Se7en (Seven) Movie Poster

Trivia for Se7en (Seven)

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  • Brad Pitt earned $7 million for starring in this film.
  • The Platinum Series DVD of by New Line Cinema is mastered from a new HDTV transfer which was made directly from the camera negative. This required that the whole film had to be re-graded digitally, applying color and contrast correction to every shot under the director's supervision. The resulting HDTV master is now the official master of the film. The digital corrections are quite extensive in some shots as the DVD supplements demonstrate in detail.
  • A rejected version of the credits had the same scratchy handwriting and Coil-remixed "Closer", but used static images instead of the jumpy, blurred footage used currently. (This credit sequence is in the Criterion LaserDisc supplement section.)
  • Originally, Morgan Freeman drew his pistol with his finger on the trigger. Police officers that were on the set as technical advisors quickly corrected him, as that is not correct police procedure.
  • (Cameo) Alfonso Freeman: Morgan Freeman's son as a fingerprint technician.
  • The film was the subject of a lawsuit brought by a photographer, whose work was used in the background of John Doe's apartment. The case was decided in the filmmakers' favor. Sandoval v. New Line Cinema Corp., 973 F.Supp. 409, 412-414 (S.D.N.Y. 1997).
  • Brad Pitt fell while filming the scene in which Mills chases John Doe in the rain. Pitt's arm went through a car windshield, requiring surgery. The accident was worked into the script. Coincidentally, the original script called for Detective Mills to be injured during the sequence.
  • David Fincher said that he wanted someone who was incredibly skinny, around 90 pounds, to play Victor. When Michael Reid MacKay auditioned, he weighed 96 pounds. Fincher gave him the part, and jokingly told him to lose some more weight. Much to his surprise, MacKay had lost another six pounds when filming started.
  • New Line executives originally balked at the film's ending, but Brad Pitt refused to make the film if the ending was changed.
  • This was regarded as the first "A" production for New Line Cinema, proving that they could attract "A-list" directors and cast.
  • As preparation for his traumatic scene in the interrogation room, Leland Orser would breathe in and out rapidly, so that his body would be overly saturated with oxygen, giving him the ability to hyperventilate. He also did not sleep for a few days, in order to achieve his character's disoriented look.
  • Mills and William Somerset discuss the book "Of Human Bondage", which was written by W. Somerset Maugham.
  • All of John Doe's books were real books, written for the film. They took two months to complete, and cost $15,000. According to Morgan Freeman, two months is about the time it would take the police to read all the books.
  • According to earlier versions of the script, the unspoken name of the police Captain is Captain Lucas.
  • The word "fuck" and its derivatives are said a discernible 74 times throughout the movie, mostly by Brad Pitt.
  • The autopsy of the first killing, as originally scripted, was incorrect according to the research of make-up man Rob Bottin (who viewed a real human autopsy as part of his prep work). The scene was truncated from the original script, and shows only the sewn-up corpse of gluttony, not the actual autopsy.
  • Andrew Kevin Walker had a very hard time getting a studio to buy the rights to his script because he was a complete unknown in Hollywood. Allegedly, he put together a list of agents that represented writers that work in the crime and thriller genres, and called each one until he got a positive response.
  • When Somerset is in his apartment, he can be heard listening to a radio broadcast of John F. McClellan. McLellan was a Boston disc jockey (among other things) who did live Tuesday night broadcasts from the Boston club Storyville, on WHDH radio in the early 1950s. In the clip in the movie, you can hear McLellan's voice announcing some of the members of the band at Storyville that night, including Charlie Parker with Herb Pomeroy on trumpet.
  • This was voted the eighth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • David Cronenberg was offered a chance to direct this, but he turned it down.
  • Denzel Washington turned down the part that went to Brad Pitt, telling Entertainment Weekly that the film was too "dark and evil." Washington later regretted his decision upon seeing a screening.
