FILM 1246: DARKMAN
TRIVIA: Bill Paxton was almost cast as Peyton Westlake. According to Paxton, he told his friend Liam Neeson about the audition. When Neeson got the the role, Paxton was so angry that he did not speak to Neeson for months.
Julia Roberts was almost cast as Julie Hastings before she got the role in Pretty Woman (1990) and had to be replaced.
Director Sam Raimi wanted Bruce Campbell to play the lead role, but the producers were uncertain that Campbell could handle the part.
For the role of Darkman, Sam Raimi wanted someone who could play a monster with the soul of a man. An actor who could do all that beneath a lot of makeup. He also liked Liam Neeson's Gary Cooper charisma. Neeson was drawn to the operatic nature of the story and the inner turmoil of the character. To research the role, Neeson contacted the Phoenix Society, an organization that helps accident victims with severe disfigurements adjust to re-entering society.
The production suffered from behind-the-scenes troubles. The screenwriting process was grueling, and there were lengthy post-production battles with the studio. Also, Sam Raimi and Frances McDormand clashed because of creative differences. She was allegedly very difficult to direct.
Director Trademark : Sam Raimi: [Oldsmobile] The beige 70s-vintage Oldsmobile seen in so many of Sam Raimi's films appears when Darkman is flying over the bridge dodging oncoming traffic. During a close-up shot of the oncoming Olds, you can see Sam Raimi's friends (and fellow filmmakers) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen driving the car.