Puns aside, you can argue that Tom Hanks' career didn't truly get big until Big. That movie, released June 3, 1988, seriously has to be considered the "no looking back" point of his career.
Oh sure, Hanks had plenty of good films before Big – Splash, Bachelor Party, The Money Pit and Dragnet. He even had some sadly forgotten flickers of genius in movies such as Volunteers, The Man With One Red Shoe and Nothing in Common. And then he had the trivia winner – the one movie nobody remembers him in during the '80s: Every Time We Say Goodbye from 1986.
But after Big, everything was so much, well, bigger for Hanks. A League of Their Own. Sleepless in Seattle. Philadelphia. Forrest Gump. Apollo 13.
So imagine Big without Tom Hanks. It almost happened. While Hanks was always the first choice to play the "old" version of Josh Baskin, he wasn't available. (Tied up with Dragnet and Punchline, as it turned out.) Robert De Niro would be offered the role, but you can thank his $6 million salary demand for the role eventually waiting on Hanks. (Others reportedly considered for the role include John Travolta, Dennis Quaid, Bill Murray, Michael Keaton and Robin Williams.)
Upon its release 30 years ago today, Big was an immediate hit with theater-goers and critics. It still retains a 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been ranked at No. 23 on Bravo's list of 100 Funniest Movies.
Here are five more things you probably didn't know about Big on its 30th anniversary:
1. When director Penny Marshall got the script, legend has it nobody wanted any part of it. In time, Marshall would become the first female director to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million at the box office.
2. The famous "Walking Piano" keyboard that Josh discovers at F.A.O. Schwarz was in reality much too small for two adults to perform on at the same time. Marshall contacted the creator of the toy and asked him to build one more than twice its original size.
3. The cute "Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop" rap that Josh sings with his boyhood friend was in fact Hanks' idea, inspired by a rap that he and his son learned at a summer camp.
4. David Moscow played the part of young Josh Baskin, wearing contacts so his eye color would match Hanks. It was his first big-screen role. Today he has more than 40 acting credits, including roles in Newsies and Just Married.
5. One persistent rumor over the years is that an alternate ending was filmed in which Susan (played by Elizabeth Perkins) used the Zoltar machine to turn herself into a little girl again and is seen sitting in class with Josh in a final scene. Legend has it the ending was only included in the video release for New Zealand, but filmmakers have insisted no other endings were filmed.