They began working together in theater in the 1960s and through One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest into the ‘80s.
Tracing their intertwining careers, Douglas came to talk about the sequel to their hit Romancing the Stone.
Thirty five years later, many fans of the film may not even know there was a sequel. The 1985 film, The Jewel of the Nile, is not remembered fondly by fans of the original.
Whatever viewers may think of the sequel, there was going on behind the scenes.
It’s never a good sign when you have to sue the lead actor to be in the film. After the success of Romancing the Stone, Kathleen Turner had a lot of other offers and was set to star in The Money Pit (Shelly Long ultimately starred). When the script to Jewel came in, she was set to do another film.
“I said, ‘I’m sorry, we’re going to go ahead. We got a contract,’” Douglas recalled. “She said, ‘I don’t care if you’ve got a contract. I don’t think the script is ready.’ I said the script will be ready. We got into a lawsuit and she hired Roy Cohn. Roy Cohn was her attorney. We go off, the picture’s going to be done in Morocco. We were in a suit and it
looks like I’m going to win and Kathleen’s going to come there but unhappily.”
That was only the beginning of Jewel of the Nile’s troubles. Tragedy also befell the crew.
“Lo and behold, while I’m doing pre-production in Morocco, we have a plane crash,” Douglas said. “I lose six of my crew members, my production designer, my art director, asst. director two weeks before the picture starts, lost a good portion of our crew.”
“The widows are all there opening days of the picture trying to get their husbands home. Kathleen’s not happy. Danny, thank goodness, we were getting along good then. It was a rugged start. I was so grateful for this guy,” he continued.
Near the end of filming in Morocco, the crew got sick. However, the illness wasn’t the biggest problem.
“We had Health Service come down from the capital and they tell me, ‘I think you’ve got a case of Hepatitis on your crew here,’” Douglas said. “We were three days away from finishing filming in Morocco to go to France. ‘I’m afraid we’re going to have to quarantine the company for six weeks.’ That’s going to take us into August, 125 degrees, we’re all done. I don’t know what to do. He said, ‘Well, 2.5 million dollars.’”
So if The Jewel of the Nile doesn’t recapture the Romancing the Stone magic, remember it’s a miracle they even got out of Morocco.
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