Disaster film fans take note, the Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt-led classic, Twister is soon going to blow off of Max where it’s currently streaming. Now that we’re halfway through September, it’s time to check off those “last chance” films from your queues as titles including Twister will bow out on September 30. A classic worthy of a follow-up nearly three decades later, you’ll want to catch this ‘90s gem before it’s too late.
Twister – starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton – is streaming on Max, but it won’t be there long.
The year was 1996 and Jan de Bont (The Haunting), hot off the success of 1994’s action thriller Speed, put the proverbial pedal to the metal all over again, this time making Mother Nature the bad guy. Leading a group of tornado chasers are Jo (Helen Hunt) and Bill (Bill Paxton), ex-spouses who share a mutual love for twister chasing despite the possible life-ending dangers that come along with the job.
One of the biggest releases of the year – second only in box office sales to Independence Day – Twister was a money-making sensation, raking in a whopping $495.7 million against its $88-92 million production budget.
Along with their research team, the pair are on a mission to try out one of their latest pieces of tornado technology during one of the biggest tornadoes that Oklahoma has ever seen.
Along with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, Twister also starred the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Talented Mr. Ripley), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Alan Ruck (Succession), Jami Gertz (The Lost Boys), Todd Field (Tár), Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan), Lois Smith (The French Dispatch), Nicholas Sadler (Hellraiser: Inferno), Zach Grenier (Fight Club), Scott Thomson (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Jake Busey (Starship Troopers), and Abraham Benrubi (ER).
One of the biggest releases of the year – second only in box office sales to Independence Day – Twister was a money-making sensation, raking in a whopping $495.7 million against its $88-92 million production budget. For their work in the film, Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton both received praise from critics but it was the behind-the-scenes work on Twister that made it really shine with those at the top.
At that year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the film nabbed nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound, going on to take home the BAFTA for Best Visual Effects.
While he eventually joined the film in an executive production capacity, Steven Spielberg was the first director attached to the movie, with others including Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron, Tim Burton, and John Badham also in talks before it went to de Bont.
Luckily for de Bont’s career, his vision clashed with the studio behind Godzilla, a film which he departed for Twister allowing Roland Emmerich to helm the monster flick in his place. Likewise, Helen Hunt wasn’t the casting team’s first choice for Twister, only stepping into the role of Jo Harding after Laura Dern turned it down.
While it’s almost been 30 years since Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton starred in Twister, the next chapter of the story is just around the corner.
In joining the storm-chasing film, Helen Hunt passed on John Woo’s Broken Arrow, a good decision considering the success of Twister. Like his on-screen love interest, Bill Paxton also wasn’t the first choice to play the leading man with none other than Tom Hanks reading for the role of Bill only to pass on it and suggest his buddy Paxton for the part. A classic in more ways than one, Twister also carries the legacy of being the first movie to be released on DVD in the United States.
A terrific year for some of the best films of the decade, not only did Will Smith battle aliens in Independence Day with Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton chasing storms in Twister but 1996 also saw a slew of other beloved titles make landfall.
Included in the top 10 box office grosses was the start of the Tom Cruise-led franchise Mission: Impossible, The Nutty Professor, Space Jam, The Rock, and Jerry Maguire – just to name a few. Times were just simpler back then.
While it’s almost been 30 years since Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton starred in Twister, the next chapter of the story is just around the corner. Just as has been done for fan-favorites like Top Gun, Twister will soon receive a brand new telling in the follow-up film, Twisters.
Directed by Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), a full description of the new movie hasn’t been released yet but it’s expected to be a fresh telling rather than a remake. Attached to the film are names including Anthony Ramos (Transformers: Rise of the Beasts), Daisy Edgar-Jones (Where the Crawdads Sing), and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick).
While you wait for more information about Twisters, be sure to join Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton on the storm chase that started it all. Twister leaves Max on September 30.