28. Donald Sutherland turned down the chance to be paid a percentage of the film’s (ultimately huge) profits

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Nowadays, Animal House is widely regarded as one of the best comedy films of all time. Back in the 70s, however, nobody could have guessed just how successful the movie would become. Donald Sutherland, who stars in the film as Professor Dave Jennings, was one person who was convinced that the film would be a box office flop.

Sutherland was so certain that the film would bomb that he insisted on being paid upfront, rather than receiving a percentage of the film’s gross profits. Eventually a deal was settled, and Sutherland walked away with $50,000. Not a bad payday, but Sutherland could have taken home a whole lot more. The actor had been offered 2% of the film’s gross profits, which would have left him nearly $3 million better off.

27. It was originally supposed to star Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase

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Although Animal House is remembered as a comedy classic, its cast only includes one bona fide comedy star: John Belushi. Belushi had got an early break working with National Lampoon on their stage productions and radio shows, before really hitting the big time on Saturday Night Live. Originally, it was hoped that a few of Belushi’s fellow SNL stars – who had also done early work with National Lampoon – would join him in Animal House.

The plan was to cast Chevy Chase as Otter, Bill Murray as Boon, Bryan Doyle-Murray as Hoover and Dan Aykroyd as D-Day, alongside Belushi’s Bluto. However, aside from Belushi none of them wanted to do it; on top of which, director John Landis was wary of it turning into an SNL movie. Subsequently, Landis cast lesser-known actors without a comedy background, including Tim Matheson and Tom Hulce.

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