Oh Se7en, with your quirky use of the number in the title, your awesome opening credit sequence with the Nine Inch Nails song that strippers everywhere overplayed in the ’90s, and your ways of making us want to atone for all the sins we’ve ever committed.
David Fincher’s story about a sadistic serial killer – who uses the Bible’s seven deadly sins as his guide – was chillingly and brilliantly played by Kevin Spacey. By the time 1995 rolled around, the actor was already highly lauded for his role in The Usual Suspects, and according to IMDb, producers were happy to hand over top billing to Se7en’s serial killer. Spacey, however, had other plans, and requested that his name be omitted from the opening title sequence altogether to preserve an element of surprise and suspense in the film. Throughout Se7en, the killer’s identity isn’t revealed until he turns himself over to police near the end of the movie. The filmmakers rolled with that idea, and instead gave Brad Pitt top billing – choosing to list Spacey’s name twice in the closing credits (once before they appear, and once in order of appearance). Spacey’s name and image were also left out of all marketing materials, including interviews and public appearances, which apparently suited the star just fine.
A similar tactic was used for James Whale’s 1931 horror classic, Universal Pictures’ Frankenstein. Boris Karloff’s name was left out of the opening credits and a question mark appeared next to “The Monster” instead.