Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) Poster


The first film produced by Public Media Works, Corbin Bernsen's production company.
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As a sign of support to Robert Downey, Jr.'s recovery from alcohol and drugs, Val Kilmer refused to drink during the entire production.
Val Kilmer met Robert Downey, Jr. for the first time at a Hollywood party. A week later, he received the screenplay for this film, and agreed to do it before he'd even finished reading it. Upon agreeing, and much to his delight, he was informed that Downey had already been cast.
The film was given a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.
Val Kilmer had to quickly lose the fifty pounds gained for his plump role in Alexander (2004), in order to play his fit GQ character for this film.
The film was originally titled "L.A.P.I.", then "Bang!", but Val Kilmer suggested to Director Shane Black that "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" would have more appeal.
Val Kilmer's depiction of Gay Perry is generally considered to be the first openly gay character to front a Hollywood action movie.
Val Kilmer walked around in a five hundred dollar pair of Louis Vuitton driving shoes, and wore nail varnish, while experimenting with several variations of speech patterns for the role. Kilmer also noted this was done much to his son Jack's chagrin.
Shane Black had been suffering from writer's block. It ultimately took him over a year and a half to write the script for this film. He then had enormous trouble trying to sell it. His former cachet, as being the highest paid screenwriter, meant nothing when he was shopping his screenplay around. Eventually, he took it to Producer Joel Silver, who gave him his first break back in 1987 when he bought Lethal Weapon.
The film grossed far more outside the U.S., accounting for just over seventy percent of the film's worldwide gross.
Co-Producer of the film, Susan Downey (Susan Levin), is Robert Downey, Jr.'s wife.
Joel Silver noted that the film was originally budgeted at ten million dollars, because Warner Brothers was not confident in the premise. The film ran over, and the final budget was fifteen million dollars. Warner Brothers loved the film when it was screened, and immediately opened it at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival in a high-profile capacity.
Warner Brothers was willing to produce the movie with a larger budget, if Harrison Ford was to play the detective. When he passed on it, several other options were briefly considered before Val Kilmer was offered the role.
Shane Black's directorial debut.
Shane Black read several stories by Raymond Chandler when writing this script. As a result, the story is divided into chapters and the chapter titles come from Chandler works. Specifically: 1. "Trouble is My Business", 2. "The Lady in the Lake", 3. "The Little Sister", 4. "The Simple Art of Murder", and Epilogue: "Farewell, My Lovely".
One scene in the film takes place in a club exhibiting living art, which, at one point in his life, Robert Downey, Jr. worked as.
The film's original title was "You'll Never Die in This Town Again". When Harmony is seen on the bus leaving Indiana at age sixteen, she's asleep with the Johnny Gossamer book, "You'll Never Die in This Town Again" in her lap.
Although the film leads us to believe that the characters played by Robert Downey, Jr. and Michelle Monaghan grew up together, there is an eleven year age difference between them.
Because of its modest budget, Warner Brothers granted Joel Silver the distinction of overseeing the film personally, allowing Shane Black to only have to answer to him, instead of numerous studio heads.
The movie shares its title with a song from the soundtrack of the James Bond movie Thunderball (1965). "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was recorded first by Shirley Bassey, and then Dionne Warwick after Composer John Barry had chosen the title when he read a magazine article which mentioned that was how Bond was known in Italy. However, the producers got cold feet at the last moment, and asked him to write a title song, "Thunderball", which was performed by Tom Jones. KKBB was relegated to an instrumental-only status within the movie. Both versions of "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" were released many years later, and "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" has since become a slang description of the James Bond-style spy genre.
Johnny Knoxville was set to star as Harry Lockhart, before being replaced by Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. composed music for his first music album during the production.
The opening part, taking place at Harlan Dexter's mansion, was shot at Shane Black's mansion. In the years between Black's last produced feature, The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), and this one, Black had become infamous for throwing similar large, extravagant parties at that mansion, filled with the same kind of industry big-wigs and up-and-comers.
In reference to the "Ike, Mike, and Mustard" quote, Ike and Mike are diner slang for salt and pepper shakers. Also, pre-1950s, an "Ike, Mike, and Mustard" joke was an off color joke, generally with sexual references, that wouldn't be told in polite or mixed company.
