Jake Rosen lists 14 Things You Might Not Know About Se7en. Here are three of my favorites…
1. From the Mind of a Record Store Employee
Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker was a graduate of Penn State’s film program. Several years later, however, he was no closer to achieving his goal of working in the industry. Making ends meet at a New York City Tower Records store, Walker was so depressed that he wrote a bleak and oppressive script about the hunt for a killer who uses the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his crimes.
Satisfied with the outcome, he sent it to professional writer David Koepp, and then followed up with a phone call. Koepp agreed to send it to his agent, who found a buyer in New Line Cinema. (After reading it, Koepp also advised Walker that he “needed professional help.”)
3. Brad Pitt Worked Himself to the Bone
During a scene in which Pitt’s character, Detective David Mills, is chasing the killer through a perpetually rainy backdrop, Pitt slipped and drove his arm through a windshield. The resulting injury (a severed tendon) was so deep it went down to the bone. Pitt had to wear a cast for the rest of filming, which was written into the script; for scenes that had to be shot that took place earlier than the chase, the actor had to conceal his arm as best he could.
4. Kevin Spacey Got No Credit
When Fincher hired Kevin Spacey to portray killer John Doe, Spacey thought it would be more interesting to keep his involvement a secret, figuring that if he were to be billed then it would be obvious who the “mysterious” antagonist was. As a result, Spacey—who had just become a hot commodity for his work in The Usual Suspects—did not appear in any advertising, nor was his name included in the opening credits. While the studio disliked the idea, the part was late to be cast and, in Spacey’s words, “I was either going to be on a plane to shoot the movie or I wasn’t.” He got his wish.