The Richard O'Brien Crusade

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Sequel Mention

The sequel is tentatively scheduled for production in early fall," O'Brien went on to explain. "I've recently completed the first draft of the script and most of the songs. At the moment, I'm waiting to hear if Twentieth-Century-Fox is interested in getting involved with the film. If they're not, I'll just shop around for another studio."

O'Brien shouldn't have far to look. "The sequel is something I've joked about from the very first day of rehearsal" says Richard O'Brien about 'Rocky Horror II' "People would ask 'What really happened to Frank-N-Furter?' And I would give them the usual horror bit, 'Well, you know, the monster always comes back from the grave' It's a tradition . . . Son of Rocky . . . Bride of Rocky"


The Rocky Horror Picture Show is currently playing in over 200 theaters across the country and is netting 20th Century Fox an estimated $250,000 per weekend. Not bad for a film that cost a mere $1,200,000. With it's current financial momentum, it could turn out to be one of the top grossing films in history.

Unfortunately, O'Brien and the rest of the Rocky crew have only seen a miniscule percentage of the film's profits.

"We made a very bad deal with Fox" admits producer Michael White "but at the time we didn't feel we had any other choice." You might think, then, that O'Brien's interest in the sequel is his way of making sure the money starts filtering back into the right pockets. But oddly enough, that's not the case. In a business governed by money signs, O'Brien is strangely aloof from all the financial wheelings and dealings. The sequel is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme. "If it makes money, fine." he says. "If it doesn't . . . " O'Brien smiles and shrugs his shoulders.

"You have to have tremendous respect for Richard," states set designer Brian Thomson. "If somebody else had created a hit like this, you can bet is would be The Rocky Horror TV Show by now. But Richard just isn't like that. Whatever else you can say about him, you can be sure that he won't turn the film into a Rocky rip-off"

While interviewing O'Brien for the profile in this magazine, he graciously divulged the plot of the film with a brief request that it not be made public. It canbe said, however, that the new movie contains some wonderful plot twists, including a big surprise for Brad. The poor man just can't seem to shake the by-products of his brief encounter with Frank-N-Furter. It was truly a night to remember, for Brad, Janet and Frank.

As he detailed the bits and pieces of the plot, O'Brien played five of the new songs on a nearby tape recorder. "Oh I do like rock and roll" he said while doing a little dance in the middle of the floor. Although he still clngs to a fifties musical framework, O'Brien has composed a score that explodes with a hard-driving energy that surpasses the original. Even his lyrics are wittier than before. O'Brien has a talent for turning a cliche into something so clever you forgot you've ever heard it before. Frank-N-Furter's "comeback" number is a prime example. O'Brien has created the only character in the world who might say 'But darling, I don't have a thing to wear to my resurrection'. (You'll find out what he does wear in this wonderful song)

Fans will be glad to know that most of the Rocky Horror characters will be returning. That includes Columbia who was last seen in a laser blast and, of course, Frank, who has too much style to stay dead for long. Nell Campbell, Patricia Quinn, Jonathan Adams and O'Brien are scheduled to repeat their roles, along with long-time Rocky faithfuls producer Michael White, costume designer Sue Blane, set designer Brian Thomson, and musical arranger Richard Hartley.

Many of the people involved in the show have remained friends over the past six years, collaborating with each other on several projects. Michael White produced O'Brien's play T.Zee at the Royal Court, with set design by Brian Thomson. Thomson later designed the sets for O'Brien's third play, Disaster, which starred Patricia Quinn, with music by Richard Hartley, and also wrote the lyrics for the little Nell singles, with music again by Hartley. Rocky Horror director Jim Sharman collaborates regularly with Thomson, and at present both are working on the opera Death in Venice to be presented this year in Australia. "We all work very well with each other" ecplains Thomson "Because our creative temperements are similar"

Outside this close-knit circle of friends is Peter Hinwood who went back to modeling and relative obscurity after his role as Rocky, and Tim Curry who severed all ties with the past during an acute identity crisis. From all reports, Curry has not been happy with his Frank-N-Furter image, and like many actors, including Leonard "Dr. Spock" Nimoy, has a real fear of typecasting. Launching a largely unsuccessful singing career last year, Curry was most recently seen as Richard III in the PBS Shakespeare series.

"I haven't the slightest idea if Tim will play Frank-N-Furter" O'Brien says. "I haven't talked to him yet. If he wants to be in it, that's wonderful. If he doesn't, I think the role will stand on it's own with another actor."

That remains to be seen. There has yet to be a Frank-N-Furter on stage to match Curry. Because he created the role, punching up Frank's appeal with his own subtle feminine-masculine blend, actors have been hard pressed to remove the Curry stamp.The actor currently playing the role in London is a perfect example. He plays Frank-N-Furter as Rod Stewart doing a Tim Curry impression.

The prospects of Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick making a reappearance as Janet and Brad is also slim. Since Rocky Horror was released in 1975, they have gone on to bigger, more commercial, projects. Sarandon has starred in The Other Side of Midnight, King of the Gypsies and The Last of the Belles, a tv-special based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald story. The star of a hit Broadway musical, The Robber Baron, Bostwick has also appeared in the successful motion picture, Movie, Movie, with George C. Scott. Whether they would be willing to cut their usual salaries in half to make the low budget Rocky sequel is questionable.

None of this worries Richard O'Brien of course. When last seen he was getting ready for a Rocky party in Miami. On his return he will start polishing up the script and rounding up the available cast members. Who knows? Maybe in a year or so the "late night double feature picture show" will be Rocky Horror I and II.

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The Richard O'Brien Crusade est. 1996