Collateral (2004) Poster



The original draft was set in Manhattan, New York. When Michael Mann came on board, he shifted the setting to LA.
Jump to: Director Trademark (2) | Spoilers (6)
According to Michael Mann, Vincent is one that is able to get in and out of anywhere without anyone recognizing him or remembering him. To prepare for the movie, Tom Cruise had to make FedEx deliveries in a crowded LA market without anyone recognizing him as Tom Cruise.
Jason Statham's cameo is often regarded as a nod to his character Frank Martin from The Transporter (2002) and its sequels. He delivers a bag to Vincent at the airport and then disappears, no questions asked.
The seating of the two leads was crucial to certain scenes. For their more intimate exchanges, Cruise would sit directly behind Foxx, out of his peripheral vision and therefore making him more vulnerable and uncertain of his opponent.
Tom Cruise really fell when he stepped on the office chair. Michael Mann liked the anomaly so much that he left it in the film.
To help Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx best to capture the spirit of their characters, Michael Mann wrote documents containing the background of Vincent and Max. Cruise said that the document of Vincent had information on how he began to like jazz, for instance.
Australian Stuart Beattie was only 17 when he took a cab home from Sydney airport. It was on that cab ride that he had the idea of a homicidal maniac sitting in the back of a cab with the driver nonchalantly entering into conversation with him, trusting his passenger implicitly. Beattie drafted his idea into a two-page treatment. Later, when he was enrolled at Oregon State University, he fleshed it out into his first screenplay. Entitled "The Last Domino", he put the script away, taking it out occasionally for revisions and rewrites over the following years.
On-set, Jamie Foxx accidentally drove his car into Tom Cruise's. Foxx was bemused to see that the crew immediately rushed to Cruise's aid first, he being the bigger star.
Although he never uses his gun in the film, Mark Ruffalo nevertheless underwent rigorous weapons training so he would look believable sporting a gun.
Mick Gould was hired to train Tom Cruise for the action sequences - including showing him how to fire live rounds. Michael Mann himself trained with various weapons so he knew how to direct the action sequences to full effect.
Before Michael Mann was hired, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg were all offered the chance to direct the movie.
When it was decided that Vincent should be a slightly older character, Tom Cruise was obliged to dye his hair gray.
"Collateral" sat on DreamWorks development books for three years. Mimi Leder was initially attached to direct, it then passed on to Janusz Kaminski. It wasn't until Russell Crowe became interested in playing Vincent, the hitman, that the project started generating any heat. Crowe brought Michael Mann on board, but the constant delays meant that Crowe left the project. Mann immediately went to Tom Cruise with the idea of him playing the hitman and Adam Sandler as the cabbie.
Jamie Foxx actually crashed the cab with Tom Cruise in it during a "side swipe" scene.
Edward Norton was offered the role of Vincent.
According to Jamie Foxx, one night during production, Tom Cruise bought In-N-Out fast food for the entire cast and crew.
Jada Pinkett Smith spent an entire day with a couple that Michael Mann felt were quite similar to her character. She also spent a day shadowing a female prosecuting attorney, giving her ideas on how to dress and carry herself.
In an interview in American Cinematographer, Michael Mann said that as far as he was aware, this was one of the first movies to attempt to make a "look" out of digital video rather than trying to make DV look like film. This approach meant the movie could be shot in the low-light scenes of urban desolation Mann wanted - because Digital reacts much better to low light than film. The approximately 20% of the picture that was shot on film was mostly, according to Mann, the portion set in the "Fever" nightclub - because this is the scene with the brightest lighting states, a condition in which DV does not perform as well.
This movie takes place 24-25 January 2004.
There are no opening credits to the film, nor title. The only credits seen are at the end, starting with "Directed by Michael Mann". The title is at the end.
In preparation for his role, Jamie Foxx also trained as a cab driver.
According to Cuba Gooding Jr., he met with Michael Mann about playing the role of Max but Mann turned Gooding down because he and Cruise had already worked together in Jerry Maguire (1996).
Vincent's primary weapon of choice in the movie is a Heckler and Koch USP45, as stated by Mann in the commentary. He also uses a Ruger MKII .22LR handgun with integral sound suppressor for the hit in the jazz club. For the final part of the film, he uses a Smith and Wesson 5906 in 9mm that he takes from a security guard he kills.
Between them, Michael Mann and writer Stuart Beattie constructed elaborate back stories and family histories for the main characters, right down to photographs of their hometowns.
The only film where Tom Cruise plays a villain, besides Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994).
Adam Sandler was considered for the role of Max, and even met with director Michael Mann before Jamie Foxx was cast.
The film has particular resonance for director Michael Mann - he used to drive a cab, as did his father, and his grandfather owned a cab company.
Frank Darabont wrote a draft of the screenplay in September 2000. Once attached as director, Michael Mann revised the screenplay substantially.
The FBI Tactical Unit in the SUV (LA 105) is composed of real Tactical Unit officers from FBI, DEA and LAPD.
Tom Cruise was highly impressed when he came on board as much of the backstory on his character had already been completed by Michael Mann.
Jamie Foxx prepared for the car chase sequences by racing old cars in the desert. Michael Mann often joined him.
Stuart Beattie, the screenwriter, wanted the studio to cast Robert De Niro as Max (once again making him a taxi driver, though the exact opposite of Travis Bickle). However the studio refused, insisting they wanted a younger actor in the role.
James Newton Howard who scored this film recorded more than an hour of music for this film only to have it replaced with source music and additional music by Antonio Pinto. This is a trademark of Michael Mann's films of this type.
Mark Ruffalo states that the scene where Fanning first discovers Ramon Ayala's disappearance; and proceeds to call for "S.I.D", that Michael Mann insisted on eighty or more takes. Ruffalo goes on to say that "you begin to lose your shit." Jamie Foxx and Barry Shabaka Henley confirmed that Mann did in fact, film a massive amount of takes. Foxx stated: "Oh, yeah that hurts cuz Michael Mann *can* take some takes."
