It’s Fantasy Month here at Xfinity and we’re celebrating with a collection of beloved movies and TV series that will make your imagination run wild. From movies like Thor: Love and Thunder and the original Lord of the Rings trilogy plus must-watch TV series including House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones, it’s a celebration with something for everyone.
Think you know everything about these mythical, magical movies and TV shows? We’ve rounded up some surprising facts that will likely surprise even the biggest fantasy connoisseurs.
In the early 2000s, Russell Crowe was one of the most sought after movie stars in the world. So, when the original Lord of the Rings movie trilogy first began casting, Crowe was considered for the role of Aragorn. Eventually, however, it went to Viggo Mortensen. Crowe has said he thinks director Peter Jackson only met with him to appease movie execs.
Speaking of Mortensen—he broke two of his toes when he decided to improvise a scene in LOTR: The Two Towers. In the moment he kicked an Orc helmet (hard) and let’s just say it didn’t end well for him.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Jeff Goldblum, Peter Dinklage, and Lena Headey were each set to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, but their scenes were cut from the theatrical release of the film. Star Christian Bale did say, however, that filming with Dinklage was “fantastic.”
Avatar was so technologically advanced you wouldn’t think the film had to “borrow” from other productions. But, in fact, most of the animal noises you hear in the film were repurposed from the original Jurassic Park.
Don’t skip the ending credits for Netflix’s The Sandman! Dave McKean, who designed the covers for the comic series on which the show is based, crafted the final credit sequences of each episode. This is kind of a big deal because McKean had previously retired.
- As the live-action Pinocchio hits Disney+, did you know that the original, animated version of Pinocchio, released in 1940, cost almost $3M to make? That was a lot of coin back in the day. The initial movie budget planned to spend just $500k, a bargain in comparison.
- And while you’re watching the new live-action Pinocchio, look closely at Geppetto’s clock. You’ll find a lot of nods to other beloved Disney characters. In the mix are Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Donald Duck and Toy Story’s Woody.
- During the first season of Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark’s direwolf sadly passes away. So, with the pup who played her furry friend unemployed, actress Sophie Turner adopted the sweet dog, whose name is Zunni.
- The GoT costumers were even craftier than you probably already imagined. They actually constructed Jon Snow’s Night’s Watch cape from an IKEA rug. For those interested, it’s the SKOLD design from the Swedish retailer.
- The Witcher star Henry Cavill did not use any stunt doubles for his action sequences in the series. It was important to the actor that he get in the best shape of his life for the role and practiced his sword-fighting skills at work and at home.
- If you’re familiar with The Witcher because of the video games, look for an Easter Egg on the medallion tree in Kaer Morhen. The tree features medallions of fallen witchers including one that Geralt wears in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It depicts a wolf’s head.
- Andor, premiering on Disney+ September 21, is the prequel to Rogue One in the Star Wars universe. Many of their filming locations were so remote, the cast had to walk endlessly to get to set (no golf carts here!). Diego Luna has said a set in Pitlochry, Scotland was positioned on a mountain that required an hours-long trek by the actors.
- Set designers for Andor built a special home for the character of Maarva, using pieces from old spaceships. Actress Fiona Shaw has said she was so in awe of the elaborate set that she would marvel at its intricacies in between shots.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The highly anticipated show is expected to earn a steep place in history as the most expensive TV series ever made. It’s projected that Amazon could spend a much as a billion on production!
The Wheel of Time
- In the book series The Wheel of Time, on which the show is based, there are a whopping 2,782-character names mentioned throughout. That is a lot of people to remember. And we thought GoT’s giant cast was difficult to follow!
- When The Wheel of Time returns, expect to see a new face playing a familiar character. Mat Cauthron was played by actor Barney Harris in the first season. He has been replaced by Donal Finn in the second season for unknown reasons.
Everything Everywhere All at Once was originally written with a male lead in mind, specifically Jackie Chan. While the project continued to be developed, the writers then decided a female lead character worked better, with the role of Evelyn going to actress Michelle Yeoh.
Ready to watch these and so many more in the Xfinity fantasy collection? Just say “Fantasy Month” into your voice remote!
Want more behind the scenes secrets and fun facts about your favorite shows and movies? Check out these fun features: