According to David Fincher, Kristen Stewart grew more than three inches during filming of this project. She was smaller than Jodie Foster when the production started and towered over her when the final shots were done.
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The shot of Sarah's medical bag sliding along the floor outside the panic room took 103 takes.
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All of the indoor scenes were shot entirely in the sequence in which they appear in the finished film.
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Because the sets had been designed with Nicole Kidman in mind, who is much taller than Jodie Foster, the green safety lasers on the panic room door ended up exactly at the level of Foster's eyes, constantly blinding her as she entered and exited the room.
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Having just made a film with 150 locations in the shape of Fight Club (1999), David Fincher was keen to tackle something a lot simpler for his next film.
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Shot over a period of 120 days, the longest shoot in Jodie Foster's career.
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Fincher stated he wanted the film to look and feel as realistic as possible. This lead to an increase in the films budget and a longer than planned filming schedule. The apartment was built in whole and the panic room was built and modeled after real life panic rooms. The real life set and action lead to several minor injuries to the actors during filming as Fincher insisted on doing several scenes without CGI.
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Though Panic Room is not technically a remake, it somewhat mirrors the plot and characters of Wait Until Dark (1967). The antagonists are three criminals: one who has compassion like Burnham, another who is a hardened criminal like Junior, and one who is a ruthless psychotic like Raoul. The three men charade their way into a blind woman's brownstone apartment in search of a doll filled with heroin, but realize they have drastically underestimated her wits once they initiate a game of cat and mouse with her.
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Columbia Pictures paid David Koepp a record $4,000,000 for his screenplay.
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A rather disturbing shot that was never filmed involved Raoul's mangled fingers being seen inside the panic room door, and falling out when it opened.
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The photos of Sarah that Meg puts around her room are real childhood pictures of Kristen Stewart and her family.
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Jodie Foster was pregnant with her second child during filming. Because of this, reshoots had to be made in the autumn of 2001 after she had given birth, as principal photography took longer than planned.
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According to David Fincher, the crew were finding feathers (from Burnham's drilling through the pillow scene) all over the sets for 6 months.
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Originally David Fincher planned to make the film in pitch darkness but this proved too impractical.
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The house, which is located at 38 West 94th street in NYC was only used for exterior shots. The house is still there and fans can visit to check it out. It is not currently on the market but if it was it is estimated to cost $7,287,881.
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Darius Khondji quit the production after several weeks as cinematographer to be replaced by Conrad W. Hall. Director David Fincher later admitted that he micro-managed Khondji and didn't allow him to fully take part in the decision-making process.
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Nicole Kidman replacement Jodie Foster substantially altered the tone of the film. Beforehand director David Fincher saw his heroine as a glacial Hitchcock/ Grace Kelly role model. With Foster in the lead, however, the part instantly became much grittier, more political.
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The phone number that Meg dials to order pizza from Patsy's Pizza is mentioned to be 579-3000. The area code for Manhattan is 212; the number 212-579-3000 is, in reality, for Patsy's Pizzeria.
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Writer David Koepp got the idea for the film from an article in The New York Times about "safe rooms" and getting stuck inside an elevator in his own brownstone.
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The opening credits were created by a collaboration between title design company The Picture Mill and special effects company ComputerCafe. It took them one year to complete.
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It took Arthur Max and his production design team 15 weeks to construct the four story apartment set at a cost of $6 million.
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Despite being released in 2002, a year after the 9/11 attacks, the world trade center towers can be carefully spotted in the opening credits sequence.
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David Fincher agreed that the film's production was an arduous one, remarking it as a "logistical nightmare." The lighting issue during the filming process was particularly difficult due to the complexity of the security cameras used in the mansion that send surveillance images to the television in the panic room.
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Howard Shore, the composer chose this film after scoring the music to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). He wanted to take on a smaller project after such a mammoth undertaking, but many people felt Panic Room (2002) was one of Shore's darkest, most brooding thrillers.
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David Prior, who produced the film's DVD noted that this was "the most elaborate, complex DVD I have yet produced." According to Prior, director David Fincher originally conceived the film as a low-budget B-film. But during the process it evolved into a "gargantuan undertaking that tested the endurance and tenacity of everyone involved."
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Mel Gibson was originally considered for the part of the ex-husband.
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During the opening credits, the phrase "Face Your Fears" flashes across one of the teletrons. The phrase is a part of a TV promo for NBC's Fear Factor.
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David Koepp wrote the first draft of the script in six days.
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Denzel Washington was considered for the part of Burnham.
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The movie had been in production for 18 days when Jodie Foster came on board.
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Patrick Bauchau spent his first day on set getting beaten up.
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Though set in New York, the film was primarily shot in Los Angeles.
