When "Brokeback Mountain" opened 10 years ago (on December 9, 2005), Hollywood's first mainstream gay love story was expected to change everything.

After all, it was a huge hit, won three Oscars, made serious adult thespians out of its young cast, and turned "I wish I knew how to quit you" into a catchphrase. In the decade since, however, Hollywood hasn't really followed up on the film's example, so fans hungry for such fare can only watch "Brokeback" over and over.

In honor of the movie's tenth anniversary, here are 10 things you probably didn't know about this landmark film.1. Co-screenwriter Diana Ossana (pictured left) optioned the movie rights to Annie Proulx's short story right after it was published in The New Yorker in 1997. Of course, it would take eight years for her and her co-writer Larry McMurtry to find financing, much less get a director and a cast to commit to a film with such tricky subject matter.

2. Director Gus Van Sant was once attached to the project, and he wanted his "Good Will Hunting" star Matt Damon and Joaquin Phoenix to play the leads. Damon said no, arguing that it would be redundant to play a gay cowboy so soon after having starred in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "All the Pretty Horses." Jake Gyllenhaal has said he lobbied for the role of Jack Twist around that time, but he was still just 19 and largely unknown then. It would be another four years before he finally landed the role.

3. In an interview with Gawker, director Ang Lee revealed that the movie's poster was inspired by another romantic film, "Titanic."4. When she arrived for her audition, Anne Hathaway was in full regal make-up and hair for "The Princess Diaries 2."

5. Director Ang Lee won Proulx over during a visit to Wyoming, where the author lived. There, the Taiwan-born filmmaker dined at a restaurant with her and ordered an unfamiliar item off the menu: Rocky Mountain oysters. He had no idea what the regional delicacy was, much less that it came from a bull and not a mollusc. Proulx took a bite and quipped, "Women are not supposed to eat this." From then on, they were at ease with each other.

6. On the first day of shooting, Ossana recalled, Michelle Williams injured her knee during the sledding scene. Ossana watched as Heath Ledger brushed Williams' hair out of her face and accompanied her to the hospital. It was then, the screenwriter said, that she knew she had witnessed love at first sight, the beginning of the actors' real-life romance.
7. Ever notice Ledger's distinct way of talking in the film, by keeping his lips pursed? Well, that wasn't an acting choice. According to Hathaway, it was because the late actor was worried that flies might get into his mouth.

8. One reason the filmmakers were finally able to finance the movie: they got the budget down to a spare $14 million. The film ended up grossing $83 million in North America and a total of $178 million worldwide.

9. "Brokeback" was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Ledger), Best Supporting Actor (Gyllenhaal), Best Supporting Actress (Williams), and Best Cinematography.

10. The movie won three: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Score. It lost Best Picture to "Crash," in what is still one of the most bitterly argued-about Oscar contests in recent memory.
categories Movies, Trivia