In such a world, comfort is found in the smallest, most trivial discoveries, such as a long-forgotten soft drink. But Mortensen said that one of the most memorable scenes in McCarthy’s book – when the pair find a can of Coca-Cola – almost didn’t make it into the movie because of corporate concern.
“We were approaching the day we were going to shoot that scene, which I was looking forward to, and they said, ‘we’re not going to be able to use Coke. We’ll have to use…Brand X soda or something.’ I said that’s not the same thing. Coke is so iconic around the world. It’s a symbol, of America, of a certain way of life.”
“But the Coca-Cola Company has a policy. …that they have never allowed their product to be shown in an R-rated movie.”
Mortensen asked to be put in contact with the Coke executive in charge of the decision to allow the use of its product.
“And I said, I know it’s probably not going work but I just have to tell you, if you don’t know this book…you’re going to get for free something that potentially is as good as having an ad in the Super Bowl,” Mortensen said. “For free. When you’ve got nothing left, and there’s this can of Coke…it’s in the book …and I’ve got to say, if you have family members – he says ‘yeah’ – and if they know this book, and if they see this movie and that can of Coke is not in it and you’re working for Coca-Cola and making that decision, they’re going to ask, why is that can of Coke not in there? Think about it.”
“We got approval,” Mortensen said, laughing at the memory.