LEGION / GUNNER (Dwight H. Little, 1987-1988) (unproduced)

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LEGION / GUNNER (Dwight H. Little, 1987-1988) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 10 Nov 2015, 22:44

Another aborted project was also called LEGION, but nothing to do with the Damian Lee one.

It was developed around 1988 for the late company Vestron Pictures, written by Alan McElroy (SPAWN, WRONG TURN) and to be directed by Dwight H. Little (MARKED FOR DEATH, RAPID FIRE) after they had done HALLOWEEN IV together. I think this could have been made around the time of RED SCORPION and THE PUNISHER.

The plot was as follows according to writer McElroy:
"A former cop who has fallen off the grid after a tragedy ruined his life. He's then tracked down and recruited by his former boss at the LAPD to help them find a rogue CIA agent, codenamed Legion, who appears to be on a killing spree."


At some point the title was changed to GUNNER (not Gunnar!) because that was the character's nickname. It never got to actual pre-production because when Vestron got another management, the project was abandoned... until it was reshaped many years later and turned into the Antonio Banderas vehicle BALLISTIC: ECKS VS. SEVER (2002) (produced by Franchise Pictures)!
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Re: LEGION / GUNNER (Dwight H. Little, 1988) (unproduced)

Postby dude hallenbeck on 11 Nov 2015, 01:29

Ballistic is a notorious bad film. I'd imagine it still would've gotten bad reviews in the early 1990s but I think it would've had more merit than what we eventually got.
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Re: LEGION / GUNNER (Dwight H. Little, 1988) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 11 Nov 2015, 02:00

it's hard to tell how it would have been, had they made it in the late 80s. You can imagine as often in those cases that after almost 15 years of development hell and probably a dozen uncredited rewriters, the final product must have become worse and worse as they tried to make it "cooler" and more "modern", with not much to do with the spirit of the original project.
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Re: LEGION / GUNNER (Dwight H. Little, 1988) (unproduced)

Postby Krom on 12 Nov 2015, 21:24

Every Dolph movie made in the 80s early 90s would have been gold for us, except a Cover Up type of movie!
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Re: LEGION / GUNNER (Dwight H. Little, 1988) (unproduced)

Postby Gunner on 24 Jan 2019, 03:08

Jox wrote:it's hard to tell how it would have been, had they made it in the late 80s. You can imagine as often in those cases that after almost 15 years of development hell and probably a dozen uncredited rewriters, the final product must have become worse and worse as they tried to make it "cooler" and more "modern", with not much to do with the spirit of the original project.


In this interview with director Wych Kaosayananda, he explains in some good details what happened to Ballistic and his problems with the studio interference on that film, and he also mentions Alan McElroy's script, how it was changed during production, and that the writer who was brought in by studio to re-write it and ended up "watering it down" was Peter Lenkov. So it's true, the movie which did get made and was released is not the same as what Dolph's version of it would have been;

https://filmcombatsyndicate.com/ballist ... -with-wyc/

Lenkov was also the one who wrote original version of Demolition Man script, back when Van Damme and Seagal were involved in it and when it was going to be much more serious film.

Too bad that McElroy's original Legion/Gunner spec is not available to read. He was actually a very good screenwriter back in those years, and has some interesting history when it comes to scripts he worked on. He is probably most well known for Halloween 4 and his work on Spawn, but not many people know that he also wrote some interesting unproduced scripts, like the very first script for Resident Evil movie, or one of the earlier versions of Die Hard 4 which would take place in jungle.
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Re: LEGION / GUNNER (Dwight H. Little, 1987-1988) (unproduce

Postby Jox on 24 Jan 2019, 23:05

Thanks for the interview!

Not too surprised what he went through with Franchise and Elie Samaha though.

For sure the initial script dated from 1986-87 and even before those production rewrites even McElroy's would have been revised by the early 2000s...
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