50/50 (2011) | 10 Facts That Will Make You Watch The Full Movie

50/50 (2011) | 10 Facts That Will Make You Watch The Full Movie


50/50 is a 2011 American comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Levine, written by Will Reiser, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anjelica Huston. The film is loosely inspired by Reiser’s own experience with cancer.

It was released on September 30, 2011 and grossed $41 million, and received critical acclaim, with particular praise for Gordon-Levitt’s performance and Reiser’s screenplay


Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam Lerner
Seth Rogen as Kyle Hirons
Anna Kendrick as Katherine McKay
Bryce Dallas Howard as Rachael

Anjelica Huston as Diane Lerner
Serge Houde as Richard Lerner
Andrew Airlie as Dr. Ross
Matt Frewer as Mitch Barnett

Philip Baker Hall as Alan Lombardo
Donna Yamamoto as Dr. Walderson
Sugar Lyn Beard as Susan
Yee Jee Tso as Dr. Lee


Sarah Smyth as Jenny
Peter Kelamis as Phil
Jessica Parker Kennedy as Jackie
Daniel Bacon as Dr. Phillips

P. Lynn Johnson as Bernie
Laura Bertram as Claire
Matty Finochio as Ted
Veena Sood as Nurse Stewart
Lauren Miller as Bodie


Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is based on Screenwriter Will Reiser, who was diagnosed with cancer, and later recovered. Seth Rogen (Kyle) helped Reiser cope with his disease, and convinced him to write a screenplay during their early twenties together.

Seth Rogen says he was actually on the toilet when Will Reiser told him he had cancer. As funny as the two of them thought this was, it was deemed too disgusting for the film.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually shaved his head during filming. He and Seth Rogen were improvising in character while the cameras kept rolling, since the scene was not in the script.

James McAvoy was cast as Adam, but had to drop out due to personal conflicts. Joseph Gordon-Levitt replaced him after being called by Seth Rogen less than a week before shooting was scheduled to start. He accepted the role just two days before.


When Adam is listing things he has never done, one of them is that he has never visited Canada. That scene, as well as the majority of the rest of the movie, was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Will Reiser makes a cameo during Adam’s party. He tells Adam, “My uncle had what you have.”

During a roundtable discussion with the cast, Will Reiser revealed that Bryce Dallas Howard came up with the title of the film. The crew was skeptical about it when she first suggested it to them on the set of the art gallery scene. When she found out that the title had been changed to the one she suggested, she was surprised.

Seth Rogen’s wife, Lauren, plays Bodie, the woman walking the bulldog that Adam and Kyle speak with, while walking Skeletor.

During a 2011 interview with “The A.V. Club,” Anna Kendrick said that, while on the set, she often referred to her character as “the worst therapist in the world.”

The original screenplay was titled “I’m with Cancer.”

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2008 Blacklist, a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.


While being interviewed by Terry Gross on her National Public Radio program “Fresh Air,” Will Reiser said that he gave Adam’s character a job at a Seattle NPR station because Reiser is a big fan of NPR, but he had not ever donated any money to any of their pledge drives.

Matt Frewer and Philip Baker Hall have played cancer patients in previous films, Watchmen (2009) and Magnolia (1999).

The opening scenes, featuring Gordon-Levitt jogging, show him passing VFS (Vancouver Film School) on Hastings Street, downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Seth Rogan’s hometown.

This is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s second film beginning with the numbers 50. He previously starred in 500 Days of Summer (2009). Gordon-Levitt was nominated for the Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Comedy film for both movies, and both films earned a second nomination as Best Comedy at the same award ceremony.

Kyle’s (Seth Rogen’s) license plate is YVR 515. YVR is the airport code for Vancouver, British Columbia, where the movie was shot.

Nicole Holofcener was originally attached to direct.

On one of the cubicle walls in the Seattle Public Radio offices, there is a small clipping visible from the free Seattle weekly newspaper “The Stranger”.


When Adam is waiting for the bus and Katherine (Anna Kendrick) comes across, the advertisement on the bus stop reads, “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

Point Grey Pictures’s first Drama film.

This is Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard’s second collaboration since The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010).

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character Adam has the last name: Lerner.

Summit Entertainment wanted a kiss between Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Kathryn (Anna Kendrick) at the end of the film. However, the actor, actress, and crew agreed that it would not feel right, since they felt the movie was about the main character’s journey with cancer, rather than a love story. They almost filmed the scene to appease the studio, but Gordon-Levitt pointed out that “If they gave the studio the option, they would use it,” so they just refused to film it.

Kyle applies medicine, and jokingly plays around with Adam’s back wound. Seth Rogendid the same thing to Will Reiser, who was diagnosed with cancer in his early twenties.

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