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Hancock (2008) Poster

(2008)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Director Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (4)
The original screenplay was much darker. Apart from being a low-life, Hancock was supposed to be sexually frustrated because he couldn't have sex with a woman without killing her. The MPAA actually cleared a scene involving Hancock's explosive orgasm, but it was removed from the final cut because a test audience didn't find it funny. The tone was lightened considerably for a summer release aimed at a wide audience, but the MPAA gave the film an R twice before language and violence cuts resulted in a PG-13.
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Will Smith is a native of Philadelphia, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. The eagle on the back of Hancock's uniform is a replica of the Eagles logo from 1948 to 1995.
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The original title was "Tonight, He Comes." The script, which floated around in Hollywood for over a decade, was later retitled "John Hancock", then finally retitled "Hancock".
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Will Smith is a huge fan of professional wrestling. He describes Hancock as Steve Austin, one of his favorite wrestlers, with super powers.
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The movie was shown at a U.S. military base, in the Middle East for a week, before it opened in the U.S. The screening was free to all U.S. military personnel on base.
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Before the film became a Will Smith vehicle, George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio (among others) were all considered for the title character over the years.
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During Ray's first PR meeting, various Hollywood producers play the board members. The group includes Akiva Goldsman and Michael Mann, who have directed Will Smith or produced movies starring him.
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Will Smith wanted Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to play Mary Embrey. She turned down the role due to scheduling conflicts.
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Dave Chappelle was seriously considered for the lead.
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Will Smith will be producing Hancock Part 2. Star cast is not finalized yet. But rumors are Beyoncé will be part of this movie. This sequel is uncertain, as of March 2017.
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Before shooting, the crew estimated the film would have about 300 effects shots. The final film contains 525 effects shots.
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When Jonathan Mostow pulled out of the project in May 2006, Gabriele Muccino, who previously directed Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), was attached in to direct. While Pursuit was being edited, Smith went to work on I Am Legend (2007). By October 2006, Muccino left the project due to an incompatibility to the story, allowing Peter Berg to come on as director.
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Shipped to some theaters with the codename 'Hidden from Earth'.
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Warner Bros. passed on the chance to make the film. Sony then stepped in.
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The script was first written by Vincent Ngo in 1996, and it languished for close to ten years. Later, the script was picked up and re-written by Vince Gilligan, to be directed by Jonathan Mostow, for a 2007 release. Gilligan wrote the second draft when Sony picked up the script in early 2005.
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While never stated, the imagery, names and minor plot elements point towards Hancock being the Egyptian god Horus. Even ignoring the original screenplay, "Tonight, He Comes", where the Ray-analog character was named Horus (in that version Ray's character was the hero and Hancock was the villain), the imagery in the final movie is very plain.

Horus, the Lord of the Sky, was often depicted in mythology with the head of a falcon and wearing the Pschent, a double crown consisting of a white crown and a red crown, which is reflected in the movie as Hancock's white and red cap that has an eagle on the front. He was also described as a great falcon with outstretched wings whose eyes were the sun and moon, relating to the image of eagle with outstretched wings on Hancock's cap, the sunrise reflected in his sunglasses on the movie poster and to his alteration of the moon at the end of the movie.

Mary, whose name means beloved in Egyptian, would be the goddess Hathor. In mythology Hathor is the wife of Horus the Elder, but she is also described as the wife of Ra (a.k.a. Ray) at times. A normally gentle fertility goddess and protector of children, her alter-ego Sekhmet is an powerful goddess of destruction that Ra could only stop by tricking her into getting drunk using blood-colored beer. This fits her character in the movie who is a mother to an adopted child (Aaron, also an Egyptian name), but is also shown to have a destructive temper and to be stronger than Hancock when he makes her angry.
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Peter Berg said he did this movie for his young son. While editing The Kingdom (2007), his son's frequent visits to the editing room prompted him to make a comic-book style movie. When this script emerged in 2006, with no director attached, he jumped at the chance. In the DVDs extras Michael Mann was actually going to direct the movie. He felt he wasn't the right person, due to all of the CGI sets, and suggested Peter Berg.
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"Hancock" is Will Smith's first time portraying a superhero, or starring in a superhero film. The second time, being a comic book based character; Deadshot in Suicide Squad (2016).
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The train wreck scene was filmed in San Pedro, California, in conjunction with Pacific Harbor Line RR. The movie crew changed a PHL SD18 diesel locomotive #40 to the fictitious Southland & Western RR.
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When Hancock tells what he can remember of his back-story, he says, "I'm not the most charming guy in the world, so I've been told." One of Will Smith's high school nicknames was "Prince Charming."
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The robbers in the white SUV at the beginning of the film speaks Vietnamese. The flag in their car further indicates this.
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When Mary gets ready for bed, her t-shirt is from Macalester College, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Peter Berg's alma mater.
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Michael Mann and Tony Scott were also considered to direct.
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Daeg Faerch did all his own stunts.
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Shipped to some theaters under the name "Speak Publicly".
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Daeg Faerch, who plays Michel, also played young Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's 2007 "Halloween." In one of the opening scenes, Michael Myers' mom's boyfriend insinuates that he's too feminine and says, "He's probably a queer. He's gonna grow up, end up cutting his genitals cut off, and changing his name to Michelle (Michel)."
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This is the second that Will Smith and Charlize Theron starred in since The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000).
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Will Smith shares a birthday anniversary (same month and day but different year) with Christopher Reeve who also played a super hero: Superman.
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All promotional material for this film is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
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Italian censorship visa # 101913 delivered on 4 September 2008.
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Cameo 

Brad Leland: "Executive #3"
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Director Cameo 

Peter Berg: One of the doctors who works to revive Mary in the hospital.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The symbol of the eagle appears to identify Hancock as the Greek god Zeus. That would make Mary Embrey Hera. According to Greek mythology, Zeus and Hera were not only husband and wife, they were also brother and sister. According to the Iliad, Zeus is stronger than all of the other gods of Olympus combined. He tells them he could dangle them all from the heights of Olympus on a rope held in one hand, but none of them could do the same to just him. Mary claims that she is stronger than Hancock, but Hancock is clearly stronger than her. For instance, he survives being shot over and over, while still being strong enough to get away from her. In the hospital, Mary says that Hancock was different from the rest of the gods, and that he was meant to be a hero.
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Hancock is called an "asshole" eighteen times, including four times (almost five) by Michel, and twice (almost three times) by Red during the bank robbery.
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Watching the movie a second time after knowing the major plot twists reveals a lot of subtle hints that are given before the big revelations. In particular, Mary notes at one point that Hancock's hand is bruised, hinting that the act of turning mortal is already beginning.
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When Hancock and Mary are arguing in his house, she tells him its "Just the two of us". That is the title to a song Will Smith made for his son when he was a small child.
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