The Truman Show (1998) Poster


David Cronenberg turned down directing duties.
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (3)
Ed Harris and Jim Carrey never met during filming.
The Trumania bit, where Jim Carrey draws on the mirror with soap and acts strange, was completely improvised by Carrey. In another take, he drew long curly hair and a dress.
In an interview, director Peter Weir stated he wanted to have cameras installed in every theater the film was shown in, having the projectionist at one point cut the power, cut to the viewers, and then cut back to the movie.
In an early scene, a bottle of vitamin D is on on Truman and Meryl's kitchen table, needed for those without exposure to the (real) sun.
People on the set were forbidden from uttering phrases from Jim Carrey's past "silly" movies.
According to a 2008 New York Times article, psychologists in Britain and the U.S. reported a number of people experiencing "Truman Syndrome" or "the Truman Show delusion," the belief that they are the unwitting star of their own reality TV show. Reportedly, many of those afflicted have specifically mentioned the film while in therapy. More recently, on September 16, 2013, the detailed account of one Ohio student who suffered for years from the Truman-Show delusion is documented in the New Yorker magazine article, "Unreality Star," by Andrew Marantz.
Every street name in Seahaven refers to a movie actor, e.g. "Lancaster Square" or "Barrymore Road." All of the "cast" members are likewise named after movie stars: Meryl, Marlon, Lauren, Kirk, Angela, etc.
The film is studied in Media Ethics courses, particularly focusing on the characters of creator Christof, best friend Marlon and the "prostituting" of Truman's wife, Meryl.
To help Ed Harris develop the character for Christof, director Peter Weir presented to him a 10 page biography. Part of this biography consisted of Christof doing a film on the homeless for which he won an award.
The events in the movie take place over a four to five-day time span, Day 10,909 to Day 10,913 of the show, as shown by the ticker over the TV in the Truman Bar. Truman would have been six to seven weeks from his 30th birthday. A "30th Anniversary" Truman Show commemorative plate can be seen hanging in the bar.
Jim Carrey was Peter Weir's first choice to play Truman from the outset.
The iconic poster, a rendition of Jim Carrey's face comprised of hundreds of individual images, was created by artist Rob Silverman at a rumored cost of $75,000.
Just before the boat stops, we see the number "139" prominently displayed on its sail. The ensuing dialogue between Truman and Christof contains some paraphrased references to Psalm 139, as do many other aspects of the film.
Various trailers included scenes that were deleted from the theatrical and DVD releases: A cast read-through (a sign on the wall warns "ATTENTION: 1. REMOVE CELLPHONES. 2. NO SCRIPTS ON SET. 3. NO I.D. CARDS ON SET"); a visible tear in the "sky" after a stage light falls on the "street" in front of Truman's house; Truman singing the Planet Trumania anthem.
Jim Carrey was paid $12.5 million for his work on the film.
Dennis Hopper was originally cast as Christof, but walked off the set after his first day. Ed Harris replaced him. Hopper went on to a supporting role in Edtv (1999), which has striking similarities to the premise of "The Truman Show."
The location shoot for Seahaven Island (the film's town in the dome) was in a place called Seaside, Florida. When director Peter Weir arrived there with his pre-production team, he said, "Unpack our things, we've found our town." The week they arrived during the location scouting is the week they began pre-production.
The couple at the picnic table, Darryl Davis and Robert Davis, are the founders of Seaside, the town where the movie is filmed. Robert Davis inherited the 80 acres from his grandfather, and he and his wife built the first home, and his concept of a small town and mixed-use building has become enormously popular and influential in the last twenty years.
Sylvia's apartment contains photos of cast members labeled with Post-It notes. One picture is of Marlon, labeled "Unable to Get Near Marlon - PRIME!" Other photos are labeled "Jogger - 'No Way'" and "will think about it." A printed banner above these photos contains the word "Agents."
Just before Sylvia calls during the TV interview/phone-in with Christof, the host says they have a call from The Hague for Christof (though the call is lost and they move onto the next caller). This is where the international courts dealing with people like dictators on trial for crimes against humanity are based. So it is quite fitting since Christof proceeds to get into a moral debate with Sylvia about Truman.
The motto on the double archway in the Seahaven town center is UNUS PRO OMNIBUS, OMNES PRO UNO: "One for all, all for one" in Latin, thus fitting the premise of the Truman Show. The motto is also the used in the Alexandre Dumas père's novel, The Three Musketeers.
One of the buildings Truman encounters bears the name "Omnicom." Common beliefs about God center around the qualities of being omniscient, all-knowing, omnipotent, all-powerful, omnipresent, present everywhere and omni-benevolent, perfect goodness. This alludes to Christof's role as the silent higher power embodying these qualities (except omni-benevolence) in playing God.
