In 1997, Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford teamed up for what should have been an easy win in The Devil’s Own. Well, turns out, behind the scenes was as twisty as the movie’s plot. Script? Tossed out. Schedule? Tripled.
What unfolded was a Hollywood rollercoaster ride, a tale of on-the-fly rewrites, accent trials, and two movie titans learning to see eye to eye. Get ready for an inside look into the chaos and creativity that brought The Devil’s Own to life
Brad Pitt reveals ‘The Devil’s Own’ script was thrown out during filming
The release of Ford and Pitt’s first film together, The Devil’s Own, in 1997 had movie enthusiasts eagerly waiting. Little did they know, there was some major drama unfolding behind the scenes.
According to Fandom Wire, Pitt revealed in a 2011 interview that they had to scrap the entire script for the movie. And that wasn’t the only challenge he had to overcome during filming.
In the film, Pitt portrayed the character of Francis “Frankie” McGuire, an Irishman. However, Pitt had no prior experience with an Irish accent, making the role quite difficult for him.
The experience taught me how ludicrous it could be throwing money at a problem. But I met Gordon Willis, one of the great [cinematographers], and it was my first attempt at an accent that was truly foreign to me. Still, I think the movie could have been better,” Pitt shared. “Literally, the script got thrown out.”
Pitt mentioned that the production took seven months to complete instead of the expected three months. This only added to the growing frustrations on set.
Despite the challenges faced during the filming process, Pitt confessed that he actually enjoyed working on The Devil’s Own. Overall, it was a highly educational experience for the young actor.
Harrison Ford recently opened up about the script for ‘The Devil’s Own’
The issues surrounding The Devil’s Own weren’t limited to Pitt alone. Harrison Ford has been quite open about his thoughts on the plot and the filming of the 1997 thriller.
In a recent interview with Esquire, Ford revealed that it was actually Pitt who took charge of developing the script. After Ford agreed to join the movie, he immediately encountered some concerns regarding his role.
However, out of respect for Pitt, Ford chose to withhold his comments on the overall structure of the story. Despite emphasizing that Pitt is an exceptional actor and a genuinely good person, Ford soon found himself in disagreement with his co-star.
More specifically, Ford had a desire for complexity, not only within his character but also in his character’s journey. He wanted to avoid a simplistic battle of good versus evil, even at the risk of throwing out the script.
“Brad developed the script. Then they offered me the part. I saved my comments about the character and the construction of the thing—I admired Brad. [Drumming.] First of all, I admire Brad. I think he’s a wonderful actor. [Thump.] He’s a really decent guy,” Ford shared.
Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford didn’t see eye-to-eye during their collaboration
Regrettably, discarding the script for The Devil’s Own was just the beginning of their problems. Without a guiding script, Ford and Pitt quickly found themselves locked in disagreements over the movie’s plot.
As filming commenced, the two actors had not yet reached a consensus on the script. Once everyone was on set, Ford and Pitt had completely divergent visions for the direction of the story, something that only compounded the issues.
“I worked with a writer — but then all the sudden we’re shooting, and we didn’t have a script that Brad and I agreed on,” Ford stated. “Each of us had different ideas about it.”
Since the completion of The Devil’s Own, many years have passed, and Ford now places the blame on himself for any tension with Pitt. The Indiana Jones star admitted that he now understands Pitt’s perspective.
Ultimately, despite the challenges, Ford actually holds a strong liking for the film. After all these years, this is something Pitt and Ford can finally agree on.
The Devil’s Own premiered with mixed reviews among critics. The film ultimately grossed $140 million at the box office, slightly surpassing it’s $90 million budget.
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