Original Release: December 6, 2010 (US)
Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Written by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie, Julian Fellowes, Jérôme Salle
Produced by: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Tim Headington, Graham King, Adam Rosenberg
Running Time: 103 minutes
Box Office: $278,346,189 (Worldwide)
Elise (Angelina Jolie) sits next to an American tourist, Frank (Johnny Depp), on a train going to Venice. She has chosen him as a decoy, making believe that he is her lover who is wanted by police. Not only will they need to evade the police, but also the mobster whose money her lover stole.
Johnny Depp (Frank Tupelo), Paul Bettany (Inspector John Acheson), Timothy Dalton (Chief Inspector Jones), Steven Berkoff (Reginald Shaw), Rufus Sewell (The Englishman), Christian De Sica (Colonnello Lombardi), Alessio Boni (Sergente Cerato), Raoul Bova (Conte Filippo Gaggia), Bruno Wolkowitch (Capitaine Courson)
- Sam Worthington replaced Tom Cruise, who was originally going to play Frank Tupelo. Johnny Depp then replaced Worthington, when the latter withdrew from the film over "creative differences."
- Angelina Jolie admitted, in an interview with Vogue Magazine, that the only reason she agreed to do this movie, was because she knew it would be a "quick shoot" in Venice, Italy.
- Charlize Theron was originally going to play Elise Clifton-Ward.
- The Palazzo Pisani-Moretta was used as a stand-in for the real Hotel Danieli.
- The project went through several directorial changes. Originally, the film was set with Lasse Hallström, but he left over scheduling conflicts. Then Bharat Nalluri came on, but left after the project had more difficulties. Then, when Angelina Jolie came on, so did Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, but he left over "creative differences," along with Sam Worthington. But after many names were mooted, including Alfonso Cuarón, Donnersmarck returned.
- Lord Julian Fellowes has said in interviews, that little of his work on the screenplay, ended up on-screen.
- Angelina Jolie dons twelve outfits throughout the movie.
- Angelina Jolie had been attracted to the project by the potential of the strong female character, and by the chance to work with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, and to have him co-write the script. After a very early meeting, it was clear that the director and star were on the same page about the kind of movie they wanted to make. Jolie said: "The Lives of Others (2006) is a beautiful, intelligent film, but also heavy. When we met, he was very clear that he wanted to make a movie that was luxurious and fun, something that would be exciting for people to watch, but didn't take itself too seriously. It was a perfect match."
- A policeman was on-duty the whole time the boat chase sequence was being filmed in Venice, to ensure that no one went over the rigidly enforced speed limits.
- When he returned to the project, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck re-wrote the script in two weeks, and shot the film in just fifty-eight days.
- The Doge Suite in the film is located inside the Danieli Hotel in Venice, Italy and the crew did actually film in the lobby of the Danieli Hotel, though a suite was constructed off the hotel premises. The actual location of the Doge Suite set was at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta, right on the Grand Canal, so it had the perfect balcony where an intimate scene between Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) and Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) could be shot. Venice is a city built in brick, and the Doge Suite's interior earthy terracotta hues meshed with ornate accents like crystal chandeliers enhance the location space of Palazzo Pisani Moretta. Production Designer Jon Hutman re-proportioned the rooms and with double doors and floor to ceiling windows the space transformed into timeless combination of modern and old Venetian décor. Angelina Jolie said: "When we were shooting inside the Doge Suite set, I spent the three days of shooting there thinking, 'What an amazing hotel room'. Then someone showed me that none of the walls were real, and that's not real marble, it's painted. It was crafted so meticulously I couldn't tell what was added on and what was adjusted."
- When Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck presented his vision of the movie to Graham King, it took King all of thirty minutes to decide that he wanted to finance and produce the film. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck said: "I wanted to make a film that would be one of those experiences where you just sit back and enjoy life for a couple of hours." King said: "When Florian sent me the script, there was a combination of factors that made me want to sign on. In the past several years, he had seen a lot of scripts, and passed on a lot of scripts - he had his choice of projects - so I was intrigued that he had taken to this one. Having Angelina Jolie attached didn't hurt, either."
- Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie were two of the most engaging, charismatic, and talented actors working in film at the time, according to the movie's production notes. But as the film requires its characters to share an immediate attraction to each other, all felt it was a good idea to meet and talk before signing on, and believe it or not, that is how Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp met for the first time. Despite being two of the biggest movie stars, they had not entered each other's orbit until they sat down to discuss the movie with the producer and director. Producer Graham King sat quietly and watched them interact, watching to see how the actors would get along. Perhaps it was no surprise that they clicked from the first moment. King said: "There was complete instant chemistry between them both." Producer Tim Headington of GK Films added: "Graham called me right after that meeting and was so excited. Later, when we started filming and seeing dailies, it was just like magic on tape." For Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, they were the perfect leads for this film. He said: "They're great movie stars, but more than that, they are great actors, and I wanted to give them roles in which they could really show what they can do. Elise is charming and delicate and feminine and strong, all at the same time; Frank is winning and charming and funny, just like Johnny is in real life." Co-Screenwriter Julian Fellowes said: "Having either Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp in this film would have been extraordinary, but the pair together is that perfect combination you dream about but rarely, if ever, happens.
- The most important step for the director and producer was to find the right leading man for actress Angelina Jolie, who was already attached when Johnny Depp came on board. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck said: "We really needed someone who wouldn't be eclipsed by Angelina. When we brainstormed over what actor could be a true partner for her in terms of attractiveness, intelligence, and acting skill, the only name that kept coming to our minds was Johnny Depp."
Elise Clifton-Ward: Invite me to dinner, Frank?
Frank Taylor: What? Would you like to have dinner?
Elise Clifton-Ward: Women don't like questions.
Frank Taylor: Join me for dinner.
Elise Clifton-Ward: Too demanding.
Frank Taylor: Join me for dinner?
Elise Clifton-Ward: Another question.
Frank Taylor: I'm having dinner, if you'd care to join me.
Elise Clifton-Ward: It's the um... the Roman god, Janus. My mother gave it to me when I was little. She wanted to teach me that people have two sides. A good side, a bad side, a past, a future. And that we must embrace both in someone we love. And I tried...
Frank Taylor: What's he like?
Elise Clifton-Ward: He's... different, from anybody I know...
Frank Taylor: Different's good. Where I come from, the highest compliment they can offer a person is to say that they're down to earth, grounded. I hate it. It drives me nuts!
Elise Clifton-Ward: 20 million dollars worth of plastic surgery. And that's the face you choose.
Frank Taylor: You don't like it?
Elise Clifton-Ward: It will do.
Frank Taylor: I'm sorry!
Elise Clifton-Ward: What for?
Frank Taylor: Aha! Oh do you mind me smoking, it's not a real cigarette, look! It delivers the same amount of nicotine, but the smoke is water vapor.
Elise Clifton-Ward: That's somewhat disappointing.
Frank Taylor: Would you rather have me smoking?
Elise Clifton-Ward: I'd rather you be a man who does exactly as he pleases.
Frank Taylor: Fuck!... you're ravenous.
Elise Clifton-Ward: Do you mean 'ravishing'?
Frank Taylor: I do.
Elise Clifton-Ward: You're ravenous.
Frank Taylor: I am.
Frank Taylor: My name's Frank.
Elise Clifton-Ward: That's a terrible name.
Frank Taylor: It's the only one I've got.
Elise Clifton-Ward: Perhaps we can find you a new one.
Elise Clifton-Ward: I'm sorry I got you involved in all this.
Frank Taylor: Why are you involved?
Elise Clifton-Ward: So, what are you doing in the city of lovers? Is there no one in your life?
Frank Taylor: There was.
Elise Clifton-Ward: What happened?
Frank Taylor: She left me.
Elise Clifton-Ward: I'm sorry to hear that, Frank.
Elise Clifton-Ward: You're a part of a plan.
Elise Clifton-Ward: Elise, you have no reason to trust me anymore, but give me a chance to explain myself. I know the police are watching you. We have to throw them off the trail. Board the eight-twenty-two, the Gare de Lyon, pick someone my height and build and make them believe it is me. Burn this letter. It is important you follow my instructions precisely. I love you, Alexander.
Elise Clifton-Ward: It's gone too far.
Golden Globes - Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Golden Globes - Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical - Johnny Depp
Golden Globes - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical - Angelina Jolie
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards - Top Box Office Films
Teen Choice Awards - Choice Movie Actor: Action - Johnny Depp
Teen Choice Awards - Choice Movie Actress: Action - Angelina Jolie
Teen Choice Awards - Choice Movie: Action