Se7en Turns 20 Today!

On the 22nd of September 1995, Se7en was unleashed on unsuspecting audiences. The film horrified and excited viewers, ensuring its cult status for years to come. Here’s some facts I bet you didn’t know…

If you haven’t seen the movie, firstly, shame on you. But secondly, there will be spoilers in this… which you deserve to read for not watching it yet… seriously.

Disclaimer: Even though the movie is timeless, this trailer is definitely showing its age…

Brad Pitt almost didn’t play Detective Mills with the part initially being offered to Denzel Washington then Sylvester Stallone. They have both said they regret turning down the part.

Although Gwyneth Paltrow was director David Fincher‘s first choice for her role as Mills’ wife Tracey, but it took Pitt, her boyfriend at the time, to convince her to take it.

Photo Credit: cinema1544
Photo Credit: cinema1544

Just before Detective Mills shoots John Doe, a single frame (1/24th of a second) of Tracy flashes, approximately at 2:00:13. Dat subliminal messaging tho.

When filming the ‘sloth’ victim scene, the SWAT officers were not told that the victim was still alive. The reaction of the SWAT officers when the victim coughs is very real.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Unsurprisingly, the number 7 is practically its own character in the film. At exactly 7 minutes into the film, Mills gets a call that starts the seven murders. With exactly 7 minutes left of the film, Somerset says to a distraught Mills: “he will win,” regarding John Doe. All of the building numbers in the opening scene start with 7. AND Brad Pitt was paid $7 million for the film. AND I’ve watched it 7 times… that’s a lie, but still, themes.


I was disappointed to only count 6 shots fired when Mills killed Doe BUT THEN people in the office suggested that perhaps they signified the other 6 sins, because it was Mills that performed the last. Reading into things to make my English teachers proud.


Both Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman fought hard to keep the gruesome denouement of the film, refusing to promote the film if it changed. Pitt told EW,

“With Se7en, I said, “I will do it on one condition – the head stays in the box. Put in the contract that the head stays in the box.” Actually, there was a second thing, too: “He’s got to shoot the killer in the end. He doesn’t do the ‘right’ thing, he does the thing of passion.” Those two things are in the contract. Cut to: Se7en has been put together, and they’ve tested it. They go, “You know, he would be much more heroic if he didn’t shoot John Doe – and it’s too unsettling with the head in the box. We think maybe if it was the dog’s head in the box…”

Kevin Spacey was cast as John Doe only 2 days before filming started. 

The producers insisted on giving Spacey top billing in the opening credits, but he refused, asserting that the fact he was the killer would be more of a surprise that way. To compensate, his name features twice in the closing credits. It’s the little things that make you feel special. Spacey also got out of doing press junkets and interviews for the film during it’s release. Sneaky.

When asked about a potential sequel, David Fincher said “I would be less interested in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes,” which probably means he won’t be involved…

If this hasn’t reignited your deep-seated desires to watch Se7en on a couch with your cat, I don’t know what will.