  • (Cameo) Charles S. Dutton: The cop who keeps the press out of the "greed" crime scene. Dutton had a substantial role in director David Fincher's previous movie Alien³ (1992).
  • Andrew Kevin Walker wrote the script over a two-year period while working at a branch of Tower Records.
  • An edited-out sequence near the beginning had Somerset looking over the country house into which he's planning on moving. He uses his switchblade to cut loose a rose on a fragment of silk wallpaper and carries it with him throughout the movie. The rose falls out of his jacket as he is taking off his gun, before eating with the Mills family. (This touch was edited out, too. Both sequences are in the supplementary section of the Criterion LaserDisc.) The rose is briefly visible in the opening scene, sitting atop a handkerchief on Somerset's dresser.
  • The original script had a strange, dwarf-like woman as part of the forensics team, appearing in every one of the "clean-ups" after a murder and hurling foul language and epithets at Somerset and Mills.
  • The box full of photographs at the "sloth" scene has written on the side "To the World, from Me."
  • (Cameo) Andrew Kevin Walker: the first corpse.
  • David Fincher was impressed with Gwyneth Paltrow's work in Flesh and Bone (1993). She was his first choice for the role of Brad Pitt's wife. Paltrow was initially not interested, so Fincher asked her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt to convince her to meet with him.
  • When Mills lists motives that killers give, one of them is "Jodie Foster told me to do it." John Hinckley, Jr., who was obsessed with Foster, attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, in order to impress her. Mills also says "My dog told me to do it." David Berkowitz, a.k.a. the "Son of Sam", a serial killer who terrorized New York City in the summers of 1976 and 1977, claimed that his neighbor's dog was possessed, and told him to commit murder.
  • The police badge used in the film does not identify the setting, it only says 'Metropolitan', similar to the Police Academy franchise.
  • Robert Duvall was offered the role of Somerset, but turned it down.
  • Kevin Costner and Nicolas Cage were briefly considered for the role of David Mills.
  • In early stages of production, Al Pacino was considered for the role of Somerset, but he declined due to scheduling conflicts with City Hall (1996).
  • Surprisingly, this enjoyed some degree of success in post-revolutionary Iran, where it did well at the box office (this was prior to the hardline Iranian regime taking control, and effectively outlawing anything pro-Western). Its success in Iran can partly be attributed to the fact that the film's cinematographer, Darius Khondji, hails from that country.
  • Sylvester Stallone turned down the role of Mills. He told Ain't It Cool News that this was a mistake.
  • Val Kilmer turned down the role of John Doe.
  • Christina Applegate turned down the role of Tracey.
  • Guillermo del Toro turned down the chance to direct, because, as a romantic, he didn't subscribe to the script's dark view of the world.
  • The primary influence for the film's screenplay came from Andrew Kevin Walker's time spent in New York City while trying to make it as a screenwriter. "I didn't like my time in New York, but it's true, that if I hadn't lived there, I probably wouldn't have written Se7en."
  • The seven deadly sins are: Lust - to have an intense desire or need: "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Gluttony - excess in eating and drinking: "for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags" (Proverbs 23:21). Greed - excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness: "Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more" (Ephesians 4:19). Sloth - also known as laziness; disinclined to activity or exertion: not energetic or vigorous: "The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway" (Proverbs 15:19). Wrath - strong vengeful anger or indignation: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1) Envy - painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage: "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" (1 Peter 2:1-2). Pride - quality or state of being proud - inordinate self esteem: "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).
  • The Japanese LaserDisc suggested retail price was ¥8000.
  • The U.S. LaserDisc suggested retail price was $49.99.
  • The U.S. Criterion Collection LaserDisc suggested retail price was $124.95.
  • The UK LaserDisc suggested retail price was ?24.99.
