Everything Everywhere All at Once has taken the universe, and every other universe for that matter, by storm, and it has now become A24’s biggest global movie. The film has grossed over $87 million (as per Box Office Mojo) off of a $25 million budget, making it a huge success for the indie studio.
And it seems like every step leading up to the release of the movie went just as swimmingly, as directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka the Daniels) ran the production like a well-oiled machine. However, the movie’s development and production aren’t without some ludicrous stories. Between selling NSFW merch, almost casting Daniel Radcliffe in an undisclosed role, and turning down Loki, there are universes where these things happened.
Michelle Yeoh Had An Emotional Reaction To The Script
Michelle Yeoh has had a wonderful career full of highlights. She starred in the phenomenal hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, she was a Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies, and she’s having a late-career revival that started with Crazy Rich Asians. But even still, those roles came with limitations.
So after reading the script and learning everything her character goes through, both emotionally and physically, Yeoh had a just as emotional response. The actor explained, “the opportunity to show my fans, my family, my audience what I’m capable of. To be funny, to be real, to be sad. Finally, someone understood that I can do all these things.”
Jackie Chan Was The Directors’ First Choice
Given that there are so many martial arts and spectacular action sequences in the movie, it’s hardly surprising that Jackie Chan was the Daniels’ first choice to be the lead. Though Chan is in his late sixties, he’s still got it, and with everything that happens in the 2022 release, the film feels almost specifically tailored to the actor.
However, Yeoh did an incredible job in the film, and her commitment to the fight scenes is clear on-screen, and she more than deserves a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, if not a win. Given that the film was a huge success, it could even encourage other studios to be more diverse in the future.
Michelle Yeoh Bragged About The Movie’s Success To Jackie Chan
Chan and Yeoh go way back and have starred in several movies together, most notably Police Story 3: Supercop, and they still keep in touch. Chan congratulated Yeoh on the film’s success but also asked her if she knew that the Daniels’ offered the role to him first. Yeoh then hilariously bragged to Chan and rubbed her starring role in his face, replying to Chan’s text with, “Yes, your loss, my bro!”
Between last year’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and now Everything Everywhere All at Once, Yeoh has quickly become a hot commodity, and it might be the perfect time for Police Story 4.
Daniel Radcliffe Was Almost Cast
Chan starring in the new movie isn’t the only casting that happened in an alternate universe, as Daniel Radcliffe revealed that the Daniels wanted him in the movie too. Unfortunately, the actor was forced to turn them down due to doing a play at the same time. However, Radcliffe did admit that “They are probably the only people in the world that I would say yes to doing a movie of theirs without even seeing the script.” So it’s possible that they’ll work together on a future project.
Taking into account Daniel Radcliffe’s best non-Harry Potter movies, the bizarre premise of the film is exactly the kind of project he’s interested in these days. The actor starred in the surreal comedy Guns Akimbo, which has a very similar tone to Everything Everywhere, and he even starred in the Daniels’ directorial debut, Swiss Army Man.
It Was Shot In Less Than 40 Days
While the length of time it took to shoot the sci-fi comedy might not seem interesting, that number is a big deal. Principal photography on movies often takes months, and that doesn’t even take into account the endless reshoots that now happen on every film. But somehow, the Daniels achieved the impossible, and they shot the multiversal movie in 40 days.
Movies that have a tenth of the budget of Everything Everywhere even take longer to shoot, and considering how complicated many of the sequences look, that time frame is even more impressive. Yeoh explained, “They were so well prepared that they were able to find the time to try little adjustments along the way.” Viewers assume that the Daniels will become in-demand directors based on the movie’s success, but if there’s anything that studio executives drool over almost as much as box office numbers, it’s under-schedule shoots.
The Inspiration For Deirdre Was An Older Jamie Lee Curtis Character
While Evelyn and her family accurately represent an immigrant Chinese family, Jamie Lee Curtis pushes her character of Deirdre, a tax auditor, to the absolute surreal limit. From the clothes she wears to the colossus-like stomp she has when she walks, the character is the personification of the movie’s weirdness.
However, Deirdre was actually influenced by an older character that Curtis once played. Though it was simply a visual inspiration, the way Deirdre dresses is based on Elaine Bowen from the 2001 comedy Daddy and Them, and it was Curtis’ idea too.
The Stunt Coordinator Loved Working With Michelle Yeoh
A seasoned action star, Yeoh performed her own stunts, and she worked closely with a stunt coordinator to get it absolutely perfect.
After working so closely with her, the stunt coordinator, Timothy Eulich, can’t sing Yeoh’s praises enough. For Eulich, it was almost like working with his hero, as he explains, “Her previous films were highly influential in my decision to pursue a career as a stunt coordinator. Having an opportunity to work with her was nothing short of awesome.”
The Daniels Passed On Loki To Make The Movie
Though they will undoubtedly be approached by every studio under the sun to direct their hottest properties, it’ll be Marvel Studios’ second attempt at wrangling the Daniels. The filmmakers were asked to direct Loki, which also happens to be another release about multiverses, and it sounds like a total conflict of interests.
If the Daniels did direct Loki it might have been too much. Adding their wacky, frenetic energy to a show that already has a concept that’s asking a lot from audiences could have been headache-inducing. The result with Kate Herron in the director’s chair is a perfectly paced space odyssey, and it’s one of the most rewatchable Disney+ MCU shows.
A24 Is Selling Unusual Merch
By far the most memorable scene in the movie is when one of Evelyn’s enemies tries to jump on a phallic object, which will grant them powers from an alternate universe. The scene was brilliantly foreshadowed when the object was introduced earlier in the movie as an “Auditor of the Month” trophy. Well, according to Collider, those sex toy-looking trophies are now being sold as candles by A24.
It seems as if everybody involved in the film has a hilariously dirty sense of humor, as Curtis gifted her Scream Queens costar Glen Powell a condom with her face on it as a wrap gift. Wrap gifts are a common tradition when filming on a movie or series is completed, but that’s by far one of the weirdest. It’s a wonder if the Daniels gifted any of the cast an “Auditor of the Month” trophy.
Jamie Lee Curtis’ Transformation
Curtis handing over a photo of one of her old characters to the Daniels wasn’t the end of her transformation into Deirdre. The actor took it upon herself to look for weird outfits and haircuts that the IRS employee could potentially wear. But it didn’t end there, as she was adamant about her character not looking like a Hollywood actor.
Curtis explained, “I wanted to just be truthful to this woman. In the world, there is an industry about hiding things. Concealers. Everything to conceal the reality of who we are. And my instruction to everybody was: I want there to be no concealing of anything.” The actor’s words also double as a pleasant affirmation about body positivity, and Curtis’ opinion on the matter makes Deirdre even more of a three-dimensional character.
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