Edit
Wild Wild West (1999) Poster

Trivia

Will Smith turned down the lead role in The Matrix (1999) to star in this movie, being a fan of the television series. He later said this was the worst decision he made in his career.
Though a box office failure its commonly joked that the only reason the film made any money at all is because unaccompanied minors would buy tickets to this film then use them to sneak into screenings of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and American Pie (1999).
The film underwent costly re-shoots in an attempt to inject some humor after it was found that test audiences weren't sure if it was supposed to be a comedy.
Will Smith said that he knew the movie wasn't any good and he was embarrassed when it earned almost $50 million in its opening weekend. Years later, Smith apologized publicly to Robert Conrad (star of the original TV series) and said now that he was older and more experienced, he understood Conrad's anger and criticism of the film version, as well as Conrad's refusal to make a cameo appearance in it.
When Kenneth Branagh was in an articulated metal platform as Dr. Loveless, he actually was seated in the device in a kneeling position. He would have to get up every few minutes and walk around to get the circulation back in his legs, as they would continually go numb from being in that position for an extended period.
Robert Conrad was initially approached by Barry Sonnenfeld to make a cameo appearance as President Ulysses Simpson Grant. He turned down the offer after reading the script due to what he felt was its poor quality and lack of loyalty for the original series it was based on.
When this film swept the 20th Annual Razzie Awards, "winning" 5 statuettes including Worst Picture, Robert Conrad, who played James West in the original 1960s TV series, accepted three of the awards in person as his way of expressing his low opinion of what had been done with his source material.
Kevin Smith has said that the giant spider was producer Jon Peters' idea for the later-abandoned "Superman Lives" project with Nicolas Cage and Tim Burton.
The characters of "Spike Guy" and "Knife Guy" were added to the movie and inserted into the climax after test audiences found the heroes fighting only Loveless' beauties to be very odd.
Mel Gibson was set to star as James West and Richard Donner (who had directed three episodes of The Wild Wild West (1965)) was set to direct with a script by Shane Black back when Warner Bros announced the plans to make the movie in 1992. However, they both dropped out and went on to do Maverick (1994). After Gibson dropped out, Tom Cruise was attached to star, before dropping out to star in Mission: Impossible (1996).
Belle was originally cast with and filmed with British actress Phina Oruche. Reportedly, the chemistry needed for the bathtub love scene wasn't there. The scene was recast and re-shot with Garcelle Beauvais. However, Oruche was not told and found out she was no longer in the film at the premiere in Los Angeles.
The shot of the puppy looking into General "Bloodbath" McGrath's hearing aid is a visual reference to 'His Master's Voice', a painting by Francis Barraud. The image of Nipper the dog listening to a gramophone was used for decades as the logo of RCA Victor (and still is, in North America); in Europe it's known more recently as the logo for HMV media stores.
In the scene where Jim West and Artemus Gordon ride away on their horses in the desert from the train off to avenge Loveless again, the original musical score from the T.V. series plays.
There was a recurring villain on the TV series named Dr. Loveless, but he was a dwarf rather than an amputee and his first name was Miguelito, not Arliss.
George Clooney was attached to play Artemus Gordon, but turned it down reportedly because it was a supporting part.
This is actually the second movie in which Kevin Kline plays both the President of the United States and the man impersonating the President. The first was Dave (1993).
Dr. Loveless demands the "immediate and unconditional surrender of the United States" from President Grant. Ulysses S. Grant's nickname during the Civil War was "Unconditional Surrender", which made use of his initials.
Artemus Gordon's Nitro Cycle is in the collection of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Alabama, just east of Birmingham, Alabama. It is above the entrance to the gift shop near the entrance to the museum.
Barry Sonnenfeld, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek, Will Smith, and in fact half the staff at Warner Bros. hate this film. Hayek in particular thought she was being underused, while Kline considered himself too good of an actor for the finished product.
At an official $150 million (unofficial $180 million) it stands as the most expensive movie produced by Warner Bros. and the most expensive movie released in 1999.
Ted Levine grew up watching the original TV series. Levine said he enjoyed working on the film but because there were so many writers revising the script, there was no centre, causing the story to be all over the place. He attributed that to the film's failure as well as Will Smith's miscasting.
Although the opening credits are styled after the opening of the 1960s series, the decision was made to use a generic piece of music instead of the original Wild Wild West theme. The original theme, however, is heard on the soundtrack near the climax of the film.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The only building which was not destroyed in Silverado is the "Lucky Hotel."
9 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The sequences on both Artemus Gordon's and Dr. Loveless' trains interiors were shot on sets at Warner Bros. The train exteriors were shot in Idaho.
9 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Kevin Kline; and three Oscar nominees: Will Smith, Kenneth Branagh and Salma Hayek.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Kenneth Branagh immersed himself in the American Civil War to bone up on his character.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Reno train featured in the film is on display at the Old Tucson Studios in Tucson Arizona.
8 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The scene where Dr. Loveless' train is raised on four girders outside of the train tunnel was all done digitally. A real train was used when it was finally back on its tracks and the girders going back inside the train, which was also done digitally.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The locomotive in the film (#25 William Mason) was previously used in The Great Locomotive Chase (1956). "Chase" also featured Virginia & Truckee Railroad #22 "Inyo", which was used in The Wild Wild West TV series.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
An exploding tower bears an advertisement for a product named Kasdan, evidently a reference to Lawrence Kasdan who has worked with star Kevin Kline on several occasions. Furthermore, the name of the town destroyed by the tarantula is Silverado (1985), a western on which they had both worked together.
7 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In 1997, writer Gilbert Ralston sued Warner Bros. over the upcoming motion picture based on the series. Ralston helped create The Wild Wild West (1965) television series, and scripted the pilot episode, The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Inferno (1965). In a deposition, Ralston explained that in 1964 he was approached by producer Michael Garrison who '"said he had an idea for a series, good commercial idea, and wanted to know if I could glue the idea of a western hero and a James Bond type together in the same show." Ralston said he then created the Civil War characters, the format, the story outline and nine drafts of the script that was the basis for the television series. It was his idea, for example, to have a secret agent named Jim West who would perform secret missions for a bumbling Ulysses S. Grant.

