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Panic Room (2002) Poster

(2002)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (2) | Spoilers (1)
According to David Fincher, Kristen Stewart grew more than three inches during filming of this project. She was smaller than Jodie Foster when the production started and towered over her when the final shots were done.
Nicole Kidman was originally cast in the role of Meg Altman and Hayden Panettiere was cast as her daughter, Sarah. Before filming began, Panettiere was replaced with Kristen Stewart as director David Fincher found her "irritating". Then, only eighteen days into filming, Kidman had to leave the film as well, due to a recurring knee injury, suffered during the filming of Moulin Rouge! (2001). Fincher suggested that the studio close the production and collect the insurance, but the studio decided to go on. Jodie Foster was offered the role. She was due to be the president of the Cannes Film Festival jury but withdrew to work with Fincher, with whom she was originally supposed to work on The Game (1997) in the role now played by Sean Penn. Foster had only nine days to prepare for the role. Kidman left a small mark in the film nevertheless, however, as the voice of the girlfriend of Foster's husband in the movie, heard answering the phone when Foster's character calls him in a desperate attempt for help.
Because the sets had been designed with Nicole Kidman in mind, who is much taller than Jodie Foster, the green safety lasers on the panic room door ended up exactly at the level of Foster's eyes, constantly blinding her as she entered and exited the room.
Shot over a period of 120 days, the longest shoot in Jodie Foster's career.
Though Panic Room is not technically a remake, it somewhat mirrors the plot and characters of Wait Until Dark (1967). The antagonists are three criminals: one who has compassion like Burnham, another who is a hardened criminal like Junior, and one who is a ruthless psychotic like Raoul. The three men charade their way into a blind woman's brownstone apartment in search of a doll filled with heroin, but realize they have drastically underestimated her wits once they initiate a game of cat and mouse with her.
Nicole Kidman replacement Jodie Foster substantially altered the tone of the film. Beforehand director David Fincher saw his heroine as a glacial Hitchcock/ Grace Kelly role model. With Foster in the lead, however, the part instantly became much grittier, more political.
All of the indoor scenes were shot entirely in the sequence in which they appear in the finished film.
Jodie Foster was pregnant with her second child during filming. Because of this, reshoots had to be made in the autumn of 2001 after she had given birth, as principal photography took longer than planned.
Having just made a film with 150 locations in the shape of Fight Club (1999), David Fincher was keen to tackle something a lot simpler for his next film.
Originally David Fincher planned to make the film in pitch darkness but this proved too impractical.
Columbia Pictures paid David Koepp a record $4,000,000 for his screenplay.
It took Arthur Max and his production design team 15 weeks to construct the four storey apartment set at a cost of $6 million.
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Writer David Koepp got the idea for the film from an article in The New York Times about "safe rooms" and getting stuck inside an elevator in his own brownstone.
The phone number that Meg dials to order pizza from Patsy's Pizza is mentioned to be 579-3000. The area code for Manhattan is 212; the number 212-579-3000 is, in reality, for Patsy's Pizzeria.
Howard Shore, the composer chose this film after scoring the music to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). He wanted to take on a smaller project after such a mammoth undertaking, but many people felt Panic Room (2002) was one of Shore's darkest, most brooding thrillers.
During the opening credits, the phrase "Face Your Fears" flashes across one of the teletrons.
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David Fincher agreed that the film's production was an arduous one, remarking it as a "logistical nightmare." The lighting issue during the filming process was particularly difficult due to the complexity of the security cameras used in the mansion that send surveillance images to the television in the panic room.
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The opening credits were created by a collaboration between title design company The Picture Mill and special effects company ComputerCafe. It took them one year to complete.
The movie had been in production for 18 days when Jodie Foster came on board.
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David Koepp wrote the first draft of the script in six days.
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David Prior, who produced the film's DVD noted that this was "the most elaborate, complex DVD I have yet produced." According to Prior, director David Fincher originally conceived the film as a low-budget B-film. But during the process it evolved into a "gargantuan undertaking that tested the endurance and tenacity of everyone involved."
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Outside of the opening and closing scenes, everything else in the film is either set within the walls of the panic room or Meg's house.
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David Fincher directed three actors on this film who have previously directed movies of their own: Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam.
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Though set in New York, the film was primarily shot in Los Angeles.
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Patrick Bauchau spent his first day on set getting beaten up.
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Darius Khondji quit the production after several weeks as cinematographer to be replaced by Conrad W. Hall. Director David Fincher later admitted that he micro-managed Khondji and didn't allow him to fully take part in the decision-making process.
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The cellular phone used by Jodie Foster in this movie is a Nokia 8890. The silver slide phone is often mistaken as the phone used in The Matrix (1999).
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Early in the movie, Sarah is wearing a T-shirt with the image of Sid Vicious, formerly of the punk rock group the Sex Pistols.
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Darius Khondji left the project after just two weeks into principal photography. He was still credited as co-D.O.P in the opening credits.
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Forest Whitaker's character was initially imagined by screenwriter David Koepp as an unpleasant white-collar compulsive gambler, in Koepp's own words someone like "Humphrey Bogart in one of his less pleasant roles."
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After Nicole Kidman was forced to leave the production, other actresses had to be considered. Among them was Angelina Jolie who was deemed to be too young.
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Mel Gibson was originally considered for the part of the ex-husband.
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Considered casting possibilities: Sandra Bullock (Meg), Daveigh Chase (Sarah), Maynard James Keenan (Raoul), and Adam Goldberg (Junior).
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Cameo 

Nicole Kidman:  As the voice of Stephen Altman's girlfriend.
Andrew Kevin Walker:  screenwriter of Se7en (1995) as the sleepy neighbor.

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In a previous draft of the script, the final battle is completely different. As Sarah is being held hostage in the panic room with Raoul and Burnham, Meg gets out of the house, enters the next door house, adjacent to hers, breaks into the panic room through the dividing wall with the sledge hammer and fights with Raoul after Burnham gets the bonds and runs down the stairs. Raoul is killed by the panic room door slamming on his head, and Burnham is shot and killed by the police in the foyer of the house as he is fleeing.

See also

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

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