Based on the 1973 British horror classic, The Wicker Man (2006) has gained an entirely different sort of fame and notoriety over the years. Regarded by many to be one of Nicholas Cage’s worst movies, it also has something a cult following due to it being so bad it was hilarious.
Serving as the inspiration for countless internet memes, the movie turns 15 today. And in honor of that anniversary, we thought it would be fun to look at the making of this bizarre film and look at 15 fun facts about it!
1. Winona Ryder was originally offered the role of Willow, but didn’t like the script, so she turned it down immediately.
2. The original film’s director Robin Hardy had been planning a “semi-remake” for decades. This project would eventually become The Wicker Tree, a 2011 quasi-sequel to the original movie.
3. Edward Woodward (star of the original movie) was offered a small part but declined. Reportedly however, he did like the script.
4. The movie actually uses quite a bit of word-for-word dialogue from the original. Just with new context and different directing, so it doesn’t come off the same way.
5. Cage’s iconic, “Not the bees!” scream wasn’t even in the theatrical version of the movie, it was only included in the Unrated Edition released on DVD.
6. Shot in and around British Columbia, Canada.
7. The bear costume was reportedly director Neil Labute’s idea, as he felt like the main character needed some sort of disguise while running around the island.
8. According to Reddit (so take it with a hilarious grain of salt), the scene with the bees was praised for its “accuracy” by “Bee Scientists” with how they are portrayed…
9. Initially, Cage wanted them to actually pour the bees all over his face, but the producers refused, not wanting him to get a swollen eye. So it was shot with a Styrofoam head with Cage’s face digitally superimposed over it.
10. The original film’s writer/director Robin Hardy hated the remake so much, he asked his name to be removed from the credits, wanting no connection to it whatsoever.
11. Despite all the hatred the movie gets, Nicholas Cage maintains that he’s very proud of his performance and the film was intended to have elements of dark comedy in it.
12. Nominated for 5 Razzies (Worst Picture, Actor, Screenplay, Ripoff, and On-Screen Couple) but “lost” to Basic Instinct 2 and Little Man.
13. Currently holds a 15% critic rating and 17% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
14. In addition to its critical panning, it only earned $38.8 million at the box office on a $40 million production budget.
15. In an interview years later, director Neil LaBute was asked whether he thought people didn’t “get” the movie and he responded, “I just think they didn’t like what they got,” and ultimately shrugged off its negative reception.
Which of these did you already know? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments!