'The Crew Members Got Stranded!' Crazy Behind-The-Scenes Stories From Castaway.

Cast Away, the 2000 American epic survival drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, and Nick Searcy, was one of Tom Hanks' highest grossing films of all time. And for good reason! This cinematic masterpiece lives on in our hearts forever as an ageless drama. Wilsoooooon!


1. To make himself look like an average out of shape middle aged man Tom Hanks didn't exercise and allowed himself to grow pudgy. Production was then halted for a year so he could lose fifty pounds and grow out his hair for his time spent on the deserted island.

2. Even though they obviously weren't said, actual lines of dialogue were written for Wilson the Volleyball, to help Tom Hanks have a more natural interaction with the inanimate object.

3. When Kelly is copying her dissertation, there is no paper being fed through the copier feeder or any printed pages going into the output tray.

4. Some crew members were left on the island for a few days to survive and learn some skills. They used some of their survival techniques in the movie for the character of Chuck. They were: having trouble lighting a fire, opening a coconut, talking to a volleyball, collecting packages washed up on the beach, and catching fish.

5. To see the island that Cast Away was filmed on, put -17.609277,177.0397 into Google Maps and zoom in all the way on satellite mode. The beach that Tom Hanks writes HELP on and sees from the peak is the eastern most part of Monuriki, Fiji.

6. One of the three volleyballs used in the film was sold in an auction for $18,400.

7. After Chuck Nolan (Tom Hanks) injures his hand and throws the volleyball "Wilson, in the following scenes pay close attention to the (Continued)


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box that the volleyball is in. One scene the box has a visible tear along the top rim of the box; then, before Tom Hanks opens the box to remove "Wilson" another box appears not torn.

8. Contrary to popular belief, FedEx did not pay the filmmakers anything for their presence in the movie. The director has made this clear in a number of interviews. While FedEx was very concerned when they heard about the project, they had no objections to the finished script and offered support during filming, with the company later stating that the movie was very good for FedEx business in general and in overseas markets in particular.

9. Virtually all the sound, including dialog, in the scenes on the island - about an hour and a half of screen time - had to be replaced in post-production. Sound man William B. Kaplan made a valiant attempt at getting usable sound on the island, but the nearby surf made it impossible, given that many of the scenes needed to be very quiet.

10. An early draft of the script had Chuck having two different personalities talking to each other, Good Chuck and Bad Chuck.

11. Most of the nighttime scenes on the island (except the creation of fire scene) were actually shot during the daytime. The darkness and night sky effects were added in post-production.

12. The ending had a bunch of different ways it could have gone. Tom Hanks and the screenwriter worked together to create all the different types of endings that could have happened before they landed on the right one. In an interview, Hanks said, "We did all of those scenarios of what happens to him when he comes back to the world: He was loaded with self pity; he was loaded with Rip Van Winkle, kind of like jeepers creepers, look how small the computers are, all of that kind of stuff. We thought, look, hed probably be (Continued)


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turned into some media celebrity and whats he going to do? Be sitting in the secret square [Hollywood Squares] with Susan Anton right next to him?"

13. Chuck Noland's name can be abbreviated as 'C. Noland' or "see no land".

14. Tom Hanks almost died while he was filming the movie. Before he left the production in Fiji, he received a cut and it got infected. Turns out he had a staph infection in his leg and it almost gave him blood poisoning. Hanks recalled, The doctor said to me, Whats the matter with you, you idiot? You could have died from this thing! And I was like, Oh, I dont know. But they literally had to take out a big chunk of the stuff in my leg. The infection was so severe that Hanks stayed in a hospital for three days. Then we had to shut down production for three weeks because the doctors said, No way is this kid getting in the water.

15. Tom Hanks said that the hardest part of losing so much weight was not eating any French fries for a long time, and the thing that helped him the most in this process was drinking a great deal of coffee every morning.

16. The scene in which Noland is talking with Stan by the fireplace of Stan's home is shot in 1 long take, with the camera rotating slowly around Noland. The shot lasts 3 minutes and 46 seconds.

17. Throughout the film, Tom Hanks has a dark lump above one of his eyebrows. This seems to come and go from scene to scene.