  • The U.S. Criterion Collection LaserDisc includes a new widescreen (2.35:1) digital transfer supervised by David Fincher, new surround sound mix supervised by sound designer Ren Klyce, optimized for home theater listening, Discrete 5.1 channel Dolby AC-3 soundtrack, screen-specific audio commentary by Fincher, Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, production designer Arthur Max, and special make-up effects designer Rob Bottin, deleted scenes, outtakes, dailies, crime scene photographs, production design sketches, and storyboards, a study of the opening credit sequence, including storyboards, and an early version with commentary by designer Kyle Cooper, a visual essay and commentary by Rob Bottin, The Killer's photographs, with notes by photographer Melodie McDaniel, The Killer's diaries, hundreds of behind the scenes photos, production and publicity stills, and proposed promotional artwork, the original widescreen theatrical trailer, eight television spots, and behind-the-scenes footage.
  • During the scene, before Mills and Somerset walk into the District Attorney's office, the camera zooms onto a newspaper announcing the murder. A small article in the corner of the front page says "Housekeeper Held Hostage By Child's Possessed Gerbil Three Days of Terror". Another says "Neighbors Beagle scares teen cures 8-year bout with hiccups".
  • The "song" playing when Mills and Somerset arrive at the "lust" crime scene is called, of course, Lust. The song, which is only 56 seconds long, was created specifically for that scene in the film by sound designers Ren Klyce and Steve Boeddeker.
  • Jeff Cronenweth started as a camera operator in the film, but when Darius Khondji moved to Stealing Beauty (1996), Cronenweth and Harris Savides did about two weeks of additional photography inserts and pickup jobs for the movie. They ended up shooting the entire end sequence again, at a remote desert area.
  • Make-up for the 'sloth' victim took over fourteen hours.
  • For the greed scene, Gene Borkan, who plays the victim, was hog-tied and only wearing his underwear for most of shooting, and he was covered in over two gallons of fake blood. The blood was so thick and sticky that his knees became stuck to the floor.
  • For the gluttony scene, seven crates of cockroaches were released on the set and poured on Bob Mack. Something had to be put in Mack's ears and nose to stop the cockroaches from crawling in. It didn't stop them from crawling into his underwear.
  • At one point, Harrison Ford was considered for the role of Somerset.
  • In the opening credits, a reworked version of "Closer" by 'Nine Inch Nails' can be heard. Trent Reznor (the lead in the band) would later attach to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), The Social Network (2010), and Gone Girl (2014), all David Fincher properties, to create the musical scores. Additionally, although Reznor was only involved by proxy in this film, the opening title sequence won awards, as did the music in the following three films.
  • When Mills and Somerset are sitting in the diner, you can see a poster with the words "New York City Pizza."
  • Jeremiah S. Chechik was attached to direct at one point.
  • Andrew Kevin Walker envisioned William Hurt as Somerset. William Hurt would go on to play a police detective in Dark City (1998).
  • Andrew Kevin Walker named William Somerset after his favorite author, W. Somerset Maugham.
  • At the time, David Fincher had not read a script for a year and a half since after the frustrating experience of making Alien³ (1992) for 20th Century Fox; he said, "I thought I'd rather die of colon cancer than do another movie". However, producer Arnold Kopelson had a very low opinion of the executives at Fox at the time, and remembered how actress Sigourney Weaver had defended the young director in the media. He pitched the concept of the movie to Fincher, who eventually agreed to direct the film because he was drawn to the script, which he found to be a "connect-the-dots movie that delivers about inhumanity. It's psychologically violent. It implies so much, not about why you did but how you did it". He found it more a "meditation on evil" rather than a "police procedural".
  • David Fincher approached making the film like a "tiny genre movie, the kind of movie Friedkin might have made after The Exorcist (1973)."
  • David Fincher allowed Andrew Kevin Walker on the set while filming, for on-set rewrites.
  • According to David Fincher, the camerawork was influenced by C.O.P.S. (1988), "how the camera is in the backseat peering over people's shoulder".
  • David Fincher was initially turned off by the screenplay, because it sounded too much like a generic buddy cop movie.
  • David Fincher said on the DVD commentary that he felt bad for the actor who had to wear all the hot, heavy gluttony prosthetics, so to compensate, he made him well-endowed.
