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Stories about Seagal (from director's , co-stars....)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DiDa, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    In his career, Steven Seagal has made a lot of movies. Good ones and bad ones. There are a lot of stories about Steven Seagal online from director's and people that have worked with him. Some stories explain why that particulair movie was bad. Some people say Seagal is not easy to work with, some people disagree about that. Any way I thought it would be fun if we had al those stories in one thread. There are some stories I knew about but I couldn't find them in this site anymore.

    Here we go...
     
  2. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The Glimmer Man

    This is a story from the set of The Glimmer Man. It's from an interview with the AVN Club with Stephen Tobolowski. He played the character Christopher Maynard and talks about Seagal changing the script constantly.

    The Glimmer Man (1996)—“Christopher Maynard”
    AVC: So trauma, terror, and beauty. I’m not sure which of these apply to this one.

    ST: [Pause, then laughter.] Let’s put in trauma and terror. Let’s scratch beauty, put in confusion. I had to audition for Steven Seagal. I was playing the serial killer in the movie. John Gray was the director, who I’d worked with before. I first met John Gray right after Mississippi Burning, in a yogurt shop. And he came up to me and said, “I really loved you in Mississippi Burning.” And I said, “Well, thank you, sir.” And he said, “Well, actually, I’m a director. John Gray. Hopefully we’ll be able to work someday.” And we did, on a TV movie called The Marla Hanson Story. She was a model who got cut with glass by her boyfriend. It was terrible, but it was a TV movie at the time, and John… Great director. Very accomplished guy. He called me and said that I had to audition for Steven for the part of the serial killer.

    So I show up at Steven’s home on Stone Canyon Road. My audition was at 10 a.m. And I sat in his living room, which was filled with saddles. Saddles. All over the place. Like, ornate saddles. And I waited until 12:30. Steven came downstairs. He had been asleep. And at that point, I was kind of… What do you call it? You know, when waiting to do an audition, you develop a certain amount of stress. Like athletes who build up lactic acid in their body. At that time, I was still with lactic acid. Or whatever. My body became a toxic-waste dump. So I really don’t remember the audition too much, because I was so traumatized—there’s the trauma—I was traumatized by waiting to audition. They wanted me to shoot one of the first days of shooting. They called me at 7 in the morning, which I’m used to, but the crew call was 9. So I came in two hours early. The reason they wanted me two hours early was that they wanted to discuss hair with the hairdresser. But because I was bald, the hairdresser didn’t come in, so I was stuck waiting in the parking lot for someone to show up for two hours.

    When, finally, people showed up, John Gray came in and told me in a panic that Steven Seagal wanted to rewrite the script. He decided it was bad for his karma to constantly be killing people in movies, so he didn’t want to kill me anymore. And I said, “Well, it’s important in the script that he kills me, because I’m, like, a serial killer.” And he said, “Don’t get into it with him. He believes it hurts his karmic development if he were to kill people.” And Warner Brothers is furious, because they told Steven, “Steven, we hired you because you’re good at killing people. And you know, you dance with who brung you. We’re not casting you to do a peace-loving cop, we’re casting you to murder people.”

    So we got in to rehearse our scene, and Steven says, “You wanna go over the lines?” And I go, “Sure.” “By the way, I should mention I think we should change the end, because I shouldn’t kill you.” And John Gray is standing behind us doing the ix-nay sign, with his finger going across his throat, like, “Don’t talk, don’t talk, don’t talk. Don’t say anything.” I said, “Steven, that is an amazing argument. I never really thought of that before. But coming from my character’s perspective, I am trapped in hell, being a serial killer. It is the worst thing that I could imagine. So if you were to kill me, you would actually be freeing me to come back in a reincarnational form as something better, and I would be able to atone for my sins here on Earth. So I think you would be doing me a huge favor.” And Steven said, “I never thought of it that way.” So we shot the scene where he shoots me. We put in the prosthetics where my whole chest explodes when he shoots me, and then he walks up with the gun smoking, and looks down at me. We do this whole scene where I hold a priest hostage. He looks down at me, smoking, and John patted me on the back, and he said, “Thank you, Stephen, for getting us out of that one.”

