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Off Again, Off Again

November 22, 1987|Leonard Klady

As for pet projects, Marlon Brando, who's been pursuing a film about Native American Indians for 20 years, is . . . still pursuing. Outtakes was told last week that it coulda been a contender but that the actor, despite a firm offer of $1 million for script development, walked away from the deal.

Producer Thomas Schuhly ("Name of the Rose" and currently filming "Adventures of Baron Munchausen") said he met with Brando last summer in L.A. about doing a cameo in "Munchausen." "We talked for several hours concerning the part," said Schuhly. "Then he told me about his idea for a film about the Cheyenne tribe and I offered to help him put the financing together using my European contacts."

The producer said response was immediate, including the $1 million for development from an English firm. Italian producer Silvio Berlusconi telexed Brando in Tahiti to assert his interest. Schuhly stated that he had two more sessions with Brando and made numerous calls--before things ground to a halt.

"It was agreed Marlon would direct because it was such a personal project. He also would take a role, though not necessarily a lead, and the two of us would produce," said Schuhly. Writer David Mamet was contacted about writing the screenplay and wrote back to confirm his interest. Brando had also given Schuhly a list of names in the Indian community to contact for their cooperation.

"When we got to the point where a considerable commitment of time had to be made, Marlon told me that everything had to be postponed," said Schuhly. "He told me that he'd received two very interesting acting offers and felt that it was important to re-establish that part of his career prior to entering into this project. I was aghast and tried to explain that a film of such epic proportion would require several years to prepare and couldn't be casually delayed for a year."

Still, Schuhly said he'd work with Brando in a minute if he were to call. "He is the most fascinating, exciting person in the movie industry. It would be a very worthwhile nightmare to experience."

The producer noted that Brando's proposed role in "Munchausen," of the god Vulcan, remains uncast.

Calls to Brando were not returned at press time.

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