12 Monkeys

05.14.2019 - By The Force Fed Sci-Fi Movie Podcast

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Step inside to this edition of our podcast and article by looking into a not-so-happy future as the film 12 Monkeys predicts for us while we discuss our 12 Monkeys Review, take a look at the 12 Monkeys Movie Cast, would we want to see a 12 Monkeys remake, and more!
Where Did the Idea for the Film 12 Monkeys Come From?

In short, the idea came from the French short-film La Jetée. Does that sum it up for all of you? Probably not as I'm sure most of you have not heard of that film. However, 12 Monkeys barrows the majority of elements that occurred in La Jetée in its own film. The major difference being that the post-apocalyptic world was caused by a nuclear World War 3 versus a deadly virus as 12 Monkeys portrays.

Apparently, executive producer Robert Kosberg was such a fan of the short-film, that he thought it could be made as full-feature length sci-fi film. He received the permission of the director and writer of , Chris Marker and pitched the idea to Universal Pictures, and Universal did eventually agree to pick it up.

Other noteworthy facts include that Time Magazine ranked La Jetée as one of the top-10 time travel films of 2010 and The British Film Institute ranked La Jetée as the 50th best movie of all time!
Terry Gilliam and the 12 Monkeys Budget
Director Terry Gilliam - Original Picture by Rita Molnar

Prior to this film, Waterworld starring and produced by Kevin Costner was released. Unfortunately, this film cost Universal unexpected and extra incurred expenses. As a result, the 12 Monkeys budget was set at around $29 to 30 million. In terms of producing a Hollywood Sci-Fi film, this budget was low.

Enter the director of 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam. Luckily, Terry Gilliam was able to make the budget work. Supposedly, he and others would go down to flea markets for some of the props and set materials and we imagine that helped keep costs low. One of the bigger accomplishments by Gilliam included the persuasion of Bruce Willis to take a pay cut! As a result of keeping to the budget, Gilliam earned final cut privilege.
The 12 Monkeys Movie Cast...
James Cole, the main character was portrayed by the well-known star of Bruce Willis. Gilliam's first pick to play this character was actually Nick Nolte. However, Universal Pictures did not agree with Gilliam's choice which then led to Willis receiving the part. In hindsight, we think this was for the best as Nick Nolte has such a hoarse and gravelly voice (inspiration for Christian Bale's Batman perhaps?). In any case, Willis was a better choice and played the part well as he was able to play a character who is smart and strong when he needs to be, but is also vulnerable and in-touch with himself and his emotional desires.

Jeffrey Goines was played by Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys. Luckily for Universal, Brad Pitt had started to make a name for himself as prior to this film he starred in relatively successful movies like Interview with the Vampire and Legends of the Fall. Pitt did a phenomenal job as an actor in this film. He earned himself a Golden Globe for best supporting actor as well as an Academy Award nomination, but lost that to Kevin Spacey's performance in Usual Suspects. How was Pitt able to portray a mentally ill patient so well? Apparently, Gilliam took away his cigarettes. A drastic and a bit mean way to do it, but gave Pitt what he needed as one can become shaky and shouting with nicotine withdrawal.

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