Thursday, August 31, 2006

'My Name Is Bruce' Writer Mark Verheiden Reveals His Inspiration For The Film

Bruce Campbell fans should take refuge in knowing that an accomplished story teller wrote My Name Is Bruce. Best known in the film industry for his work on writing The Mask and Timecop, two huge blockbusters, Mark Verheiden has written everything from comic books to novels. Verheiden's credentials include over a dozen episodes of Smallville and the critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica which he presently writes for. Verheiden has posted on his blog about his inspiration for My Name Is Bruce and revealed the following,

"First, a little on MY NAME IS BRUCE. That particular feature project was hatched from my filthy mind in the Fall of 2004, after I'd been inspired by the nine-issue run of THE ADVENTURES OF ALAN LADD comic book. I'm sure some of you are thinking, "come on, Mark, THE ADVENTURES OF ALAN LADD? Do we look that gullible?" But there really was an ALAN LADD series, honest, published by DC Comics back in 1949/50. And it really is worth seeking out. In the first few issues, the actor Alan Ladd finds himself embroiled in various adventures, like being kidnaped by pirates. The key panel, the one that really got me thinking, was one where a pirate, forcing Ladd to shovel coal into the boiler of a steam ship, cackles about his prize. "Ah haaa, look at the great Alan Ladd now!" Something about the gestalt of that moment really struck a chord.

I've also been a fan of Bruce Campbell's since EVIL DEAD 2, which I (honestly) consider one of the great movies of the 1980's. I've been lucky enough to actually work with Bruce on a project (an episode of the late, mostly unlamented TIMECOP series I did for ABC back in '97), and ever since I've been scheming to find a way to do a movie with him. Enter my friend Mike Richardson, who also knew Bruce, and who also happens to own Dark Horse Entertainment. When he told me he'd lined up financing for some lower-budget features, I pitched him my BRUCE idea. What if Mr. C were kidnapped by some small town folks who mistook him from the hero from the EVIL DEAD movie? And when he actually does battle with some demonic force, he's hopelessly incompetent? And why is this blog suddenly like a Donald Rumsfeld monologue?

Needless to say, Mike responded to the idea, and so did Bruce. We had a story meeting in late 2005 to go over the plot, then I went to work crafting a screenplay designed to capture the essence of Campbelliana. Mucho toil later, voila! MY NAME IS BRUCE went before the cameras in August of 2006, and the world is a much better place for it!"

Maybe we will see Bruce show up in Battlestar Galactica this upcoming season. David Eick is an Exectutive Producer of the show and was also an Executive Producer of Xena and Hercules (Bruce played Autolycus in over a dozen episodes) and Lucy Lawless (starred as Xena) is part of the full time cast of Galactica this year and is married to Bruce's good friend Robert Tapert (Him, Sam Raimi, and Bruce were part of the Trinity that was The Evil Dead). Obviously this is all wishful thinking, but My Name Is Bruce is reality and it will be screened sometime next year.

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