Over the years, Elf has become a beloved classic Christmas movie for families to enjoy. In 2003, Director John Favreau brought writer David Berenbaum’s script to life with help of an all star cast including James Caan, Bob Newhart, and Will Ferrell. Whether you love it or hate it, it has quite the history and its fair share of behind the scenes fun facts!
The Elf That Never Was With Chis Farley
When David Berenbaum’s finished his script in 1993, Elf was originally shopped around to studios with a fresh new face to Hollywood attached to it, Jim Carrey. This was pre Ace Ventura Carrey, so his star power hadn’t began to shine yet. The script would eventually be optioned by the Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA), but they wanted a rising star for the main character of Buddy: Tommy Boy himself, Chris Farley. Berenbaum thought that it would not have been the movie he envisioned with Farley, so he decided to delay things for a year until MPCA’s option ran out, and then look for another studio. That delay would cost him another several years until the script would end up at New Line Cinema. New Line didn’t have much faith in the film, but decided to green light it anyway with a $30 million budget.
Elf Sweet Tooth Sickness
The scene when Buddy eats different candies and pastries with the spaghetti noodles had to be shot twice, because Will Ferrell had to vomit the first time. In fact Will Ferrell claimed to have suffered from headaches and insomnia throughout filming becuase he would actually eat all of the sugary Elf food on camera: Syrup, candy canes, chocolate, mints, soda, and so much more!
“Just The Facts M’am”
- Several traffic accidents occurred when Will Ferrell walked through the Lincoln Tunnel in his costume, because people were so surprised to see him wearing an elf outfit.
- Director Jon Favreau used a remote control to trigger the Jack in the Box toys to get the startled reactions from Will Ferrell.
- Wanda Sykes had to back out of the Gimbel’s manager role at the last minute so Faizon Love insisted on still wearing the name tag made for Sykes that says “Wanda”.
- The scene where the fake Santa is chasing Buddy had to be done in one take, because it was too hard to rebuild everything.
- The apartment in which Buddy’s dad lives is the same apartment building (exterior shot) in which Dana Barrett lived in Ghostbusters (1984).
- Buddy’s twelve-second belch was supplied by voice actor Maurice LaMarche, best-known for his cartoon character, “The Brain”, from Pinky and the Brain (1995)
- A cameo by Peter Billingsley, who starred as Ralphie Parker in the classic holiday film A Christmas Story (1983) as the Elf named Ming Ming.