There are many movies considered cult classics that have ended up becoming some of my favorite films, such as The Big Lebowski, Clerks, Donnie Darko and The Warriors. #TheBoondockSaints was a film to catch not only my interest, but the interest of many passionate fans after its initially lukewarm release. It gave us a brilliant performance by #WillemDafoe and it introduced us to The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus.
Cult films are also known for being goldmines of fascinating behind-the-scenes trivia. The Boondock Saints is no exception.
9. The Dafoe Decision
Though Dafoe's casting as Paul Smecker was doubtlessly one of the best parts of the movie, the role was first passed up by Robert De Niro, Kevin Spacey and Patrick Swayze, while the studio also considered Mike Myers, Sylvester Stallone and Bill Murray.
8. Happy Hitman
The cigar wasn't originally part of the design for the character Il Duce. Billy Connolly was just so excited about playing a gunslinging psycho that he couldn't stop smiling, so they gave him a cigar to obscure the grinning.
7. Religious Refusal
Even though the film is full of violence and vigilantism, it has a very strong Catholic overtone to it. However, the church scenes could not be filmed in a Catholic church, since all in the Massachusetts neighborhoods, where much of the movie was filmed, disliked its plot. Instead, all those scenes were filmed in a Protestant church.
6. Classic Callback
Early on in the film, a character named Doc tells Ivan to "make like a tree and get the f**k out of here." The character gets made fun of for mixing up his wording, but the line is actually a line from Back To The Future, with the F-word thrown in.
5. Satanic Script
Not everybody enjoyed The Boondock Saints as much as I did. In fact, the Archdiocese of Toronto contacted the director and called him the "spawn of Satan," as well as claiming that his script was the work of the devil. I agree that the film isn't perfect, but it certainly isn't that bad!
4. Hasty Rejections
Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and Ethan Hawke were interested in roles in the film, but the director quickly shut all three down. He referred to Hawke as a "talentless fool" and Reeves as a "f**king punk." He also dismissed Pitt because he'd already played an Irishman in The Devil's Own.
3. Risky Release
The film was released around the same time as the Columbine High School massacre, so its release was limited to a few theaters. However, it was so popular that once it came out in Blockbuster it spread rapidly via word of mouth.
2. Alcoholic Argument
Director Troy Duffy initially met with Ewan McGregor to offer him one of the lead roles in the film, but after a lengthy drunken debate over the death penalty, McGregor passed. Brendan Fraser was also considered for one of the roles.
1. Not Very Saint-Like
Duffy, who had never before penned a screenplay, was inspired to write The Boondock Saints after he saw a drug dealer taking money from a corpse. Duffy was a bartender and bouncer at the time, but he was filled with such disgust that he felt he needed to write about it.
From close casting calls to distribution dilemmas, The Boondock Saints went through quite a few hardships before making it to theaters. I'm sure we're all glad it did, as it gave us an entertaining vigilante action movie that still holds water to this day!