Wild Things - The tongue in cheek thriller was always going to be a fun ride, but it was originally cast a little differently. A fantastic actor fresh out of rehab was set to play the role of the high school counselor, but his handlers were protecting him a little too much and either he or they refused to meet in person weeks before the production was set to start. At the end of the day, Robert Downey Jr was deemed too much of a risk on a production that couldn't afford delays and the role was recast with Matt Dillon. Of course, RDJ did hold it together and went on to be one of the highest paid actors in the world. PS, the second runner up for the role of Kelly Ryan ultimately played by Denise Richards, was Tara Reid, of American Pie fame.
The Last of the Mohicans - This brilliant script written and to be directed by Michael Mann was a challenge from the onset. Michael began by searching the country for an area with deciduous trees. The helicopter scouting budget was an indication of things to come, as the production was plagued by the stresses of budget, location and schedule. Thousands of re-enactor extras came from all over the country to sleep in tents and play the roles of the french and english soldiers. The fort was built out of hundreds of trees cut down to simulate the historical setting. While Washington and California were aghast at any thought of cutting down a single tree, Duke Power, which holds thousands of acres in North Carolina, simply asked us to reseed so new trees would grow. If you look at a satellite view of the location today, you'll see we made the mistake of seeding in a symmetrical way instead of arbitrary, as nature looks.