Blatantly ignoring the first two rules of Fight Club we're about to talk about the recreational boxing society in some depth. Worse still, we're about to reveal 20 things you (probably) didn't know about it. Crikey, we're going to end up looking like Jared Leto's character post-Edward Norton fight, for this one. Hope it's worth it...
There are several hints in the film about the giant twist at the end (i.e. And this is more than a hint - that Pitt and Norton are the same guy). When Tyler and the narrator ride the bus together, only one fare is charged. When Tyler and the narrator get drunk and hit golf balls off the side of cars, although Tyler hits first, the alarm isn’t triggered until the narrator hits. At one stage they are together in a car that Tyler is driving, but the narrator gets out on the driver’s side. Finally, when the narrator makes a call to Tyler from a phone box after his apartment is blown up, Tyler calls him back. The camera zooms into the handset and a sticker reading ‘No Incoming Calls Allowed’. Clearly the call is in his head.
After the second spray of the priest in this moment of the film, the camera wobbles because the cameraman can't help but laugh.
There are three very cool unscripted moments in the movie. When Pitt and Norton have their first fight outside the bar (the famous “You hit me in the ear!” line), Norton was not supposed to actually land one on Pitt. However, before the scene, Fincher pulled Norton aside and told him to connect his punch. Pitt’s stunned reaction was entirely genuine.
Secondly, the scene where the pair drunkenly hit golfballs wasn’t in the script at all, and came about when the two were genuinely half cut and thought it would be fun to fire golfballs at the catering truck.
Finally, it was Pitt's idea to wear rubber gloves at this moment (pictured).
The final scene of the demolition of the credit card office buildings was designed by visual effects expert, the late Richard Baily, who worked on the scene for over fourteen months. NB Bonham Carter wore huge platform heels in order to close the height gap between her and Edward Norton. Norton is 6ft tall, while Bonham Carter is just over 5ft.
Helena Bonham Carter requested that all her makeup be done by the makeup artist’s left hand as she thought Marla Singer wouldn't care at all for well applied cosmetics.
Director, David Fincher, has claimed that every scene of the film contains, somewhere within it, a Starbucks coffee cup. For example: Top right, middle left, bottom left.
After the copyright warning, there is another warning on the DVD. This warning is from Tyler Durden, and is only there for a second. "If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this is useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think everything you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told you should want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned... Tyler"
Marla's phone number is the same as Teddy's in Memento.
Author, Chuck Palahniuk, has claimed that Trent Reznor was interested in writing the score for the film but had other commitments at the time. Fincher pursued Radiohead as well, but eventually chose the breakbeat producing duo Dust Brothers to score the film.
Tyler Durden flashes on screen for a single frame (one 124th of a second)
four times. All of them are pictured.
He also appears in a commercial for Bridgeworth Suites which plays on a hotel room TV in which the narrator is sleeping. See that here. Oh and he appears on the airport escalator, of course.
The breath in the cave scene is recycled Leonardo DiCaprio breath from Titanic, which was composited into the shot.
Filming lasted 138 days, during which Fincher shot more than 1,500 rolls of film, three times the average. Overall production included 300 scenes shot in a whopping 200 locations. Fincher (pictured on set) said of the shoot: "I felt like I was spending all my time watching trucks being loaded and unloaded so I could shoot three lines of dialogue. There was far too much transportation going on."
Before deciding on Brad Pitt, the producers initially wanted Russell Crowe to play Tyler Durden, while Sean Penn and Matt Damon were considered for Edward Norton's role.
Helena Bonham Carter based her performance on Judy Garland in the later stages of her life. David Fincher would often call her Judy on-set.
In one scene the crew arranged cinema signs to make references to other films the cast had been in, although only one is visible. Brad Pitt movie Seven Years in Tibet can be seen but the sign actually says "Seven Year In Tibe" as if the cinema didn't have the required letters. Not seen were Norton's The People vs. Larry Flynt and Bonham Carter's The Wings of the Dove, the performance which won her the role of Marla.
Producer Ross Bell contacted four directors to direct the film. He considered Peter Jackson the best choice, but Jackson was too busy filming The Frighteners. Bryan Singer received the book but did not read it. Danny Boyle met with Bell and read the book, but pursued another project, probably The Beach and, of course, David Fincher took it.
Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar were both offered the role of Marla Singer. Courtney Love and Winona Ryder were also considered for the part. Fincher's first choice was actually Janeane Garofalo (pictured).
Pitt and Norton prepared for their roles by taking lessons in boxing, taekwondo, grappling, and even soapmaking. Pitt voluntarily visited a dentist to have pieces of his front teeth chipped off so his character would not have perfect teeth. The pieces were restored after filming.
Makeup artist Julie Pearce studied mixed martial arts and pay-per-view boxing to portray the fighters accurately. She designed an extra's ear to have cartilage missing, citing as inspiration the boxing match in which Mike Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear.
Meat Loaf wore a 40 kg fat harness filled with birdseed to acquire the large breasts look. He also wore eight-inch lifts in his scenes with Norton to be taller than him.