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Out of the Furnace (2013) Poster

Trivia

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Christian Bale actually learned to operate a real furnace for the film and didn't use a double for his scenes inside the steel mill.
Towards the beginning of the film, the TV in the bar shows Senator Edward Ted Kennedy (1932-2009) supporting the candidacy of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Later, the inspection stickers on Russell's truck are dated 9/13 & 12/13, which indicates the prison time he served for his driving accident was five years.
The movie playing at the drive-in theater during the first scene is The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
In 2011 Scott Cooper promised Christian Bale that the director wouldn't make this thriller without him. Unfortunately Bale's schedule didn't permit him to participate in the project, but the actor couldn't get the story out of his mind. Later on Bale's schedule cleared up and the shooting of the film commenced in April of 2012.
Scott Cooper and Christian Bale both agreed that Casey Affleck would be the ideal choice to play Rodney.
Scott Cooper rewrote the script and the character of Russell Baze specifically for Christian Bale even though the two had never met and Cooper didn't know whether the actor would take on the role or not.
Eddie Vedder wrote a number of songs for the film, but director Scott Cooper thought they were too perfect and powerful, which could pull the audience out of the story, so they mutually decided to leave them out of the film and unreleased.
Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to play the lead role with Ridley Scott directing in the early stages of production. In the end both men opted to stay on just as producers.
The Make a Wish Foundation brought a boy who wished to meet Christian Bale to the set, and he and his family were able to spend the day with the cast and crew.
Viggo Mortensen was first approached about the role that eventually went to Woody Harrelson.
Christian Bale sports a tattoo reading 15104 which is the zip code for Braddock. He did this in homage to Braddock's indefatigable mayor, John Fetterman, who also wears the same design on his arm.
Casey Affleck spent about 3 months training extensively to achieve the wiry frame of a fighter.
The character of Russell Baze, played by Christian Bale, is based on someone very dear to director Scott Cooper.
The title of the film went through a couple of iterations before settling on "Out of the Furnace". The original script was called "The Low Dweller" but when Scott Cooper was rewriting it, he considered changing the name to "Under a Black Sun". While shooting the working title of the film was "Dust to Dust". It was Terrence Malick and Sam Shepard who finally convinced Cooper that "Out of the Furnace" was an apt title for the film.
During the fight scene with Casey Affleck at the Jackson Whites' hideout, the extras portraying the Jackson Whites spontaneously broke out into the victory chant.
The cast includes five actors who were nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor: Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck. Bale won the award for this category, while Forest Whitaker and Casey Affleck won Oscar's as a leading actor.
Billy Bob Thornton was considered for a role but Woody Harrelson was eventually cast.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2008 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
The film has no relation to the novel "Out of the Furnace", written in 1941 by Thomas Bell, which coincidentally is also set in the town of Braddock.
The term "Jackson Whites" to describe the "inbred" mountain folk of New Jersey's Ramapo Mountains appears to have disappeared and been replaced in the DVD version by reference only to the "Ramapos" people. That change may have been due to a civil suit filed against the filmmakers in 2012 by members of Jersey's Ramapo native-American tribe, two of whose common tribal surnames were actually the same as two of the movie's violent characters.
Scott Cooper decided to use Braddock, Pennsylvania, as the main location for his film after reading an article about it. The former steel town had been in decline for years and its mayor had been doing his best to revitalize the area.
The screenplay is born out of a spec script by Brad Ingelsby called "The Low Dweller". It came to Scott Cooper's attention with Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producers. Cooper rewrote the script, investing it with his own experiences, notably growing up in Appalachia and losing a sibling at an early age.
Some of the actors worked on adapting the very specific Pittsburgh accent. Willem Dafoe did not since he was relatively late to join the picture.
Channing Tatum, Taylor Kitsch, Max Irons and Garrett Hedlund were considered to play Christian Bale's brother. Casey Affleck was cast.
On July 9, 1755, British General Edward Braddock and his English and Colonial troops were marching towards Fort Duquesne (present day Pittsburgh). They were surprised by a French and Indian force that decimated this army. Braddock was shot, and his wounded body was taken from the battlefield by George Washington. Braddock died soon after and gave his name to the town in which this movie was filmed, as this was the battlefield.
The Ramapough Mountain Indians launched a claim against the film, asserting that its depiction of the natives living in the area amounted to a hate crime. The suit was dismissed.
The baseball game that Russell is listening to on the truck radio when he crashed was played between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 25, 2008. The Cubs won 12-3.
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Christian Bale did his own training to work at the active steel mill and can be seen working there in the film without a stunt double.
The opening scene of the movie is very similar to the short story Real Life by Donald Ray Pollock.
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Cooper's various influences include John Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978), as well as artist Francis Bacon, and photographers Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank and Walker Evans.
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Casey Affleck and Sam Shepard also starred together in 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' (2007).
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The scene in the bar (Cellar Door / Hidy's Café) required very little set decoration.
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The project was first announced to be directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Christian Bale. Sanders dropped out and Scott Cooper was hired.
Before approaching Christian Bale, Scott Cooper offered the role of Russell Blaze to Jeremy Renner, but he declined the part.
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The only major release to open on the weekend of 6 December 2013. Despite having no other new releases to contend with, the film only managed to earn $5.3 million. In contrast, Frozen (2013) earned over $30 million and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) grossed $27 million.
Alberto Iglesias was first hired to compose the score for the film but was later replaced by Dickon Hinchliffe.
Christian Bale and Willem Dafoe starred together in 'American Psycho' (2000)
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After Russell Baze finally has Harlen Degroat on the ground and asks him "do you know who I am?", Harlen pulls his right hand up first then his left hand into what looks like a fighting position. Tattooed on the bottom of his right hand is the word "fuck" and on the bottom of his left hand is tattooed "you".
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Features several actors/actresses who have played characters from both Marvel and DC comics including Christian Bale (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin/Norman Osborn), and Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce).
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The rifle Russell Baze uses to shoot Degroat appears to be a Browning A-Bolt with a Leupold VX-2 scope. By the the size of the bore, it looks like a 30 caliber, probably a .308.
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Casey Affleck plays the brother of Christian Bale. In real life, Affleck is the brother of Ben Affleck who succeeded Christian Bale in his most famous role as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In preview screenings the ending was different as during the final scene more police cars arrive and when Bale shot Harrelson, Bale was shot also by police officers while Whitaker was trying to stop them from shooting him without success.

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