The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.
Based on true events, Foxcatcher tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers. When Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to the du Pont estate and help form a team to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics at his new state-of-the-art training facility, Schultz jumps at the opportunity, hoping to focus on his training and finally step out of the shadow of his revered brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). Driven by hidden needs, du Pont sees backing Schultz's bid for Gold and the chance to "coach" a world-class wrestling team as an opportunity to gain the elusive respect of his peers and, more importantly, his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave). Flattered by the attention and entranced by du Pont's majestic world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as a father figure and grows increasingly.
Revealing Mistakes Early in the film the school secretary writes a check to Mark for $20 and dates it March 1987. Later, du Pont writes a check to Mark for $10,000 and dates it May 1987, indicating that two months have passed. But the exterior shots in between these two scenes show trees with the brilliant colors of autumn.
Miscellaneous At the hotel after the US trials in Pensacola, David knocks on John DuPont's assistant's hotel door which has a key card lock. Keycards were invented in 1979, but were not in widespread use until the early 2000s. It might be possible, but unlikely used in a cheap motel where the wrestlers stayed.
Miscellaneous When Mark loads the tyre into the trunk of his car and starts driving off to John du Pont's residence; as soon as he cuts into the road, there is a White Toyota Camry XV20 (1997-2001) parked in front of his building.
Miscellaneous When the wrestling team is watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship in his house it is 1987. The Ultimate Fighting Championship didn't air until 1993 and that specific fight didn't air until 1996.
Miscellaneous The helicopter used in a number of scenes (having taken place in 1988) was a Bell 407 which was not in production until 1995.
Continuity When the nurse wheels in DuPont's mother to watch the wrestlers training, the nurse has a stethoscope around her neck. Subsequent shots show the nurse without the stethoscope. The stethoscope appears and disappears between successive shots.
It is rumored that Tatum's stunt double, Mark Foran, who is a hockey fighter and former wrestler from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada would train with Tatum and Ruffalo every night, putting the actors through grueling workouts.
Brock Lesnar appears in background during the weigh-in scene in a two second shot.
Mark Schultz has said this is an accurate film.
Originally, Bennett Miller was supposed to be in production with this film project back in 2011 but got sidetracked stepping in for Steven Soderbergh on the directorial duties for Moneyball (2011)
Because the project took so many years to get off the ground, many actors were considered for the lead roles. Heath Ledger, Ryan Gosling and Bill Nighy were strongly considered for the lead roles in the early stages of production.
According to Bennett Miller's comments at a screening, a rough cut of the film was more than four hours long.
Steve Carell wore various prosthetic noses with camera and lighting tests. His makeup took two hours to put on, including hairstyling and makeup to change his skin tone.
Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo would film all day, and then go to intense wrestling practice. By the end of the shoot, they were so exhausted that according to Tatum, both he and Ruffalo cried after their final practice.
One of the young wrestlers that David Schultz trained was Kurt Angle, who would end up being a WWE and TNA wrestling star. He was part of Team Foxcatcher at the time of the movie's events, preparing for the 1996 Summer Olympics. He would go on to win gold for Team USA in the heavyweight class, and dedicated the medal to Schultz's memory.
In the mirror bashing scene Channing Tatum actually broke the mirror, which was not in the script. However, he got so into his role that it led him to act with such intensity.
Before filming a particularly dark scene, Bennett Miller made Steve Carell write on a piece of paper the thing that he hates the most about himself and then put it in his pocket. Miller told Carell, "Just have it right there, and know that it's in a place where, if I was a dick, I could just grab it." According to Miller, the result is the favorite thing that he has put on film.
Steve Carell studied video footage of John duPont for hours. Carell told reporters after the film's screening at the Cannes Film Festival "I watched as much as I could, I read as much as I could about him and tried to get semblance about the type of person he was." According to director Bennett Miller, Carell's career as a comic actor hadn't suggested that he was right for the role until he had lunch with the actor. Miller said upon Carell's casting "I think all comedians are dark."
According to Channing Tatum, he and Mark Ruffalo spent an intensive five to six months training for wrestling, which had taken its toll on the actors. During one particularly physical take, Channing insisted to Ruffalo to "to just slap the shit out of me and get it over with", which resulted in Channing's eardrum accidentally getting popped.
Gary Oldman was first choice for the role of Jon Du Pont.
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