Robert De Niro thought 1976’s Taxi Driver had the potential to be a movie people would still be talking about 50 years later. We’re still a decade away from knowing that for sure, but it’s safe to assume he was right. Here, culled from some of the many things that have been written about the film, are a handful of tidbits you may not have known. If you’re a fan of this iconic movie, then yeah: we’re talkin’ to you. 1. Martin Scorsese directed actors Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster in one of the most searing and disturbing dramas of all time, "Taxi Driver." The film revolves around the life of mentally unstable soldier Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro) back from Vietnam war, who works as a cabbie in New York City. The perceived decadence and sleaze of the city feed his urge for violence and his attempt to save an adolescent prostitute (played by Jodie Foster). The movie was released on Feb. 8, 1976, and celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. We bring you some interesting facts about the classic. Zimbio 2. De Niro, just coming off the hit "The Godfather: Part II," was being offered $500,000 to star in other films, but he agreed to play Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver” for just $35,000. Writer Schrader agreed to take about the same amount for his screenplay, despite having just sold another one ("The Yakuza") for 10 times that amount. Actress Cybil Shepherd also took on the part for less than her usual asking price. Getty Images 3. According to Scorsese, the title role was first offered to Dustin Hoffman (R), who declined it. Jeff Bridges (L) was another actor under consideration. Years later Hoffman admitted that turning down the part might have been a mistake on his part. Getty Images 4. De Niro prepared himself for the role by working 12-hour shifts driving a cab for a month. At one point he was recognized by someone who thought he must have been out of work to be driving a taxi. He also studied different aspects of mental illness during this period to get into Bickle's mind. techcrunch.com 5. Director Martin Scorsese (pictured, L, in a still from the film) put on an acting hat when he played the role of a taxi passenger who describes, in graphic detail, how he wants to kill his unfaithful wife. The role was supposed to be played by actor George Memmoli, but he couldn’t show up due to an injury. Scorsese surprised everyone by playing the part himself. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images 6. Jodie Foster played Iris, a child prostitute, in the movie. Since she was only 12 years old at that time, she couldn’t participate in the most explicit scenes. Her older sister Connie, who was 19, agreed to be Jodie’s body double. pinterest.com 7. Actresses Kim Basinger and Linda Blair were considered for the role of Iris after Melanie Griffith (pictured) turned it down due to concerns from her mother, actress Tippi Hedren. Rex Images 8. Among the many young actresses who auditioned for the role of Iris were newcomers like Carrie Fisher, Mariel Hemingway, Bo Derek (pictured, L), Kim Cattrall, Rosanna Arquette, Kristy McNichol and Michelle Pfeiffer (pictured, R). Rex Images 9. Foster was not permitted to enter a theater to see the finished, R-rated movie without being accompanied by a parent or guardian since she was only 12. Columbia Pictures 10. Robert De Niro’s line “You talkin’ to me?” is among the most quoted in film history. Pinterest 11. Scorsese reportedly wanted to cast a "Cybill Shepherd type" for the role of Betsy, whom Bickle has a crush on, and he got the real thing. Shepherd became well known as an actress after being a model. Archive Photos/Getty Images 12. Harvey Keitel (R) rehearsed with actual pimps to prepare for his role. imdb.com 13. Would-be assassin John Hinckley, who became obsessed with the film, attempt on U.S. president Ronald Reagan’s life on Monday, March 30, 1981, is said to have been inspired by the movie, as Travis Bickle plots to assassinate a presidential candidate. Hinckley also tried to reach out to Jodie Foster repeatedly. allposters.com 14. Scorsese had to desaturate the color of blood in the film’s violent scenes, rendering it less realistic, to avoid getting an X-rating for the film. Getty Images 15. Martin Scorsese received the Palme d'Or for the film at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. Getty Images Credits: msn.com Share this story on Facebook with your friends.