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Forest Whitaker's character was initially imagined by screenwriter David Koepp as an unpleasant white-collar compulsive gambler, in Koepp's own words someone like "Humphrey Bogart in one of his less pleasant roles."
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Despite being remembered as a decent David Fincher film, Panic Room has yet to receive a Blu-Ray release.
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After Nicole Kidman was forced to leave the production, other actresses had to be considered. Among them was Angelina Jolie who was deemed to be too young.
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Darius Khondji left the project after just two weeks into principal photography. He was still credited as co-D.O.P in the opening credits.
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Outside of the opening and closing scenes, everything else in the film is either set within the walls of the panic room or Meg's house.
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The cellular phone used by Jodie Foster in this movie is a Nokia 8890. The silver slide phone is often mistaken as the phone used in The Matrix (1999).
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One of the few films released on the short lived super bit DVD format
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David Fincher and Jared Leto's second film together.
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Second collaboration between David Fincher and Jared Leto where his face gets injured. In Fight Club (1999) Leto's face is beaten to a pulp by Edward Norton.
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Howard Shore did the music for Panic Room. He also did the music for The Silence of the Lambs, which also starred Jodie Foster.
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Kristen Stewart has said that because of the close-up scene of her toes curling she has gotten plenty of fans who say they like her feet. (Most of these being male fans)
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Considered casting possibilities: Sandra Bullock (Meg), Daveigh Chase (Sarah), Maynard James Keenan (Raoul), and Adam Goldberg (Junior).
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David Fincher directed three actors on this film who have previously directed movies of their own: Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam.
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Early in the movie, Sarah is wearing a T-shirt with the image of Sid Vicious, formerly of the punk rock group the Sex Pistols.
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This film was shot in the Super 35 format, primarily with a 3-perf negative pulldown. During production, one of the high-speed cameras turned on the crew and the decision was made to switch to 4-perf Super 35 for high-speed shots only.
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Kristen Stewart said it was hard for her to curl her toes like she did in the movie because her toes were long and they would crack a lot.
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Paul Schulze and Mel Rodriguez (Officers Keeney and Morales) share a birthday, June 12th
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Jodie Foster starred alongside Cherie Currie in the movie 'Foxes' in 1980. In 2002 Jodie Foster played Kristen Stewart's mother in 'Panic Room'. Kristen Stewart would later go on to play Cherie Currie's bandmate, Joan Jett, in the biopic 'The Runaways' named after the band they formed before Cherie Currie went into acting.
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Though quite thrilling and suspenseful, only 7 shots are fired from a gun throughout the entirety of the film, all from Raoul's Walther PPK.
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Nicole Kidman: As the voice of Stephen Altman's girlfriend.
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Nicole Kidman was originally cast in the role of Meg Altman, and Hayden Panettiere was cast as her daughter, Sarah. Before filming began, Panettiere was replaced with Kristen Stewart, who had beat out Daveigh Chase for the role, as director David Fincher found her "irritating". Then, only eighteen days into filming, Kidman had to leave the film due to a recurring knee injury suffered during the filming of Moulin Rouge! (2001). Fincher suggested that the studio close the production and collect the insurance, but the studio decided to go on. Jodie Foster was offered the role. Due to have been the president of the Cannes Film Festival jury, she withdrew to work with Fincher, with whom she was originally supposed to work on The Game (1997) in the role now played by Sean Penn. Foster had only nine days to prepare for the Meg Altman role. Kidman left a small mark in the film, nevertheless: she is the voice of the girlfriend of Meg's (Foster) husband, heard answering the phone when Foster's character calls him in a desperate attempt for help.
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When Jared Leto is lit on fire this is really him not a stunt person, in behind the scenes footage you see the crew lighting Leto's arm on fire with a fire proof suit.
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In a previous draft of the script, the final battle is completely different. As Sarah is being held hostage in the panic room with Raoul and Burnham, Meg gets out of the house, enters the next door house, adjacent to hers, breaks into the panic room through the dividing wall with the sledge hammer and fights with Raoul after Burnham gets the bonds and runs down the stairs. Raoul is killed by the panic room door slamming on his head, and Burnham is shot and killed by the police in the foyer of the house as he is fleeing.
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The white cylinder brought in from the outside barbecue grill is a 20 pound liquid propane gas canister. Propane gas is compressed in the cylinder until it forms a liquid. The valve assembly (we see the knob turned to open one valve) on the canister has a second spring-loaded valve which requires a special hose fitting for the gas to flow. The garden hose would not have the correct fitting. Also, propane is heavier than air, and would fall, not rise. When ignited, propane gas would not be burning up at the ceiling level. It would explode with enough force to blow out the ductwork and severely injure the people in the room, if not kill them outright from the explosion. Not to mention the 3,500 degrees F burning gas.
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