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Unmasking Face/Off: 8 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Nicolas Cage And John Travolta’s Masterpiece

Did you know that at first, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were set to be the main stars of ‘Face/Off’? Director John Woo had other plans, though, and the result is the classic we all love.

Face/Off‘ holds a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes facts. As we revisit this cinematic gem today, let’s uncover eight interesting aspects that shaped the making of this John Woo masterpiece.

8. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone Were The Original Leads

Imagine ‘Face/Off’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone at the helm. It almost happened! Initially, the action-heavy roles were thought for the duo. However, director John Woo had a different vision, and he ended up casting John Travolta and Nicolas Cage.

7. There Were Other Veteran Actors Considered For the Roles

Before settling on Travolta and Cage, the casting roulette for ‘Face/Off’ included names like Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. The chemistry between Travolta and Cage, however, proved to be the right choice.

6. It Was Woo Who Added ‘Over The Rainbow’ Scene to the Film

One of the film’s standout moments is the scene where violence unfolds while the character Adam listens to ‘Over the Rainbow’ on his portable music player. Surprisingly, this scene wasn’t in the original script; it was a creative touch added by director John Woo.

5. Woo Financed the ‘Over The Rainbow’ Scene As the Studio Was Hesitant

When Woo pitched the ‘Over The Rainbow’ scene to the studio, they were skeptical. Unfazed, Woo decided to put his money where his vision was. He financed the scene himself, only to be reimbursed by the studio when ‘Face/Off’ proved to be a box office hit.

4. Cage Didn’t Want to Play Castor Troy In the First Place

Nicolas Cage initially turned down the opportunity to play the villainous Castor Troy. However, the studio had a twist up its sleeve: Cage would actually play the hero for the majority of the film. This was what prompted Cage to sign up for the role.

3. Cage Was Afraid to See His Screen Make-Up

During the filming of face-removal scenes, reflective surfaces were concealed on the set. Why? Because Nicolas Cage preferred not to witness the grotesque make-up used to achieve the visual effects.

2. The Plane Destruction Scene Was Real

A real plane was destroyed in a sequence, and the crew had just one chance to capture the perfect shot. To achieve this, 13 cameras were strategically placed from various angles.

1. John Woo Was Asked to Change the Film’s Title

Before hitting theaters as ‘Face/Off,’ the studio suggested simplifying the title to ‘Face Off’ without the slash. However, director John Woo rejected this to avoid any confusion and not make people think it was a hockey movie.



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