I was watching Gattaca again recently and realized that the Andrew Niccol sci-fi masterpiece deserved its own Fun Facts list. This is one of my favorite movies, and if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on something special. This was the first film that Niccol made and for a first-time film project, he completely nailed it. He made a spectacular film, and even with the six films he’s made since, Gattaca is still his best.
A lot of the information here comes from Imdb, and I've included some of my own commentary as well as videos for you to watch. Here are 13 Fun Facts about Gattaca that you may not have known:
- Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman started dating during the filming of the movie. They eventually got married, but later divorced in 2005.
- There was a marketing campaign for the film when it was first released that included advertisements for people to call a number and have their children genetically engineered. Apparently thousands of people called, wanting to have their offspring genetically engineered. A Fake ad was placed in The Washington Post for a company offering to genetically alter embryos with the tagline "Children made to order." The ad came along with a list of genetic traits that could be added to the child.
- The film was voted the most accurate sci-fi film ever made by the scientists at NASA.
- Jude Law's middle name in the film is Eugene and he’s asked to be called by that name in the film. "Eugene" originated from the Greek language for "well born.” On top of that, the central theme to the story is “Eugenics" which is the science of improving the hereditary qualities of a race or breed.
- The title of the of the film, "Gattaca" is composed entirely of the letters used to label the nucleotide bases of DNA. The four nitrogen bases of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) are adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine.
- The winding stairs in Jerome's apartment were made to have a helical structure, like DNA.
- The name of Thurman's character in the film is Irene Cassini. “Cassini is the surname of the 17th century Italian astronomer, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, who discovered the prominent gap in Saturn's main rings, as well as the icy moons, Iapetus, Dione, Rhea, and Tethys. The space mission in Gattaca is destined for Saturn.”
- The Marin County Civic Center, which was a filming location of the Gattaca Corporation, was also used in George Lucas's THX 1138.
- "The icons used to denote a Valid versus an In-Valid have significant meaning. On the scanners, an infinity symbol appears next a Valid's name, denoting their 'infinite potential.' Next to an In-Valid's name, a dagger appears. In taxonomy, a dagger next to a taxon indicates extinction. In addition, the dagger symbol resembles a cross, a reference to In-Valids being referred to as "God Children" (As Irene states when Vincent reveals his true identity to her)."
- To fully assume Jerome's identity, Vincent (at 5' 11") undergoes extension surgery in his legs to match Jerome's recorded height of 6' 1". In reality, Law and Hawke are both 5' 11".
- The original ending for Gattaca featured images of Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy and more. There was a statement stating that if genetic screening had existed in their lifetime, they would never have been born. Each photo came with a caption of what their genetic flaws were. For example, Einstein had dyslexia, Lincoln had Marfan’s Syndrome, and Kennedy had Addison's disease. It ended with stating that you, the viewer, wouldn't have existed, either. The ending was cut, because apparently test audiences were uncomfortable with the suggestion that they were genetically inferior.
- The original title of the movie was The Eighth Day, which is a reference to the Bibilical days of creation. When the movie was completed there was another movie released with that title, so Niccol was forced to change the title to Gattaca, which is a much better title in my opinion.
- As incredible a film as Gattaca is, it completely bombed at the box office when it was released, making only $12 million in theaters. The budget of the film was $36 million. It has since gained a strong following of fans.
Below you’ll find the original trailer for the film along with a behind-the-scenes featurette, and an embed with all of the deleted scenes.