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David Poland

By David Poland

From Another Post

A commenter brought up an interesting notion for some holiday pondering… what would have happened by now to the “great stars” who died before their time?
Would Marilyn Monroe be in Rumor Has It?
Would James Dean by married to Barbra Streisand… or Kevin Spacey?
Would John Belushi doing Brian Cox roles or Eugene Levy roles?

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14 Responses to “From Another Post”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    John Belushi would be doing Jim Belushi roles.
    Marilyn Monroe would be retired, living alone in a Paris apartment.
    Dean would be a legendary elder statesman of cinema. Like Brando, but not as fat.

  2. Crow T Robot says:

    Imagine John Belushi as Pete Venkman in Ghostbusters.
    Or River Phoenix as the interviewer in Vampire.
    Or Mark Hamill’s original face in Empire Strikes Back.

  3. Wrecktum says:

    …Chris Farley in Elf.

  4. Angelus21 says:

    Kevin Spacey can do much better than an old and gray Jimmy Dean.

  5. joefitz84 says:

    The last thing I want to even ponder today is John Belushi in the sitcom “According the John”. That’s beyond terrible.

  6. Josh says:

    I think Farley would have been a good addition to “Old School”.

  7. Josh says:

    The Hamill accident did give the Luke character some added character in the 2 sequels to Star Wars. It was like “they are going thru a lot on this adventure and anything can happen”.

  8. Joe Straat says:

    Now, was the “Would James Dean by married…” a typo or a Freudian slip?

  9. Mark Ziegler says:

    I’d rather stay buried six feet under than be married to Babs Streisand.

  10. Cadavra says:

    “I’ll take Marilyn Monroe to block.”
    “I might have gone to James Dean for the win, but this might work out…”

  11. Sanchez says:

    Charles Nelson Reilly to win.

  12. DanYuma says:

    I’ve always thought that Monroe and Dean’s iconic status has to do with having died young. Neither of them were great talents. Dean would have gone on to some kind of TV spy series, and Monroe to the sort of pictures they cast Jayne Mansfield in instead. Probably some enterprising European director would have cast one or the other (or both!) in one of his theoretically genre-shattering magnum opi. And eventually it would be Hollywood Squares for the both of them. I’m not being malicious, just realistic.
    As for John Belushi, I think he would’ve become a character actor in the same mode as Bill Murray. You can see him trying those shoes on as early as “Continental Divide” and even “Neighbors.” It’s a matter of record that he was curious about stretching his limits even in his SNL years; for all the talk that he hated women writers on the show, it is also true that he just hated bad writing, and collaborated in great detail with the decidedly female Marilyn Suzanne Miller on a sketch (that did air) about a man suffering from impotence (“manly problems,” as the skit had it).
    To be fair to Monroe, she might have turned her career and image around with “Woman of Summer,” which she was hired for and then fired from before shooting; it was retitled “The Stripper” and cast with Joanne Woodward. The director, Franklin J. Schaffner of “Patton” fame, might well have brought out a side of her that hadn’t been seen before, but hindsight remains ever so 20/20. Dean, though, I could vaguely see him in his later years lucking into the James Franciscus role in “Beneath the Planet of the Apes.” I bet he’d have done especially well with the line “DAMN your HYPOCRISY!”

  13. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “I’ve always thought that Monroe and Dean’s iconic status has to do with having died young. Neither of them were great talents.”
    whoa. Dean got two Academy Award nominations from three films and you don’t think he was a great talent? Not to mention that his films are classics…
    Monroe I think would have continued to impress throughout the years as she would have been determined to expell her sex bomb image. I can tell from watching several movies of her’s that she had an untapped dramatic force.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    Because Monroe was associated with sex and comedy, her abilities as an actress are highly underrated. Just take a look at Bus Stop or Don’t Bother to Knock to see what she was capable of.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon