WILLIAMS SAYS HE & DE PALMA "ABOUT TO BEGIN WORK"
PLUS: WRIGHT INTRODUCES PHANTOM IN TORONTO;
'70s FLASHBACKS: WILLIAMS PERFORMING "HELL OF IT" FOR BRADYS AND HARDY BOYS;
P.J. SOLES & BETTY BUCKLEY COMMERCIALS
In the YouTube video posted above (which we found thanks to Akahan!), you can see Edgar Wright introducing Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise Sunday night at Toronto's Bloor Cinema. As part of the intro, Wright read an e-mail message that Paul Williams composed specifically for the audience that night. The e-mail from Williams read, in part, "Mr. De Palma and I are about to begin work on the stage version of Phantom Of The Paradise at last, and it will be ready for viewing… God knows, not I." In December of 2007, at an Edgar Wright presentation of the De Palma film in Los Angeles, Williams revealed that a stage version of Phantom was in the works, and that De Palma and producer Edward Pressman were involved. Pressman is developing a remake of the film, and it is speculated that the film remake would follow a successful stage version.
Williams has been trying to get a stage version together with De Palma since the 1980s, and De Palma had even discussed the project earlier this decade with Antonio Banderas, who had just appeared in De Palma's Femme Fatale, and had just had recent success on Broadway with the musical Nine. De Palma was set to direct a workshop for a stage version at the beginning of 2007, but then got involved in making Redacted instead. The news that Williams and De Palma are getting set to delve into the project is exciting, but note also that the halls of Valhalla Motion Pictures are currently buzzing with preparation for De Palma's next film project, The Boston Stranglers, which is due to go into production late this spring.
De Palma a la Mod reader Ryan Clark discovered a YouTube clip of Williams singing Phantom's closing number, The Hell Of It, on a Halloween episode of the 1970s TV show The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. The clip has also long been available for viewing as an "Easter Egg" at The Swan Archives by clicking any of the site's "Death Records" logos at the bottoms of most pages. Another startling find was made last week by Vinnie Rattolle: a clip of Williams singing The Hell Of It on an episode of the long forgotten The Brady Bunch Hour. In the clip, Williams gets to menace Peter and Greg Brady, and sings the song amidst a chorus of female dancers in costumes that could have come right out of Phantom Of The Paradise. Hearing Williams sing lyrics like, "Good for nothing, bad in bed, nobody likes you and you're better off dead" on such a cheery family variety show is somewhat surreal. Special bonus link: check out Vinnie Rattolle's unearthing of a couple of Carrie-era commercials featuring Betty Buckley and P.J. Soles.