Unexplainable Movie Trivia and Facts: “Sphere” (1998)

The film, “Sphere,” focuses on the mysteries found in the depths of our waters. It explores some of the possibilities that come when you’re stuck 1,000 feet below the ocean. In this article, you will learn some of the trivia and facts behind the movie that tracks the peril of navy divers that happen upon an unknown object measuring ½ mile long.

The Plot

Deepsea Habitats is the site where a team of scientists has been sent to explore. While in the vicinity, they happen upon a metal sphere of perfect shape, but there is a secret behind this orb. Mysterious things start to occur and no one is quite sure who is behind it all. If they’re not careful, they may never live to find out. In the middle of the South Pacific, the scientists seek an explanation. Little do they know that they may have uncovered an extensive spaceship that could possibly be hundreds of years old.

The movie was jam-packed with a handful of well-known actors and actresses, such as Dustin Hoffman (as Dr. Norman Goodman); Sharon Stone (as Dr. Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Halperin); Sharon Stone (as Dr. Harry Adams); Peter Coyote (as Captain Harold C. Barnes); Liev Schreiber (as Dr. Ted Fielding); Queen Latifah (as Alice ‘Teeny’ Fletcher); and even famed singer Huey Lewis taking on the role of a helicopter pilot.

“Sphere” Trivia and Facts

The director of this film was Barry Levinson, who is responsible for ‘The Perfect Storm’ and ‘Donnie Brasco.’ The movie was based on a novel written by Michael Crichton.

Taglines used to market the film include ‘A thousand feet beneath the sea, the blackest holes are in the mind…’ and ‘Terror can fill any space.’

Improvisation played an important role in the making of ‘Sphere,’ as numerous scenes featured ad-libbed conversations, such as the dialogue between Samuel L. Jackson’s and Dustin Hoffman’s character when they were discussing the ULF report and how to deal with Ted (played by Live Schreiber).

The sea snake that appears in the film was actually designed by the DJ associated with the rock band, Linkin Park , Joseph Hahn.

The ending of the film required a reshoot because when tested on audiences before hitting the big screen , onlookers did not believe that the characters would be able to survive without spending weeks in decompression.

Interestingly, one actor that appeared in the film has received a role in every Barry Levinson (the director) film from the 1982 ‘Diner’. His name is Ralph Tabakin and he played the O.S.S.A. Official in ‘Sphere.’

Originally, actor Andre Braugher was cast to play the role of Harry, which went to Samuel L. Jackson.

During the jellyfish attack sequence, production used a blend of puppetry, computer-generated images, and footage of actual jellyfish that were filmed at a local aquarium. In order to make the jellyfish appear more aggressive, the footage comprised of the real creatures was played at three to five times its normal speed to achieve such an effect.

It was Barry Levinson’s intention to pair Queen Latifah and Huey Lewis together for a recording of a duet to use in the end credits.

‘Sphere’ was marketed as a mystery, thriller, and science fiction flick all in one.

When the movie was released, it was rated PG-13 for the sci-fi action it contained, which included a couple of ‘startling’ images.

Filming for ‘Sphere’ took place at Mare Island Naval Yard (in Vallejo, California), Mare Island, and S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien (in San Francisco, California).