"Eddie and the Cruisers," the 1983 pic about a rock legend's rise and mysterious death, grossed less than $5 million at the box office. But it found an audience in video stores and has spurred 2 million-plus in sound-track album sales. So Eddie--who may only have disappeared in the film (the final frame shows a shadowy figure who looks suspiciously like Eddie)--returns in "Eddie and the Cruisers II." It's in preproduction, with filming early next year.
At least we think Eddie returns.
A Scotti Bros. Pic rep tells us the sequel--again starring Michael Pare--is set in the present (25 years after Eddie's climb). It focuses on an up-and-coming rock 'n' roller who meets a construction worker who "appears to look like Eddie, to have the same mannerisms, the same voice."
The aspiring rocker tries to use "Eddie" to boost his band's career. But, teased our source, "We're really not sure if it's him (Eddie)."
He did promise that by the end of the movie, audiences will know--for sure--if Eddie is really alive.
Michael Pare, by the way, has been in an NYC studio cutting 10 tracks for a rock album, unrelated to the movie. Anita Ashton, Pare's publicity assistant, said it was the frustration of not being able to do the actual singing in the original "Eddie"--John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band handled that--that pushed Pare to record.
Larry Fallon (who's worked with Van Morrison, Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff) is producing, with no label yet commited.
Although Ashton said Pare told her, "I'm not going to lip sync for \o7 anybody\f7 anymore,' " the Scotti rep said John Cafferty and company may be back doing vocals for "Eddie II"--meaning Pare may be lip syncing anew.