18. The production employed several local Fiji islanders in the surrounding archipelago, including the neighboring Mana Island about a mile away. The locals were allowed to keep some of the supplies and tools as tokens of their help.

19. As the plane hits the water, Chuck falls backward, toward the rear of the plane. This violates the physical law of momentum. In real life, he actually would have (Continued)


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In real life, he actually would have continued traveling forward toward the incoming water.

20. Almost fifteen years after the film's release, Tom Hanks jokingly "reunited" with Wilson the volleyball at a New York Rangers hockey game.

21. When Noland squats on the ground, contemplating an item that has washed up on shore, the shot is composed as an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), reportedly Tom Hanks' favorite film.

22. Some of the 'desert island' footage was shot on the mainland with a highway in the background that had to be removed.

23. In the film, Chuck draws a picture of Kelly (Helen Hunt) on the wall of the cave. In the movie As Good as It Gets (1997), Simon Bishop tells Carol Connelly (also played by Hunt) 'you're the reason cavemen chiseled on walls'.

24. In the scene where Chuck is throwing coconuts at the rock, the sound of the coconut hitting the rock comes after the coconut actually hits it.

25. When Chuck Noland realizes a Russian FedEx van is stuck after being fitted with a parking boot, he immediately wrangles a crew of employees for a makeshift "sort" in the middle of Red Square. A Fed Ex sort is designed to separate packages into zones/trucks based on which part of the country they'll be routed to once they reach the airport. The process is so ingrained in Noland's psyche that even when marooned on the island, he gathers several Fed Ex packages from the ocean that have floated ashore, checks their routing destinations and performs a "sort" right on the beach.

26. When Tom Hanks cuts his hand and loses his temper, he picks up the volleyball with a bloody hand and throws it. When he picks it up, you can see that his (Continued)


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When he picks it up, you can see that his fingers are spread. When you see the handprint that he makes "Wilson" with, you can see that the fingerprints are together and parallel.

27. The paper that Chuck writes his note to Bettina Peterson is stationery from "Arrington Ranch" (a cattle ranch resort) that is the actual house where Chuck leaves the letter.

28. In the beginning of the movie, as the camera tilts down his fireplace,you can see the book "Sailing Alone Around the World" by Joshua Slocum.

29. The flight number of the crashed aircraft, FedEx 88, was at the time of filming a real flight number. It operated from Memphis to Penang, Malaysia with stops in between.

30. Castaway led to the creation of Lost, the television show. Lloyd Braun, who was the chairman of ABC Entertainment in the early aughts, wanted a writer to come up with a pitch based on his favorite film from 2000, Cast Away. According to Chicago magazine, in 2003 Chicagoan Jeffrey Lieber was picked to write the pilot for Cast Away-the Series, which centered around eight to 10 characters stranded on a Pacific island. Lieber named the pilot Nowhere, but Braun passed on Liebers script and gave the project to J. J. Abrams, who added the supernatural element to the plot. However, Lieber, the WGA, and the studio went to arbitration in order for Lieber to receive partial credit for creating the show, and he eventually won 60 percent of the created by credit. In 2005, his pilot received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and for the entire run of the show Lieber was listed in the credits.

31. Early in the movie Kelly gives Chuck a pocket watch for Christmas. She explains her grandfather used the watch on the Southern Pacific (Railroad). This is a foreshadow to (Continued)


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Chuck's later dilemma where he is stranded in the South Pacific.

32. As Chuck attempts to paddle off the island the first time he is wearing his underwear on his head you can clearly see he is wearing "Calvin Klein" underwear. Robert Zemeckis also directed Back to the Future (1985) where Marty McFly's "Calvins" were a running gag.

33. When Chuck is crawling on the floor of the plane to reach the watch, the compartment behind him where the raft was stored, you can see the stairs leading down into the set.

34. Several scenes are in reference to The Prisoner: Many Happy Returns (1967), in which Number Six, after building a makeshift raft to take him from the Village, washes ashore.

35. "Wilson" is the manufacturer of the ball used in the movie. But other Wilsons have played an important role in Tom Hanks life and career. Hanks' wife is actress Rita Wilson. And Hanks' first TV role was "Kip Wilson" in Bosom Buddies (1980).

36. The license plate on Chuck's car reads: KAZ 2AY.

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