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Tower Heist (2011) Poster

(2011)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (1)
Casey Affleck was keen to take part in Tower Heist (2011), as he really wanted to do a comedy and was very rarely being approached to do anything other than serious drama.
The signing on of Ben Stiller as the lead was instrumental in coaxing Eddie Murphy back to the project.
Universal Pictures wanted a final extra scene to be shot, to show what happened to the characters played by Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. The latter said he would only do it if he was paid an additional $500,000, so the scene was dropped.
The original idea for the movie came from Eddie Murphy, who first pitched it to both director and producer Brett Ratner and Brian Grazer, years before the project was finally launched.
Ben Stiller was paid $15 million for his part in the film.
Eddie Murphy earned $7.5 million for his involvement in the film.
Donald J. Trump International Hotel and Tower in Manhattan was the stand-in for the "The Tower" in the film.
The only improvised scene was when Odessa instructs Slide how to crack a safe in a very suggestive manner.
Brett Ratner turned down the opportunity to direct Horrible Bosses (2011) in order to make this film.
Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock were both considered for starring roles in this film at one point, with the film being developed as an "African American Ocean's Eleven (2001)." Chris Tucker and Dave Chappelle were also in talks for roles at this stage. Murphy was eventually cast for a supporting role after Ben Stiller signed on as the lead.
The Rossa Corsa Red 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso used in the film was claimed to have been the exact car owned by the "King of Cool, Steve McQueen." While it is true that Steve McQueen did own a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, his car was Chestnut Brown, not the Italian Red used on the movie car.
Producers hired a professional safe cracker, eight time world champion Jeff Sitar, to work with the props master to set up the dial lock for the safe cracking scene, and coach Gabourey Sidibe on how to use a safe cracker's listening device and work the dial to crack the safe.
Some theater chains refused to book the film when Universal Pictures revealed that they planned to put the film out on Video on Demand three weeks after the theatrical release. Their concern about how this move would harm ticket sales prompted Universal to back down on this idea.
The 1912 chess game Shaw (Alan Alda) references, while talking to Kovaks (Ben Stiller), is a real game. However, rather than playing it out, Levitsky resigned after Marshall moved his queen, realizing checkmate was inevitable. The "Marshall Swindle" term did not derive solely from that game, as it was a well known tactic of Frank Marshall's to often play a game in a lazy or relaxed style that ceded his opponent the advantage. Just when he appeared to be in a totally lost position, he would summon up a marvelous tactical flight of fancy to smash his unaware opponent. Some of his defeated and frustrated opponents, believing that they had a moral right to the victory after having established decisive advantage, felt that Marshall had cheated them out of their just desserts, and often complained that they had been "swindled." A well-known "Marshall Swindle" occurred in a game between Marshall and Georg Marco in 1904.
Noah Baumbach did re-writes specifically for the character Josh Kovaks, to suit Ben Stiller.
According to producer Brian Grazer's account on Piers Morgan Tonight: Episode dated 3 November 2011 (2011), Alan Alda's character, Arthur Shaw, was inspired by Ponzi mastermind Bernard Madoff.
Fake snow was used during the part where Slide teaches lock-picking at the rooftop, since filming took place in summer.
This was the final film of Heavy D.
To perfect her Jamaican accent, Gabourey Sidibe used the services of three vocal coaches.
Actor Greg Grunberg, who has a son suffering from epilepsy, demanded an apology from director Brett Ratner after hearing a joke about seizures from the trailer. Ratner later apologized.
Of the stars, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck and Matthew Broderick had all previously directed movies. Indeed, with his cameo appearance at the beginning, Robert Downey Sr. would make that six directors in the cast list.
Alan Alda, Ben Stiller and Téa Leoni had all previously appeared together in David O. Russell's Flirting with Disaster (1996).
The mall visited is actually in Queens, close to the main character's home of Astoria. The Queens Shopping Center in Elmhurst, Queens contains all of the stores where the shoplifting takes place.
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There are over 500 visual effects in the film.
After a screening of the film at L.A.'s Arclight Cinemas, director Brett Ratner said that "rehearsal is for fags" during a Q&A. Due to this controversial statement, Ratner had to resign as a producer of The 84th Annual Academy Awards (2012) in November 2011. Following this, Eddie Murphy, who had signed on as host of the event, also stepped down. Ratner and Murphy were replaced with Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal, respectively, for the show.
