From right to left : John, Myself, Production Manager Robert Brown, Associate Producer Larry Franco. The Juneau Ice Field. Location Scout April, 1981

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Lee Van Cleef

Jerry Ohrbach
Kevin Conway

Lee Van Cleef was an initial consideration, having just worked with John on ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Jerry Ohrbach was thought highly of on the strength of his recent work in PRINCE OF THE CITY. Kevin Conway came in to meet and read the part beautifully... 

Richard Mulligan
Powers Boothe

Richard Mulligan was a surprise submission from his agency at the time. He had gotten hold of a script and thought the role would be a great change of pace from his current work on the T.V. series SOAP ( not unsurprisingly, we also gave some thought to the idea of his playing Palmer ). Powers Boothe was mentioned as we kicked around the idea of playing the role younger, in an age range more contemporaneous to Macs...

Michael Ploog's original storyboard for Garry's death...

...and a literal definition of " hands on ". That's Rob Bottin's hand in the shot...

William Daniels
Brian Dennehy

             From my woefully incomplete notes : veteran actor William Daniels was submitted for the role  but it was Brian Dennehy who came within a whisker of playing Dr. Copper - a last second, back and forth decision made by John in favor of Richard Dysart ( I am somewhat surprised in retrospect that Brian didn't end up somewhere in this movie - he was considered for a number of roles, and we both liked him a lot...)


  1. What is that image of Copper and Fuchs looking at the monitor? Never seen that image before, what are they looking at?

  2. You were busy last week! Love the articles, Stuart. Thanks so much for sharing this stuff.

  3. As wonderful as Donald Moffat is in the movie and he is one of my favourite character portrayals, I can't help but wonder how perfect Powers Boothe could have been in the role of Garry. Moffat brought a strange brand of hapless frustration that just simmers away brilliantly, but Boothe, well, damn but the tension between him and Russell could have cooked and been worth the ticket price alone. The potential for antagonism and paranoia between those two could have been unlimited.

    thanks for the blog mr.cohen.


    1. And how weird would that have been, since Russell kills Powers Boothe in Tombstone!