The character of Ajax was originally written to have a highly muscular, particularly foreboding character presence, and actor Irwin Keyes was among the top considerations for the role. However, because director Walter Hill believed Keyes was far too old to play this character, the role was instead given to actor James Remar, a significantly smaller, skinnier actor when compared to Keyes.
Despite Keyes’s ultimate rejection for the role of Ajax, filmmakers still kept Keyes on set, giving him the consolation role. He was the New York City police officer known for hitting Ajax with his baton during the scene in the film involving the sting operation in the park. Then, in an ironic twist of events, Keyes ends up arresting the very character he initially was meant to play!
The Film’s Consequences
Though filmmakers surely did not initially intend it, the making and release of their movie ultimately led to an immediate spike in real-life violence. In hopes of decreasing this increase in violence and aggression on the streets, the producers of "The Warriors" instead chose to promote the upcoming release of their film with a more minimal poster, containing nothing more than the logo of the film, placed on a white background.
Despite the deliberate efforts carried out by producers to put a halt to gang-related violence, much to their dismay, the violence surrounding the release of the film continued to escalate. Not long after re-releasing the film’s promotional posters, there were separate attacks that occurred in two different showings of "The Warriors."
The Original Warriors Gang
Since its release, the Warriors gang has infamously gone down as one of the most well-known gangs in movie history, and for years after its release, it was considered the most exciting film in America. In reality, though the name wasn’t even the original name given to the main gang of this story.
Even before "The Warriors" movie script was created, in the original story written and published in the novel written by Sol Yurick, the name given to the main gang did not even include any mention of the word ‘Warriors’! Instead, Yurick referred to the infamous game as 'The Dominators.'
The Comic Book Effect
While watching "The Warriors," did you happen to notice certain scenes that appeared distinct from the rest? If so, your keen observation skills are impressive! One aspect of the film that often goes unnoticed is the creative utilization of a progressive post-production editing technique that gave it a certain comic-book effect.
This technique involves seamlessly combining animation with live-action photography to produce a final product that incorporates both elements, adding a unique visual dimension to the movie. In the specific scenes of the film where this unique technique is carried out, the film is broken up by drawn images. From here, these pictures are seamlessly joined together to effectively transition into actual photos of the actors in real life.
Real-Life Props: The Wonder Wheel
You may be a die-hard Warriors Fan, but are you aware of one real-life prop utilized by filmmakers during the movie’s filming and production? What prop may that be, you might ask? Why, it’s the Wonder Wheel, of course! Yup, you better believe it: the wonder wheel seen in the movie is real.
The makers of the film ultimately chose to showcase real-life props present in the backdrop of the city, the most widely known of these being the illustrious Coney Island Wonder Wheel. Since appearing in the very first scene of the film, The Wonder Wheel still stands tall, a major attraction at Coney Island’s “Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park” still to this day.