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Holes (2003) Poster

(2003)

Trivia

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Sigourney Weaver wanted to be in this film because "Holes" is her daughter's favorite book.
A screenplay was initially written by Richard Kelly, who greatly departed from the source material by writing a dark, violent adaptation of the story set in a post-apocalyptic world. The studio reportedly found the script far too disturbing for a children's movie, rejecting it in favor of the final script written by the novel's author, Louis Sachar.
Before shooting the film, Patricia Arquette did not know how to ride a horse. She had to learn for her role as Kissing Kate Barlow.
Caveman finds a scorpion crawling on his bed. A trainer set the scorpion on the bed and stood just off camera. The trainer touched the scorpion lightly with the end of a straw and it lifted its tail up. Then the trainer blew some air through the straw and the scorpion began to crawl.
Nathan Davis, the actor who plays Stanley Yelnats II (Stanley's grandfather), is director Andrew Davis's father.
This movie is dedicated in loving memory of Scott Plank. Scott Plank played Trout Walker.
Nine "Bearded Dragon" lizards were on call for the parts of the lizards in the film. A non-toxic children's finger paint was used on the lizards to make them appear bright in color. Computers helped create some of the lizard action and production created fake life-like lizards for some of the other scenes.
In the beginning of the film, there is a rattlesnake near the holes the boys are digging. One of the young men walks up to the snake, puts out his bare foot, and the snake bites him. A trainer put a bull snake, which is a non-venomous snake, down on the ground and put a box over it to contain it before filming began. The trainer removed the box and the actor walked over near the snake and put his foot out. The director yelled, "cut" and a trainer replaced the Bull snake with a real rattlesnake and doubled as the actor, putting his bare foot near the snake. Several trainers stood just off camera holding nets and snake hooks just in case the snake decided to wander. The snake was immediately retrieved by a trainer and removed from the set.
In the Warden's house, there is a framed newspaper cutting, with the words, "Kate Barlow Robs Chicago Pacific." Chicago Pacific is the name of director Andrew Davis's company.
The poem that Miss Katherine reads to the young Linda and Sam finished is "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe.
Frankie Muniz was originally cast as Stanley. Alex D. Linz was also offered the same role.
The "yellow spotted lizards" mentioned in the movie do not exist. There are only two venomous lizards in North America: the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard, which live in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.
Hector "Zero" Zeroni is the only one of the D Tent boys to never call Stanley Yelnats "Caveman" at any point in the movie or in the book.
The song that plays the first time the boys go to dig is "Down to the Valley.". A different rendition of this song is heard in "O Brother Where Art Thou," another film featuring Tim Blake Nelson.
The animals shown in the movie and referred to as yellow spotted lizards are in fact Bearded dragons with good makeup and CGI fangs. The Beardies were provided by the Sandfire Dragon Ranch.
The car the warden drives is a 1957 Chrysler. This car did not have a gear shift to change gears. Instead, it had push buttons to change from drive, reverse, park, etc.
A donkey named Shadow played the part of Mary Lou.
Both the book and the movie mention that Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston had hit four triples in a baseball game. In fact, the Major League record is three.
In 2006, three years after this film was released, author Louis Sachar published a sequel to Holes called Small Steps which focuses on Armpit and X-Ray moving on with their lives three years after leaving Camp Green Lake. There are currently no plans to adapt the sequel to the screen.
Khleo Thomas celebrated his Bar Mitzvah (the traditional coming-of-age ceremony for Jewish teens) while making Holes (2003).
Dulé Hill played Sam. He later acted as Shawn's (James Roday) co-star, Gus, on the TV show "Psych." In the episode "65 Million Years Off" when seeing all the holes that the paleontologist dug on the land, Shawn mentions "that this is like that movie with Sigourney Weaver." He also mentions Shia LaBeouf and Jon Voight. Gus keeps guessing movies but never correctly guesses the movie that he appeared in, Holes.
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The townsman in the school room is Brian Peck, the acting coach for the boys.
Brendan Jefferson had a recurring role on Even Stevens before doing this film. Shia LaBeouf starred on Even Stevens.
In the theatrical trailer for no apparent reason, Squid is the only member of the D Tent Boys who isn't mentioned. He does however appear in approximately seven shots of the trailer itself.
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Shia LaBeouf who plays Stanley Yelnats IV and Jon Voight who plays Mr. Sir in this film, would go on to work together again four years later in Transformers (2007). However they would not share as much screen time together or exchange much dialogue between their characters.
In the novel, the Pendanski character is called Mr. Pendanski, while in the film for no apparent reason, he is called Dr. Pendanski.
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In the novel, X-Ray has Stanley move ahead of Zero in the water line right after Stanley gives him the gold tube, while in the film, X-Ray moves him up before Stanley finds and gives him the tube.
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In the film, Stanley is shown to live with both his parents and his grandfather; he and his grandfather even share a room together. But in the novel, Stanley is only ever mentioned to be living with his parents. There is never any indication in the novel that his grandfather is even still alive, much less that he lives in the same apartment. Also, the novel erroneously labels Stanley's father as Stanley Yelnats II, but in actuality he's Stanley Yelnats III.
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During one scene, we see a young man carrying a baby pig. Then the pig is drinking from a stream and then the young man is pulling a full-grown pig by a rope. The pigs were not babies, but older pigs that were small. A very large pig acted as the full-grown pig being led by a rope at the end of this scene. The young actor was shown how to handle the pig ahead of time by the trainer. The stream was very shallow and was checked out ahead of time by the trainer to make sure it was safe for the pig and the young actor to walk in and drink from. Another grown pig appeared at the end of the scene to make it appear as if the piglet was now grown. A trainer attached a halter that fit around the pigs' front legs and neck. The young actor was given the end of the rope, which he held while delivering his dialogue. The actor then gently tugged on the rope to get the pig to walk with him. A trainer stood off camera holding a bucket of grain and calling to the pig to encourage it to walk in that direction. The sounds of the pig squealing and grunting were sound effects added in during post-production.
In the novel, when Stanley and Hector are about to leave Camp Green Lake, Squid asks Stanley to call his mom for him and tell her that Alan (Squid's real name) said he was sorry. In the film, it is Armpit who asks Stanley to do this and uses his real name, Theodore.
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Shia LaBeouf and Max Kasch who play Stanley Yelnats IV and Zigzag would work together again two years later in The Greatest Game Ever Played, which like this film was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
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A CZ67 or CZ-70 gun has a gun hammer part number of zas-020 (which is the Texas license plate in the movie).
Scott Plank previously starred in L.A. Takedown (1989) and Jon Voight appeared in its remake Heat (1995), both written and directed by Michael Mann.
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According to the cast commentary by the actors who play Stanley, Zero, Zigzag and Squid, the table that the D-Tent Boys sit at in the mess hall also served as the audition table for most of the boys who went out for their respective roles.
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Mr. Sir's revolver is a Smith & Wesson model 66.
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Cameo 