    Fade out. Fade in. Two and a half months later, I get a phone call from John Gray. He said, “Oh, dear. We’re in trouble. Steven Seagal started ad-libbing in another scene about, “Thank God I didn’t kill the guy in the church.” So we have to find some way to add some lines to indicate that you’re not dead. So can you come in and look at the scene and see if we can put something into the film to indicate that you are still alive?” So I’m watching the film. Keenen Ivory Wayans walks in to watch the scene. We do the whole scene where I’m holding the priest, Steven shoots me, my chest explodes in slow-motion! I mean, the entire chest cavity goes! I fall out of frame, Steven walks up with the smoking gun. And John Gray said, “Maybe you can add a line off-camera here.” And I said, “Like what? What would I add? Like, ‘You missed me!’ or, ‘Thank God it’s just a flesh wound,’ or ‘Oh no! I’m injured!’” I mean, my whole chest exploded. Keenen Ivory Wayans just rolls his eyes and walks out of the room. So I added, off-camera, [Short, deep breaths.] “Finish me. Finish me off, you son of a bitch! Finish me!” [Laughs.] It’s ludicrous! And I don’t know what they ended up showing. I don’t know if they ended up cutting that entirely, cutting me getting shot, cutting what I said, but I knew we were in the area of high comedy at that point
     
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  3. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ticker

    Albert Pyun's shoot for Ticker was a disaster. A day before the shooting started the producers told him that the shooting schedule will be a lot shorter then was announced. Also the budget was increased with 50%. During the shoot Albert also got sick (the flu). I have the (signed) Ticker director's cut with the commentary from Albert. During the commentary he says many times that Seagal helped him during the shoot. He provided Albert with some medicines and helped him overcome his dissapointment about the budget and shooting schedule increase. Albert said Steven was really a great help on set.
     
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  4. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mercenary For Justice

    On imdb there is some interesting stuff from director Don E. Fauntleroy regarding Mercenary For Justice and the lawsuit.

    Q: How long was the shooting for Mercenary, faunt?
    I liked the movie, good action, but the story was confused and I wished there were more of these good fights.

    Fauntleroy: We shot for 28 days
    The story was confusing because there were four writers on the film and things were left over from draft to draft. I pointed all this out but the producers but they did not care. Also the producers cut scene number 101 from the shooting schedule that played right in the middle of the film it caused a domino effect before and after. That scene was the tie up in the movie. I talked until I was blue in the face trying to convince them the decision was a huge mistake. They did not care.

    Q: Can you tell us what was in scene number 101? I was able to follow the film just fine, and thought it was a strong movie, but am interested to see what got left out.

    Fauntleroy: It was a scene where Maxine and Seeger were to meet up and set the plan in motion to expose Chapel and Dresham. A fight sequence was to take place as Seeger left the Hotel where Seagal had to take on four guys so Maxine could slip away.

    Q: Why are the producers so stuck up ?

    Fauntleroy: It isn't that they are stuck up. They just hated Steven and their whole existence was to destroy him, staff of personal, and the film. The day I arrived they showed me a law suit that had already been prepared and was ready to file if Steven gave them any problems. They eventually did file the law suite in Los Angeles after the film was finished. It was settled out of court and the company has since done a film with Steven. Of course Danny Learner and Les Weldon were not part of it.
     
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  5. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lawsuit Mercenary For Justice and Today You Die

    The LA Times

    Attorneys for actor Steven Seagal have filed a fraud and breach of contract lawsuit against the producers of two films starring the internationally known action star, claiming Seagal is owed $835,000 for starring in an independent picture called "Mercenary."
    The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, comes days after Nu Image, Inc., and Kill Master Productions sued Seagal for $14 million, claiming the actor caused production delays on the set of "Mercenary" and a second film, "Today You Die," by routinely arriving late on the set, rewriting the script and allowing members of his entourage to interfere with the work of crew members.

    Don E. Fauntleroy mentioned he never saw any bad behaviour from Seagal on the set. Otherwise he would not have directed Seagal again in Urban Justice.
     
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  6. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Urban Justice

    Q: How do you get Seagal to show up for ADR, when other directors seem incapable? Is it a case of making sure you get that part done in time? Or do you simply have a better working relationship with Seagal?

