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Mindhunters (2004) Poster

(2004)

Trivia

Brian Jennings, the visual effects supervisor on the film, set up an in-house unit to handle the film's 450 visual effects shots in London. The team of ten artists worked nine months on the project.
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Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (11)
The primary reason the film was able to be done on such a modest budget was due to a generous tax break from the Dutch government.
The studio did not cast any character as a lead. Director Renny Harlin wanted no dummy characters or obvious victims and established a sense that "anyone could die at any moment" in the film.
The dominoes used in the domino close-ups were actually ten times the size of normal dominoes.
Several variations of the ending were filmed. After numerous test screening were held in the United States in 2003, the final version of the film was determined for theatrical release.
Val Kilmer's next role was as the infamous porn legend John Holmes in Wonderland (2003). In order to secure Kilmer's participation, he was allowed to grow out his hair during the filming of this movie.
The cast met with FBI personnel and underwent military weapons training for their roles.
Gerard Butler was set to play the Lucas Halpern character before dropping out to star in Timeline (2003).
As part of LL Cool J's preparation, he lost nearly 40 pounds and spent time with homicide detectives in the Philadelphia (PA) Police Dept.
The FBI maintains a vaunted computerized profiling operation in Quantico, Virginia. "Mindhunters" is an unofficial name for the profilers that handle the 300-plus referrals a year from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The artificial snow was produced with snow candles.
Clifton Collins Jr. prepared for his role by regularly traveling historic Hollywood Boulevard in a wheelchair and worked with a doctor to ensure an accurate depiction of a person with a disability.
Christian Slater plays a character named "J.D." - the same name for his character in Heathers (1988).
In the sequence where LL Cool J's character Gabe describes each character while Bobby (Eion Bailey) plays with a Rubik's Cube, Sara (Kathryn Morris) was originally filmed sitting outside sitting by the pool. Renny Harlin changed the film in post production to include her character. Only close-ups are shown of Morris in that sequence to hide the fact that she was not actually there.
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The term "unsub" stated at various points in the film is FBI lingo for unknown subject.
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The Investigative Support Unit ("Mindhunters" is slang for the ISU) is the FBI's special force that has assisted state and local police in cracking some of the United States' most notorious serial murder cases. Mindhunters specialize in understanding and profiling the chemistry and mechanical workings of the brain in these serial criminals. Mindhunters train in a multidisciplinary capacity, including highly demanding field training and research of such murderers as Charles Manson and David Berkowitz (the Son of Sam).
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Renny Harlin wanted to limit the use of digital effects because he believed it takes away from the film's credibility.
Renny Harlin asked Intermedia to remove the sound from their title introduction at the beginning of the film because he felt the wave breaking sound distracted from the beginning of the film.
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All of the underwater scenes were filmed at an indoor swimming pool in Holland away from the set.
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Originally set for a US theatrical release in 2003 and then early 2004, the film was pushed back to 4 June 2004. Secondary to numerous positive test screenings, it was pushed back once again to facilitate improved marketing of the film. But then two massive waves of layoffs occurred at Miramax and Dimension during this time, and the infamous Disney/Miramax split reached its height. The film remained in the Dimension vaults unreleased during this time. When the Disney and Miramax divorce was finally completed, numerous films under the Dimension label were released. This film finally made its theatrical debut in the United States on 13 May 2005.
The team's arrival to the island was shot at Noordwijk Beach, during which a freak 110-mph windstorm threatened to blow the entire day's setup and down the production's Bell 412 helicopter, which is seen transporting the team to the island.
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Director Renny Harlin noted that the ensemble cast had a fantastic time living in Amsterdam for the shoot. "The main thing was to cut down on people's fun, to make sure they showed up for work."
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Wayne Kramer sold the original spec screenplay of "Mindhunters" to 20th Century Fox. The title of his screenplay was originally called "UNSUB" (Unknown Subject) - but Fox executives preferred the title: MINDHUNTERS and changed it right before the deal was announced to the entertainment press. Kramer never felt comfortable with the title change because there was already a non-fiction book by John Douglas called MINDHUNTER.
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The scenes in the FBI Headquarters were filmed in 'Gebouw A' from the transmitter site Radio Kootwijk in The Netherlands and was build by architect Julius Luthmann.
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A large part of the movie was filmed on the location where the Dutch anti riot police (Mobiele Eenheid) is trained. It's a fake village where riots are simulated. There are still some traces of the movie. For instance, there still hangs a large poster on a wall, as can be seen in the movie.
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All of the time lapse shadow movement in the film was performed digitally.
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In the final scene on the beach the body of water is supposed to be the Atlantic Ocean, but it is actually the North Sea off the coast of Holland.
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To maximize tax breaks and keep the budget at the lowest possible level, the film was moved to England for post-production.
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Shot entirely in the Netherlands, the production went to great lengths to find a malevolent and potentially dangerous ghetto for certain sequences.
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Renny Harlin edited and re-edited the film a few times. Harlin said, "Thrillers rely heavily on the pacing, and sometimes finding the right timing and punctuation in a scene can take a few tries."
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The scene in which Sara's head is smashed against glass was accomplished with candy glass and plastic wrap.
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The crew's base during the production was an old radio station at Kootwijk, The Netherlands. In the movie, the radio station (often referred to as "The Cathedral") is situated on an island, but in real life, the building is located in the middle of a forest, at least 100 miles from the nearest sea or ocean.
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A scene deleted from the final theatrical version of the film expanded upon how vulnerable Sara Moore was. In the cut scene the FBI agent's character is developed further. The setting has the agent behind a desk after cracking under the pressure of an intense field assignment.
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Another theory about the settlers disappearance from Roanoke is they were possibly taken in by the Native American tribe in the area, the Croatoans..
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The "Most Wanted" posters in the FBI Academy are of workers from the production's art department.
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This film was originally set to be released in the United States by 20th Century Fox, but was acquired in turnaround for theatrical release by Dimension Films.
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In order to maintain its modest budget, the score was part of a package. A single fee covered the composer's bill and also the cost of executing the score and orchestration, musicians for the non-electronic sections, mixing, and recording studio time.
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Rafe Perry was "an English lend-out to the FBI" according to Renny Harlin.
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Although Van Helsing (2004) was released theatrically first, this film was Will Kemp's first feature film.
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Renny Harlin was originally attached to direct the film adaptation of A Sound of Thunder (2005) based on Ray Bradbury's short story, but left to direct this movie instead.
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The extensive post-production was completed at the historic Twickenham Film Studios in London.
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The water title sequence at the start of the film was not originally filmed as the title sequence but as a flash back later in the film. After production was completed Renny Harlin re-edited the film numerous times, and the water flash back sequence was changed to a title sequence.
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The Hague School was externally transformed into the FBI Academy. The changes included the stars and stripes being attached to the front of the school and a large fence was fabricated. This fence established a perimeter at the entrance with two FBI sentry shelters.
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Paul Martin Smith was hired as an editor because the studio was impressed with his work on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
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The janitor's room at the Haagse Hogeschool was converted into an FBI instructor's office for the character played by Val Kilmer, with vintage old brown furniture, dark green lamp shades and old boxes as filing cabinets. This scene was ultimately cut from the theatrical release of the film.
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During the debriefing at the FBI Academy, a large computer screen behind Harris scrolls through maps with respective data concerning the next assignment: "The FBI Academy's Oniega Island complex is a realistic, urban, practical problem raining area which was initiated in 1967. The Practical Applications Unit (PAU) manages and schedules all practical training events, administers practical problem exercises primarily to new agent trainees, and provides safety and survival training to law enforcement officers and FBI Agents."
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The production applied large emblems very similar to that used by the California Highway Patrol (CHiP's) for police vehicles utilized as static props in the film.
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The screenplay was a spec script (i.e. not commissioned by a studio).
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The movie theatre on the training grounds is called The Majestic.
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In a cut scene at dawn a helicopter aggressively circles an FBI facility and then lands. Val Kilmer and LL Cool J then begin speaking.
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Peter Howitt was originally signed to direct.
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Ehren Kruger did uncredited rewrites, based on Dimension's belief in his script-doctoring capabilities often presented in their releases.
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Tony Gardner did uncredited work on the film's special effects.
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Kario Salem and Ehren Kruger did uncredited work on the script.
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Jim Greenleaf served as an FBI Advisor for the production.
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Ronald Hoekstra served as a hand-double for Eion Bailey.
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Renny Harlin toured FBI facilities at Quantico and spoke with a variety of FBI agents to prepare for the production.
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In a cut scene from early in the film FBI agents are seen rappelling out of a helicopter and securing a hot landing zone.
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A movie theatre in the film advertises The Third Man (1949), which features Orson Welles.
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Heli-Holland collaborated with Flight Logistics Ltd. to gain complex permissions from the government for various aggressive helicopter sequences for this film.
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Director Cameo 

