In oral history, “The Truman Show” producer Lyne Plechette recalls a time when test footage was needed to make proof of concept footage for the studio. Fellow producer Scott Rudin (who has was recently fired for abusive behavior) supported by actors Gary Oldman to provide that footage. According to Plechette, Oldman was only cast as Truman Burbank for this test shot. Oldman, apparently, understood that Andrew Niccol’s script was the star, and he wasn’t interested in actually playing the lead.
The scene in question depicts Truman reaching the end of his rope. He made sure that the people around him were all actors, and they all knew his name. Truman takes an infant out of a pram and intends to kill it if the mother doesn’t admit she knows who he is. When he gathered his wisdom and gave the baby back to the mother, she had to say “Thank you, Truman.” It’s like something out of “The Stepford Wives,” or perhaps Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions.”
This aligns with other stories about how the original script of “The Truman Show” was a lot darker than what audiences ultimately saw. In an earlier draft, Truman was not a nice person, but an alcoholic who committed adultery, and witnessed assaults without even intervening. All of this, while being watched by billions of people. It seems an ink-black coat and moral ambiguity were originally part of the film.
In keeping with that darkness, “The Truman Show” once hired Brian De Palma as a director, a filmmaker known for his horror films and perverse stories about murder and sex.
https://www.slashfilm.com/969689/the-truman-show-almost-had-a-very-different-star-and-director/ The Truman show almost had a very different star and director