    Fauntleroy: Steven did not show for adr. I told the post sound house we had to use all of Steven's production sound. It was very time consuming, filtering and manipulating Steven's, voice, but worth it. Their were only three lines we had to redo in UJ. The sound mixer was very clever and actually lifted words from Steven's other scenes to make his voice work. On the set Steven and I have a lot of respect for each other. That respect allows for a more creative environment. That entire sequence was choreographed by Steven and the stunt men. I am truly happy that you liked the films.
     
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  7. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Black Dawn

    Probably the best and most interesting story. Director Alexander Gruszynski anwered a lot of questions about his experiences during the shooting of Black Dawn. And he didn't hold back!

    Q: can you tell what you thought of black dawn and how much freedom you were given for the film?

    Alexander: Thanks for posting here. I was less than happy with the final film, in fact I will go as far as to say I hated it.
    There were numerous problems associated with it not least Steven's behaviour on set, the absymal help from the studio and Andrew Steven's own personal interference.
    I was offered the chance to direct Steven in a new movie in Vancouver in Spring but I turned them down.

    Q: the film in the spring is an insight films prodcution and they are a better company with better budgets.

    what did seagal do wrong?

    I noticed that he was not involved in any of the fight scenes why?

    By the way maximum risk was a great film

    Alexander: Hello

    I am aware the film is with Insight; however the problem is working with Seagal.

    He bullied and coerced several members of the cast and crew on my film set,held up production continually and treated a particular co-star in a very disrespectful way.

    He was not involved in any of the fight scenes because he didn't want to, simple as that. He was often morose and moody and if he didn't want to do it he wouldn't. He would say 'all i have to do is just punch this guy,end of scene'. he was just lazy.

    Eventually he called Andrew and Andrew called me back and said ' If he is feeling tired then leave it don't force him'. Eventually I had to shoot a scene with his stunt double on the last day of shooting just so that it looked as if he was doing 'some' fighting. If you've seen the final movie, you'll know that it's obvious it's not Steven. (The fight on the staircase when Steven is going upstairs in the hotel to bust in on the crooks and Tamara Davies).

    Eventually we had to use a lot of blue screen, my idea was to spend $15,000 on hiring a professional lot in LA that I had used to many of my other movies, but this money instead went to the post-wrap party at the Hilton in LA. This was not the way to make a movie and that's why I won't work with those people ever again.

    Q: By the way who hired you for the film was it seagal or the producers?

    Alexander: On the strength of an action picture I did in the early 90's called Stone Cold, one of the producers (Kamal Aboukhater) asked that I be involved in directing the movie. The script was written in 24 hours-yes remarkable isn't it?

    The way Andrew Stevens Entertainment works is that they pay Seagal in this case an outright fee to just confirm he will be in the movie, then a group of writers usually scrape together a film on the spot to meet the deadline. Usually this script gets continually changed throughout the movie prolonging production. In the case of Black Dawn, Seagal insisted that he play the character Jonathan Cold. This was not supposed to be a sequel to The Foreigner(which I had not seen). I was instructed to then go back and watch The Foreigner go ensure I made Black Dawn as similar to it as possible. Of course this did not happen.

    I'll give you an example of how strange Steven Seagal can be. On the dvd release, there is an interview of him taken in Thailand just before the film shot in LA. For this interview he specified that he sit on a throne that had been used by the previous King of Thailand for 25 years. The interview had to take place in the Imperial Gardens of the US embassy in Bangkok. Seagal would not take photo shoots for the Black Dawn cover and publicity stills unless this interview was included on the dvd when released. Andrew Stevens then specified that there be a ludicrous picture of two people doing flying kicks on the front cover when none of this happened in the movie.

    If you have anymore questions feel free to ask. I am happy Steven is doing better movies(I have not seen them) all I can say is that it takes the patience of Job to get a good performance and time out of him.

    Q: how much say did you have on the casting of the film?