Ralston's experience brought to light a common Hollywood practice of the 1950s and 1960s when television writers who helped create popular series allowed producers or studios to take credit for a show, thus cheating the writers out of millions of dollars in royalties. Ralston died in 1999, before his suit was settled. Warner Bros. ended up paying his family between $600,000 and $1.5 million.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the transition shot between Rita leaving West and Gordon and the two men riding the giant spider back to Washington, there is a sandstone butte shaped as though it is giving the audience "The Finger".
8 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Asia Argento was considered for the role of Rita Escobar.
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The sequences on both Artemus Gordon's and Dr. Loveless' trains interiors were shot on sets at Warner Bros. The train exteriors were shot in Idaho on the Camas Prairie Railroad. The Wanderer is portrayed by the Baltimore & Ohio 4-4-0 No. 25, one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the U.S. Built in 1856 at the Mason Machine Works in Taunton, Massachusetts, it was later renamed The "William Mason" in honor of its manufacturer. During pre-production the engine was sent to the steam shops at the Strasburg Railroad for restoration and repainting. The locomotive is brought out for the B&O Train Museum in Baltimore's "Steam Days".
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to screenwriters S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, their original script was changed completely with the exception of the overall plot. The duo, who have worked on several films together, claimed their heavily rewritten by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, with further rewrites by an uncredited Jim Kouf, in order to add several new elements. Entire sequences, such as the water tower action scene and the entire last 30 minutes, as well as most of the dialog, were new. Wilson and Braddock tried to get their names taken off from the film after seeing the final product, and they have since refused to work with a major studio because of they backlash they received "for a script we didn't create".
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film bears significant resemblance to Batman: The Animated Series: Showdown (1995) featuring Jonah Hex.
3 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The part of Rita Escobar was originally offered to Jennifer Lopez, but she turned it down. It was then offered to Penélope Cruz, who also turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with her film Volavérunt (1999). At the end, it was given to Salma Hayek.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Wild Wild West is featured in episode 257 of the "bad movie" podcast, We Hate Movies.
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tim Curry, Johnny Depp and Matthew McConaughey were considered for the role of Artemus Gordon.
2 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Much of the 'Wild West' footage was shot around Santa Fe, New Mexico, particularly at the western town set at the Cooke Movie Ranch. During the shooting of a sequence involving stunts and pyrotechnics, a planned building fire grew out of control and quickly overwhelmed the local fire crews that were standing by. Much of the town was destroyed before the fire was contained.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The flying sequence with Will Smith and Kevin Kline was shot with blue screens with the background later added digitally.
3 of 24 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page