American Animals Movie Poster

Trivia for American Animals

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  • American Animals was filmed on locations in and around Charlotte, N.C.
  • Purchased by MoviePass for theatrical release.
  • This is a true story about college students who stole a priceless book from Transylvania University, which is located in Lexington, Kentucky. Though the movie was filmed in North Carolina.
  • Bart Layton (writer/director) spoke at the Sydney premiere about his ambition to incorporate a heist scene from Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven (2001) in this film. Unfortunately the rights were refused at the time of production. Steven Soderbergh would later regret this decision after watching a screening of American Animals.
  • During filming the actors were not allowed to meet their real life counterparts because the director feared they would sympathise and/or play them in a certain light.
  • In the Accounting classroom, the portrait to the left of the chalkboard is Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.
  • In the supermarket you can see the Chilean flag which is similar to the Texan flag.
  • Darren Keith revealed Warren asked him for help with the heist as well but he denied the offer in hopes of pursuing his acting career.
  • Though most of the filming took place in Charlotte, all of the library scenes were filmed in Davidson College's library over the course of spring break, 2017. Every member of the library staff sent in their head shots to be cast in the film, but none of them made it onscreen.
  • The movie was filmed in the Davidson College Library during the week of Spring Break of 2017. Through the chaos of equipment, actors, extras, and all the technical people it takes to make a movie, the library staff continued to perform their jobs. Some of the staff were asked to submit their head shots to be cast in the film which resulted in one person being asked to be in the film. However, it was inconvenient for staff to take the time away from their jobs to be in the film, so, therefore, no staff person was in the film. But, if you look closely in the shots filmed in the library, there are offices with their blinds down. Staff are behind those blinds working diligently making sure the library still functioned.
  • John Waters named this film second among his top ten favorite films released in 2018.
  • During the opening sequence, several of the people being interviewed include a professor from the University of Kentucky, the parents of Spencer Reinhard, and the father of Warren Lipka.


  • The director originally approached Warren and the others about the film while they were still incarcerated for the crime. The resulting relationship that developed culminated in the final film, after they were released.
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