Study Guide

The Usual Suspects Production Studio

Production Studio

Polygram, Spelling Films, Blue Parrot, Bad Hat Harry Productions, and Rosco Film

The Usual Suspects is an indie movie—and, like lots of offbeat indie movies, producers originally didn't want to make it. "It's too hard to follow!" "Can't we put a fighter jet chase in it?" "Wait—who is Keyser Söze?" Those are the kind of things producers (probably) said.

According to the screenwriter, Christopher McQuarrie,

"Every studio, major and minor, rejected it. Miramax said they would distribute it if someone else footed the bill. No one understood a word of it, except Kevin Spacey, for whom we had written it. Our commitment to an actor at Kevin's level at the time coupled with a convoluted script meant death." (Source)

But producers aren't all giant infants wallowing in their own inability to comprehend anything. Enter Kenneth Kokin. When director Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie pitched the script, Kokin took the bait and decided to produce the movie.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Bloody, cult classic history.

Along with Kokin, a roster of indie film companies provided financial assistance. Here's the long, boring list of their names: Polygram, Spelling Films, Blue Parrot, Bad Hat Harry Productions, and Rosco Film. (Say that list five times fast.)

Fun fact: Kokin later worked on a film about the life of the notorious Boston mobster, Whitey Bulger. When the FBI finally captured Bulger, who had been a fugitive for years, it turned out that he had been living only a few blocks away from Kokin's home in Santa Monica.

It's the kind of trick Keyser Söze might've pulled…except Söze wouldn't have gotten caught. (Source)

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