If the viewer observes carefully during the scene where Max is being robbed by the long haired derelict, a small and faint swastika is visible on his upper left cheek. Just below his eye. It is worth noting that Michael Mann has also featured white supremacists in Heat (1995) and Miami Vice (2006).
The train sequence was shot with a green screen background because director Michael Mann had very precise ideas about what should be visible through the train windows.
There were 17 different versions of Max's taxicab.
The first major motion picture to be shot in Viper FilmStream HD.
The song played in the jazz club was "Spanish Key" from Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" album, and it wasn't improvised, it was played almost note for note as it was on the original album.
Russell Crowe came close to playing the role of Vincent, but couldn't commit to the picture because he was busy preparing for "Eucalyptus", the doomed Australian film project co-starring Nicole Kidman.
Val Kilmer was cast in the role of Detective Fanning, but pulled out before filming began due to schedule conflicts with Alexander (2004). Mark Ruffalo later took the role.
Hans Zimmer was attached to the film, in an early stage. He was replaced by James Newton Howard, probably by scheduling conflicts.
Stuart Beattie was waiting tables when he ran into a friend called Julie Richardson, who he'd met on a UCLA Screenwriting Extension course. Richardson had become a producer on the lookout for good thriller scripts in particular. Beattie pitched her his screenplay "The Last Domino" and she liked it. Her boss Frank Darabont also liked it and set up a meeting with HBO. They passed on the project after Beattie submitted another draft. He then begged his agent to set up a meeting at DreamWorks where an executive called Marc Haines read the script over a weekend. The studio bought the screenplay the following week.
While Annie is in Max's taxi cab the song "Hands of Time" by Groove Armada is heard on the radio. Annie asks Max to turn the volume up, to which Max responds "Like the classics?" The song "Hands of Time" appears on their 2002 album "Lovebox", released only two years before the movie.
John Travolta was considered for the role of Vincent.
Starting with the car crash sequence up to the film's finale and end credits, James Newton Howard's score lasts roughly around 17 minutes and was intended this way according to director Michael Mann on his DVD commentary.
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The sunglasses Vincent wears are Silhouette 4048 with special frames attached.
Colin Farrell was offered the role of Vincent. He would later play Crockett in Miami Vice (2006), also directed by Michael Mann.
The voice enhancing software that is used to enhance what Max is telling the bouncer's by the F.B.I. is Sony Vegas 4.0, a video editing software
It's not often mentioned that Vincent is working for Felix, who is played in the movie by Javier Bardem. It is Jamie Foxxas Max who speaks in person with him because Vincent has never been seen by Felix. Both Tom Cruise and Bardem dated Penelope Cruz, who Javier married and has two children with. Tom and Javier have remained good friends for many years.
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Contrary to Michael Mann's interview with American Cinematographer, Paul Cameron, whom he worked for the first three weeks of photography claimed that the digital cameras used lacked the ergonomics, color bandwidth and the standard camera lens support. These interviews and claims were brought to the attention of Panavision USA who subsequently developed the Genesis camera system based on that feedback and its usage was pioneered in Superman Returns (2006).
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Johnny Depp was considered for the role of Max.
Michael Mann had already experimented with hi-def digital cinematography on his short-lived TV series Robbery Homicide Division (2002).
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Before it was offered to Michael Mann, the script was offered to the Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles, who was planning on doing it in the style of Martin Scorsese's After Hours (1985).
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When Max enters Annie's office, the names on the door are Annie Farrell and David Canning. David A. Canning is the digital imaging technician on the movie.
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Fernando Meirelles revealed on BBC Radio 4 programme Front Row that he turned down the chance to direct the film because it would mean relocating from his home in Sao Paulo, Brazil to Los Angeles, California for 8 months.
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Three weeks into principal photography, cinematographer Paul Cameron left the project due to "creative differences". Michael Mann replaced him with Dion Beebe.
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The song that plays in the theatrical trailer to this film is "Man in the Box", sung by Alice in Chains.
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The computer is an HP TC-1100 tablet PC. Text can be entered via a stylus or a detachable keyboard (not shown in the film).
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Leonardo DiCaprio was considered for the role of Vincent, but he was too busy shooting The Aviator (2004).
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The song that plays in the Club Fever scene is called "Ready Steady Go" by Paul Oakenfold. This is the same song that was used during the car chase in The Bourne Identity (2002). (As a side note, the film's sequel, The Bourne Supremacy (2004) was released the same year as this film.
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Though Max's character's last name is only seen in print on his cab license, it can be deduced when Vincent meets his mother in the hospital and without being introduced to her by Max, he takes her hand and says, "It's an honor to meet you, Mrs. Durocher".
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Max's full name is Max Durocher. It can be seen on the ID in the cab early in the film
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The phone Tom Cruise uses in the cab is a Nokia 6800. The phone that Maxx (Jamie Foxx) steals from the pedestrian and uses to call Annie is a Motorola T720.
This idea was done in Mission: Impossible: The Killer (1970), with Robert Conrad as the killer, getting into the taxi of an IMF agent, Leonard Nimoy, AKA Paris.

