While everyone seems to be familiar with Fight Club and its rules (or at least its first and most important rule), there seems to be so much about the 1999 cult classic many of its fans don’t know. Let’s start talking about Fight Club, Durden be damned.
1. In the scene where the Narrator punches Tyler Durden, Edward Norton is really punching Brad Pitt in the face.
The scene was only supposed to feature a fake punch, but prior to filming, director David Fincher specifically asked Norton not to hold back; Pitt wasn’t told. That’s why while Pitt recovers from the shock and pain, Norton is clearly smiling and pleased in the scene.
2. One of Durden’s inspirational speeches Brad Pitt delivers to the Fight Club features the line, “We’ve all been raised to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars,” while looking directly at Jared Leto.
Leto gets eyed just as Pitt mentions rock stars, which is appropriate since Oscar winner Jared Leto had only formed his band 30 Seconds to Mars the year before Fight Club came out.
3. Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter spent three whole days recording orgasm noises for their unseen sex scenes.
Talk about a weird day at the office.
4. Director David Fincher has claimed that there is a Starbucks coffee cup visible in every shot in the film.
In a nod to the film’s criticism of consumerism and subliminal advertising, Fincher features the giant coffee franchise in every single scene.
5. Courtney Love and Winona Ryder were up for the part of Marla, but eventually the studio gave the part to Reese Witherspoon despite Fincher requesting Helena Bonham-Carter.
Witherspoon rejected the offer, claiming the part was “too dark,” and Bonham-Carter accepted it instead.
6. Marla’s original pillow talk scene included the line “I want to have your abortion,” which was objected to by Fox executive Laura Ziskin; Fincher promised he would edit the line as long as it couldn’t be changed again, and thus the line, “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school.”
Obviously, Ziskin was not too pleased with this line, but she had agreed to Fincher’s deal and was stuck with it.
7. Ziskin also initially had a problem with the rubber glove Brad Pitt wears when he catches Edward Norton listening to Durden’s sexcapades with Marla.
She was so horrified after she first saw it that she demanded its removal, but after seeing how positively audiences reacted to it at a test screening, she changed her mind. The inclusion of the glove was 100% Pitt’s idea.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio actually has the weirdest cameo in film history in Fight Club.
His breath from Titanic is digitally inserted into the film’s cave scene. (And you thought you knew everything about Titanic already!)
9. Fincher filmed 12 takes of the stuntmen rolling down the stairs for Tyler and the Narrator’s fight scene at the end of the film, but ended up using the very first take.
10. Brad Pitt can be seen various times throughout the film before we meet his character.
One of the most notable times is when a Bridgeworth Suites ad plays on TV, Pitt is clearly one of the hotel employees.
11. Tyler Durden adds his own personal warning for a split second after the copyright warning. It looks like this:
12. Helena Bonham Carter insisted that her make-up artist apply her make-up with her non-dominant hand.
Bonham-Carter didn’t think Marla Singer was the type of person who would be skilled at, or even concerned with, proper make-up application.
13. And the 5’2″ actress had to wear some pretty high platform shoes to reach the 6’0″ heights of her co-stars, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
14. The camera shakes in the scene where a Fight Club member hoses down a priest.
That’s because the cameraman couldn’t control his laughter.
15. To make sure that Bob’s breasts and love handles hung as if made from fat, Meat Loaf’s fat suit was made entirely of birdseed.
This helped to produce the illusion of sagging flesh spilling over his pants; the suit combined with the seeds weighed over 100 pounds.
16. In preparation for their roles, Norton and Pitt took lessons in boxing, tae kwon do, grappling, and soap-making.
Brad Pitt took things even further — he visited a dentist to have his front tooth chipped!
17. There are three detectives in the film — Detective Andrew, Detective Kevin, Detective Walker — whose names combine to reveal the name of Se7en‘s writer, Andrew Kevin Walker.
Walker and Fincher worked together on Se7en and Walker even did some uncredited work on Fight Club.
18. Tyler Durden has a cameo in The Social Network.
It looks like Durden’s foregoing that whole counter-culture thing now that he’s on Facebook.
19. Edward Norton has a nude scene in the film that even director David Fincher didn’t know about.
On the DVD’s commentary, Norton jokes with Fincher after revealing he was nude from the waist down while on the toilet, “Did you notice I never had to go to the bathroom all day?”
20. Chuck Palahniuk, author of the book Fight Club, has said the idea came to him after being beaten up on a camping trip and returning to work to find that none of his coworkers would acknowledge his injuries.
This inspired Palahniuk’s fascination with societal ‘blocking,’ which became the basis for the book/movie.
21. SPOILERS: The ending of the film is foreshadowed in various different scenes.
For instance, when Lou punches Tyler in the stomach in his restaurant’s basement, the Narrator doubles over as if he were hit, and again when Lou kicks Tyler in the head; when Tyler and the Narrator hit cars with baseball bats, the car alarm doesn’t sound when Tyler hits it first, but only after the Narrator hits it; when a long-haired man pushes past the two on a bus, he breezes by Tyler only to say “excuse me” to the Narrator afterwards; during the scene where the Narrator roams about the house listening to Tyler’s loud sex sounds, the noises halt as he answers the phone for the detective’s call. All of these are signs that they are one person.