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The Ferrari Lusso used in many of the scenes was actually a heavily modified Volvo 1800. Two were fabricated. Corroboration from the builder found on FerrariChat, said, "Hi, I'm Erich Schultz. I built the two replica Lussos for Tower Heist (2011). I was hired by Ralph Lucci of Automobile Film Club of America, based in New York, to do the job. Brett Ratner, the film's director, wanted the job done by Ted Moser of Picture Car Warehouse in LA. Ted and I are friends, so I told Ralph I would do the job with Ted and act as the project manager. Initially, we were given just seven weeks from getting the job to the final delivery date for two complete cars. I thought that this time frame was unrealistic and I needed ten weeks. We ended up taking eight and a half weeks from start to finish to build them. The decision to build onto a Volvo P1800 platform was mine. I noticed the similarity between the Lusso's windshield, A-pillar, and side windows with the P1800, which incidentally was designed in Italy. I used the P1800 as a platform for the Lusso mold plug. With the exception of the windshield frame, every surface and the overall dimensions of the P1800 were changed with metal work, MDF, urethane foam, fiberglass, and Bondo to transform it into a facsimile of the Lusso. Our replica is not identical in any way. We had to settle for very close. We did not have access to a real Lusso to get measurements or make plans or templates. I had a photo file of pictures that were downloaded from the internet, and I had to approximate everything by trying to scale dimensions from those photos."
Jeff Nathanson added in the part of Odessa specifically for Gabourey Sidibe, at Brett Ratner's request.
Robert Redford was offered the role of Arthur Shaw, but turned it down.
Stephen Henderson (Lester) is talking to Ben Stiller (Kovaks) about how he got drunk and pretended to be Mufasa from The Lion King (1994). Matthew Broderick (Mr. Fitzhugh) did the voice for adult Simba in the Disney version of The Lion King (1994).
Shrek is seen in the parade, and Eddie Murphy starred in the "Shrek" movies.
This was the second movie Eddie Murphy filmed in Elmhurst (at the Queens Center mall). The first film was Coming to America (1988) at the McDowells (Wendy's on Queens Blvd).
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This is the first film that director Brett Ratner has made entirely in New York City. Prior to this, he had only shot a few scenes in The Family Man (2000) in the city.
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During the building lockdown scene, the security guard is reading the November 2009 issue of Playboy Magazine, for which director Brett Ratner shot a pictorial that featured his then-girlfriend Alina Puscau.
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The music in this film is similar to the theme in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), almost like a big city homage.
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When Josh (Ben Stiller) bails and picks up Slide (Eddie Murphy) from Riker's Island, Josh starts talking about a car named a Nova. When Murphy starred in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), he drove a "crappy, blue Nova."
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Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps and Katt Williams were considered for roles.
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The Ferrari and the parade that appear in this film is a reference to Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), which also starred Matthew Broderick.
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Rachel Portman wrote an unused score.
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The school (P.S. 104) that both Josh and Arthur Shaw claim to have attended in Brooklyn is known as a "magnet school for museum studies." Ben Stiller starred in the Night at the Museum (2006) films.
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The film cast includes five Oscar nominees: Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Casey Affleck, Judd Hirsch and Gabourey Sidibe.
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Téa Leoni and Robert Downey Sr. previously appeared in The Family Man (2000).
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Fitzburg refers to Matlock in the film. Lyman Ward, who played Broderick's father in Ferris Beuller's Day Off (1986), appeared in Matlock (1986).
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Cameo 

Kate Upton: the Victoria's Secret model appears as Mr. Hightower's mistress. Her actual photo from one of their ad campaigns is later seen in the Victoria's Secret store window, as Josh goes in to steal the underwear.

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Frank Pesce goes to get Eddie Murphy from his cell. In Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Eddie Murphy and Frank Pesce had a run-in with the law at the start of the movie.
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