WRITER TRADEMARK: (Shane Black): (disarmed gunman): While being held at gunpoint, Gay Perry demonstrates how easy it is to disarm a non-professional gunman, as most of them fail to keep a minimum distance of five feet from their targets. Shane Black often writes scenes where the hero is able to disarm a gunman who makes this mistake, most notably in The Last Boy Scout (1991) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996).
Robert Downey, Jr.'s favorite movie of his own.
Gay Perry's cell phone ringtone is "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor.
In its initial release, this never expanded beyond one hundred sixty-nine screens, hence its disappointing box-office numbers.
Harry's (Robert Downey, Jr.'s) game of Russian roulette, while asking the suspect "Where is the girl?" is a mirror of a Russell Crowe scene from L.A. Confidential (1997).
The phrase "kiss kiss, bang bang" appeared in the 1960s as an overseas slang for spy movies, especially James Bond movies. It was popular in Europe and Japan. It first appeared as a film title for Kiss Kiss - Bang Bang (1966), a 1966 spy comedy made in Spain with Italian financing. It was also the title of famed critic Pauline Kael's second published collection of reviews. Kael wrote that she chose the words as her title because they are "perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies."
In one scene, Harry Lockhart is prompted to read lines from a script sample. The first line he reads ends with the phrase "go spit", which is also a catchphrase of Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) in the Lethal Weapon movies.
According to the DVD commentary track, Robert Downey, Jr. had one of Shane Black's assistants crouching off camera jabbing him in the kidneys during the torture scene.
Early in production, Warner Brothers considered Benicio Del Toro for Harry, and Hugh Grant for Gay Perry.
Harmony's baseball bat carries the inscription "Wonder Girl", which is an homage to Robert Redford's bat in The Natural (1984), which was called "Wonder Boy".
The (published) name of the author of the Jonny Gossamer books is Joe Chester. You can see it briefly on the first book Harmony picks up at the party.
At one point in the film, Gay Perry reveals that Colin Farrell is up for the role, for which Harry is auditioning. Val Kilmer had previously played Philip, father of Alexander the Great (Farrell) in Alexander (2004).
Robert Downey Jr. considered his role as Harry Lockhart his "calling card" to playing Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While preparing to make Iron Man (2008), Downey Jr.'s performance inspired director 'Jon Favreau' to cast him in the title role.
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The "Johnny Gossamer" novel, Harmony (Michelle Monaghan) picks up at the party, opens to show the contents as "Man Beneath The Uniform" by Maureen Child.
Judie Aronson and Robert Downey, Jr. were in Weird Science (1985).
The film was strongly influenced on works by Raymond Chandler. Robert Downey, Jr. had starred in a similar role in The Singing Detective (2003), which is also based on Chandler's books.
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Harry's hotel room number is 714. This is also Joe Friday's badge number on Dragnet (1951).
Only got a limited theatrical release in the UK. It did become a large hit on home video.
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Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer have played famous superhero characters in movies. Downey played Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while Kilmer played Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, in Batman Forever (1995).
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Shannyn Sossamon's character was originally "Girl with Pink Hair", but was changed after production was completed to "Pink Hair Girl".
Val Kilmer, Robert Downey, Jr., Michelle Monaghan, and Shane Black were all involved with DC or Marvel property. Kilmer played Batman in Batman Forever (1995), Downey as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Monaghan as Wonder Woman in Justice League: War (2014), and Black directed Downey in Iron Man 3 (2013).
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Laurence Fishburne: Voice of the bear in the fake beer commercial.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Towards the end, Harry attributes Perry's dubious survival to when "the studio gets paranoid about a downer ending." The same rationale caused a change to the endings of Shane Black's prior screenplays for Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996).
There is foreshadowing with Gay Perry throughout the movie, as his cell phone plays "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor as his ringtone, indicating his fate at the end of the movie.
Body count: thirteen: Protocop actor (falls off Harmony's balcony); Richie (shot by woman on fire escape); Veronica Dexter (the "lady in the lake"); Jenna Lane (suicide); Mr Frying Pan (shot by food stand owner); Pink Hair Girl (shot by Mr Fire); Mr Fire (shot by Harry); Dexter's Clinic guard (shot by Harry); Aurelio (shot by Perry); Dexter's goon on bridge (shot by Perry); Harlan Dexter (shot by Harry); two goons on freeway (shot by Harry).
There is a clue to the murder plot in a shot of a defective hotel "No Vacancy" sign. The sign flashes "No Vac". In the Hitchcock film Vertigo (1958), Kim Novak plays a woman who doubles for a murder victim.

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