  • The film's brooding, dark look was achieved through a chemical process called bleach bypass. The silver in the film stock was not removed, which deepened the dark, shadowy images in the film.
  • According to Brad Pitt, there was originally a scene where Mills and Somerset discussed "thumb recall"; cut off the thumb of anyone convicted of a violent crime, and there's no way they'd be able to fire a gun. The scene was ultimately cut from the film, because they were afraid someone would "roll with it."
  • Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
  • David Fincher named the detectives in Fight Club (1999), Andrew, Kevin, and Walker, after this film's screenwriter, Andrew Kevin Walker. Needless to say, Walker did uncredited rewrites for Fight Club (1999).
  • David Fincher thought that Morgan Freeman would turn down the role, thinking he'd feel the film was "too down market." But he was the first one to eagerly join the cast.
  • Gene Hackman was offered the role of Somerset, but turned it down because of too many night shoots.
  • Brad Pitt said one reason he took this role was "to escape the cheese" after Legends of the Fall (1994).
  • Brad Pitt bought his own ties for the movie. He wanted Mills to have poor fashion sense.
  • Brad Pitt said that Gwyneth Paltrow's character is "the only sunshine we have in the film."
  • Brad Pitt praised Kevin Spacey's performance saying, "He's got more control on it than I do."
  • David Fincher told Kevin Spacey and Brad Pitt "this is not going to be the movie that you're remembered for, but it may be a movie you're incredibly proud of."
  • David Fincher wanted the credits to look like a killer had written them.
  • Like Mills, Andrew Kevin Walker didn't know all of the seven deadly sins until he did research.
  • According to David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman were perfect during the first read-through of the script.
  • A cockroach expert used Vaseline to keep bugs on the set.
  • The filmmakers decided it should always be raining for two reasons: It added a sense of dread; and they never had to worry about bad weather.
  • When writing the script, Andrew Kevin Walker thought that Doe and Somerset should be of equal intelligence.
  • David Fincher told his crew he wanted to make a black and white film in color. To do this, he used cinematographer Darius Khondji, who was known for his perfume ads.
  • In 2001, the Patriot Act gave the government the ability to monitor library records, something which at one point halfway through the film is stated to not be necessarily legal.
  • David Fincher was determined to make the film without compromising his vision. On his first film, Alien³ (1992), Fincher battled with the studio and was fired three times.
  • Brad Pitt didn't take his shirt off in the film because Legends of the Fall (1994) had just made him a sex symbol. Still, he won the MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Male for this role.
  • The Mills' apartment is built on a shake-able platform. The crew would trick visitors to the set with "instant earthquakes".
  • The Glimmer Twins is the nickname of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. David Fincher won a Grammy for directing The Rolling Stones' video for "Love is Strong."
  • A metronome, shown in one of the scenes, is often symbolic of patience, steadiness, and making order from chaos. It also marks the passing of time as Somerset waits and waits.
  • One of the scenes was shot in the Ambassador Hotel, where Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.
  • Howard Shore also scored The Silence of the Lambs (1991), another film about a serial killer.
  • "Closer" by 'Nine Inch Nails' is one of the songs featured in the movie. Trent Reznor later won an Oscar for scoring David Fincher's The Social Network (2010).
  • The name of Jodie Foster is mentioned in this film as a reference of murderer's obsessions. Jodie Foster starred Panic Room (2002), directed by David Fincher.
  • Before Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt were cast, Al Pacino and Denzel Washington were early choices for Somerset and Mills, respectively. Pacino declined, as he was already scheduled to film City Hall (1996), and Washington turned down the offer, deeming the film to be "too dark." Both actors have expressed regret in not taking their individual offers.
  • The third slowest film to reach $100 million at the U.S. box office, after Shakespeare in Love (1998) (which also featured Gwyneth Paltrow) and Unforgiven (1992).
