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."
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
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.
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"
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
"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.