They’re after each other’s assets, but we’re after the facts. Here are a few things you may not have known about the Coen brothers’ 2003 romantic comedy, Intolerable Cruelty.
1. IT’S THE FIRST COEN BROTHERS MOVIE THAT ISN’T THEIR ORIGINAL IDEA.
In 1995, the Coens rewrote a script originally penned by other screenwriters; they didn’t decide to direct the movie until 2003.
2. THE COENS WEREN’T THE FIRST CHOICE AS DIRECTORS.
Ron Howard and Jonathan Demme were initially attached to direct.
3. THEY SIGNED ON AFTER ANOTHER PROJECT FELL THROUGH.
In 2002, the brothers were going to direct a WWII drama called To the White Sea starring Brad Pitt, which was cancelled when the $80 million budget was deemed too expensive.
4. GEORGE CLOONEY AND CATHERINE ZETA-JONES WEREN’T THE ORIGINAL STARS.
Demme originally cast Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts as the lead characters.
5. CATHERINE ZETA-JONES MIGHT HAVE BEEN PREGNANT WHILE FILMING.
Zeta-Jones refuses to “mention any specific dates,” but has confirmed in interviews that “t the end of the movie, I got pregnant.”
6. IT’S THE FIRST COEN BROTHERS MOVIE WITH A CO-PRODUCER.
Until Intolerable Cruelty, which is co-produced by Brian Grazer, the Coens produced their movies themselves.
7. THE COEN BROTHERES BORROWED LINES FROM 15TH CENTURY POETRY.
In one courtroom scene, Clooney says lines 425-426 of Shakespeare’s poem “Venus and Adonis” to Zeta-Jones. She responds with a line from Christopher Marlowe’s “Hero and Leander.”
8. THE COEN BROTHERS LOVE TO LIVE IN THE PAST.
Intolerable Cruelty is the first Coen movie since 1987’s Raising Arizona, their second film, with a contemporary setting.
9. CLOONEY’S CHARACTER’S LOOK IS BASED ON A HOLLYWOOD ICON.
Miles’s style was inspired by Cary Grant’s in the 1958 rom-com Indiscreet.
10. BILLY BOB THORNTON IS A COEN BROTHERS VETERAN.
The actor appeared in their previous movie The Man Who Wasn’t There, and he would go on to appear in the TV series based on their movie Fargo.
11. INTOLERABLE CRUELTY WAS CLOONEY’S SECOND COEN BROTHERS FILM.
He previously appeared in O Brother Where Art Thou? He would go on to star in 2008’s Burn After Reading and has been cast in the Coens’ upcoming film, Hail Caesar!
12. BRUCE CAMBPELL MAKES A CAMEO AS THE SOAP OPERO DOCTOR ON TV.
This isn’t the first time Campbell appeared on a TV in a Coen brothers movie. He was also on a background TV in Fargo (you can see him onscreen when Steve Buscemi’s and Peter Stormare’s characters hold William H. Macy’s character’s wife captive).
13. MILES AND MARYLIN GET MARRIED AT LAS VEGAS’S VERY FIRST WEDDING CHAPEL.
The Wee Kirk O'the Heather opened in 1940. You can get an Elvis-themed ceremony there for $397.
14. IT INCLUDES A NOD TO FILM HISTORY.
The movie playing in the background during Rex’s death scene (behind all the scantily clad women) is director Jean Renoir’s 1938 movie, La bête humaine.
15. MARYLIN MEETS MILES AT THE SWANY L.A. RESTAURANT L’ORANGERIE.
The same restaurant made an appearance in 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.