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25 years after its release, here are 25 things you didn’t know about the Michael Collins movie

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Yes, it’s been a quarter of a century since the film hit theaters.

Given its proper cinematic release on October 11, 1996, it’s been 25 years since Neil Jordan’s epic biopic Michel collins has been freed.

To celebrate the anniversary, here are 25 things you might not know about the movie.

1. Following the huge commercial success of Interview With A Vampire in 1994, director Neil Jordan essentially got free rein on what he wanted Hollywood producers to do next. He dug up his screenplay for Michael Collins, which he would have written 12 years earlier.

2. Liam Neeson was 43 when he made this movie. Michael Collins was 31 when he died.

3. Five years ago, before the film’s 20th anniversary, JOE spoke to Neil Jordan about making the film. You can read the full interview here:

4. Neil Jordan wasn’t the first person to attempt a Michael Collins biopic. Michael Camino (Oscar-winning director of The Deer Hunter) originally set up the project in the 1980s.

5. His main character to tell the story of the life of Michael Collins? Gabriel Byrne.

6. There were also a lot of alternate casting choices for Jordan. Initially, the role of Éamon de Valera was offered to John Turturro (The Big Lebowski, The Night Of) before being taken over by Alan Rickman.

7. Aidan Quinn did a great job as Harry Boland, but he wasn’t the only option for the role, Matt Dillon (There’s Something About Mary) and Adam Baldwin (Independence Day) would have been in. discussion.

8. Mary Louise Parker (RED) was practically in the role of Kitty Kiernan, but the story goes that Julia Roberts called out Neil Jordan directly, expressing her interest in the role. The rest was history …

9. Rumor has it that Neil Jordan gifted the cameo of the man who murdered Michael Collins to none other than Tom Cruise, who he had just worked with on Interview With A Vampire, but scheduling conflicts stood in the way (Tom was doing both Jerry Maguire AND Mission: impossible at the time). So the role went to Jonathan Rhys Myers.

ten. Another actor (and director!) Who almost made the film was none other than Kevin Costner, who JOE spoke to about the failed adaptation here:

11. One million Irish punts were spent converting the Bray Wanderers Carlisle Grounds football stadium to look more like Croke Park in the 1920s.

12. Without a studio large enough in Ireland to house it at the time of filming, 1.5 million Irish punts were spent to create the GPO exterior in the then abandoned Richmond Asylum (now the TUD Grangegorman site). Coincidentally, the same architect who designed the exterior of the GPO also designed the exterior of the Richmond Asylum.

13. Aengus O’Malley, who is the great-grandnephew of Michael Collins, played the role of a student filmed in Marsh’s Library.

14. The film was criticized at the time for a series of historical inaccuracies, which Jordan defended by explaining that an artistic license is needed to encapsulate years of events into a two-hour film. The biggest difference revolves around the death of Harry Boland, who did not die in a river as depicted in the film, but was actually shot while leaving a hotel in Skerries during the Battle of Dublin.

15. The music for Elliot Goldenthal’s closing credits, titled “Funeral / Coda”, was originally written for Michael Mann’s 1995 film Heat, but Mann decided to go with a Moby song instead for his song. movie.

Cut out via Liradrin

16. The film was originally slated for release in June 1996, but due to the broken IRA ceasefire it was pushed back to November of the same year, with behind-the-scenes conversations involving producers pushing the film to end. to be edited to focus more on the love affair between Collins and Kiernan and less on the breakdown of the Anglo-Irish treaty negotiations.

17. Although it received a 15s in the UK and was rated R in the US, the film received a PG rating in Ireland. Sheamus Smith, the Irish film censor at the time, explained his decision:

“Due to the historical significance of this film, many parents may want to make their own decision as to whether or not their children should see it,” he said.

“For this reason, the film’s censor has decided to grant a Parental Guidance Certificate (PG) to the film Michael Collins. The certificate is accompanied by a warning to parents and guardians that the film includes scenes depicting cruelty and explicit violence as well as coarse terms. is not generally associated with the classification of parental guidance. The film’s censorship advises that in all cases, children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent. or a tutor.

18. Previewed at the Venice Film Festival that year, the film won Best Actor (for Neeson) and Golden Lion (the equivalent of Best Picture), making it a big favorite at the Oscars.

19. This never happened, however, as the film was nominated for two awards – Best Cinematography and Best Score – and did not win either of them. The nominees for Best Picture that year were The English Patient (who won), Jerry Maguire, Fargo, Secret & Lies and Shine.

20. Upon its release in Ireland, it quickly became the biggest box office hit of all time here, and retained that title until the release of Titanic in 1998. By 2015, it had slipped out of the top ten hits. at the all-time box office here.

21. Despite doing very well in Ireland, the production of $ 25 million (not counting promotion and advertising) grossed only $ 27.5 million worldwide.

22. Holding a decent 77% score on Rotten Tomatoes, not all reviewers appreciated the finished product, with a review from a New Republic star stating, “For me, the execution of the image is so poor, so imitative, so easy that it makes all thematic discussions seem idle. “

23. When the DVD was released, the movie was a rare example of a “flip-disc”, where you had to eject the movie, turn it over, reinsert it, and play it back. The first camp begins with Collins fighting alongside the rebellion against the army. On the flip side, the first scene shown is Collins now on the military side battling the newly formed rebellion. The flip literally shows Collins flipping sides.

24. At the time of writing, Michael Collins is not available on any streaming service in Ireland, but is available to rent or purchase on PVOD platforms such as Apple TV, Google Play, Sky Store and Rakuten TV.

25. We previously chatted with Stephen Rea about the film’s closing night, which you can check out here:

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