  • After David Mills (Pitt) chased John Doe (Spacey) through his apartment building at the end of the scene, Brad Pitt actually did hurt his left arm. The office scenes of Pitt and Freeman were shot later, so Pitt's left arm had to be hidden. When Pitt moved into his office (where Freeman was in his chair during a phone call), you could see Pitt's hand was a bit purple and swollen from his injury.
  • David Fincher and Brad Pitt's first film together.
  • 57 minutes into the movie Gwyneth Paltrow's character meets with Morgan Freeman's at a diner. The source music (music being played through the diner's speakers as opposed to score) is the theme from the movie The Third Man.
  • The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
  • Somerset reveals to Mills and Tracey that his first name is William. William is Brad Pitt's real first name.
  • Titled "Se7en", the film runs for 127 minutes long, and the 35mm prints are made up of 7 reels.
  • As evidenced by one of the crime scene photographs, Gluttony was discovered dead on 20 June 1995.
  • The credits of this film run backwards from top to bottom in comparison with traditional credits rolls, which run from the bottom to the top of the screen.
  • Both the closing and opening credits mention neither screenplay nor screenwriter.
  • "Se7en" ended up setting an odd record when it was recognized by a popular electronic-trivia system used in the U.S. as part of a question that was easily the most wrongly-answered one in the system's history. The question was, "What city does SE7EN take place in?" Most respondents answered New York City, with the remainder being divided between other Northeastern cities (including Boston and Philadelphia) and only a few correctly answering that the location of the film is unspecified.
  • Coincidentally, the seventh highest grossing film of 1995.
  • Spent 4 consecutive weeks at the top of the US box office charts.
  • Shot over a period of 55 days.
  • Brad Pitt considers this to be one of the most perfect films he's ever made.
  • David Fincher had his production designer Arthur Max look at films like Klute (1971) and Malice (1993) to give him an idea of what kind of world he wanted created.
  • At 7 minutes before the end of the film, smack in the middle of the most dramatic scene of the entire movie, a subliminal picture is shown for a fraction of a second. It is shown at 1. hour and 52 minutes and 53 seconds. It's exactly during the most terrifying moment of the entire picture, when Brad Pitt gets to look inside the box and Morgan Freeman warns him NOT to look inside. At that particular moment blink once with your eyes and you have missed it, but if you freeze frame around that particular time then you will see a woman's face appear in a flash of a second.
  • Although the location of the city is never explicitly given, there is a scene in a cafe where Mills and Somerset are waiting for Mark Boone jr's character where a poster behind them is advertising "New York pizza". Although this restaurant is called New York Pizza Express, it is actually in Hollywood, California.
  • Somerset drives John Doe and Mills out to the setting where the final sins are revealed. This harkens back to Morgan Freeman's chauffeur role as Hoke Colburn in Driving Miss Daisy.
  • Even though this movie took place in Los Angeles, CA, there were some scenes actually filmed in New York City.

Spoilers

  • R. Lee Ermey originally auditioned for the part of John Doe. After the part was given to Kevin Spacey, Ermey was offered, and took, the part of the police captain.
  • The victim tied to the bed for a year was not an animatronic model, but a very skinny actor made up to look even more corpse-like. Rob Bottin used a set of exaggerated teeth to make the head look smaller and more shrunken from malnutrition.
  • The producers intended that Kevin Spacey should receive top billing at the start of the movie, but he insisted that his name not appear in the opening credits, so as to surprise the audience with the identity of the killer. To compensate, he is listed twice in the closing credits: once before the credits start rolling, and once in the rolling credits in order of appearance. Another advantage from Spacey's point of view, as he saw it, was that he was excluded from the film's marketing during its release, meaning he didn't have to make any public appearances or do any interviews.
  • The prison jumpsuit John Doe wears at the end of the film has the words "Bardach County Jail" written on it. Elinor Bardach was the costume supervisor for this movie.
