The Beach (2000) Poster

(I) (2000)


Ewan McGregor was Danny Boyle's first choice to play the part of Richard. The studio wanted Leonardo DiCaprio and cast him before Boyle could intervene. While McGregor blamed the studio, he did not speak with Boyle for many years, and admitted in an interview that he felt betrayed at the time. Happily, in 2015, McGregor and Boyle made amends and are now on good terms.
Leonardo DiCaprio was paid $20 million for the film, the result of the immense success of Titanic (1997). DiCaprio had originally planned to play the lead character in American Psycho (2000), but when his salary demand proved too much, that deal broke down and he agreed to make The Beach.
The island was initially chosen by location scouts for Fox Studios not because of its astounding natural beauty, but because of its potential for a landscaping redevelopment. The script called for a clearing on the beach large enough to play football, so they bulldozed a large swath of the native trees and vegetation. They also planted a hundred non-native palm trees just to get the right look, essentially introducing an exotic species to the island that could take over and effectively change the habitat forever. While the whole thing was an eyesore for the locals, the real damage didn't come until the filmmakers left the island. The usual seasonal storms hit the beach, but this time the sand dunes didn't have the protection of their natural vegetation. They collapsed immediately and washed out to sea, damaging the fragile coral reef on their way out.

Environmentalists were outraged and accused the filmmakers of bribing the Thai government to get around legal requirements; for instance, the National Park Act, which was specifically designed to prevent this exact sort of thing. Allegedly Fox donated the equivalent of $100,000 to the Royal Forestry Development in Thailand; the normal fee for filming on the island is less than one percent of that. Afterwards, they were allowed the freedom to remodel the island as much as they pleased after the money changed hands.

Environmentalists responded by taking legal action against Fox Studios, its local coordinator Santa International, and the Thai government officials. Seven years later, the court penalized the film company for unnecessary ecological destruction and ordered them to repair all environmental damage to Maya Beach, which is much more than just planting a few trees. They are also expected to rebuild the marine life population that was wiped out.

In a fitting twist, the message of the movie is that trying to preserve an untouched paradise is futile.
The map that Daffy gives to Richard was made by the book's author Alex Garland.
The actual beach is not totally surrounded and enclosed by mountains, hiding it from the sea. In fact, there is a large gap between two gigantic boulders, and the films editors superimposed a fake mountain in post-production.
Danny Boyle asked Leonardo DiCaprio to shed 20 pounds before taking on the lead role.
The videogame recreation scene in the jungle was inspired by Banjo-Kazooie (1998), developed by Rare Ltd., according to Danny Boyle.
During filming, a boat accident endangered the life of several crew members, including director Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.
Despite a 10 minute cameo in Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998), this was Leonardo DiCaprio's first film in two years.
Two of the beaches (Ko Phi Phi Leh and Phuket in Thailand) where this was filmed were affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26 December 2004. Ewan McGregor, a collaborator with director Danny Boyle, starred in a movie about the tsunami, The Impossible (2012).
The actor playing Swedish guy Karl, is actually from Finland and sports a Finnish accent.
The phrase "Sutra cu putovati mnogo milja biciklom" uttered by Sonja (played by Serbian actress Zelda Tinska) in the movie, is Serbo-Croat for "Tomorrow I will travel many miles on a bicycle."
Footage from Apocalypse Now (1979) is shown in Richard's motel. This is Danny Boyle's favourite film.
Lars Arentz-Hansen and Robert Carlyle's characters' names Bugs and Daffy are an homage to Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
In the novel by Alex Garland the main character Richard was born in 1974, the same as Leonardo DiCaprio in reality.
When asked on The Graham Norton Show (2007) if the Ewan McGregor and Danny Boyle disagreement had had any effect on the rest of the Trainspotting (1996) cast, Robert Carlyle said " Of course not, I took a role in it anyway! ".
John Hodge and Alex Garland are Danny Boyle's most frequent writers. Hodge working under Boyle for Shallow Grave (1994), Trainspotting (1996), A Life Less Ordinary (1997) and Trance (2013) and Garland with 28 Days Later... (2002) and Sunshine (2007). This is the only film in all of their careers where all three have worked on one film together, being based in Garland's source novel with Hodge adapting it.
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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton.
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While there is no mention of an Irish/Gaelic Character in the film, one of the lines the villagers translate for fun. "It's very Interesting", can be clearly heard in Gaelic "Tá sé an-suimúil".
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