Keanu Reeves accepted a lower salary so the producers could pay Al Pacino's asking price. When Pacino later heard about this, he donated the same amount of his salary to charity.
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The outdoor patio in John Milton's office was actually on the 50th floor of a New York City building. The actual stage was eight feet away from the edge of the building.
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The boxing match that Lomax and Milton attend was not a staged bout, but in fact a legitimate world championship boxing match. The bout occurred on October 4, 1996, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Roy Jones Jr., IBF super-middleweight champion, squared off against top contender Bryant Brannon. Jones knocked out Brannon during the second round of the bout. Jones later appeared in another Keanu Reeves movie, The Matrix Reloaded (2003).
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Charlize Theron thought long and hard about appearing fully nude in the film, having turned down Showgirls (1995) for precisely that reason. She finally agreed because she loved her character.
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Originally, the film was a more visual effects oriented, blockbuster-type movie, and was turned down by Al Pacino five times. But when Taylor Hackford went through a few script re-writes, he offered it to Pacino again. Pacino liked it, but didn't think he could portray Milton properly, and suggested Sir Sean Connery or Robert Redford instead.
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When Eddie Barzoon is running in the park, the three joggers chasing him are each wearing a color associated with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, more specifically, the color of their horses. One is in white, representing the horse of Conquest (or Pestilence). One is in red, representing the horse of War. The final jogger is wearing black, representing the horse of Famine. Milton, who is reciting a monologue about Barzoon to provide his justification for sending the demon joggers after Barzoon, is wearing a green robe. Green was the color of the final horse belonging to Death.
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The character of John Milton is named for John Milton, the author of "Paradise Lost," the classic epic poem about man's fall from God's grace. When Lomax is in Milton's office at the end of the film, he says "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven," from Book I Line 263 of the same work.
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To prepare for his role, Keanu Reeves spent time hanging out with defense attorneys in New York City.
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There is a deleted scene where Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) is looking for Kevin (Keanu Reeves) at Eddie Barzoon's party, and someone re-directs her to the library. She is shocked to find three people there engaged in a threesome, and leaves when they invite her to join in. The scene didn't make the final cut, but seeing the level of debauchery in Milton's company may explain Mary Ann's increasing suspicion of Kevin's infidelity in the remainder of the movie.
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Despite playing a married couple close in age, Keanu Reeves was 31 and Charlize Theron was 21 during filming.
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Connie Nielsen's character speaks Spanish in the Italian release of the movie, and Italian in all the others. Nielsen is in fact Danish, and this was her American film debut.
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According to the director's commentary on the DVD, after they finished filming Daniel Oreskes's scene in which he coughs violently for several minutes, the entire cast and crew broke out into applause.
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Danish Connie Nielsen had only been in the U.S. for a month, when she landed her part in this film.
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The line Milton says to Kevin about how "there are more people in law school than there are lawyers on the whole planet" was also spoken in the movie St. Elmo's Fire (1985) by Andrew McCarthy's character, Kevin.
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Joel Schumacher was originally set to direct the film in 1994, with Brad Pitt to star as Kevin Lomax. Christian Slater, John Cusack, and Edward Norton were then considered for the role.
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Taken literally, the name of Connie Nielsen's character (Christabella Andreoli) means "beautiful Christ" ("Christabella") and "manly (or strong) warrior" ("Andreoli").
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Sculptor Frederick Hart and the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., sued Warner Brothers over a sculpture that appears in the film, and closely resembles Hart's "Ex Nihilo", which is situated above Milton's desk in his apartment. Warner Bros. agreed to edit the scenes for future releases. Some videos of the film had already been made, so they attached stickers to them, prior to sale, stating that there was no relation between the sculpture in the film, and Hart's work.
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Donald Trump's private residential multi-level apartment at Trump Tower was used as Alex Cullen's home. Trump's landmark gold decor, and classic view of Central Park, provide a familiar New York City backdrop.
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Taking on the part finally afforded Al Pacino the opportunity to read "Paradise Lost".