Renny Harlin: a mannequin holding a phone in a phone booth late in the film.
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Director Trademark 

Renny Harlin: [Finland] When the others leave Vince and Gabe alone in the basement room, Finland's flag is seen on the wall
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Although there are numerous graphic murders in the film, the villain is never directly seen killing anyone on screen.
In the final fight sequence in which two of the characters fall from the second story, this was accomplished by the two actors being connected to a series of cables. They briefly performed a free fall and then were slowed down at the last moment when they both crashed through the candy glass.
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The character played by Clifton Collins Jr. references the 16th-century mystery of Roanoke Island to explain their current situation. In 1590 at the colony of Roanoke, Virginia, over 100 people disappeared without a trace. The only clue found was a series of unexplained letters "croatoan" carved on a tree and discovered by investigating Governor John White when he returned to the colony from England and found the colonists gone. White took the letters to mean that the settlers had moved to Croatoan Island some 50 miles away, but no trace of them was ever found there or anywhere else.
There are over twenty murdered animals seen in the film. All of the animals are suspended in air, but none of them are killed on screen (no animals were actually harmed in the making of the film).
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In one of the alternate endings, LL Cool J's character kills Jonny Lee Miller.
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The total death count in this film (including principals and secondary characters onscreen and off) is 9.
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The voice for the line of dialog "Are you having fun? I'm having fun." was changed for the theatrical trailer in order to preserve a critical plot twist late in the film. Late in the film Val Kilmer's character voices the line, but in the theatrical trailer a generic distorted voice is utilized.
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The production specifically minimized product placement secondary to the graphic nature of the film. When the character played by Patricia Velasquez decides to start smoking again, she smokes from a pack of "Rodriquez" brand smokes. Exception is the vending machine visible at the scene of Vincent's death.
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When everyone wakes up from drinking the coffee.. LL Cool J calls Rafe (the English member of the team) "Sherlock Holmes". Lucas (Jonny Lee Miller, an Englishman playing an American) will later play Sherlock on Elementary.
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The The Third Man (1949) reference has to do with a speech Orson Welles gives about Switzerland's only contribution to the world being the cuckoo clock.
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The twist with Lucas being the killer at the end of the movie is revealed early on in the coffee sequence. All of the characters pass out from drinking the coffee, including Lucas. Although Lucas shouldn't have passed out because he had just came from Gabe's room and didn't have a chance to drink the coffee. One hint is that there are only 6 cups in the room, but 7 people. Even though Lucas, like the other characters, is never seen drinking the coffee, this is a scenario that fits with the way Lucas explains it at the end of the movie.
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See also

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

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