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Syriana (2005) Poster

(2005)

Trivia

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Harrison Ford was the original choice to play Bob Barnes, but turned it down. He later told Empire magazine that is one of the few movie career decisions that he has regretted.
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George Clooney suffered a spinal injury during a stunt. Due to the weight he gained for his role, the injury left him bedridden for a month and caused severe migraines, which prevented him from doing publicity for Ocean's Twelve (2004). The injury was eventually corrected with surgery. Clooney has since called his weight gain "pretty stupid".
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Syriana is a term used by Washington think-tanks to describe a hypothetical re-shaping of the Middle East.
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George Clooney gained 35 pounds on a pasta-heavy diet to play CIA operative Robert Barnes. The actor also shaved his hairline for the right look.
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In the days leading up to the Oscar nominations, the Academy announced that the film's screenplay was considered original, not adapted. Since it had been strongly advertised as adapted, many believed the film would not be nominated. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but lost to Crash (2004).
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Michelle Monaghan originally had a substantial role in the film, playing Miss USA who becomes involved with a rich Arab oilman. But her entire sub-plot was cut when the film seemed too long and complicated for review audiences.
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Greta Scacchi played Bob Barnes' wife and Robby Barnes' mother. Her role was cut from the final release.
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The film cast includes seven Oscar winners: Chris Cooper, George Clooney, William Hurt', Viola Davis, Christopher Plummer, Matt Damon and Tom McCarthy (the latter two won as screenwriters).
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"Bob Barnes" - the character portrayed by George Clooney in the film "Syriana", is based on the real life exploits of career CIA operative Bob Baer. Baer spent 21 years as a CIA man hunter. Mr. Baer is the lead investigator on the History Channnel's popular TV series "Hunting Hitler". Season 3 is due to air in late 2017. Source: These details are stated by Baer in the opening team overview/background of both Season 1 and Season 2 of the program.
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Stephen Gaghan wanted Christian Bale to play Bryan Woodman, but Bale had to turn the part down due to his commitment to The New World (2005).
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In the original script, Bob Barnes was originally named Bob Baer, after Robert Baer's father.
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Roger Ebert's theory about the film's Byzantine oil-related plotlines was that the U.S. and China had a secret deal to buy up and ship oil from Kazakhstan without actually drilling for any of it, and that the film's merger was a paper deal to provide legal cover for these actions.
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When George Clooney meets his son at Princeton University, he's actually in front of Sellinger Hall at Loyola College in Maryland.
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In two clever examples of parallelism in the script and dialogue, CIA staffer Fred Franks uses the phrase "Help me out here" in the film after it's been directed at him by his CIA supervisor, Terry. And the name "Jimmy" is one that Bob Barnes insists on using when he talks to Mussawi -who's offended by it - but it's a name that Killen CEO Jimmy Pope invites Bennett Holiday to use in addressing him.
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It's the only released to the whole world of Hollywood movie which have showed the content about 'Falun Gong'(this word was absolutely banned by Chinese Government).
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Both Chris Cooper and William Hurt have played real life FBI traitor Robert Hanssen: Cooper in Breach (2007) and Hurt in Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story (2002).
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The scene in the front doorway of the Whiting Sloan law firm, next to the U.S. Capitol, is actually the real-life law firm Jones Day, located at 51 Louisiana Avenue, NW.
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Barnes, Woodman, Holiday, Whiting, Pope and Janus are all surnames of principal characters here, all of them names loaded with symbolism or suggestive of specific images, qualities or faults.
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As of 2018, the only Oscar nominated performance by George Clooney in a non-Best Picture nominated film. He won Best Supporting Actor for his role in this film.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Prince Nasir is assassinated, an actor who strongly resembles former CIA director George Tenet is milling around in the background of the CIA operations room.
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George Clooney and costar William Hurt competed against one another for Best supporting actor Oscar, Hurt for A History of Violence and Clooney for this film which he won.
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