Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “Boomerang”
It’s no secret that black films thrived in the late eighties and early nineties. So it’s no surprise that Boomerang came along when it did. Released in 1992, the film started off as Eddie Murphy’s brainchild. The movie was a hit, becoming the 18th highest grossing film of the year. By now, you’ve probably seen the movie, but we bet you don’t know some of the behind the scenes secrets. Well don’t worry sweetness, we’re going to share the knowledge.
Eartha Kitt wasn’t feeling Lady Eloise’s scandalous ways.
Director Reginald Hudlin has said that Eartha Kitt was the hardest person to secure for the film. She was hesitant because she was offended by some of the things her character was supposed to do and say in the script. Considering Lady Eloise was pretty slutacious for an old lady, it’s hard to imagine she was even more over the top. Once the changes were made, Kitt agreed to participate in the movie and we’re glad she did. Hudlin said that once Kitt was on board, she was a joy to work with. He also mentioned that while on set, Kitt would get out of her chair by locking her arms, lifting all of her weight and kicking her legs to propel herself outward. The woman was a beast.
Hollywood believed in Eddie
Eddie Murphy’s career has been so long that it can be easy to forget the quantity of quality work he put out in early ’90s. The man had(has?) major pull in the industry. And when they love you, they really love you. Originally, Boomerang was allotted a $2 million dollar budget. But judging by Murphy’s previous successes in addition to Hudlin’s success with House Party, the budget increased to $40 million. It turned out to be a good decision as the picture grossed $131 million the year it was released.
Boomerang birthed the union between Martin and Tisha Campbell-Martin
As I mentioned, Reginald Hudlin had just directed “House Party,” so he was familiar with both Tisha and Martin’s work. On set, he kept raving about how talented they both were and Eddie suggested that he cast both of them in the next movie he put together. Martin overheard the conversation and apparently, he agreed. When he caught his big break, he remembered his “House Party” and Boomerang cast mate, Tisha and the rest is history.
Ladies, beware of the panthers
Remember when Robin Givens introduces the new face of Lady Eloise cosmetics, Strange, and she rode in on a chariot drawn by burly white men? Well, those white guys were a back up plan. The director originally wanted panthers but that wasn’t feasible. The panther trainers told Hudlin that if any of the women on set were menstruating, the panthers might attack at the scent of blood. Jesus, can you imagine?! A bad situation all the way around. So yes the men, and not the panthers, will do. Thanks.
Boyz II Men are better than Elvis
If you’ve never heard the Boomerang soundtrack, you’ve been missing out. Or maybe you haven’t because every other song on the album became a mainstream hit. Orchestrated by L.A. Reid and Babyface, the album was a break out moment for Toni Braxton and even Boyz II Men. Though hardly featured in the actual film itself, “The End of the Road” was Boyz II Men’s first number one single and the biggest hit on the soundtrack. The song held down the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 straight weeks, breaking Elvis Presley’s record.
The Gays weren’t feeling Eddie back in the day…
Remember when Robin Givens’ character, Jacqueline, was going around bragging about Marcus’ skills in the sack? She told the whole office and eventually blabbed to Strange. Well Strange was trying to get some of that. So she very forwardly propositioned Marcus, asking him if he wanted that “hidden cat.” I guess the fact that Strange couldn’t advance his career in any way was enough to make him decline. Strange was so persistent that Marcus lied, saying he was gay. That admission was purposeful in the script. After Murphy’s Raw came out, gay organizations accused Eddie of being homophobic. The director used this gag to not only prove that the character Marcus was comfortable in his sexuality, but to also comment on the homophobic accusations. These days Eddie is accused of being the complete opposite… Just goes to show that you can never please everybody. Somebody will always have something to say.
Did you learn something today? Do you know any other interesting tidbits about this classic movie?
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