FILM 1940: ED WOOD
TRIVIA: This film cost more to produce than all of Edward D. Wood Jr.'s films put together.
Martin Landau's Academy Award for "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi marked the first time in Oscar history that a performer in any category won for playing a movie star. A decade later, Cate Blanchett won a "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" Academy Award for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator(2004).
Initially, Bela Lugosi, Jr. didn't want to see the film because he thought it wouldn't portray his father correctly, but upon further persuasion, he saw the film, and agreed that Martin Landau honored his father in the performance. The two later became friends.
Tim Burton said that he was drawn to the story because of the similarities between Edward D. Wood Jr.'s relationship with Bela Lugosi, and his own friendship with Vincent Price late in the actor's life.
Johnny Depp said that his characterization of Edward D. Wood Jr. was a mixture of "the blind optimism of Ronald Reagan, the enthusiasm of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz(1939), and Casey Kasem."
Martin Landau's face had to be painted unnaturally white in order for the black-and-white film stock to record it properly.
One story claims that the producers decided to make the film in black and white because no one could decide how Bela Lugosi should look filmed in color.
Johnny Depp developed a love-hate relationship with angora sweaters. He jokingly told MTV that he learned too much about women's clothing while making the film. Because angora sheds profusely, Depp joked that in certain scenes, he may have "inhaled more angora than oxygen."
In order to imitate Bela Lugosi's voice and mannerisms, Martin Landau watched approximately 35 Bela Lugosi movies, and purchased Hungarian language tapes. With the tapes, he would "literally practice the language and see where the tongue would go." When Hungarian-born director Peter Medak saw the film, he called Landau to praise him. Medak said that Landau's accent sounded spot-on, because, "You are not an actor trying to do a Hungarian accent, you're a character trying not to do (one)."
John Breckinridge originally had very little dialogue. His role was greatly expanded when Bill Murray was cast.
Director Tim Burton's favorite of his films.
During the bar scene with Wood, Orson Welles complains that the finances keeps falling through for his Don Quixote picture. In August 2000, Johnny Depp took part in filming The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), with Terry Gilliam directing. After years of delays the film was finally released in 2018.
The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Patricia Arquette and Martin Landau; and two Oscar nominees: Bill Murray and Johnny Depp.
Rick Baker was very concerned about the casting of Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, seeing how they didn't share any similar facial features. Baker, being a very big fan of Lugosi and who had known Tim Burton before the film, persured the job as makeup designer fearing that a lesser makeup artist would do too much. Baker designed and created subtle appliances that would alter Landau's features to make him more resemble Lugosi (a set of a ears, a nose, a chin, and an appliance to cover the fullness of his upper lip) that Ve Neillwould apply on a daily basis. Landau, Baker, and Neill would all eventually win Academy Awards for their work.