Following on from my review of Demolition Man recently I thought I would do a post about some random behind the scenes info, some of which I’m sure you’ll already know but some I found surprising.
SYNOPSIS: With innocent victims caught in the crossfire in Los Angeles’ intensifying war on crime, both cop John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) and violent thug Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) are sentenced to a state of frozen incarceration known as “CryoPrison.” When Spartan is finally thawed 36 years later, it’s 2032, and Los Angeles is now a pacifist utopia called San Angeles. But with Phoenix again on the loose, Spartan must team up with future cop Lenina (Sandra Bullock) to apprehend the killer.
Sometimes IMDB has more than trolls after all…
One of the biggest surprises was that initially the two original choices for the roles were Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Van Damme was offered the role of the bad guy, but didn’t want that role. He agreed to star in it if both the lead roles could be switched, the producers tried to get Seagal to play the bad guy, he declined. That would have been cool but Hell I’d take a low budget straight to DVD overdue sequel any time.
Sylvester Stallone wanted the Simon Phoenix character to be played by Jackie Chan. Chan refused, since Asian audiences don’t like the idea of actors who have always played heroes suddenly playing evil characters.
Warner Bros. disliked the first cut of the movie so they brought editor Stuart Baird to do some re-editing. The same thing happened to another Sylvester Stallone movie Tango & Cash (1989) which was also heavily re-edited many times by Baird and other editors due to the behind the scenes problems and Warner Bros. disliking earlier cuts of the movie. Originally in Demolition Man, there were some more plot parts including Spartan meeting his grown up daughter in the sewers amongst Edgar Friendly’s people. In the movie Spartan is shown protecting some girl during the shootout in sewers, this is his daughter and she is also seen later in the ending scene standing next to Friendly while he is talking with Spartan. Other scenes which were deleted include Phoenix killing Zachary Lamb before the car chase between him and Spartan begins, extra lines of dialogue (some of which can be seen in various trailers for the movie) and longer/additional action scenes (including infamous deleted fight scene between Sylvester Stallone and Jesse Ventura). In one deleted action scene during the battle in sewers, Spartan goes on the bridge from which Phoenix and his gang are shooting from and starts to fight with Phoenix but then bridge turns over. While both of them are hanging on it, Phoenix says to Spartan that bus passengers which he failed to save back in 1996 were already dead, meaning that Spartan was sent to CryoPrison for nothing. In the movie, Phoenix says this to Spartan during the car chase near the end of the movie but Phoenix is not shown speaking onscreen which probably means that the dialogue from the deleted scene was placed in this scene or was dubbed by the actor. Some other deleted and alternate scenes can be seen in several trailers, promotional photos and are also in the novelization of the movie.
It was rumored there was going to be a sequel “Demolition Man 2” and it would take place after this film, which John Spartan and Lenina Huxley would have married and Jackie Chan would play the main antagonist, replacing Wesley Snipes, but the sequel did not happen. There was a prequel written long ago and was thought to flop it was never made. In the prequel those are times of John Spartan going after Simon Phoenix. The prequel would be believed to start out with John Spartan starting to go after Simon Phoenix.
The magnetic accelerator used by Wesley Snipes in the Museum Armory sequence is based on the Heckler and Koch G11, a prototype weapon for the German army that would have been the most advanced rifle in the world, firing caseless ammunition.
According to screenwriter Daniel Waters, the inspiration for the three shells came about when he was writing a scene where Spartan has to use a restroom. He was trying to come up with futuristic things you’d find in there. He was having trouble, so he called a buddy, another screenwriter across town, asked him if he had any ideas. Ironically enough that person was in the bathroom when he answered the phone, looked around his bathroom and said ‘I have a bag of seashells on the toilet as a decoration.’ Waters said ‘Ok, I’ll make something out of that.’