Filmmaker Walter Hill’s creative vision faced substantial opposition from the film’s producers, highlighting a notable disagreement in the development process. Specifically, Hill’s original concept for the Warriors entailed exclusively African American gangs. However, the movie’s producers expressed apprehension and raised concerns about the potential consequences of depicting the gang in this manner.
Firstly, this could perpetuate negative stereotypes and inadvertently present the African American community in a menacing light. The producers ultimately decided against Hill’s artistic choice, opting for a more diverse representation of the gang in the final film. This creative divergence highlights the complex considerations and deliberations that occur during the filmmaking process.
Hiring Real-Life Gang Members on Set
Would you believe that actual, real-life gang members were hired to play “Warriors” in this film? Well, it's true! Wanting to be as close to real life as possible, the filmmakers and producers of “The Warriors” ultimately decided to hire real gangs to appear in the film to make it feel all the more authentic.
And these real nonfictional gang members didn’t only appear as extras. Sure, some gang members were used as extras in the opening scene of the film, but a real-life gang leader was also hired onto the set of the movie, acting as the filmmaker’s right-hand man and “gang advisor” throughout the filming process.
The Wild West vs. The Warriors
Though set in a dystopian future, “The Warriors” actually shares a surprising number of similarities with the Western genre of films. Of these many similarities present in the film, the theme concerning gangs fighting each other — one of the most prominent plot points in The Warriors — is a perfect example of classic Western tropes seen in Western movies.
However, unlike in Western films, this concept takes place on the streets of New York City, as opposed to in a Western saloon. The scene on the beach where the Warriors and their rival gang, the Rogues, take part in a stand-off on the shores of New York’s Coney Island holds an uncanny similarity between the stand-offs commonly seen in classic Western-style films.
The Absence of Modern-Day Film Violence
Unlike many of the violence-ruled films of modern-day Hollywood, "The Warriors" is certainly an outlier from the pack. Indeed, when comparing the level of violence present in the majority of today’s films — even those films intended to be acceptable for children to watch — to the amount of violence seen in "The Warriors", this film does not nearly have as much violence as is normal in today’s movie industry.
While this film is still rated R, and thus rendered largely inappropriate for minors to view, it is notable to point out that the reason for this rating was not given for the amount of violence present, but instead, most likely because of the high amount of inappropriate language and adult content present throughout much of the film.
The Intended Death of Vermin
One of the most memorable characters in the film was Vermin, played by Terrence ‘Terry’ Michos, but we almost had to say goodbye to him sooner than we'd have liked. While initially Vermin was meant to die at one point in the movie, Michos somehow managed to act his way out of his character’s intended, tragic fate. But how did Michos manage to save his character? By being funny, of course.
By choosing to take a more comical approach with the personality of his character — believing that, in doing so, his character would ultimately be more likely to be memorable among audience members. This also got him more screen time and in the end, Michos would ultimately transform his character into one of the main, most prominent people out of all characters seen throughout the film.