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Lance Henriksen

 

  1. Stephen Collins, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1978.     Paramount was dumb. It saw Star Wars take off and craved its own sf franchise, not understanding that it already had one. Except, the suits always hated the series and snuffed it in 1969. From then on, they didn’t know which way to fly - series or movie.   A Phase II series almost began, then churned into a film. An instant flop, aka The Slow-Motion Picture, with a cast that was a decade older and fatter, Robert Wise totally wrong as director and a new character, Willard Decker, created to take over the USS Enterprise, in case William Shatner/Kirk chased more money for any encore! In the Will mix were: Henriksen, Jordan Clarke, Frederic Forrest, Art Hindle, Richard Kelton, Stephen Macht, Andrew Robinson, Tim Thomerson and Collins (whose career was over in 2014 after admitting sexual conduct with three under-age girls). “We didn’t feel that we were getting to play the characters that we enjoyed playing in the way that we knew how to play them,” exclaimed Leonard Nimoy/Spock, soon saving the franchise by directing two chapters. . 
  2. Fox Harris, Repo Man, 1983.    For his first feature, Liverpool auteur Alex Cox eyed Henriksen as the mad scientist (lobotomised, also) hunted by repo men and government agents in his ’64 Chevy Malibu. “You don’t want to look in the trunk, Officer.”  Somebody did… The actual Chevy was stolen after a few days and, after a great deal of trouble, replaced by another.
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator, 1983.      “He was excited about it,” said James Cameron about his pal, first member of the Cameron repertory players(Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, etc). Cameron even made sketches of The Terminator looking like Henriksen. “The Terminator was supposed to be an unknown... this anonymous face in the crowd that could walk up and kill you.”Cameron then looked again at Schwarzi, already booked as Kyle Reese - and turned Henriksen into Detective Hal Vulkovich... and the android Bishop in Aliens, 1986.
  4. Peter Weller, RoboCop, 1986.    Weller replaced   Michael Ironside (too short), he was soon moaning about the uncomfortable RoboSuit- and director Paul Verhoeven sent for Henriksen. But his dance card was full.
  5. J Kenneth Campbell, The Abyss, 1989.   Not free to be James Cameron’s Commodore De Marco.
  6. Jamey Sheridan, The Stand, TV, 1993.    David Bowie,. Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Lance Henriksen, Christopher Walken, James Woods - they were all unavailable Stephen King’s signature villain in at least nine books:  the walkin’ dude Randall Flagg, aka The Man in Black, aka Marten Broadcloak, the Covenant Man, Richard Fannin, Richard Farris, Raymond Fiegler, Walter o’Dim, Waltert Paddick. Miguel Ferrer was keen but given Flagg;’ henchman, Lloyd Henreid,  King suggested Robert Duvall but fell for Sheridan, who understood  'Flagg is really a funny guy, isn't he?' He must have bothered to read the book... “There was a dark hilarity inhis face… a face that radiated a horrible handsome warmth, a face to make water glasses shatter… to make small children crash their trikes… a face guaranteed to make barroom arguments over batting averages turn bloody.” Sheridan was perfect  for the 41st of King’s staggering 313 screen credits. (King Kameo: Teddy Weizak).
  7. Stuart Wilson, The Mask of Zorro, 1997.      Antonio Banderas was the (perfect) hero versus the villainous Rafael Montero. But which one? Giancarlo Giannini, Scott Glenn, Lance Henriksen, Edward James Olmos or Sam Shepard? It became a third gig for Wilson and Bond director Martin Campbell, after No Escape, 1993, and Vertical Limit, 2000.
  8. Jonathan Breck, Jeepers Creepers, 2000.      Auteur Victor Salva wrote The Creeper for Lance in what was first titled: Here Comes the Boogeyman.

 





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