American Made is a 2017 American biographical crime movie, directed by Doug Liman, written by Gary Spinelli, and starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Alejandro Edda, Mauricio Mejia, Caleb Landry Jones and Jesse Plemons. Take a look below for 26 more interesting and fascinating facts about American Made.
1. The plot focuses on Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who flew missions for the CIA, and became a drug smuggler for the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s. In order to avoid jail time, Seal became an information for the DEA.
2. American Made is the first movie directed by Doug Liman to be released by Universal Pictures since The Bourne Identity in 2002.
3. The movie grossed $134 million against a budget of $50 million, and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Tom Cruise’s performance.
4. Tom Cruise is a qualified pilot. He did all of his own flying scenes during filming.
5. The movie’s script was featured on the 2014 Black List of the most liked unproduced movie scripts.
6. The man Barry spoke to in the hallway of the White House is portraying George W. Bush, who is the son of then Vice President George H.W. Bush. He mentions he flew with the Air National Guard from 1968 to 1974.
7. Mauricio Mejia, who plays Pablo Escobar, appears in two seasons of the television series Narcos, which is also about the Colombian cocaine cartels, as a Colombian soldier, Castano.
8. American Made is Tom Cruise’s first R-rated movie since Tropic Thunder.
9. The airplane that Barry Seal was flying throughout most of the movie crashed on September 11, 2015, on the last day of filming, causing 2 fatalities.
10. The small town of Ball Ground, Georgia, was transformed into the real town of Mena, Arkansas for the movie. This is the biggest event of a public nature and this type of grand exposure to occur in Ball Ground’s history.
11. The families of pilots Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl are suing the producers for the deaths of the two pilots on the last day of filming, alleging negligence on the part of the filmmakers. Both families are also suing each other and the surviving pilot Jimmy Lee Garland.
12. American Made began shooting under the title “Mena.”
13. American Made is Tom Cruise’s third biographical movie, along with Born on the Fourth of July and Valkyrie.
14. Barry Seal looked nothing like Tom Cruise. He was a big heavy-set guy nicknamed “El Gordo” by the members of the Medellin Cartel, which translates to “the fat one.”
15. The DEA, ATF and FBI never raided Barry Seal’s airport in Mena, Arkansas, as portrayed in the movie. He was arrested in Fort Lauderdale in 1983 for attempting to smuggle Quaaludes into the United States. This is what led him to be a DEA informant on the Medellin Cartel.
16. When the Arkansas State Attorney General receives a call from the Governor that leads to Seal’s release from custody, she answers, “Hello Bill.” Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981.
17. Despite the presence of cocaine in the movie, none of the characters are seen consuming it.
18. American Made is the second collaboration between Tom Cruise and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman.
19. Ron Howard was considered to direct but lost to Doug Liman.
20. The real chef and owner of Les Bon Temps Louisiana Grill, Adam, cooked the meal for the dinner at the Sheriff’s house.
21. American Made is the second of two movies starring Tom Cruise to be released in 2017, beginning with The Mummy. Both movies are from Universal Pictures.
22. The movie is the first collaboration between Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright.
23. In one of the trailers, Tom Cruise is ordered to land his plane. He’s also ordered to land his plane in the opening scene of Top Gun.
24. American Made features the Iran-Contra affair senate hearings, where Arthur L. Liman, father of director Doug Liman, served as chief counsel.
25. In the entire movie, 2 people die on screen.
26. American Made is the second biopic, following Valkyrie, where Tom Cruise’s character is shot dead.