    Alexander: I had a lot initially but there were always last minute replacements, I insisted on Tamara Davies who I still think is one of the best things about the movie. She provided a strong counterpart to Steven. Interestingly I was adamant that she should get some martial arts training so I sent her to a kickboxer friend for a week or two, she came back and looking a real pro. She filmed two fight scenes were she kicked some major butt(in the hotel and in the warehouse with the dolls and model figures) but these scenes were cut because they emphasised the fact that Seagal wasn't doing his own fightings and looked weak.
    The other actors were studio choices and all did their jobs pretty professionally.

    Q: Why was cgi used so much?

    Alexander: Mostly because the money was taken away from us for lavish parties and to pay for Seagal's entourage. Steven walked around with 7 bodyguards at all times during the shoot. You couldn't get to talk to him without getting past those guys. One day they went to a chinese restaurant mid way through shooting and racked up a $25,000 bill which went on Andrew Stevens Entertainment credit card. The net result? We lost two days worth of shooting on the dumpster truck chase scene and had to use some dodgy blue screen. At the end of the movie we were over budget and Seagal had moved on to another movie, so I had to use a computer friend at the last minute to put together a bad impersonation of the ocean when the nuclear device is dropped.

    Q: The film had a tv look about it yet your films that you are a cinematographer for look theatrical..why did the film look cheap?

    Alexander: Because the studio would not pay the extra to shoot on quality film

    Q: Will you ever direct again or will you stick to cinematography?

    Alexander: Cinematography. My proudest moments are making a film that is good look even better. if i direct again I don't want to do it on this scale.
    Referring to Van Damme; he has a million and one ideas on set but is interested too much in partying, although he may be a different person now.
     
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  8. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    Byron Mann -


    Andrew Davis -
    John Westermann -
    Stephen Quadros interview - http://www.steven-seagal.net/xen/index.php?wiki/stephen-quadros-interview/
     
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  9. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    Certainly looks like Steven Seagal has become more lazy towards his movies since the earlier years reading the above. Not turning up for ADR for Urban Justice, etc. Must be very difficult for directors/crew starting their career having to work with such limited material. Having to shoot scenes with stunt doubles and then using voice doubles. :(
     
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  10. Mason

    Mason Well-Known Member

    I would have loved if they had filmed that fight scene..
     
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  11. Martin01

    Martin01 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Interesting thread, thank you DiDa.
     
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  12. rastafari

    rastafari Well-Known Member

    Interview with Byron Mann-2012


    J: Recently you were in the Steven Seagal film A Dangerous Man. I thought you gave a great performance. How did you get involved with that project?
    [​IMG]
    BM: I almost didn’t do that movie. That was a last minute thing. A lot of the scenes for my character were made up at the last minute as well. For example, the scene where I pummeled this guy with a pistol was homage to the scene in The Untouchables where DeNiro beats a man to death with a bat. The character wasn’t drawn out in detail, but I had worked with Steven Seagal before so they called me. The weekend before the shoot the director Keoni Waxman and I sat down and we kind of hashed out this character and a few scenes. We literally started shooting that Monday.
    J: You’ve re-teamed with both Seagal and Keoni Waxman on another project titled True Justice. Can you tell us about this new TV mini-series?
    BM: Yes, It’ll be out very soon. They’re still shooting right now in Vancouver. It’s a series of two hour movies that will be shown back to back. It’s quite interesting. I really enjoyed reuniting with the director, Keoni Waxman; he’s a very talented guy. We have two other projects we are looking to collaborate on.
     
  13. rastafari

    rastafari Well-Known Member

    Michael Keusch


    eusch was however looking most forward to working with international martial arts sensation Steven Seagal over a three picture deal, but what started out as a 'dream' soon turned into a nightmare. 'The last few months were like going down with the Hindenberg' he says.

    ....Keusch enjoyed working with Seagal the most on their first picture called Shadow Man which included oscar winner Imelda Staunton and british soap stars but the notoriously difficult to work with star tested Keusch's patience when trying to shoot a martial arts demonstration scene.
    'It was my idea to do this scene in the dojo because it was like a nod to his first movie Above the Law' says Keusch 'And i said whatever ideas you have i'd liek to hear, and he comes up with something he calls Dim Mak or death touch, i dont know any martial arts but when he suggested the scene and the watermelon i thought it was ridiculous'.

