The second time a genuine Tiger I tank has been used in the production of a WWII film. It features "Tiger 131" from the UK's Bovington Tank Museum, the only fully functioning Tiger tank in the world.
The cast underwent a rigorous month-long course. The final test was manning a real tank during a combat exercise. Brad Pitt, who was much older than his cast mates, made sure that he participated in all of the physical training alongside the other actors.
At 50, Brad Pitt is considerably older than the average WWII NCO (non-commissioned officer), who likely would have been in his mid 20s to early 30s. Considering his age, choice of sidearm, and long service record mentioned in the film, it's entirely possible that his character is a WWI veteran. It would also explain why his character knew German before the war started. However, the scene where the tank drives past an entire German town on fire originally ran longer, and had Pitt's character explaining that his mother originally came from a small German town, not unlike the one they are just passing. This would imply he learned German from his mother,
During filming, Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf almost got in a real fight with Scott Eastwood while the cameras were rolling. Eastwood, riding on the back, kept spitting tobacco juice onto the tank. Pitt and LaBeouf felt this was disrespectful, and exchanged words with Eastwood. Things got heated until Pitt and LaBeouf found out the script called for Eastwood's character to spit his tobacco juice onto the tank.
Shia LaBeouf reportedly pulled out his own tooth and did not shower during filming.
Writer/director David Ayer had the actors fight each other on set before shooting scenes, to tighten their bond.
The cut on Shia LaBeouf's face was real. He inflicted it himself each time it was necessary, to add another layer of realism to his performance.
About shooting in Oxfordshire, England, Brad Pitt said, "No rations, no showers, and we were sleeping in the rain. It was miserable, but we loved it".
Many of the outfits in the film were based on real exhibits acquired from museums around the world.
It has been reported that Shia LaBeouf became a Christian while shooting this movie. His actual words were, "I found God during 'Fury'. I became a Christian man, and not in a fucking bullshit way--in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page, but . . . it's a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control." He said that talking with Brad Pitt, who grew up in a conservative Christian home but rejected Christianity, and with David Ayer, the Christian director of the film, helped crystallize his thinking.
The SS troops sing "SS Marschiert in Feindesland", a real-life SS marching song, while they march to attack the crossroads.
Wardaddy's veteran tankers wear the Combat Winter Uniform Jacket, aka "The Tanker Jacket", as part of their uniform. This would have been the original-issue uniform. Norman wears the newer M1943 Field Jacket, distinguishable by its many large pockets and greener color. The choice of uniform would have reflected on the status of the men; veterans would wear older uniforms while replacements would have newer ones.
Brad Pitt shoots several German soldiers with a German-made Sturmgewehr 44, also known as a StG 44, the world's first "assault rifle".
When the young SS POW is brought through the camp, his uniform, wounds, black eye, hair, height, weight and physical characteristics are an exact match to a real famous WWII picture of an SS soldier who had been beaten by his American captors and begged for death.
At the end of WWII, Adolf Hitler created a new army battalion of civilian boys as young as 12. With lots of propaganda and very little training, they were sent to the front lines as a last attempt to defeat the enemy.
The tank crew belongs to the US Army's 2nd Armored Division, also known as "Hell on Wheels." The unit was deactivated in 1995.
The musical piece Norman plays and Emma sings is "The Virgin's Slumber Song," composed by Max Reger. The German title is "Mariä Wiegenlied" or "Maria sitzt am Rosenhag".
All of the extras are British military or former military. One scene had 350 extras.
Wardaddy's pistol is a Smith and Wesson M1917, issued primarily in WWI to supplement the standard-issue Colt M1911, which was in short supply. They were also issued on a limited basis to second-line and non-deployed troops during WWII.
Two brands of cigarettes were used: Lucky Strike and Camel. If someone was required to smoke during a scene, they could choose an herbal version or a real cigarette with the filter removed. The herbal cigarettes burnt away after approximately one minute. The cigar the infantry battalion doctor smokes during surgery is a genuine Cuban, as were all other cigars.
The main Shermans used in the film were: 'Fury', an M4A3E8 (76)W HVSS Sherman tank from the Bovington Tank Museum, formerly 'Ron/Harry', 'Lucy Sue', an M4A2 Sherman from Tay Restorations, 'Matador' an M4E8 (76)W HVSS Sherman from Jeep Sud Est, 'Murder, Inc.' an M4A4 Sherman from Adrian Barrell, and 'Old Phyllis', an M4A1 (76)W Sherman.
When the tanks are about to enter the village, one unknown tank drives over a crushed body. That scene was taken from a real WWII picture, showing the same scene from the eastern front.
