11 Things You Never Knew About 'The Hurt Locker' on its 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago, "The Hurt Locker" arrived in theaters and established itself as one of the definitive movies about the Iraq War. Amid the rave reviews, it propelled director Kathryn Bigelow to become the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director. Celebrate this major movie milestone by learning more about the origins and the making of "The Hurt Locker."
1. Screenwriter Mark Boal based the script on his own experiences as a freelance journalist embedded with an EOD Army unit in Iraq.
2. Bigelow was convinced by ex-husband James Cameron to take on the project. Cameron may have come to regret that decision, as "Avatar" wound up losing the Academy Award for Best Picture to "The Hurt Locker" in 2010.
3. Even without accounting for inflation, "The Hurt Locker" became the lowest-grossing Best Picture winner in history. Its theatrical run had already completed by the time the Oscar nominations were revealed.
4. Bigelow wanted to shoot the film as close to Iraq as possible for the sake of authenticity, so much of filming took place in Jordan mere miles from the border with Iraq. Experts had to consulted to make sure the sites chosen were safe from Iraqi snipers.
5. Many of the extras in the film were Iraqi refugees seeking asylum in Jordan.
7. To date, four cast members have gone on to have roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Evangeline Lilly (Wasp) and Guy Pearce (Aldrich Killian).
8. 100 hours of film was shot for every hour of footage in the final cut, a ratio higher than even that of the notoriously troubled "Apocalypse Now."
9. The film was the subject of a lawsuit from Master Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver, who claimed to be the creator of phrases like "the hurt locker" and "War is a drug," and argued that Renner's character was based on him. The lawsuit was eventually thrown out.
10. Production company Voltage Pictures filed its own lawsuit, targeting thousands of BitTorrent users who downloaded pirated copies of the film.
11. The 2014 Broadway version of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" features several references to "The Hurt Locker." The show features a running joke about inheriting sets and props from a short-lived stage musical version of "The Hurt Locker."