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When Milton is negotiating with Lomax near the end of the film, he tells him "I'm just getting warmed up." This is a quote from a previous Pacino film, Scent of a Woman (1992), in which Pacino's character also says the line, much to the approval of the audience.
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Charlize Theron said that after she first auditioned for Taylor Hackford, she was told he and Warner Brothers execs thought she was too pretty for the role. But he let her screen test three more times playing different very emotional scenes. She said it was a draining experience that took about two months. But it paid off and they finally cast her.
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Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron would go on to star as a couple again four years later in Sweet November (2001).
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Originally, Al Pacino turned down the role of John Milton three times until he finally agreed to play the part.
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Lomax and Milton run into Don King at the bout. King was in attendance that night, because one of the fighters he promoted at the time, Oba Carr, fought on the undercard of the Roy Jones Jr.-Bryant Brannon bout. Carr lost a 12-round decision to WBA welterweight champion Ike Quartey.
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In the scene when Lomax and Milton are walking through the market place, you can see a man walking behind them carrying a box which reads Halo Lighting.
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Including the Gettys case, Kevin Lomax has won 64 cases before coming to New York City. After coming to New York City, he wins two more cases, bringing his total to 66, a possible reference to the "Number of the Beast," 666.
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Kevin Spacey was considered for the role of John Milton.
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In Australia, it received an R18+ rating (not too dissimilar from an NC-17 rating), despite being a mainstream, large budget film.
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In the beginning of the film where the first party takes place most of the women have their hair dyed red you can clearly see when the camera shows the above shots of the actors and extras seeing a montage of red hair.
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Then-businessman Donald Trump was mentioned briefly by Pam Garrety in the Barzoon party scene. She said, "Donald Trump was supposed to be here tonight, but he had a business emergency. Probably Mort Zuckerman."
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Connie Nielsen (Christabella), and Tamara Tunie (Mrs. Jackie Heath) both went on to star in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999). Nielsen as detective Danielle "Dani" Beck (2006), and Tunie as Dr. Melinda Warner (2000-2021).
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Keanu Reeves and Connie Nielsen portrayed DC Comics related characters. Reeves portrayed John Constantine in Constantine (2005). And Nielsen portrayed Queen Hippolyta in Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League (2017).
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Richard Gere was considered for the role of John Milton.
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Both Keanu Reeves and Craig T. Nelson have also starred in Pixar films. Nelson provided the voice of Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible in The Incredibles (2004) and Incredibles 2 (2018), and Reeves provided the voice of Duke Kaboom in Toy Story 4 (2019).
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The film was released 20 years after an unrelated film with the same English title, The Devil's Advocate (1977).
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Producers Arnon Milchan & Arnold Kopelson, screenwriter Tony Gilroy and music composer James Newton Howard had 4 movies that came out the following years by 2 different studios. Howard composed Diggstown (1992) & Gilroy wrote the screenplay to The Cutting Edge (1992) both released by MGM. Milchan served as executive producer for Free Willy (1993) and Kopelson produced The Fugitive (1993) which Howard also composed both released by Warner Bros.
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Arnold Kopelson: Producer appears in the last shot of the party scene. Pam Garrety is having a conversation with him, as Mary Ann Lomax asks her "Have you seen Kevin?"
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Keanu Reeves's suit gets darker as the movie progresses. It starts as a light color and then goes through increasingly dark shades of gray. By the end of the movie, his suit is black. This is indicative of his character's decreasing morality throughout the movie.
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In order to prepare for her role in the film, Charlize Theron spent an hour a day over the three-month shooting period in New York City with a psycho-therapist, to "practice schizophrenia."
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Every time Mary Ann tries a different color of green on the apartment walls, only to be discouraged by her friend Jackie, Jackie is wearing clothing or jewelry that is the same shade of green.
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John Milton always takes the subway around New York City, hinting at his "underworld" connections (literally and figuratively; he also turns out to be the mastermind of a worldwide crime syndicate). He also peppers the film's dialogue with remarks that sound mundane in context, but turn out are to be allusions to his past as the rebellious angel Lucifer and his being cast out of Heaven by God, "Underestimated from Day One!" and "You think I never lost before?"
