The stubborn pursuit of passion projects in the face of improbable odds could be the epitaph of many independent producers in Hollywood.
Some of those stories have happy endings - the labor of love ignored by the mandarins and gatekeepers of the industry and deemed unmakeable or uncommercial or otherwise relegated to the scrap heap of development hell. But when made, against all odds and in the face of conventional wisdom, whatever unquantifiable alchemy of concept, execution, timing, audience and luck translates into box office success.
American Graffiti and Star Wars were probably the two best examples of that phenomenon of my generation.
But most do not, and Horace McCoy's unproduced screenplay of "Night Cry", rediscovered more than thirty-five years after it was first penned, and despite the many fans and true believers it collected over the years of almost getting on the floor after it was unearthed (Jerry Zucker, David Siegel and Scott McGehee, Stephen Frears, Annette Bening, Cate Blanchette, Tim Robbins, George Clooney), remains unproduced to this day. Alas!
As they say, when it comes right down to it, you only really need FOUR things to get a movie made - a script, a director, a cast, and the money - but lining up all four at once has been compared to four cherries popping up in a row on the million dollar One-Armed Bandit in Las Vegas.
For whatever reason that last cherry always ticked over to a lemon, even when we were once in pre-production and only eight weeks away from filming with Siegel and McGehee ("The Deep End").
So McCoy fans will have to settle for the film adaptations of his more famous works, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They" and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye", unless a filmmaker of some future generation stumbles upon this blog entry and rediscovers the guilty pleasures of his least known piece of original writing for the screen - "Night Cry"!
It would be 'deja vu all over again'!