Louis Sachar: the author of both the novel and the screenplay for this movie appears with his wife and daughter in the scene where Sam is selling onion juice.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The onions that Stanley and Zero eat towards the end of the movie are actually apples wrapped in an edible cover.
At the end of the film it is revealed that Mr. Sir's real name is Marion Sevillo, and that he is a former criminal who has violated his parole by carrying a firearm. None of this was in the book, however as the film's screenplay was written by the author of the book it can be assumed that these details are canon.
In the novel, when Stanley finds the gold tube, ZigZag is the one who notices and asks him about it before Stanley gives it to X-Ray, while in the film, it is Magnet who notices and asks about the tube. Also, in the novel, Stanley decides not to point out the heart shape with the letters K.B. on it, while in the film he doesn't hesitate to point it out to X-Ray and the other boys.
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The D Tent Boys' real names are as followed: 1. X-Ray = Rex Alvin Washburn (his full name is revealed in the sequel novel Small Steps). 2. Armpit = Theodore Thomas Johnson (his full name is revealed in the sequel novel Small Steps, which incidentally focuses on his life two or three years after Camp Green Lake). 3. Squid = Alan. 4. Zigzag = Ricky. 5. Magnet = Jose. 6. Zero = Hector Zeroni 7. Caveman = Stanley Yelnats IV 8. Twitch = Brian. 9. Barf Bag = Lewis.
Stanley's last name, 'Yelnats', is 'Stanley' backwards.

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