The Brothers Grimm (2005) Poster


Historically, Jacob Grimm was older than his brother Wilhelm Grimm. Jacob was born in 1785 and Wilhelm in 1786.
Many references to fairy tales (most recorded by the Grimms) are slightly different from the actual tales: Little Red Riding Hood is referenced only by her red cape, the heroic woodsman from "Little Red Riding Hood" is an evil henchman, the Big Bad Wolf is a large wolf instead of a diabolical personification, Rapunzel is an evil queen who locks herself in a tower to escape a plague, the Gingerbread Man is an incarnation of a mud monster, Jack from Jack and The Beanstalk becomes Jake, "Hans" and "Greta" are the original forms of the diminutives "Hänsel and Gretel" (i.e. "little Hans and little Greta"), Cinderella (Aschenputtel in German) is really the Grimm Brothers as they scrub the floors (the deleted scene on the DVD shows it better), the evil queen is also the queen from Snow White, all the girls' fingers are pricked as they fall into a deep sleep just like Sleeping Beauty, the Woodsman places slippers (which turn to glass) on Sasha's feet as he prepares her for the crypt, and Jake tells everyone a story of an imp whose name they had to guess, a clear reference to Rumpelstiltskin.
Matt Damon and Heath Ledger were originally cast in opposite roles. They petitioned and switched their roles.
The Mirror Queen using the blood of young girls to restore her youth is based on the legend surrounding Countess Elizabeth Bathory, one of the first serial killers, from the turn of the 17th century.
The most expensive scene in the movie was cut because it occurred quite early in the story, and nothing would have been able to top it. The scene, available on DVD, would have occurred on the brothers' first trip in the forest with Angelika. The party is attacked by a tree, which grabs Angelika with a branch and swings her up in the air. The scene's special effects were almost completed before it was cut.
Because of problems with the Writers Guild of America, Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni were not able to credit themselves as writers of the screenplay, despite the many changes they made to Ehren Kruger's original script. They invented a credit for themselves as "Dress Pattern Makers" and were quoted as saying that the film was made from a "dress pattern," not necessarily made a "screenplay."
According to Terry Gilliam, Matt Damon took tango lessons in preparation for this film.
The glass slippers are actually from Charles Perrault's French translation of Cinderella. In the Grimm adaptation, she wears gold slippers.
Uma Thurman turned down the part of evil queen, eventually played by Monica Bellucci.
The Weinstein brothers (Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein) came on board in 2004 when MGM suddenly pulled out the funding.
Robin Williams was originally cast in the film, but pulled out of the project.
According to the director, Matt Damon's hair style was based on the British TV chef Jamie Oliver.
Another Fairy Tale referenced is the Princess & the Pea as is evidenced by the bed the Mirror Queen sleeps on.
Johnny Depp was originally set to star as Will Grimm.
In June 2004, Bob Weinstein and Terry Gilliam reached a stalemate over the final cut.Terry Gilliam decided to place the film on hold for six months. He made Tideland (2005), then finished this feature in January 2005.
Robin Williams turned down the part of Woodsman, eventually played by Tomás Hanák.
Both Terry Gilliam and Matt Damon wanted to hire Samantha Morton for the female lead, but Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein vetoed this.
The "hand forest" sequence was originally written for Time Bandits (1981) and was almost used in Brazil (1985).
Matt Damon was strung up by his waist for the torture chamber scene, but he could only stay up there for 90 seconds at a time because the rope was crushed his ribs, cutting off his air supply.
According to Matt Damon, Terry Gilliam had a prosthetic made for him, but the studio didn't want the actor to wear it.
Steven Soderbergh did his own cut of the movie.
Bob Weinstein personally fired Cinematographer Nicola Pecorini.
The director's son Harry Gilliam played a role as the stable-boy.
Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins were cast originally, but both had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts.
Goran Bregovic was Terry Gilliam's original choice for composer. When Gilliam decided to go with a more traditional score, Bregovic was replaced by Dario Marianelli.

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