    Seagal however took the scene deadly serious and when Keusch suggested the scene was something more out of a comic book than an action picture, the action star looked at him 'with eyes that could turn medusa to stone' and said 'Do you know what its like to kill a man? have you ever killed a man before? this isnt comic book stuff, this can kill a man'. Keusch made the mistake of trying to usurp Seagal on the history of martial arts before then being told 'I can think of at least six different ways to kill you right now, Bruce Lee could send a man flying from one inch away so dont presume anything'.

    The scene was so hard to shoot that Seagal wouldnt finish it and Keusch had to wrap up the scene with extras and a stuntman who resembled Seagal. Keusch at that point officially felt 'genuinely scared' of the Under Siege star.

    Their second picture went even worse, shot in Castel Studios, Harvester or Attack Force as it began ranks amongst Seagal's fans as one of his worst. Keusch protests it was the studio who recut the film in haste, but the original cut was fuelled by problems between the two again.
    'Steven turned up before shooting with a copy of the film 'Predator 2' and says he wants Harvester to be like Predator 2; i tell him we had a script which he said he hadnt even read. The first thing he said to me after reading it was that he refused to fight Ileana Lazariuc who is the alien queen. I didnt like this aspect either but it was there'. Seagal was apparently 'horribly depressed' on the day about the scene refusing to come out of his trailer to shoot it. When one of Seagal's confidantes heard an extra saying that 'If Ileana will give him a blowjob then I bet he will come out' and told him, Seagal said he would walk off the picture unless the person who said it was fired. Keusch says 'Long story short, that person was fired and Seagal came out and did his scene but was very unhappy'

    Keusch admits he almost became addicted to painkillers and valium shooting the film 'We were up at 3,4 in the morning daily trying to do this picture, i hated it, we had to change every little thing every little day and in the end 50% of what i did was reshot later, i didnt get paid for that 50% either'

    On their last film it was Keusch's idea to use stock footage for Flight Of Fury even borrowing entire scenes from other movies-the reason 'So i didnt have to work with Seagal anymore'. Keusch got an irate memo from Seagal complaining why the filmakers couldnt use real aerial shots and planes to shoot the action scenes- 'He had a valid point' says Keusch 'We had a $12m budget, i could have done some stuff and Steven was saying 'Where is the money? You're telling me there is no money left why not?'. Keusch bemoans the budget 'going into the pockets of the producers'. Seagal then apparently 'started boasting how he knew people in the armed forces who were friends that were willing to lend us planes for the shoot'........in the end Keusch compromised with the producers and borrowed stock footage.

    Another scene that harked back to the problems of Shadow Man was a fight scene in a convenience store-when Keusch asked Seagal to contribute ideas, he came up with the idea of the knife fight scene where Seagal throws a knife into a mans neck. 'Again we had an argument about the martial arts, I said that no one would in their right mind stand there waiting for a knife to be thrown at them'. Seagal then said 'YOu dont thnk its possible? Why dont you stand there then and watch me throw it into your neck? Then you'll know its possible'.
    Keusch relented more out of fear than impatience.

    ....When asked if his three films with Seagal would be the proudest moment of his career or not Keusch says 'It started as a dream and became a nightmare, towards the end we wouldnt even look at each other, id just say action and cut'.
     
  14. bwana-beast

    bwana-beast Active Member

    For the Glimmer Man scene, perhaps they should have dubbed in a line from Monty Python, (paraphrasing) :) "I'm not dead....I'm getting better!"
    Good idea for this thread - very interesting.
     
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  15. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nice one, Rastafari. Where did you find this by the way?
     
  16. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I remember I arranged 2 interviews in the past. One with Don E. Fauntleroy and 1 with Roel Reine.
    Does someone know where they are? I can’t find them anywhere on the site. Administrator maybe you know?
     
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  17. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What always has keeping me busy is the question: What happened with the movie Kill Switch. It's so bad that it's on the same line as Attack Force. I think it's not about the fact the Jeff King and Steven Seagal couldn't get along, because after Kill Switch they filmed Driven To Kill which turned out to be one of Seagal's best dtv's.

