Bridge to Terabithia (2007) Poster


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Katherine Paterson wrote her novel in 1977 as a way of helping her 8-year-old son recover from a traumatic incident - his best friend was struck by lightning and killed. The son - David Paterson - grew up to become the film's producer.
It was AnnaSophia Robb who came up with the name of the Dark Master. Initially in production it was referred to as the Key Monster.
In the scene where Leslie's telling Jess about Janice Avery's home life while walking to a swing under the tree house, Jess has a slight limp. This is because during filming, Josh Hutcherson developed stress fractures in his back from constantly playing sports and being overactive.
AnnaSophia Robb's stunt double for this movie was a boy, Tyrone Costelloe.
The final film of cinematographer Michael Chapman, who retired after filming was completed.
At the end of shooting, AnnaSophia Robb fought incredibly hard to take home the shoes she wore throughout the film. Instead she got two pairs of pants.
Because shooting was not done in sequence, a "make believe" scale of 1 to 10 was used so Josh Hutcherson could gauge how much computer generated imagery Jess would be seeing. They rated Jess' view of Terabithia from the treetops as level 10. Similarly, the five stages of grief emphasized in the book (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) were used so Josh could appropriately focus his performances in the later scenes of the film.
The scene where Jess and Leslie are racing a group of Hairy Vultures to the tree house was shot with "just the two of them on a treadmill against a green screen roped up like rock climbers" according to screenwriter Jeff Stockwell.
The name Terabithia is inspired by an island called Terabinthia in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia novels.
In the scene where Jess and his father are playing with the set of cars, the song on the radio is "Keep Your Mind Wide Open," which is the song featured in this movie's music video, performed by AnnaSophia Robb.
Due to the fact that there are no squirrels in New Zealand, all squirrel shots were either prerecorded or digitally added in.
The emotional scene at Terabithia where Jess is picked up and cradled in his father's arms after imagining he is being chased by the Dark Master and falling, was fourteen takes on a full day's shoot broken in the middle by lunch.
Josh Hutcherson considers himself to have a horrible singing voice. Regardless, due to the heavy accents of most of the New Zealand extras, the singing was added as ADR (Additional Dialog Recording) in post-production and is listed as "performed by Zooey Deschanel and the Terabithia choir" in the end credits.
Because it was easier for WETA, the grand panorama shot of Jess/Maybelle's Terabithia (at around 1h 30 mins) includes CGI versions of Jess and Maybelle, instead of the actors themselves.
When she heard of a film being made, AnnaSophia Robb wrote a letter to director Gabor Csupo expressing her love and enthusiasm for one of her favorite books. This letter effectively won Robb the part of Leslie.
Robert Patrick was keen to be in the movie as he wanted to make a film that his children could watch.
The cafeteria scene at the museum was shot about midnight.
The Christmas celebration in the book was changed to Jess' birthday for budgetary reasons.
The film attracted some criticism for the way it was marketed - as a rich fantasy adventure set in a mystic land. The reality is that the majority of the film is set in the real world, showing how children cope with the harsh truths of the life. The fantasy elements comprise just a small fraction of the movie's running time.
The negatives of the wide shots of Ms Edwards driving Jess to the museum were flipped so that New Zealand traffic driving on the left side of the roads would appear to be driving on the right side of the roads.
The little sandy blonde girl in the blue dress in the "free to pee" chorus is Gabor Csupo's daughter Ruby. She can be seen walking directly toward the camera behind May Belle.
The Juicy Fruit Gum company had the wrappers for Leslie's Juicy Fruit especially made as movie marketing. According to the actress herself, Juicy Fruit sticks don't say Juicy Fruit on them.
The music video that Ellie tells Brenda (at around 14 mins) they watched the day before, is Say Anything's "Alive With the Glory of Love."
In addition to rigging a camera to shoot down the rope swing when the kids were looking up at the sky, they used a second camera rig shooting up for a POV (point of view) shot of what the kids saw.
The Dark Master evolved from the Hornapoligist, a rhinoceros-like creature, according to screenwriter Jeff Stockwell. In the film, the Hornapoligist only appears as a drawing (in the background of the end credits).
The production built the girls playground restroom as a facade on an existing sandbox.
Director Gabor Csupo's first live action film.
The pest trapped in the greenhouse was meant to be an opossum, but they are not indigenous to New Zealand and the production was not permitted to import them for the shoot, so a Common Brushtail Possum was used instead, which is native to Australia and was introduced in New Zealand by early settlers as a source of meat and furs.
New Zealand was chosen to serve as the setting of Virginia in order for the filmmakers to be closer to Weta Digital.
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The character of Scott Hoager (Gary Fulcher's sidekick) is specifically created for the film.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The first and (as of 2017) only Disney feature film featuring the permanent death of a major child character.
In initial meetings, David Paterson discovered that studios were loathe to touch the project because Leslie gets killed. It was suggested to him that she should have a mild accident or be briefly in a coma instead.

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