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About ActionFighter

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  1. ActionFighter

    Episode 181 - Freejack: LIVE!

    Long time listener, first time poster. The director, Geoff Murphy, was the biggest director in New Zealand in the 1980s. Goodbye Pork Pie (1980) was a local blockbuster, drawing in crowds like never before. UTU (1984) was also a huge hit, depicting the Maori Land Wars as an action spectacle. The Quiet Earth (1985) won acclaim with its dramatic last-man-on-earth performance of long-time collaborator Bruno Lawrence. He was so successful, he went to Hollywood. And the world got Freejack. Sigh. In 2015, he published his autobiography Geoff Murphy: A Life on Film. And he has some things to say about Freejack. https://pastebin.com/5KJnREyF - He took the job because the studio threw money at him, and he had a huge NZ tax bill hanging over his head. - Linda Fiorentino was the original pick for the role of Julie Redlund. In fact, they were shooting scenes with her and Emilio for the first few weeks of production. One day, the studio executives flew into Atlanta with Rene Russo, had her audition, and Fiorentino was let go. To quote the book So all that work had to be re-shot. - Mick Jagger accepted his part on the basis of having seen UTU and having a few drinks with Geoff. They got on so well that Jagger let Murphy and his family use his house and butler in the Virgin Islands when shooting wrapped up. - The first test screening was real bad. - Murphys last effort to save the movie was to cut it down to 95 minutes. The studio hated it, and spent the weekend doing a final cut which came out at 110 minutes. - Murphy had the credit saying " A GEOFF MURPHY FILM" removed from the opening because he didn't feel it was his movie at all. He kept his DIRECTED BY credit because it would have required legal action. - Geoff Murphy was fascinated by the strip clubs in Atlanta, because they were so different from the ones back home. It's an interesting book. He also talks about meeting Dino De Laurentiis and messing up the chance to direct Conan III, getting paid to not direct Predator, working with Steven Seagal, Mickey Rourke, Peter Jackson etc. Some good stuff, even if you're not interested in the New Zealand filmmaking that makes up most of it.