The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Poster


The character of Daisy was named Hildegarde Moncrief in F. Scott Fitzgerald's original short story. The name change is likely a nod to the female lead in Fitzgerald's best-known work, The Great Gatsby (1974).
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Roy Cleveland Sullivan (1912-1983) was actually struck by lightning seven times, giving him the Guinness World Record. Mr. Daws (Ted Manson) recalls being struck while in his car: "Did I ever tell you I been struck by lightning seven times? Once when I was just sittin' in my truck just minding my own business," as happened to Sullivan in 1969.
The hummingbird is the only bird in the world that can fly backwards. Hurricanes spin counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. These, among other "backward" motifs involving clocks and so on, tie in with the major thematic elements related to Benjamin Button living life in reverse.
Brad Pitt stated that it took five hours each day to complete the makeup required for the role.
Early development of the film began in 1994.
David Fincher directed Brad Pitt in 'Fight Club.' A nod to this film occurs when Benjamin's father asks about "the house on Paper Street."
There really was a pygmy man housed in a monkey house. Ota Benga was trapped from the Congo in 1904, and kept on display in a monkey house in the Bronx Zoo. His teeth were chiseled, and he used to shoot arrows at onlookers. In 1906, they released him, realizing they had been "inhumane," and he was placed in an orphanage until 1910 when he was relocated to Virginia. He received formal education before starting work at a tobacco factory, and he began to plan his return to the Congo. With the outbreak of WWI his plans seemed impossible and he became depressed and killed himself in 1916. Ota Benga also serves as a character in The Fall (2006).
The film takes place on November 11, 1918 and in 1925, 1936, 1941, 1945, 1954, 1962, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1981, 1991, 1997, 2002, 2003, and 2005.
The very day he learned of his Golden Globe nomination for this film, screenwriter Eric Roth also learned that his retirement fund had been wiped out by the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Director Tarsem Singh was enlisted to shoot the brief handheld montage of Benjamin backpacking through India and Cambodia, after David Fincher learned that Tarsem and Brad Pitt were both already planning to be in Southeast Asia at the same time.
The short story based on a remark by author Mark Twain. Twain famously remarked that 'the best part of life was from the beginning and the worst part was the end'.
Filmmakers worked closely with Levi's to obtain clothing items from their Levi's Vintage Clothing collection to authenticate various time periods captured throughout the film.
David Fincher's first PG-13 rated film.
The look that David Fincher, visual-effects supervisor Eric Barba and special makeup-effects artist Greg Cannom devised for Benjamin as a child resemble the later stages of progeria, a condition technically named Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a rare disease that makes its young sufferers appear aged. Those who didn't attend medical school may be most familiar with it from the Ralph Macchio TV movie The Three Wishes of Billy Grier (1984). Robin Williams had a fictional version of progeria in Jack (1996) and the Susan Sarandon character in The Hunger (1983) is shown researching and discussing the disease.
In 1998, Ron Howard was set to direct, with John Travolta in the lead.
Brad Pitt's third collaboration with David Fincher, the first two being Se7en (1995) and Fight Club (1999).
When Benjamin is seen reading a novel on "The Chelsea," a picture from F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "Winter Dreams" is clearly seen.
Daisy reveals her age (in 1967) as 43. She was born in 1924.
When Daisy grew up and met Benjamin for the second time, she talked about "Kismet", an English word of Turkish origin that means "predestined fate" and "fortune/destiny, as foretold by Providence".
The warning sirens heard during the Hurricane Katrina sequence are the same ones used in the movie "The Time Machine" (2002) when the moon is destroyed.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
Six of the seven "struck by lightning" stories are shown in Sepia.
Brad Pitt has already appeared with Cate Blanchett in Babel (2006), with Julia Ormond in Legends of the Fall (1994) and with Tilda Swinton in Burn After Reading (2008). Pitt also appeared with Jason Flemyng in Snatch (2000).
