In early 2022, Marvel movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were receiving a ton of buzz about how they were expanding the MCU. But, around that same time, a science-fiction/fantasy/martial arts/drama/comedy/art film by the name of Everything Everywhere All at Once came around and proved that you didn’t need a nine-figure budget and equally large marketing campaigns to take the world, er, multiverse, by storm.
Before it was becoming an early Best Picture hopeful at the Oscars, set new A24 box office records, and received 5 out of 5 reviews from CinemaBlend, it had to start somewhere. Here are 10 behind-the-scenes facts from the making of Everything Everywhere All at Once.
The Daniels Originally Wanted To Cast Jackie Chan For The Everything Everywhere All At Once Lead Role
There’s no denying the fact that Michelle Yeoh absolutely steals the show in Everything Everywhere All At Once with her portrayal of heroine Evelyn Wang, and there’s a good chance she’ll win or at least be nominated for an Oscar. However, directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (known collectively as the Daniels) originally had plans to cast a different legend of Hong Kong cinema — Jackie Chan.
In a May 2022 Guardian article about the movie and its success, the Daniels talked about how they originally were going to have the story focus on the husband character, but when Chan was not available, they decided it would work better to focus on the wife instead. Later in the article, Yeoh recalled a text from Chan, a longtime friend, about the movie and its success, to which she replied, “Your loss, my bro.”
The Look Of Evelyn And Waymond’s Apartment Was Inspired By Daniel Kwan’s Grandparents’ House
One of the first scenes in Everything Everywhere All at Once takes place in Evelyn and Waymond’s cramped apartment above their laundromat. If the space, with it’s packed shelves, crowded table, and decorations looks like it’s something out of a Chinese-American’s apartment, it’s because Daniel Kwan modeled it after his grandparents, aunts, and uncles’ houses growing up.
In the director commentary track that accompanies the film’s home release, Kwan pointed out that the Chinese phonebook, the glowing butterfly display, and other decorations were very much from his childhood. He even took photos of his grandparents’ apartment to the art department to use when dressing the set.
Daniel Radcliffe Had To Turn Down A Role In Everything Everywhere All At Once
Daniel Radcliffe, who previously worked with the Daniels on the the 2016 absurdist comedy, Swiss Army Man, was offered work with the directors again on Everything Everywhere All at Once, but things didn’t work out, as he told Empire Magazine in April 2022:
Radcliffe didn’t disclose what kind of role he was offered, but it probably would have been amazing, considering he was a farting corpse the last time they worked together.
Ke Huy Quan Actually Performed A Lot Of The Fanny Pack Fight Sequence
Early on in Everything Everywhere All at Once, just when the action begins to pick up, Ke Huy Quan, appearing as an alternate version of Evelyn’s husband Waymond, is involved in one of the most badass fight scenes in the movie: the fanny pack sequence. When speaking with People regarding a number of topics likes his best movies and returning to show business, Quan revealed that he spent a lot of time working on the moves in his house, much to the chagrin of his wife.
In the director commentary on the film’s home release, the Daniels admitted that the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom actor did a lot of his own stunts in the scene, and that only a couple of the shots in the fight required a stunt double.
Evelyn Being Pulled Back In The Office Chair Was Shot Practically
The shot of Evelyn being pulled back from Deidre’s desk to the janitor’s closet to meet with Wang Alpha is one of the more visually impressive of the early scenes of the movie, and one of the craziest things about it is the fact that it was shot practically. In the director commentary, the Daniels explained no visual effects were used until Evelyn crossed into the closet, and that it was all done by messing with the shutter angles and frame rates. Oh, and they used a leaf blower to make Michelle Yeoh’s hair fly around.
Evelyn’s Pinky Uppercut Was An Homage To The ‘Home Run’ Sound Effect In Super Smash Bros.
Everything Everywhere All at Once features one impressive fight sequence after another, with one of the most unique being the pinky fight. Basically, after channeling into one of her other realities, Evelyn learns of a universe where she has an incredibly strong pinky, which she uses to uppercut one of the guards at the IRS building. Making this even better is the sound effect that fans of the popular Super Smash Bros. video games will recognize, as the Daniels told Newsweek:
The home run bat sound effect is up there with the Metal Gear Solid alert warning when it comes to recognizable noises, and added a nice touch to the detail-rich movie.
Jamie Lee Curtis Was Inspired By Her Daddy And Them Character For The Look Of Deidre
No member of the Everything Everywhere All at Once cast looked like they were having as much fun with their roles as Jamie Lee Curtis with her portrayal of Deidre. Before she was giving Marvel a hard time about the multiverse, and generally singing the praises of the movie, she helped craft the look of the character in the early stages. In an Instagram post, Curtis revealed that the look of her character was inspired by one of her former roles, that of Elaine in the 2001 dark comedy, Daddy and Them.
According to the Halloween star, she told the Daniels of her inspiration before working with the costume, hair, and make-up departments to bring the Deidre to life.
Michelle Yeoh Made A Major Change To The Rock Scene
The sequence where Evelyn and Joy enter a universe in which they are turned into rocks provided a much-needed change of pace in the latter half of Everything Everywhere All at Once, and the deafening silence of the scene really drove home the multiversal struggle between mother and daughter. However, the scene originally looked, er, sounded much different.
In the director commentary, the Daniels revealed that the screenplay originally called for Joy and Evelyn to speak throughout the sequence until Michelle Yeoh suggested a major change. According to the filmmakers, Yeoh thought it would work better if it was just subtitled, describing it as a zen garden feeling.
Jamie Lee Curtis Was Bruised Up After The Hot Dog Finger Scene
Everything Everywhere All at Once featured some truly remarkable universes that were both extremely weird and incredibly beautiful, like the the one in which Yeoh and Curtis’ characters have hot dog fingers. The scene, which Yeoh described as “the most beautiful love story in that universe” when speaking with Variety, actually ended with an injury of sorts after she and Curtis decided to go for it:
In a movie that featured characters being thrown through walls, onto the ground, and whipped around in office chairs, it’s quite ironic that an emotional scene involving hot dog fingers led to on-set injuries.
How The Lyrics To ‘Absolutely’ Made Their Way Into The Script
If a key scene involving Waymond and Evelyn in the early parts of Everything Everywhere All at Once sounds like the dialogue was taken directly from Nine Days’ 2000 rock track, “Absolutely (Story of a Girl),” there’s a simple explanation for that: they were, just not intentionally. In an interview with Mashable following the film’s release, Daniel Kwan revealed how it came to be:
Daniel Scheinert added by saying the lines were in the script for years, and they considered cutting it until the filmmakers reached out to Nine Days' lead singer, John Hampson. The musician was so keen on the idea he ended up recording three different versions of the song that were used throughout the movie.
These are just some of the behind-the-scenes facts from the making of Everything Everywhere All at Once, as there is a limitless amount of tidbits of information and easter eggs waiting to be explored in one of the most inventive 2022 movies to come out so far.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.