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Buckaroo Banzai Team Banzai

The Silver Fox Speaks:

Well I guess the most obvious question would be - and let me be the first - when and if is there going to be a BB series on fox? What seems to be the hold up?

THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF THE ORIGINAL BB FILM HAVE DEVELOPED A SERIES WHICH THEY HOPE TO HAVE PICKED UP BY A TV COMPANY. THOUSANDS OF SERIES CREATORS ARE WAITING IN LINE FOR AN AIRDATE. BB IS WAITING IN LINE ALONG WITH THEM. IN HOLLYWOOD, PATIENCE IS THE BIGGEST VIRTUE.

I would like to know when we will be able to buy DVDs. There is a LaserDisc I saw on e-bay a while back, it would only take a few dollars to copy that onto DVD. I suspect that we could, if we look a little, find a Chinese Version, much like the Chinese versions of the four Star Wars movies out there. I know these are "bootlegs", but it isn't illegal in China. Thank the Democrats for that.

HONESTLY, I WOULDN'T HOLD MY BREATH FOR A DVD ON BB. WHILE ACQUIRING THE RIGHTS (PERMISSION) TO DEVELOP A NEW SERIES HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL, WORKING WITH THE ORIGINAL FILM IS NOT NECESSARILY A PART OF THE RIGHTS. OWNERSHIP OF THE FILM HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE QUESTION. THIS IS CALLED THE MOVIE "BUSINESS" AFTER ALL.

How much of the original script actually made it into the movie? Looks like there could have been a lot that was written but taken out. Or how much was filmed and then edited out?

ALL OF THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT MADE IT INTO THE MOVIE (AND ONLY THE OPENING SCENE OF BB'S FAMILY BEING KILLED WAS EDITED OUT). YOUR OBSERVATION THAT IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING IS MISSING IS EXACTLY THE ARGUMENT MADE BY THE STUDIO EXECUTIVES BACK IN '85 WHO DECIDED THAT THAT MEANT THE FILM DIDN'T WORK. THE REST OF US RECOGNIZED THAT AS STYLE.

I forgot. When I was looking for a copy of BB, I asked in a video trade list and got a reply about a copy of the movie with Jamie Lee Curtis and BB mom. Or did I hear that here?

YOU PROBABLY HEARD THAT THE OPENING SCENE WAS OF BABY BB WITH JAMIE LEE CURTIS AS HIS MOM. TRUE. BUT THE SCENE HIT THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR. ALTHOUGH I'VE SEEN THE SCENE, I'VE NEVER HEARD OF IT BEING DISTRIBUTED. A FEW FANS CLAIM TO HAVE COPIES. MAYBE, BOOTLEGGED IF TRUE.

In BB's original publicity, the word-of-mouth buzz created along the sci-fi convention circuit seemed much more effective than the half-hearted TV and print ads. Whose idea was it to try something different for BB and, in Terry's professional opinion, how successful was that approach? Was it worth it, or might a more traditional ad campaign have made the public more receptive to the movie?

WHEN THE STUDIO HEADS DECIDED THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE MOVIE, THEY STOPPED ALL PUBLICITY, SO THERE WAS NO CAMPAIGN. ONLY THOSE OF US WHO WORKED DIRECTLY WITH THE SCIENCE-FICTION MARKET (THAT'S MARKET, YOU UNDERSTAND), CARRIED THROUGH. PERHAPS THAT'S WHY ONLY THE SCIENCE FICTION AUDIENCE KNOWS ABOUT THIS MOVIE. THE LARGER, TRADITIONAL AUDIENCE NEVER HEARD OF IT. YOU, AS BB FANS TODAY, ARE A RARE BREED.

Many of the BB cast were relative unknowns at the time who went on to bigger things. How does he feel about having played a part in helping launch their careers? Also, he's continued to work on many of their subsequent films over the years; does he have an inside perspective about watching them mature as actors?