  • The ending in the movie is the ending in the original draft of the screenplay that the actors and director had signed on to. Producer Arnold Kopelson had it re-written, and the ending was changed to John Doe kidnapping Tracy, with Mills and Somerset racing to save her life. When David Fincher, Brad Pitt, and Morgan Freeman read the new ending, they all demanded that the original ending be put back in, or they wouldn't do the movie. (From the Platinum Series DVD).
  • The script was re-written several times because the studio was uncomfortable with the bleak ending, and tried to soften it up a bit. In one version, there were additional scenes after the final confrontation between the detectives and John Doe. As Mills is preparing to shoot John Doe, Somerset tries to intervene with his switchblade. However, Mills quickly responds by shooting Somerset in the shoulder, and subsequently killing Doe. The scene then resumes two weeks later, as Somerset is recovering in the hospital. He is visited by the captain who tells him that Mills will be presented at court the next day. The captain also delivers a letter to Somerset from Mills. Opening it, it contains a note saying "You were right. You were right about everything."
  • R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe was briefly considered for the role of John Doe.
  • Even though he's probably one of the most horrifying and sadistic killers in cinematic history, John Doe isn't seen killing anyone on screen.
  • All the building numbers in the opening scene start with 7. The climactic delivery was scheduled for seven p.m.
  • To appease the producers, who wanted to soften the dramatic ending a bit, an alternate version of the ending was storyboarded (although the director and actors had little intention of ever filming it). In this ending, before Mills has the chance to kill John Doe, Somerset says that he "wants out", turns his gun on Doe and fatally shoots him. A shocked Mills asks "What are you doing?", to which Somerset replies "I'm retiring". By killing John Doe, Somerset prevents Doe from winning, and Mills from ending up in jail. In the mean time, the crew shot a test ending, which is basically the theatrical ending without some of the dramatic close-up shots. This finale was so well received in screenings that it convinced the producers to go along with it, and not even film the alternate ending.
  • One of the re-written endings of the film involved John Doe kidnapping Mills. Somerset discovers that John Doe was raised by an abusive priest in a church orphanage. He finally traces Doe to a decrepit church decorated with artwork depicting the Seven Deadly Sins, where Doe is intent on making Somerset murder him out of vengeance. As Somerset arrives, Doe has cut a cross in Mills' chest, has suspended him above an altar and shoots him. Mills finally dies in Somerset's arms as the church is set on fire. Doe and Somerset subsequently engage in a shootout, with Somerset wounding Doe and letting him die in the flames. The script ends with Mills' funeral.
  • It is raining every day in the movie except for the last day. The reason is less about thematic issues and more about continuity. It rained on the first day that Brad Pitt filmed so they kept it going as they were rushing to do all of Pitt's scenes before he left to go make Twelve Monkeys (1995).
  • Kevin Spacey was cast two days before filming began.
  • Kevin Spacey as the antagonist, John Doe, made his first appearance in the film as the photographer taking pictures of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman at the sloth crime scene. If you pause the film, when Pitt's character is slapping the camera out of the photographer's hand (at around 54 mins), you can clearly see that it is Kevin Spacey.
  • The director and actors wanted the film to end with a cut to black right after Mills shoots John Doe, followed by the end credits. New Line requested that a coda would be shot following John Doe's death, after poor test screenings regarding the dark ending. The ending narration of Somerset quoting Ernest Hemingway was added as a compromise, for which neither David Fincher nor Morgan Freeman particularly cared.
  • At exactly seven minutes into the film, Mills gets a call that starts the seven murders. With exactly seven minutes left of the film, Somerset says to a distraught Mills: "he will win," regarding John Doe.
  • The opening murder that Somerset is investigating in this film foreshadows the ending. Both are murders, or "crimes of passion".
  • The only murder that is shown on-screen is when Mills shoots John Doe while in police custody at the end of the movie. The rest of the murders occur off-screen with only their grisly aftermaths shown.
  • The apartment number of Mills, is 5A. The fifth deadly sin is wrath, which is the sin that Mills commits at the climax of the film.