At some points, a picture of a woman's face is visible on the grips of Wardaddy's revolver. He has "sweetheart" grips. These were created by removing the government-issue grips on pistols and replacing them with custom-made ones made from scrounged Plexiglas. A picture of a wife or lover would be placed under the new grips.
To avoid putting undue stress on the tanks, fiberglass replicas of Fury and the Tiger's upper hulls were made, and mounted on the chassis of modern tracked vehicles. The images of the lower hulls and running gear were green-screened in.
Some of the film's weapons were also used in Saving Private Ryan (1998), Band of Brothers (2001), and The Pacific (2010).
Fury is easily distinguished by the two machine guns fitted to the top of the turret. It was a common practice among tankers. Someone who wanted to use the top .50-cal. machine gun would have to get out and stand on the engine deck, exposing themselves. Another gun would be mounted in front of the commander's hatch so the commander could use it without exposing himself. One tank known to have the extra .50-cal. gun is Col. Creighton Williams Abrams Thunderbolt VIII.
Shot near London primarily because of tax breaks, weather, and proximity of equipment and props, including tanks.
Director David Ayer apologized after filming took place on Remembrance Sunday, despite film-makers being asked to suspend filming.
The Sherman tanks seen in this movie were considered the weakest of tanks at that time period. However, the L55 M1A2 76mm gun mounted on Fury was capable of penetrating the front armor of the Tiger tank at ranges up to 700 meters, more if HVAP ammo was used.
The red air-recognition panels on the engine decks of the tanks are clearly visible. Though such panels were commonly used by U.S. ground forces in the European Theater of Operations, this is a little-known detail seldom, if ever seen before in a mainstream film. It isn't obvious in black and white wartime photos,
The scene when Wardaddy and Norman discover the German family in the conquered village is an almost perfect reproduction of the famous photographs taken by both Margaret Bourke-White and Lee Miller in April 1944 of the Bürgermeister of Leipzig and his family.
Sony Pictures's computer systems were hacked In late 2014. Confidential corporate information and several complete, unreleased movies were posted for public consumption. A DVD-quality download of this movie appeared online two months after its cinematic release.
Scott Eastwood's pose, riding on the back of an M4 tank while manning the .50 cal, is almost directly copied from his father Clint, who posed similarly while riding on the back of Oddball's M4 in "Kelly's Heroes".
In the movie, German troops use green tracer ammunition. United States troops use red tracer ammunition.
Michael Peña's character wears a top hat in one scene. It's an homage to Cpl. Joseph Porta, a fictional tank driver in the famous Sven Hassel novels, who was know for his yellow top hat. Sven Hassel novels were about the German army's fictitious 27th Panzer Battalion, a heavy-duty armored regiment of misfit German soldiers who were taken from various military prisons and jails and sent to the Russian front.
The weapon War Daddy calls a "grease gun" in the final battle scene was an M3 submachine gun.
Shia LaBeouf didn't get along with the cast and crew, to the point that he was set up in a nearby bed and breakfast away from everyone for the duration of filming,
Michael Pena's wooden cross you see hanging in the tank at different points is the same wooden cross he leaves on Mars in The Martian
The producers used security guards with Rottweilers to dissuade members of the public from taking photographs from public footpaths during shoots.
Capt. Waggoner's parka is a gray German hooded parka issued to Waffen SS with the green camo sleeve rank of Sturmbannfuhrer (Major).
The scene inside the tank in which Bible spouts a verse from Isaiah 6 is the same verse from the church scene in 2012 Lawless in which Shia LaBeouf was a main character.
At about 1 hour 45 minutes into this movie, Brad Pitt's character quotes 1 John, chapter 2, verses 15-17 to Shia labeouf. Coincidentally, this was the exact bible verse read to Shia labeouf's character and the congregation in a church scene at about 24 minutes into the movie, lawless(2012).
There is actual footage of an air-show crash in the closing credits, beneath the billing of director of photography Roman Vasnayov. The same footage was used in "Earth versus the Flying Saucers" (1956) to simulate a plane shot down by a flying saucer.
The final battle was likely based on the action for which US soldier and later actor Audie Murphy won his Congressional Medal of Honor in WW 2. Murphy and his platoon beat off several attacks by a much larger formation of German tanks and infantry. Toward the end of the action, Murphy acting virtually alone repulsed the final German assaults using the 50 caliber machine gun on a US Tank Destroyer that had otherwise been knocked out earlier in the action.
Wardaddy wears an original, first-pattern Combat jacket with open-top pouch pockets, while Bible, Gordo and Grady all wear the second-pattern jackets with slash pockets.
When the lieutenant shows the men the map of the area they'll be operating, there are two town names visible on it: one is Hastenbeck, the other to the south west (and their target) is Kirchohsen. That puts their area of operations in Lower Saxony/Niedersachsen, to the south west of Hannover.