I'M VERY HAPPY THAT SO MANY OF THE BB ACTORS HAVE SUCCESSFUL CAREERS, BUT I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT. THE FACT THAT THEY SURVIVED IN SPITE OF THE BOX OFFICE FAILURE OF ONE OF THEIR EARLY FILMS IS A TRIBUTE TO THEM, TO THEIR TALENT AND TO THEIR OWN CONTINUING HARD WORK. IT WOULD BE NAIVE TO THINK THAT MY TRAVELING TO SF CONVENTIONS MADE MUCH DIFFERENCE.

Terry obviously has close ties with the Star Trek franchise, and I know a few other members of the Trek crew (Greg Jein, for example) also worked on BB or are at least fans. As a result, there have been a handful of BB references slipped into Trek episodes and books over the years. What's the general feeling among the BB supporters who work with Trek? Do they take special pride in slipping in such references? Does Terry know of any such attempts that were nixed for some reason?

YES, THERE ARE OVERTHRUSTERS EVERYWHERE. MANY ON THE TREK STAFF JUST CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES! THEY JUST DO IT. HEE!!! IT IS POSSIBLE THAT NO ON IN "CONTROL" EVER HAS OBJECTED--OR POSSIBLY EVEN NOTICED.

What films has he handled that he thought would hit it big, but flopped instead? Or thought would be a flop that turned into a surprise hit? (Obviously this isn't specifically BB-related, but I thought I'd toss it in just for variety. Besides, BB might come to mind anyway...)

ODDLY ENOUGH, THIS IS A BB QUESTION. THEATER SCREENS ARE BOOKED WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE RELEASE OF A FILM. IN ORDER TO HAVE ENOUGH SCREENS HELD FOR BB TO HAVE A WIDE RELEASE, FOX ISSUED A QUICKY, CALLED "REVENGE OF THE NERDS." UNEXPECTEDLY, IT WAS SO POPULAR THAT THE THEATRE OWNERS ASKED TO KEEP IT ON, GIVING THE STUDIO A PERFECT EXCUSE TO NOT WIDELY RELEASE BANZAI. OBVIOUSLY THE DETAILS BEHIND THIS ARE MUCH MORE COMPLICATED THAN I'VE STATED HERE, BUT ESSENTIALLY ONLY THOSE OF YOU READING THIS REMEMBER BB, AND "NERDS" HAD SEQUELS AND MORE SEQUELS.

Paula Bertelsen: In regards to the movie, as mentioned before, for some this was filmed at the beginning of their careers. Does he know in perhaps chance meetings, how they felt about the movie, after the fact and being on their list of "what they have been in". Also, the mix was unique. Any stand out relationship or stories of how did what to whom. I can see a few jokes going on behind the scenes with this group.

I HAVE NO IDEA. I DON'T KNOW ANY OF THE ACTORS ON A PERSONAL BASIS.

The book showed that women are part of the group, Peggy, before her death, and Pecos, but the movie didn't offer this. I hope in any workings with the "Series" that women will be brought in as equals to the others. I would like to know more about the conflict that the studio had in promoting the initial film. I know for me, I was looking forward to it because of the promotion done through Starlog. (Got it somewhere in my packed stuff).

IF AND WHEN A NEW BB SERIES FLIES, I'LL TRY TO FOLLOW UP ON STORIES ABOUT THE THEN AND THE NOW OF THE HISTORY. UNTIL SUCH TIME IT'S COMPLICATED. ALSO, I'VE REPEATED IT SO OFTEN FOR SO MANY YEARS THAT I'M JUST NOT UP TO IT AT THE MOMENT. THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE WAITED FIFTEEN YEARS CAN WAIT A BIT MORE. CAN'T YOU? PLEASE? I KNEW YOU COULD.

THANKS EVERYBODY. I KNOW THE INFO IS SKIMPY. ALL WE NEED TO THINK RIGHT NOW IS GOOD THOUGHTS TOWARDS A BB SERIES BEING ACCEPTED FOR AN AIRDATE. IT COULD BE ANYTIME--AND IT COULD BE ANYWHERE. STAY TUNED. 

SILVER FOX


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