  • Morgan Freeman remembers the original ending as having Somerset shoot John Doe instead of Mills' doing it. He liked this ending, reasoning that the younger detective would still have a life after the events of the film. It was Brad Pitt's argument that "[Mills] has got to shoot the killer in the end. He doesn't do the 'right' thing, he does the thing of passion" that convinced everyone that it was Mills who would have to shoot John Doe in the end.
  • Before filming began, Kevin Spacey asked David Fincher if he should shave his head and he told him "If you do it, I'll do it" and so they were both bald for the rest of the film.
  • Sloth is the third deadly sin, the sloth victim is found in a third floor apartment.
  • Detective Mills shoots John Doe six times.
  • Just before Detective Mills shoots John Doe, a single frame (1/24th of a second) of Tracy flashes, approximately at 2:00:13.
  • When filming the "sloth" victim scene, the SWAT officers were not told that the victim was still alive. When the victim coughs and scares the SWAT officers, that reaction is real.
  • The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Brad Pitt
  • The ending of the screenplay, with the head in the box, was originally part of an earlier draft that New Line had rejected, instead opting for an ending that involved more traditional elements of a detective thriller film with more action-oriented elements. But when New Line sent David Fincher the screenplay to review for his interest in the project, they accidentally sent him the original screenplay with the head-in-the-box ending. When New Line realized that they had sent Fincher the wrong draft, the president of production, Michael De Luca, met with Fincher and noted that there was internal pressure to retain the revised version; De Luca stated that if Fincher promised to make the movie, they would be able to stay with the head-in-a-box ending. Despite this, producer Arnold Kopelson tried to get rid of the head-in-a-box scene. However, after reading the initial script, Brad Pitt had actually agreed to do the film on the condition that "the head stays in the box"; he joined Fincher in arguing for keeping this original scene, noting that his previous film Legends of the Fall (1994) had its emotional ending cut after negative feedback from test audiences, and refusing to do Se7en unless the head-in-the-box scene remained.
  • An alternate ending revealed that John Doe did not murder Mills' wife, only substituting a look-a-like. Mills then has no justification for killing an unarmed man, and will spend the rest of his life in jail. Somerset decides not to retire, and instead gives his country house to Mills' wife and her unborn baby.
  • After the first cut of the film was shown to the studio, they attempted to mitigate the bleakness of the ending by replacing Mills' wife's head with that of a dog, or by not having Mills fire on John Doe.
  • Between both Mills and Somerset, they fire seven shots from their side arms at the end of the film. Six from Mills, and one from Somerset.
  • Body Count: 7
  • The body count is 8. That includes John Doe, Tracy, and the homicide that Somerset was investigating before he meets Mills.
  • When Detectives Mills and Somerset are searching John Doe's apartment, take a closer look at the receipt for Wild Bill's Leather Shop. The hand-written portion under the description section reads "CUSTOM LEATHER." The "C" in "Custom" is written in a way that could be seen as an "L." If you freeze-frame that moment, it looks like it says "Lust." This is a nod to one of Doe's next crimes he will commit pertaining to the 7 deadly sins.
  • John Doe, the killer, doesn't fully reveal himself until 90 minutes into the film.
  • Having played the victim of a serial killer, Leland Orser four years later played a cop who pursues a serial killer in Resurrection (1999), and a few months later he gets to play the perpetrator in The Bone Collector (1999).
  • The first shot of Gwyneth Paltrow at the beginning of the film primarily shows her head, partially obscured, foreshadowing her eventual fate.
  • an early scene in the film foreshadows the ending. When Somerset lists the Seven Deadly Sins for the first time in the police precinct, at the last Sin he pauses and turns to Mills as he says "....and Wrath."
  • In the climax scene, Somerset sees the box and runs back in horror. John Doe has revealed his final plan to Mills. In this scene, we see Mills going through all stages of Grief namely, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
  • Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey appeared together in Outbreak (1995) same year Se7en (1995) was released.
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