When Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks pursuing a con man played by Leonardo DiCaprio in a movie based on a true story, it's going to be a hit. And the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can was surprisingly funny, besides. The story behind the making of the movie was pretty amazing, too.
1. IT TOOK 22 YEARS FOR THE BOOK TO BE TURNED INTO A MOVIE.
The real Frank Abagnale Jr. published his memoir (co-written by Stan Redding) in 1980, and sold the film rights the same year. (It was Johnny Carson who encouraged him to write a book, by the way.) A decade later, producer Michel Shane optioned the book again, then sold the rights in 1997 to another producer, Paramount's Barry Kemp, who hired Jeff Nathanson to write the script. Finally, in 2001, Kemp, Shane, and Shane's partner Anthony Romano accepted "executive producer" credits so that DreamWorks could bring in its own producer/director: Steven Spielberg. The film was released on Christmas Day 2002.
7. THEY SHOT IN MORE THAN 140 LOCATIONS IN JUST 52 DAYS.
That's an average of almost three locations a day, many of them in and around Los Angeles, but quite a few in New York City and Montreal. And as anyone who's worked on a film set can tell you, even a move of a few blocks is a massive undertaking. Spielberg and his crew worked fast.
Read more about the production of Catch Me If You Can at Mental Floss.