Ever had an aspiration to write a script or adapt something close to your heart, only to have it kiboshed after scouting imdb? Alright, just me then. I always wanted to script a take on ‘Requiem For A Dream’ and put Justin Pierce in the lead role. Sadly that’s a vision that was doubly quashed. Twisted versions of the American dream gone asunder are always in my ‘dream project’ list and none come better than the downfall of John DeLorean.
I’ll admit, I’m blinkered by my decision to drop his (presumably, deeply, deeply unobjective) autobiography from my reading list, instead getting my DeLorean knowledge from the largely anti-John, and ultra-detailed, ‘DeLorean’ by Ivan Fallon and James Srodes. It’s a tale of such bombast, so bogged down in politics and hurt feelings, that objectivity went out the window. But what a fucking story.
Celebrity investors like Sammy Davis Jr. and Johny Carson, chin implants by top plastic surgeons, hired goonery, a Troubled Northern Ireland, yayo deals…it’s a morality tale of some magnitude, yet John never really gets his come-uppance, but then nor does he get the respect he deserves for such a series of ballsy moves and investor approaches.
Like Icarus he flew a little too close to the sun and got his wings scorched, but by crying FBI entrapment, he just about avoids hitting the sea – free to hatch more madcap plans. I would’ve made like ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ and commissioned a Jan Hammer score for those final years. But guess what? There’s three projects in development right now. One year it was volcanos, the next it was CGI animal cartoons…2011 could be the summer of motorcar moguls gone wrong – who could forget the non-success of Coppola’s ‘Tucker – The Man and His Dream’ in 1988? But with James Toback and Brett Ratner at work on motion pictures, and a new documentary on the pop cultural significance of the DMC-12 on the cards, he’s back in the spotlight.
It took a Furry Animal and former Anticon member to give John the perfect soundtrack on the Neon Neon ‘Stainless Style’ album last year, deserving of rock-opera status, but it’s easy to forget that the DMC-12 was flaw-riddled junk. The insistence on golf club boot room and a defiantly uncommercial brushed steel finish gets props over here, but the rest? Meh. The Aston Martin Bulldog concept car worked the gullwing doors with greater slickness.
I’m hoping that the film includes John’s ill-fated DMC2 watch project too. Stainless steel again and powered by a titanium lithium capacitor each watch was set to come with a certificate to allow you to buy the next DMC car design. They were pretty damned expensive too and there’s a great blog entry on it at Watchismo. I’ll admit it – I’d really like one.
As with any ambitious, yet utterly doomed project, DeLorean had a documentary team on hand to capture his rise and subsequent fall, including the legendary D.A. Pennebaker (‘Don’t Look Back’, ‘Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’, ‘Cracked Actor’) for the 1981 feature ‘DeLorean’, but 2004’s ‘Car Crash – The DeLorean Story’ is better, transmitted in the UK in 2004, a year before John passed away, and utilising some footage from the pre-arrest fly-on-the-boardroom-wall creation.
Best of all, get yourself to http://www.delorean.com to stock up on DeLorean parts by the ton. There’s more here than any doomed DeLorean dealer franchaise-holder ever had. Steering columns, body kits, nuts, bolts…everything is on sale here. There’s even replica badges, apparel and manuals. A serious labour-of-love…and if you can’t find what you want there, go check http://www.deloreanone.com.