In the late 1960s, five people in Northern California were murdered by the Zodiac Killer. To taunt the cops, this enigmatic psychopath sent ciphers to police stations which would reveal hidden messages if cracked.
Since this incident is the biggest unsolved murder case in American history, it was inevitable someone would make a movie out of it. At first, you would assume it would be impossible to condense this infamous case into a two-and-a-half hour thriller. But not only is David Fincher's Zodiac considered among his strongest films, it's as thought-provoking as the subject matter itself. People were so blown away by the masterful crime drama, the murder case was reopened the same month Zodiac hit cinemas!
Even though the film is enjoyable in its own right, you appreciate it more when you delve a little deeper. With a keen eye, you may spot a few things you didn't notice the first time. On repeated viewings, you might understand the significance of the background music in one scene or why the colour of a drink is important. You might also notice a goof, a cameo, or an Easter egg that didn't register with you on your first viewing.
So, what's hiding under the surface of Zodiac?
10. Jake Gyllenhaal's Arm Hair Is Fake
Films like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, and The Abyss proved computer-generated imagery was a groundbreaking tool in the world of visual effects. Even though many of the greatest special effects in the history of cinema were crafted by this technology, naysayers always make the same complaint. "You can always tell it's CGI." Despite the fact VFX gets better every year, some film fanatics believe they can always tell what's real and what isn't.
But there is some subtle CGI in Zodiac that will fool anybody. In the film, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith - the cartoonist who helped crack the Zodiac ciphers. Even though Gyllenhaal is marvellous in the role, the director, David Fincher, worried the actor looked too young. Because Gyllenhaal's hands "were too hairless and pretty", the filmmaker worried that viewers wouldn't buy him as the man who worked on the biggest serial killer case in American history.
To make Gyllenhaal look more mature, the special effects team digitally added hair to the actor's knuckles anytime there's a close-up of Graysmith's hands, especially while he's holding the Zodiac's letters.