Muppets Treasure Island
Some might wonder why there are no headlines about me in the Race to Witch Mountain shoots. Ok, the tabloids are interested in any stories involving The Rock and Ms. Gugino-and apparently there are already a few circulating. I haven’t been involved in the daily press business with the Disney PR flacks since I was away for a short trip. I’m not needed for scenes every day, so probably no one would have noticed. Why am I telling you this story in advance? A simple matter, and it will be in the headlines soon enough anyway.
I arrived for my short stay in the Dominican Republic after spending hours in an uncomfortable plane again. I took them up on their offer to drive me to the old set, the one Gore Verbinski used for the first two movies. Thankfully that car was air-conditioned…
The sets for Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End have been mostly broken down, but some of the stuff could be reused for a possible new take on the Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner story. I didn’t want to miss my chance now, since that Lara Croft piece I did for Jan de Bont prevented me from joining the Pirates cast the first time around. My daughter wouldn’t speak to me for weeks.
So I’m not sure exactly what the basic line on the new story will be. I got a call from a Disney casting director (who has been in charge of my old casting tapes since Sum of All Fears, if I remember correctly) asking me to come over during a Witch Mountain break. Rumour has it that Mr. Depp isn’t interested in another encore of his rasta pirate, and studios always look for opportunities to keep their cash cow alive. They came up with a short storyline first to reunite the lost lovers. The ten years are not yet over and Will Turner longs to be in Ms. Swan’s arms again, but the spell has to be broken somehow and there is still some other unsettled business. Seems that the curse was passed on to the child, Will’s son, whom he was about to meet after the time he had to spend on the ghost ship. The kid suffered from some sort of spiritual mark and Ms. Swan… I dropped out at that part and found myself made-up in a way you usually only find in a nightmare, with bad curly dark hair, stripped to the waist and tattooed all over the chest, a bandage to cover bruises and stuffed into a frighteningly tiny part of a pirate’s ship. For a second, I wasn’t sure whether my dislike of heights had found a match in claustrophobia. Fortunately my lines were quickly shot so I could get out of my prison. A quick handshake brought a happy ending to the scenario, and I headed back to my plane.
A driver took me back to the airport after dining at a restaurant on the beach. I had to wait about an hour at the airport due to a bad weather forecast that turned out to be a false alarm. After boarding the plane back to L.A., I wanted to read the magazine I had bought and found an envelope that I first thought to be one of those annoying adverts. No, not an offer for perfume but some very clear and colourful photos of the takes I just had done a couple of hours before. Along with the photos was a letter demanding certain things or the photos and information would go to a certain tabloid magazine. I admired several snapshots where I looked like Benn Gunn and a treasure hunter, then decided to catch forty winks. Back in L.A., I handed the matter over to my Disney contact-let them take care of it! Being part of the Disney family for Witch Mountain, I reckon they should handle Pirates of the Caribbean stuff too. The lady smiled perceptively and took the envelope with one missing photo I wanted to keep for fun. I am curious to see which newspaper will get the scoop on the story. Maybe some will publish only the photos and announce the upcoming Muppets feature as a remake of Treasure Island, with me in it-who knows! Until then, I’ll just concentrate on being another villain here.