    I can't find anything about what happened with Kill Switch. It's obviously that the producers made the fight scenes longer with fight doubles. Kill Switch has the strangest and baddest editing I have ever seen.
     
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  18. rastafari

    rastafari Well-Known Member


    Iu Image/Millenium bought the rights for Kill Switch from Insight and re edited the film

    Going off what Don said further up about MFJ i cant help but think Millenuim did it on purpose and it also explains why we will never see Seagal in EX3-4-5 ETC
     
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  19. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Didn't know that Nu Image bought the rights. Thinking about that, I was re-watching Kill Switch last weekend and during the opening credits I saw: Produced by Avi Lerner. I thought it was strange because of the lawsuit between him and Seagal. But now I understand. Thanks.

    I found this about the original cut / story of Kill Switch:

    Here's my theory, previously posted as a response to another poster who was also understandably perplexed:

    After watching the crazy ending a few times, and reading a bunch of the plot summaries that were released to the retailers and press long before the film came out, I think I sort of have an idea of what the ending maybe was supposed to mean before the producers edited the movie into the idiocy we see today. The original plot summaries stated the Seagal's character traveled the world hunting down serial killers and was possibly insane himself and that Memphis was only one of his stops. My theory is that in the original screenplay there was some kind of trick ending involving his twin brother and that King had been operating under an assumed identity all along; the family we see at the end is either his "real" family or one that he's started under yet another identity. "King" goes to a new city every few months, using a different identity, and hunts and kills the killers. That's why he doesn't really follow police rules, too--he's not really a cop, but rather a serial killer of serial killers. And I bet that it was really Jacob who was murdered as a child and the grown up Seagal character is the brother everyone thought had been murdered--his mind cracked when he witnessed the murder and he mentally took his brother's place, starting the trend of adopting whatever identity suited him.

    But again, there's noting in the finished film that really supports that. But we can all tell that the movie had the hell edited out of it after Seagal was no longer involved, so it’s not unreasonable to think that what we see now is significantly different than the original intention.
     
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  20. DiDa

    DiDa Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And this:

    I just watched KS again (on my personal player while on a long flight). And it is even more obvious to me now that the ridiculously extended fight sequences were added not only to add action but also to make up the time lost from the removal of the main plot of the movie. I think that the main plot of the movie wasn't originally Jacob's hunting down of the Grifter or the Hillbilly, but was much more focused on the female FBI's investigation of Jacob, and whether he was using the serial killer cases he investigated to cover up his own copycat murders.

    Now, this "FBI investigating King" plot point is brought up, but only briefly and very near the end of the movie. But if you watch the whole movie closely, you can see where lots of dialog has been edited out of the earlier parts of the film--you can just tell because people often seem to be responding with expressions or emotions that seem out of place and/or saying things that have nothing to do with the conversation at hand. I don't think just bad filmmking or bad writing is the reason most of the dialog scenes make no sense or have no point. I think it's because they were editing out any dialog that had to do with the FBI investigation and also shuffling the order of the scenes. Take for instance the scene where King's partner, Storm, makes a late night visit to King's apartment, obviously to tell him something important. Well, he pretty much tells him nothing, has a big drink of bourbon or something, says something incongruous about being paranoid, and then leaves. I mean, what was that all about? Well, I think it was originally Storm telling him about the FBI investigation of him. And I think that the lone scene near the end of the movie where the FBI agent actually states that she thinks King is a serial killer was originally placed much earlier in the film, and then moved to the end later on. AND I think that all the dialog in the next to the last scene, where we hear what Storm is reading in King's goodbye note, was replaced as well. Instead of the meaningless nonsense we hear in the released version, I believe we originally heard King telling Storm that the FBI agent’s suspicions were partially correct. I think in that note, King confessed to Storm that he is indeed a serial killer, but that he is a serial killer of serial killers. And then he tells him that Jacob is not his real name and that he’ going back to his real life, or something. Not sure about that part. But I am sure that he tells storm that he’s a serial killer of serial killers.

    AND I’m sure that this was a much more interesting, intelligent and more entertaining film before the studio butchered it. Maybe not a masterpiece, but much better than what we got. I’d love to see the original cut or read the original screenplay.
     
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