1. Hail, Caesar! is a 2016 American comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The film stars Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum.
2. The film is a fictional story that follows the real-life “fixer” Eddie Mannix (Brolin) working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, trying to discover what happened to a cast member who vanishes during filming.
3. First revealed in 2004, the film was originally set to take place in the 1920s and follow actors performing a play about ancient Rome.
4. The first film that cinematographer Roger Deakins has shot for directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, and on 35mm film, since True Grit (2010). He had previously become an advocate of shooting digitally, and used Arri Alexa cameras on his next five films, but switched back to film for this because the Coens dislike digital cameras and thought that shooting on film suited a period piece set in 1950’s Hollywood.
5. The Coens shelved the idea until late 2013, when they stated it was in development. Principal photography began in November 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
6. The film premiered in Los Angeles on February 1, 2016, opened wide February 5, 2016, and opened the 66th Berlin International Film Festival on February 11.
7. Carlotta Valdes, Hobie Doyle’s date, is also the name of a mysterious character from the 1800s in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 movie Vertigo.
8. Hail, Caesar! received generally positive reviews from critics, many of whom praised its casting, and has grossed $22 million.
9. Set in 1951, Hail, Caesar! takes place at a transitional time for the film industry. The studio system was breaking down, and a Supreme Court ruling had forced studios to divest their movie theaters. Television, then still in its early years, threatened to pull away audiences. The Cold War and the Red Scare were both underway. Hollywood responded by creating escapist fare: westerns, highly choreographed dance and aquatic spectacles, and, as the film title suggests, Roman epics with massive casts. Writing in the Washington Post, Kristen Page-Kirby noted that the nostalgia for the Hollywood golden age is heavily filtered by time. “It’s easy to look back at any part of the past and say, ‘Yeah, that’s how it should be today.’ Hail, Caesar! uses the uniformly terrible fake movies within it to show that while we all remember 1946 for stuff like The Yearling and Notorious, it also gave us Tarzan and the Leopard Woman.”
10. George Clooney was actually slapped by Josh Brolin several times. His reaction shown in the film was genuine.
11. The fictional film studio “Capitol Pictures” previously appeared in Barton Fink (1991), another Los Angeles period film from the Coen Brothers.
12. This film will mark Frances McDormand’s eighth collaboration with the Coen brothers. Frances is also the wife of Joel Coen.
13. The fictional film studio “Capitol Pictures” previously appeared in Barton Fink (1991), another Los Angeles period film from the Coen Brothers.
14. Carlotta Valdes, Hobie Doyle’s date, is also the name of a mysterious character from the 1800s in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 movie Vertigo.
15. Jonah Hill had previously stated in Superbad (2007) he did not have the luxury of the Coen Brothers, his favourite directors, directing the pornographic videos he viewed. This is his first time working with the Coen brothers.
16. This film will mark Frances McDormand’s eighth collaboration with the Coen brothers. Frances is also the wife of Joel Coen.
17. Selected as the opening film of the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.
18. The film cast includes four Oscar winners: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Fisher Stevens, and Tilda Swinton, and three Oscar nominees: Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill and Ralph Fiennes.
19. Cast and crew of James Franco’s TV pilot L.A. Series (2016) were shuttled to and from The Lot sound stages during the simultaneous filming of the Hail, Caesar! movie.
20. While Hobie is having dinner with Carlotta, he starts using a spaghetti noodle as a lasso to entertain her. This is a nod to spaghetti westerns.
21. Bob Hoskins portrayed Mannix in the 2006 biographical film “Hollywoodland,” based on the life and death of actor George Reeves.
22. This will be Christopher Lambert & Clancy Brown second film collaboration as they previously starred in Highlander (1986).
23. The Lockheed recruiter tells Eddie the Bikini Atoll test occurred 3 weeks earlier, which places the movie in March 1954.
24. Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens, and Ralph Fiennes previously appeared in Hotel Grand Budapest (2014).
25. Scarlett Johansen & Josh Brolin both play characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): she as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, Captain America 2 & 3 and Avengers 1 & 2. He as Thanos in Guardians of The Galaxy.