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When Kevin is in the restroom speaking to Larry the reporter, a loud boom is heard before he splashes water on to his face. At the end of the movie, he awakens at the same bathroom, although no boom is heard. The boom indicates Kevin's entry into Milton's world, or the hallucination of it.
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John Milton's plan to set up Kevin with his half-sister is foreshadowed when he talks Mary Anne, Kevin's wife, into changing her hairstyle from what Kevin found attractive. He knew this would cause Kevin to start losing interest in his wife sexually and become more focused on his work. And at the same time, notice another woman wearing a similar hairstyle.
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It is said that demons in paranormal haunting cases tend to knock on surfaces three times each as a way to mock the holy trinity. John Milton, aka Satan, throughout the movie has a habit of laughing three times each.
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John Milton speaks several different languages to show that Satan knows no boundaries. A figure of ultimate evil is common in all religions worldwide.
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When Kevin Lomax and John Milton meet for the first time, Milton has a look of astonishment and endearment as if he's meeting someone he always wanted to meet than a boss meeting his employee. This is a subtle clue that Milton and Lomax are related.
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When Milton sees Kevin and Christabella together at the party he calls them the future of the company. On the surface, this means the future of the law firm, and its illegal dealings. It also foreshadows the revelation that Milton wants the two to produce a child that will rule the world.
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In the book, Kevin's last name is Taylor. But in the movie, it's Lomax. Also in the book, Kevin and John Milton aren't father and son, but in the film they are father and son.
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Towards the end of the film, Milton, along with Christabella, tells Kevin of their plan involving him to reproduce a powerful child that would take complete control over the world. In response, Kevin says, "But, I have to volunteer first." This was a quick foreshadowing within the same scene that Kevin was going to refuse to go along with Milton's plan and he was basically warning Milton. This also shows that due to him being half-human and containing a little decency left, Kevin still has free will.
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Near the end of the movie, Keanu Reeves appears to be walking down a totally empty East 57th Street without cars or people. This scene was victim of a certain polemic due to Open Your Eyes (1997), where its main actor, Eduardo Noriega, appears in a too empty Madrid's Gran Vía, creating a doubt about which of the two scenes was copied (or plagiarized) of the other.
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The Devil (Al Pacino) and all characters in league with him smoke. No other characters smoke. Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) flirts with smoking.
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Charlize Theron spends 30 percent of the film in a nightgown, in her underwear, or nude.
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The scene where Kevin and John have their first talk with Alexander Cullen (Craig T. Nelson) inside a building under construction originally ran longer; it was specified that Cullen and his wife were in the process of divorcing, and were already living apart. This fact would actually be an additional motive for Cullen to kill his wife, because if proof of his extramarital affair were to come out before the finalization of the divorce, Mrs Cullen would legally be entitled to half his fortune. The finished movie never explicitly states the pending divorce status, only that Mrs Cullen suspects that Alexander is cheating on her, which might be an incentive for Alexander to kill her and prevent her from filing for divorce.
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In The Gettys case, the rape victim of Kevin Lomax's client wasn't being believed. Ironically, later on in the film, in the church and as she's being carted off to the mental institution, Mary Anne wasn't being believed by Kevin or anyone else of Milton raping her.
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Christabella Andreoli (Connie Nielsen) spends twenty percent of the film nude.
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When Kevin is brought to Milton's penthouse for the first time, upon seeing that there's no bedroom, he asks Milton's aid, "Where does he sleep?" to which the aid replies, "Who says he sleeps?" This is a subtle clue that Milton is not human since this statement implies that he never sleeps. Kevin then asks, "Where does he fuck?" to which Milton himself chimes in, "Everywhere!" This statement implies that Milton is extremely hedonistic and has no morals when it comes to sex. Also, the way Milton responds to Kevin's second question is in a cheerful manner. Normally, a boss would most likely reprimand an employee for being vulgar, especially in their home. However, Milton, for obvious reasons as later revealed that they're father and son, was growing attached to Kevin and actually encouraged him to be more vulgar.
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