The Fountain is, at it’s core, the love story between a man and woman that are destined to love each other forever but be parted by circumstance again and again. The three distinct story lines that are told within the movie are nonlinear and yet have so much to do with one another that they do intersect and interact with each other throughout the movie in very subtle ways. For all that Tom, Tomas, and Tommy try to save the love of their life however they fall just short of the goal and come to realize that death is inevitable, as is the life that comes as a result.
It’s a very deep film that you need to pay close attention to.
10. There was no CGI used in this film.
Or if there was it was very little since Aronofsky wanted to preserve the film as much as possible and avoid using any cheesy effects.
9. Twenty of the Mayan extras were actual Mayans.
Fernando Hernandez was the only one that spoke English and he played the Lord of Xibalba. Plus, the Mayans blessed the set before proceeding.
8. The two leads agree to work at a reduced rate.
The budget for this film was fairly low but Weisz and Jackman believed in it so they were willing to take a cut in pay.
7. The film originally starred Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchette.
Pitt and Aronofsky had unsettled creative differences and Pitt walked away from the movie to make Troy. When Jackman was cast Blanchette was replaced by Weisz.
6. Hugh Jackman had to shave off every hair on his head and chest for the final third of the movie.
To play the part of Tommy the space traveler Jackman had to shave completely in an effort to make him appear more zen-like.
5. Each segment of the film is 500 years apart.
The conquistador portion is set in the 16th century, the modern day part is in 2005, and the future portion is in 2500, so roughly five hundred years apart.
4. Rachel Weisz read about and visited terminally ill people for her role.
She would read stories and articles on those that had been diagnosed as terminally ill, visit hospitals, and speak with people occasionally that would consent to see her.
3. Jackman played three different characters.
The conquistador represented the unstoppable force of nature, always looking forward, while the scientist was burdened with the guilt of not being able to find a cure to save his love, and the space traveler was the yogi that represented resignation and an acceptance of what was to come.
2. The director’s parents had been diagnosed with cancer when he started writing this script.
Aronofsky had just turned 30 when he started writing this and come to the realization that he was no longer in his 20’s. His parents had also been diagnosed with cancer, but thankfully beat it later on.
1. Tomas’ death is based on Mayan mythology.
Somewhere in Mayan mythology it alludes to brave warriors giving new life to flowers and other plant life when they die. This was the image that was intended.
It’s a real thinker, so if you watch, pay attention.