‘Jack and the Giant Slayer’ Five Film Facts

Adam Pockross
Movie Talk

Fairy tale flicks have been fairly ubiquitous lately, but if you think you’ve seen the last of them, then you don’t know jack. The latest legend to get the effects-heavy Hollywood tune-up is “Jack the Giant Slayer,” director Bryan Singer’s gargantuan take on the old “Jack and the Beanstalk” tale as well as the decidedly darker fable, “Jack the Giant Killer”. We all know Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor will do their best to charm those pesky giants into submission, but here’s Five Facts about the film you might not know.

“It” Boy

1. Nicholas Hoult headlined his first big hit less than a month ago when “Warm Bodies” won the weekend box office. And considering the competition, it seems Hoult is likely poised to do it again. Not bad for his first two leading roles. If you guessed the quirky kid with the bowl-cut from “About a Boy” (2002) would grow up to be a leading man, then really ought to be a talent scout. You can get a sense Hoult's leading man abilities in the trailer above.

Close Call

2. In 2007, while working on the TV series “Keen Eddie,” 13-year-old Hoult was filming a scene that found him dangling from a bridge, strapped to a chair 20 feet above the ground. A double-decker bus was supposed to stop inches from Hoult, but while his mum, Glenis, was watching, the bus braked too late and slammed into the boy. Hoult’s leg went through a window. Luckily, no significant injuries occurred and the production, as well as Hoult’s life and career, resumed.

[Related: Get local showtimes & tickets for 'Jack the Giant Slayer']

Scream Therapy

3. To achieve the gravelly voice of Fallon, the leader of giants, Golden Globe winner Bill Nighy had to get extremely loud. “Every morning before shooting, he would close the windows of his car and scream for 20 minutes and blow out his voice. Then he’d come to the set with that raspy sound that became the voice of Fallon. The first time I heard him I thought he was sick. He said, ‘No, I’ve just been in my car screaming and I’d like to try this voice in the reading so tell me what you think.’ And I said, Whoa, is that healthy?’” Singer recalled. You can hear Fallon's voice, and see him in action, in the clip above.

If It Ain’t Broke…

4. Singer is another director who believes familiarity breeds good collaborators, as he’s previously worked with many of the key contributors on “Jack”. Singer produced Hoult in “X-Men: First Class” (2011) and will direct him as the big blue Beast in the upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014). Golden Globe winner Nighy first earned his Singer stripes playing General Friedrich Olbricht in the World War II thriller “Valkyrie” (2007). And screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie’s has earned three credits while working alongside his old friend from high school: For “Jack the Giant Slayer,” “Valkyrie” and “The Usual Suspects” (1995), which garnered McQuarrie an Oscar.

[Related: See photos from the 'Jack the Giant Slayer' premiere]

Reunited and it Feels so Good…

5. Speaking of reuniting, if you were a fan of Ewan McGregor’s breakout film “Trainspotting” (1996) then you certainly remember Ewen Bremner as Spud, the cheerful bloke who went to bed a lucky stiff and woke up in one of the most unfortunate messes ever filmed. In “Jack,” Bremner plays Wicke, another dimwitted character, though one who’s not nearly as loveable as Spud.

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