Shot using Viper Thomson digital cameras, also used in David Fincher's previous movie, Zodiac (2007). However, the close-ups and the hospital scenes were shot in the Sony F-23 cameras, as Fincher noted that the fan built inside the Viper cameras create too much noise that interferes with the dialog.
The musical in which Daisy performs and that Benjamin watches is Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's 'Carousel' The performance is the dream ballet choreographed by Agnes de Mille. Daisy was talking to Benjamin about Agnes de Mille in their previous meeting.
The name of Benjamin's sailboat is Button Up.
The second Hollywood feature film, after Denzel Washington's Deja Vu (2006), to film in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Rachel Weisz was considered for the role of Daisy, but turned down because of scheduling conflicts with the different filming dates of the film.
The silver-blue motorcycle ridden by Button (Brad Pitt) is a 650cc Triumph T110, recognizable as a 1956 model because of its alloy head and 4-bar tank badge.
The original setting for the film was to be Baltimore, the city of the short story the movie is based on. David Fincher and Eric Roth changed the location to New Orleans when the studio requested they film there to take advantage of the state's filming discount.
The rights of the story was first bought by Ray Stark, back in the late 70s, with Jack Nicholson to star as Benjamin. Later, the film rights were bought by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall under the Amblin banner. When Kennedy and Marshall left to start their own production company, they also took the rights along and only started developing the movie in 1994. David Fincher admitted that he never read the source short story. He only read the 240-page script that Eric Roth wrote. His agent, who brought the script to Fincher's attention was a former assistant of Stark. His resolve to make the film came evidently after the death of his father in 2002.
Once attached to Tom Cruise as the lead, Steven Spielberg as director in the 1990s.
The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Mahershala Ali; and one Oscar nominee: Taraji P. Henson.
During one scene, Benjamin can be seen reading Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe" which is also the name of the Melbourne suburb where Cate Blanchett (Daisy) grew up.
In May 2004, it was first rumored that David Fincher was set to direct the movie. It was confirmed a year and a month after.
The motorcycle that Button rides in India is a 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet, a British-designed motorcycle originally made under license in Chennai (Madras), India since 1955.
Spike Jonze was once in talks to direct this movie.
Danny Boyle pushed his Solomon Grundy project back because he thought this story and "Solomon Grundy" were too similar.
The exterior of Benjamin's father's house that he sells is the same house 591 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana, that is the exterior of the Gallier House in the movie Cat People (1982).
The idea of "a man who starts aging backwards" originally used in "Les Carnets du bon Dieu" ("Diary of God") - a novel written by French author Pierre Daninos in 1947.
Cate Blanchett looped the dialogue for the younger portrayals of Daisy.
Taraji P. Henson was the only Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee that year that was from a Best Picture nominated film.
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The Varanasi city,India scene where Brad Pitt walks through the vegetable market road is situated near the well known Dasha Swamedh ghat, this famous ghat has been shown in many movies like Satyajit Ray's Aparjito 1956.
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Was originally slated for a May 2008 release.
At one point in its development, this was mooted as a project for Phil Alden Robinson.
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This film was released along with "Marley & Me" starring Brad Pitt's ex-wife Jennifer Anniston and "Bedtime Stories" starring Courtney Cox. Both Anniston and Cox were main characters in "Friends", in which Pitt had also starred in one episode.
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As of 2018, features Taraji P. Henson's only Oscar nominated performance.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Art Direction, and Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Julia Ormond filmed her scenes last, two weeks before end of shooting. During that period, Cate Blanchett had to undergo 4 hours of daily makeup to play a near-dead Daisy. She could only lie on the hospital bed for a short period of time due to excessive heat generated by studio lights and the blankets.
David Fincher admitted that the reason why Brad Pitt does not continue to portray Benjamin for his final scenes as a boy and infant is that the special effects budget was depleted. However, Fincher argues that having different actors play Benjamin from that period onward was effective, since he is essentially a different character.
Principal photography was targeted to last a total of 150 days, excluding the time it would take to create the visual effects for the metamorphosis of Brad Pitt's character to the infant stage.

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