The IMF was commissioned to stop Eddie Lorca from killing an unknown target, within 24 hours.
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The USB flash drive containing Vincent's prep is a PNY Executive Attaché.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Director Trademark 

Michael Mann:  [military training]  Vincent's methods of assassination show that he's undergone some sort of military training.
Michael Mann:  [diegetic music]  Use of source music and very little original music score.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Vincent kills 16 people in one night. 1) Ramone Ayala (fat guy) 2) Sylvester Clarke (penthouse guy) 3) and 4) Two hoods in the alley 5) Daniel (jazz guy) 6) and 7) Two of Felix's henchmen at Club Fever 8) through 13) Six security guards at Club Fever (one's neck broken, one's face bashed in, four shot) 14) Peter Lim (Korean guy at club) 15) Detective Fanning 16) Security guard at DOJ building.
If you look closely you can see how Vincent, a trained killer, was unable to shoot Max, a normal cab driver. Max was firing wildly, but Vincent was using his signature precision shooting of two hits to the chest and one in the head. These shots hit the metal barrier in the middle of the door, and hence missed Max. You can see the bullet indentations in a few of the scenes. Max just got lucky with his random firing.
Towards the end of the movie, a subway sign reads: "Today is January 25, 2004. The Time 5:40 A.M." The time is displayed/referenced 5 times in the film.
  • 9:30 is displayed on Max's Fare reader, before Vincent kills his 2nd victim.

  • 10:00 PM, when Agent Fanning is calling his partner from the Morgue.

  • 2:20 AM in a brief shot from the interior of the FBI agents truck on their way to the club.

  • When Max is calling Annie from the top of the Parking Garage from the cell phone, the time is 4:47 A.M.

  • The subway train arrives at the station at 5:40 A.M.

The film's title is spoken in one scene: after Vincent kills Daniel, the Jazz club owner, Max mutters to himself "I'm just collateral anyway," among other things, before Vincent roughs him up.
The guns that Vincent carries are a Heckler and Koch (HK) USP .45ACP and a Ruger Mk II .22 with integrated suppressor. Vincent didn't use a silenced USP Tactical or Mk.23 SOCOM as was previously suggested. The silenced pistol was a .22 Long Rifle caliber Ruger Mk II with the upper receiver and barrel replaced with a custom integral silencer. After killing the security guard at the DOJ building, Vincent uses a 9mm S&W 5906.
Max has to protect Annie from being killed by Vincent as she is his final target. Jamie Foxx would later appear in Annie (2014) starring Quvenzhané Wallis which was also produced by Jada Pinkett Smith.

See also

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

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