The Road (2009) Poster

(I) (2009)


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To live the role, Viggo Mortensen would sleep in his clothes and deliberately starve himself. At one point he was thrown out of a shop in Pittsburgh because they thought he was a homeless man.
The scene where the Man washes the Boy's hair in the stream was shot three times. During that scene, the weather was very cold, so John Hillcoat promised Kodi Smit-McPhee that it would be done in only two takes. However, during the second take, the sun came out and ruined the shot, requiring a third take. The boy's crying afterward was Smit-McPhee actually crying, not acting.
John Hillcoat filmed the soft-drink vending-machine scene with Man and Boy several times, each with a different brand beverage, out of concern that Coca-Cola executives would not want their product to appear in the motion picture. A telephone call from Viggo Mortensen to the president of Coca-Cola secured permission for a can of Coca-Cola to appear, consistent with the source novel.
Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee reported bonding by eating crickets to help them get into character.
Kodi Smit-McPhee won his part over hundreds of boys due to a strong audition and his resemblance to Charlize Theron, who had been cast as Woman.
Viggo Mortensen nearly turned down the role of Man because he had planned a break from film work. After completing his work as the Man, Mortensen took a long break from acting.
The old man's line about having a son was not in the script and was ad-libbed by Robert Duvall after they were all tired from many takes.
In keeping with the novel, the cause of the apocalypse is never explained
One of the cannibals on the back of the truck is played by Kodi Smit-McPhee's real life father.
For the birthing scene, director John Hillcoat originally planned to record the screaming of women actually giving birth and edit it over the scene. Charlize Theron objected to this and filmed the scene herself. The screaming you hear in the film is actually her.
John Hillcoat first read the novel - and fell in love with it - before it was published.
During a preview Q&A screening in London, director John Hillcoat revealed that Kodi Smit-McPhee won the role of 'The Boy' partly due to an audition tape sent in by Kodi's father that showed them re-enacting the scene where the father shows the boy how to kill himself by placing a pistol in his mouth.
One of the reasons Joe Penhall landed the job writing the screenplay was because he felt there was no need to change the novel's dialog.
Kodi Smit-McPhee didn't use a dialog coach for his American accent.
The shooting schedule involved 9 hours of shooting during each day. Kodi Smit-McPhee was unavailable for 3 of those hours as he was being schooled.
Whenever it was a sunny day, the FX technicians had to use CGI to make it look cloudy, because director John Hillcoat wanted to maintain a desolate atmosphere.
The U.S. release date was postponed from November 26, 2008, to October 16, 2009, to allow for additional post-production work. The 2009 release date was further delayed to November 25, 2009, to position the picture for Academy Awards competition.
An apparent CGI aerial shot, which also appears in the trailer, is a digital recreation of actual destruction by Hurricane Katrina to Empire, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The shot shows large, twin boats on a highway in front of a bridge over the Empire Lock on Louisiana state highway 23. In the movie rendering, a large city skyline appears on the horizon, where in actuality there would be only the rural peninsula of Plaquemines Parish.
Devon Gearhart, Chandler Canterbury and Dakota Goyo tested for the role of "Boy" which ultimately went to Kodi Smit-McPhee.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Nobody in the film is credited with a specific name. The only character who does refer to himself by name is the Old Man, who calls himself Ely.
Despite the prominent billing they receive, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce get very little screentime. Indeed, Pearce's is only a few moments at the end of the film.
Charlize Theron only appears in dreams and flashbacks, never in the present.

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