No woman who has seen Thelma & Louise can deny the fact that it is a complete godsend. Let’s be real, the titular characters were badasses. The film itself has received massive critical acclaim for being a feminist cinematic battle cry. It received 6 Academy Awards upon its debut and last year, the United States Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the quality of selfie/Halloween costume/BFF goals-inspo it’s given us. Still, a new book by Becky Aikman called Off the Cliff: How the Making of ‘Thelma & Louise’ Drove Hollywood to the Edge, reveals (God help us) it almost didn’t make it to the big screen. Rocked to your core? Well, it’s true, and this next bit of information is a doozy ladies, so grab your ride or die and hold tight.
According to an excerpt from Aikman’s prologue, the film’s screenwriter Callie Khouri’s agent Diane Cairn fell in love with the story on the first read. But studios had a hard time getting on board.
According to Aikman, Cairn was thrilled by the story and it’s characters but knew instantly it would be impossible to make into a film. Look at the ’90s and the women portrayed in movies before Thelma & Louise, and you’ll get why. The film features two women who curse, have sex, and hate the patriarchy. The trifecta of no-no’s for Hollywood’s rating system at the time.
In a single day, Cairn received a flood of “no’s.” One executive even said, “I don’t get it. It’s two bitches in a car.”
Brb while we rage-punch a hole in something.
Fortunately for us, Cairn eventually sold a studio on the story and the rest is cinematic history.