While figuring out how to play the character of Christof, Ed Harris suggested him being a hunchback (causing him to have an unhappy childhood and instilling his desire for Truman to have an idealized life), but he changed his mind after trying on a prosthetic hump and seeing what he looked like.
Director Peter Weir filmed in the 1.66:1 ratio to make it feel more like a television show. Only the original DVD is in this aspect ratio. The theatrical cut was cropped to 1.85:1 and the Blu-ray release to 1.78:1.
Part of the original screenwriting deal called for Andrew Niccol to have his directing debut, but Paramount executives later felt the estimated $80 million budget would be too high for him. In addition, Paramount wanted to go with an A-list director, paying Niccol extra money "to step aside." Brian De Palma was under negotiations to direct before he left United Talent Agency in March 1994. Directors who were considered after de Palma's departure included Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Barry Sonnenfeld and Steven Spielberg, before Peter Weir signed on in early 1995, following a recommendation from Niccol.
The State Examination Commission in Ireland listed the film as one of the options for the English comparative study for the Leaving Certificate (state exam taken when leaving school) of 2008 and has just been selected again for 2010.
When Andrew Niccol was going to direct, Gary Oldman was going to star.
The band uniforms that Truman was wearing belonged to the Blue Star Regiment of Riverside's North High School.
The name of Truman's sailboat is the Santa Maria, the same name as one of Christopher Columbus's ships.
It took three years from Peter Weir receiving his first copy of Andrew Niccol's script to the film's completion.
Sam Raimi was considered to direct and had met with Jim Carrey.
The 'location' of the dome where "The Truman Show" is filmed is in Burbank, California. Truman's name is Truman Burbank.
The man who bursts out of the Christmas box is Mark Rubeo, who is also the Assistant Art Director of the film.
Follows a very similar plot to the episode Secret Cinema from the first season of Amazing Stories.
The name of the "actor" who plays Marlon is listed at the beginning of the film as "Louis Coltrane," an amalgam of the names of the jazz musicians Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane. The character also plays trumpet in the film, another allusion to Armstrong.
The basic story of a man unknowingly being forced to live in an alternate reality is identical to the plot of the 1959 sci-fi novel "Time out of Joint" by Philip K. Dick.
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Truman and his best friend Marlon both own new Fords (Truman has a Taurus sedan and Marlon has a Ranger pickup truck) This is probably intentional since it is said during the film that the show makes lots of money by using product placement.
One of the picture frames on the wall of the Japanese family's home bears the words "Mainichi Truman" ("Truman Every Day") in Japanese handwriting.
The exterior shots of "Seahaven" were shot in the beach town of Seaside in Florida. Some interior shots were also filmed, including the local shop.
The Truman Show was set in 1995
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During the film, Truman references his dream to visit Fiji, which, according to him, is the farthest place away he can go without starting to go back. If this is the case, then the set of "The Truman Show" would be located in Timbuktu, Mali, as it is on the opposite side of the world as Fiji.
Judy Clayton, the actress who plays the travel agent, was in Ace Ventura:Pet Detective with Jim Carrey 4 years earlier, playing a woman who had hired Ace to find her lost dog.
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Director Peter Weir has said The Truman Show was based on Michael Jackson, whose life was also turned into a show for the world.
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Annabella Sciorra was considered for the role of Meryl Burbank.
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The Seahaven scenes were filmed at Seaside, a planned community and resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
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Hope Davis was in the running for the role that ultimately went to Laura Linney.
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Trumans birthday is January 30th
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When Truman goes missing, Simeon refers to Louis Coltrane (Marlon) as 'Marlon', his stage name.
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Trumans house is number 36 but in real life, the house is Seaside, Florida is number 31.
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In chapter 8 (at 03:18) Truman is nearly run over by a coach - a 1990 ElDorado National Transmark II SL.
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Philip Glass: Television composer on the synth piano while Truman sleeps and Christof strokes the giant screen.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The original script was darker and had crucial differences from the shooting draft. The city was not a utopian society but there were staged criminal incidents. Truman had a drinking problem. It is stated clearly that Truman makes love to his wife (whose real name is Hannah). Christoff's intention was for Truman to have Meryl impregnated and the child would carry on the show. There were more clues that help Truman realize the truth. The scene where Truman confronts Meryl was far more aggressive. Finally, and most importantly, after Truman passes the door, he meets Christoff and the main cast members on a rooftop, while in the film the story ends with Truman's exit from the fake world. In the encounter at the rooftop, which was in the script the actors stare at him sheepishly, but Truman in his rage attacks Christoff and tries to strangle him, but the rest of the actors hold him back. He is finally reunited with Sylvia.
The ending mirrors the ending of the C.S. Lewis book "Voyage of the Dawn Treader," #4 of the Narnia series (#3 in publication order), with a ship sailing to the end of the "known" world and encountering a sky-blue wall, with a doorway leading to "another" world.
The events in the movie The Truman Show took place between December 13th to December 17th.
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