Even if you haven't seen the movie, this story should sound familiar, because years before, we talked about the story of Brian Wells, a pizza delivery guy who ... was strapped with a bomb and told to rob a bank. Unlike in the movie, though, Wells was quickly apprehended by the police, then died after the explosive detonated.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Despite the tragic ending, the two stories sound suspiciously similar. You know who else thought so? The family of the guy who died. "It's hard for me to grasp how other human beings can take delight and pride in making such a movie and consider it a comedy," Wells's sister told Time. Sony, the studio behind the movie, defensively claimed that "Neither the filmmakers nor the stars of 30 Minutes Or Less were aware of this crime prior to their involvement in the film." Which makes sense, because they're not the ones writing the goddamn movie. According to the same source, the writers were "vaguely familiar" with Wells's story, but their script did "not mirror the real-life tragedy," thereby indicating that Sony executives either don't understand how mirrors work or are vampires.
A Movie Was Renamed Shark! (After A Stuntman Was Killed By A Shark)
You've probably never heard of Shark!, a 1969 exploitation flick starring Burt Reynolds as a treasure hunter navigating shark-infested waters. Reynolds played the kind of badass who looks like he's posing for a wetsuit catalog even at gunpoint.
They had to re-shoot the film without his trademark mustache after too many test audiences got pregnant.
The movie was originally called Caine, after Reynolds's character. Sadly, during production, one of the stunt divers, Jose Marco, was killed by a shark that got past its protective netting. Ridiculously, the cameras kept rolling, and the notoriety around the death (including coverage in Life magazine) gave the producers the idea to market the movie solely based on the fact that one of their crew was horribly killed.
The movie was taken out of the director's hands and given a new title which would be more representative of just how many real-life shark-related deaths appear in it. The logo was even a guy getting eaten by a shark ...
And the film's poster boasted that things became "too real!" Which is kind of an understatement.
The movie was dedicated to its stuntmen, but not specifically to the one who died a shark-related death.
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
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