Ever since “The Shining”, Stephen King has been synonymous with haunted hotels. And while that remains a classic of both literature and film, another iconic haunted hotel story of his was released and adapted many years later. In the years since its release, 1408 has become iconic in its own right.
It boasts great performances from John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, and is an absolute mindtrip of a cursed location movie. So in honor of its 15th anniversary today, here are 15 fun facts about 1408!
1. Stephen King’s original story began as a sample of how to write a first draft in his nonfiction book “On Writing”. However, he liked the story so much that he completed it.
2. Allegedly inspired by the real life haunted Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. However, the hotel does not actually have a room 1408.
3. Initially Kate Walsh was cast as Mike’s ex-wife, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Grey’s Anatomy.
4. Swedish director Mikael Håfström was best known for his 2003 horror movie Evil. He would then go on to direct the Anthony Hopkins-starring exorcism movie The Rite in 2011.
5. Early on in production, Keanu Reeves was attached to play Mike Enslin, before John Cusack was cast.
6. The numbers in 1408 add up to 13 (1+4+8), and since most hotels do not have a 13th floor due to superstition, this just results in the 14th floor actually being the 13th one in actuality.
7. During production, Mary McCormack (Mike’s ex-wife Lily) was pregnant, and thus most of her shots had be done from the waist up.
8. The fictional Dolphin Hotel was comprised of the the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC (for exteriors) and its lobby was The Reform Club in London, England.
9. Room 1408 itself was shot entirely on a soundstage at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England.
10. Allegedly, the axe used by the firefighter to break the door down was the same one used by Jack Nicholson in The Shining, since both films were shot in the same studio space and the axe was in storage with other props.
11. In another Shining reference, one of the earlier victims of room 1408 was named Grady.
12. The original ending was reshot because test audiences found it to be too much of a “downer”. The new theatrical ending saw Mike survive and escape room 1408. While the original, much darker ending is featured on the Director’s Cut.
13. Many fans were also disappointed that Samuel L. Jackson’s iconic line, “I warned you about 1408” was present in the trailer but not the theatrical film.
14. John Cusack was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actor, but lost to Will Smith for I Am Legend.
15. 1408 was a decent box office hit, grossing $133 million on a $25 million budget.
Which of these did you already know? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments!