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10. Steven Spielberg was interested in directing a Howard Hughes biopic.
9. Cate Blanchett had three different red-hair wigs for this film.
8. Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Katharine Hepburn makes her the first performer to win an Oscar for playing a real-life Oscar winner (Hepburn won a record 4).
7. Freckles were painstakingly painted onto Cate Blanchett's face, arms, and chest to make her resemble Katharine Hepburn.
6. The only Martin Scorsese film Leonardo DiCaprio has starred in rated PG-13.
5. Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
4. Kate Beckinsale gained 20 pounds for her portrayal of Ava Gardner.
3. Howard Hughes' Los Angeles home in the film was actually the home he lived on Muirland Drive.
2. Michael Mann was originally going to direct the film, but having directed back-to-back biopics The Insider (1999) and Ali (2001), he decided to produce instead, and offered the script to Martin Scorsese.
1. In his speech at the Golden Globes, Leonardo DiCaprio revealed that Michael Mann had a hand in writing the film's screenplay.
Martin Scorsese: in a tuxedo and slicked hair, pulling a woman from behind Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he walks the red carpet with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett). Scorsese also provides the voice of the projectionist Hughes talks to in the screening room.
Released through Miramax films, whose parent company is the Walt Disney Pictures Corporation. Before forming his own production company, Walt Disney's animated films and shorts were distributed by RKO Pictures, which was later purchased by Howard Hughes.
Four of the miniature airplanes used in creating the effects for the film are now on display at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, home of the real Howard Hughes HK-1 "Spruce Goose". Models on display include two of the biplanes from the Hell's Angels (1930) sequence, most of the XF-11 model, and the motion-control "Spruce Goose". The "Spruce Goose" model is remarkably detailed, and even includes scale puppets of Howard Hughes and Dr. Fritz.
Production was delayed in October 2003, when wildfires in southern California burned several sets.
Leonardo DiCaprio received an Oscar nomination for playing Howard Hughes, as had Jason Robards for the film Melvin and Howard (1980). Mary Steenburgen won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in that film, just as Cate Blanchett did for this film.
Jane Lynch's scenes as Amelia Earhart were cut from the movie.
Many had tried to produce a Howard Hughes biopic before this. Among the failed attempts are:
1. A companion piece to Reds (1981) planned by actor-director Warren Beatty.
2. John Malkovich and partner Russell Smith attempt in 1993.
3. The adaptation planned by Allen Hughes and Albert Hughes who wanted Johnny Depp in the lead.
4. A Brian De Palma-directed biopic with Touchstone which fell through because of the $80 million price tag.
5. In January 2000, it was announced that Milos Forman was to direct a biopic with Edward Norton as Hughes and a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.
6. In January 2002, Jim Carrey and director Christopher Nolan tried to start the project with Castle Rock Productions but it didn't get off ground soon enough to beat this movie into production.
The Aviator (2004)
PG-13 | 2h 50min | Biography, Drama, History | 25 December 2004 (USA)
A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: John Logan
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale