Film Company. But they turned it down because they felt the movie was a rip off of Beetlejuice (1988), which Geffen distributed 3 years earlier. Finally they showed the film to New Line Cinema. New Line CEO Robert Shaye and executive Michael DeLuca bashed and hated the movie with Shaye allegedly calling the movie "horseshit". But fellow executive Sara Risher was the only one who liked the movie. She felt that the character of Drop Dead Fred was a comedic reversal of Freddy Krueger in their A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) franchise. New Line at that time was also trying to find another "Freddy Krueger" character, as they were ending the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise with Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) the same year. For the next few days, Risher kept trying to convince Robert Shaye to buy the rights to the movie. Shaye finally agreed, but decided to only handle the theatrical and TV rights. He insisted on finding a different distributor to handle the video rights. Shaye tried selling them to Media Home Entertainment and HBO Video without any success. He finally sold the video rights to LIVE Entertainment who also bought the home video rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) from New Line a year earlier.
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The film was unpopular with critics and Gene Siskel called the film "The worst film of 1991".
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The director of this film made Lizzy's father English as Rik Mayal was English. Drop Dead Fred is a metaphor for the father Lizzy wished she had
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