Sandra Bullock Says Warner Bros. Still Owes Her For 30-Year-Old Movie

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

Sandra Bullock in Demolition Man

Before Sandra Bullock was Sandra Bullock, she starred in a little movie called Demolition Man. At the time, this 1993 action flick was all about its leading men: Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. In 2018, while promoting her film Ocean’s 8 with Yahoo! Movies, Sandra Bullock called out Warner Bros. for giving Stallone and Snipes a custom Demolition Man pinball machine but leaving her without.

“I’m on the pinball machine. All the men in the film got one and I’m the only one that didn’t get one. So I literally shout out to Warner Bros that I want a vintage Demolition Man pinball machine.”

Sandra Bullock

During the interview, Bullock was asked by her Ocean’s 8 co-star, Cate Blanchett, if she had been turned into an action figure. “I’m on the pinball machine,” Bullock said. “All the men in the film got one and I’m the only one that didn’t get one.”

Sandra Bullock continued, “So I literally shout out to Warner Bros that I want a vintage Demolition Man pinball machine.”

These rare items are out there, but they are not exactly cheap. The going rate for the image of Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock on the Demolition Man pinball machine is upwards of $6,000. Sorry, Sandra, that might be just out of David Zaslav’s budget.

Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock in Demolition Man

A spin-off of the Ocean’s films, which feature suave male ensembles, Ocean’s 8 presented a female group pulling off an elaborate heist in style. Bullock’s anecdote was perfect for the moment, noting gender inequality in Hollywood in a really specific way. Cate Blanchett backed her co-star up with a call for an Ocean’s 8 pinball machine.

If Sandra Bullock wants a Demolition Man pinball machine, it might be hard to find, only 7,019 copies were ever made.

That would be cool, but for Sandra Bullock, pinball is all about Demolition Man. In the film, Bullock played Lieutenant Lenina Huxley, a police officer of a utopian future not equipped to handle violence.

Demolition Man pinball

Such inability is fine in a culture without crime, but when a cryogenically frozen madman played by Wesley Snipes escapes after he is thawed for a parole hearing, it becomes a problem. 

Huxley, fascinated by the 20th century, persuades her superiors to thaw out the man who stopped this criminal in the first place: Sylvester Stallone’s character, John Spartan. Stallone and Snipes battle each other in the utopian metropolis, making for one wild and quasi-satirical ride.

Sandra Bullock was not quite a superstar when Demolition Man was released, and she was almost not in the film at all. Her character, Lenina Huxley, was originally to be played by Point Break actress Lori Petty. Petty was fired two days into filming, allegedly due to friction with Sylvester Stallone.

Impressed by an audition tape from Sandra Bullock, Demolition Man producer Joel Silver cast the young actress in the role. Though it was a big-budget movie and box office success, Demolition Man was not a vehicle for Bullock; it was all about Stallone and Snipes, who electrified the screen with their chemistry and bulging muscles.

Demolition Man was a hit, but Sandra Bullock didn’t break out until the following year, when she co-starred with Keanu Reeves in Speed.

Sandra Bullock is good in Demolition Man, but she got her chance to shine one year later in the action smash hit Speed. Starring alongside Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock showed audiences what she was really capable of with a prominent and critical role. From there, Bullock became one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars.

Bullock has headlined hits like A Time to Kill, Miss Congeniality, The Proposal, and Bird Box. She was last seen in The Lost City and Bullet Train, both of which opened in 2022 to middling critical responses, but were embraced by audiences.
Sandra Bullock could easily have earned a pinball machine for any one of her hits over the years, but the one from Demolition Man remains the one that got away.