Wilson the Volleyball from the movie Castaway was inspired when screenwriter William Broyles, Jr deliberately stranded himself for one week on an isolated beach in the Sea of Cortez in which a volleyball washed up on shore
“In the film, Wilson the volleyball serves as Chuck Noland’s personified friend and only companion during the four years that Noland spends alone on a deserted island.The character was created by screenwriter William Broyles, Jr. While researching for the film, he consulted with professional survival experts, and then chose to deliberately strand himself for one week on an isolated beach in the Sea of Cortez, to force himself to search for water and food, and obtain his own shelter. During this time, a volleyball washed up on shore. This was the inspiration for the film’s inanimate companion. From a theatrical point of view, Wilson also serves to realistically imply dialogue in a one-person-only situation.
One of the original volleyball props was sold at auction after release of the film for $18,500 to the ex-CEO of FedEx Office, Ken May. At the time of the film’s release, Wilson Sporting Goods launched its own joint promotion centered around the fact that one of its products was “”co-starring”” with Tom Hanks. Wilson manufactured a volleyball with a reproduction of the bloodied handprint face on one side. It was sold for a limited time during the film’s initial release and continues to be offered on the company’s website. Additionally, many near-identical replicas of Wilson are available for sale.”