World Trade Center (2006) Poster


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Test audiences believed that Dave Karnes (Michael Shannon), the former Marine, was a Hollywood invention. This is, in fact, a true story that occurred. Karnes later re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Iraq. Also, as reported by the Associated Press on August 14, 2006, the Marine identified only as Sergeant Thomas (who disappeared shortly after 9/11) has been identified as Jason Thomas, a former Marine who grabbed his uniform and immediately drove to Ground Zero to help. Because his identity was unknown at the time of filming, Sgt. Thomas - who is black - was portrayed by William Mapother, a white man. The producers have since apologized to Sgt. Thomas for the miscasting. Thomas has laughed it off and told them not to be concerned, stating, "I don't want to shed any negativity on what they were trying to show."
A billboard for Zoolander (2001) is visible in one shot, as the shadow of a hijacked airliner descends over New York City. That film, released shortly after the 9/11 attacks, had images of the World Trade Center digitally removed.
Due to her infamous quote that "America is responsible in some way" for the 9/11 attacks, Maggie Gyllenhaal personally offered to withdraw from the project to Officer William Jimeno and his wife Allison Jimeno. They both declined and gave their blessing for Gyllenhaal to take the role.
Three weeks before its August 9 nationwide release, producer Michael Shamberg and director Oliver Stone held private screenings of the finalized film for Port Authority officers and firefighters who risked their lives at the World Trade Center. The screenings were held in local multiplexes in the New Jersey/New York area.
Nicolas Cage was the first actor to be given the script. Producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher circulated the Andrea Berloff's screenplay over to Creative Artists Agency, where it was given to Oliver Stone and Cage.
In preparing for his portrayal of Sgt. John McLoughlin, Nicolas Cage focused on accurately speaking with a New York accent. And to also capture the fear and claustrophobia of McLoughlin's ordeal, Cage spent hours in a sense-deprivation tank in Venice, California.
The real-life John McLoughlin and William Jimeno appear in the final scene of the film at the "thank you" cookout.
Approximately 240 tons of material was used to recreate a fully 3-dimensional Ground Zero in Los Angeles.
The highest grossing feature film of the 2000s about the events of September 11th, at over $162 million dollars worldwide. Its opening weekend gross of $18.7 million was the best of Oliver Stone's career.
Oliver Stone used many of the East Coast www.PoliceActors.com members to play cops in the film. All members of PoliceActors.com are active or retired members of a Law Enforcement agency who are also Screen Actors Guild members.
Mel Gibson was one of director Oliver Stone's first choices for the role of Sgt. John McLoughlin. Gibson liked the script very much, but turned it down to direct Apocalypto (2006).
Director Oliver Stone's first two choices to play John McLoughlin were Mel Gibson and George Clooney.
Hilary Swank was once slated to star as Donna McLoughlin when Kevin Costner was attached to the role of Sgt. John McLoughlin. They had both narrated the documentary, On Native Soil (2006) which investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. When Costner dropped out of the project, Swank went on to pursue other projects as well.
After seeing his performance in the film, Crash (2004), Maggie Gyllenhaal recommended Michael Peña for the role of Officer William Jimeno.
Came to theaters under code name "bluelight".
Officer Scott Strauss, a first responder with the New York City Emergency Services unit, was offered the chance to play himself in the film. However, Strauss refused to do so and Stephen Dorff was then cast to portray him. Strauss's services as a consultant were retained for the film to which he didn't accept payment.
Fifty real-life members of PAPD, NYPD and FDNY (some of whom participated the in the actual rescue) were flown to Los Angeles to film the chain of men moving stretchers out of the rubble.
The real life William Jimeno made several appearances in the film and is credited as "Port Authority Officer #1".
According to William Jimeno's commentary on the DVD, John McLoughlin, JJ McLoughlin, Allison Jimeno, Bianca Jimeno, and himself were all in the barbecue scene at the end of the film. Michael Peña, playing William Jimeno, hugs the real William Jimeno there.
The first theatrical film to recreate the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
The city of New York absolutely prohibited the recreation of 9/11 destruction or chaos on location. The filmmakers were not even allowed to film actors looking upward toward where the towers would be. The drive of the officers up to the site was permitted to be filmed, but all scenes depicting events at or near the WTC were filmed in Los Angeles.
ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2003) rebuilt Sgt. Jason Thomas's (played by William Mapother) house in 2007.
Made with the full cooperation of the New York Port Authority, which allowed filming on location in their headquarters, and provided real uniforms and equipment for the production.
Maria Bello doesn't have blue eyes in real life.
The first movie partnership of Maria Bello and Stephen Dorff. The second film they share is Carjacked (2011).
Michael Shannon was born on Aug 7, 1974, the day Philippe Petit tightrope walked between the World Trade Center towers.
Oliver Stone thought of casting Kevin Costner as Sgt. John McLoughlin, his JFK (1991) lead. Costner had narrated the 2006 documentary On Native Soil (2006), about the 9/11 Commission Report's investigation of the causes of the terrorist attacks and what could have been done to prevent them from happening. Paramount Pictures was concerned that Stone and Costner would then delve into another conspiracy theory.
As part of his research, Michael Peña moved into Officer William Jimeno's home in New Jersey.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Jeanette Pezzulo, the widow of Officer Dominick Pezzulo, demanded that her husband's death be edited in the final version of the film. Jay Hernandez portrays the late Dominick Pezzulo, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

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