JAMES GUNN, SUICIDE SQUAD & LEE MARVIN

James Gunn and Lee Marvin are not two names often associated with each other but surprisingly, recent news via a Google search has done just that. 
Director James Gunn, of Guardians of the Galaxy fame, is also the director of the new and highly anticipated Suicide Squad movie reboot for 2021. He recently tweeted that one film and one film only was the inspiration for the upcoming all-star comic book film and that film was another all-star production from a few decades earlier. That’s right. None other than The Dirty Dozen (1967).

Opening image I used for LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK is the actor’s performance of Major John Reisman in The DIRTY DOZEN, the film that helped make him the number one male box office star in the country.


Matter of fact, the news generated an online story, just a few days ago. I’m not a particular fan of comic book inspired films but I did grow loving comic books, especially D.C. superhero ones. Knowing that, the revelation involving The Dirty Dozen hardly came as a surprise. There were similiar titles even more effective, such as Marvel’s Sgt. Fury and The Howling Commandos. The same Sgt. Fury would later become Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the only Marvel title I liked, as written and drawn by the great Jim Steranko. But I digress….
 Glad to see Marvin’s most well-known film getting it’s just respect. Of course, it’s influence is far more reaching that that. It proved to be the inspiration for several other films, as well. A short list would include:
• Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds (2009), which at one point was to include a character named ‘Babe’ Buchinsky to be played by Michael Madsen, as an homage to Dirty Dozen costar, Charles Bronson. 
• Joe Dante’s fantasy film Small Soldiers (1998), featuring voices of several original cast members.
• The original Italian version of Tarantino’s film with Bo Svenson and Fred WIlliamson, The Inglorious Bastards (1978). Note the spelling difference which Tarantino has never fully explained. 
• Even Roger Corman’s Secret Invasion (1964) used the same premise which predates the novel’s publication by a year. Makes you wonder if Corman knew something the author didn’t.
Kind of makes you wonder if perhaps the premise is based on fact. According to the original novel’s author, E.M. Nathanson: “This story is fiction. I have heard a legend that there might have been men like them, but nowhere in the archives of United States Government or in its military history did I find it recorded.”

Makes sense but then again just because it’s not recorded, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
– Dwayne Epstein

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GREG HILDEBRANDT FILMFAX INTERVIEW: CONCLUSION

From Bishop Sheen and Lord of the Rings to Star Wars and some very luscious pin-ups, Greg Hildebrandt has done it all. And now, in the final installment of my three-part interview in Filmfax with the pop culture icon, Hildebrandt talks about how he became involved with both DC and Marvel’s legendary characters. Ya gotta love the cover he did for this installment! I know I did as The Red Skull is one of my all-time favorite villains. He also  touches on the sensitive subject of his twin brother Tim’s passing.
I didn’t think I would  personally enjoy speaking with Hildebrandt with such depth after immersing myself for so long researching and writing  Lee Marvin: Point Blank.  Show’s you how wrong a person can be about themself. Greg was fascinating to talk to at length. So much so, I didn’t even mind the parking ticket I got in Santa Monica for forgetting about the meter. Well, ALMOST didn’t mind…..
More importantly, Greg expanded on one of his most recent and enjoyable projects, working with Paul O’Neil and his Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Once again, I didn’t think I would be intrigued by the subject but Greg’s enthusiasm is so contagious, how could I not? Besides, there may be no better way to close out the holiday season then with an exploration of this multi-talented Christmas musical favorite.
As for the rest, well, I think Greg put it best when he states, “I’ll neve retire…It’s all exploration. You just keep on trucking. I have no interest in knowing the future. It’s uncertainty that turns me on.” Amen to that, Mr. Hildebrandt. And we that in mind, here’s to a wonderful and uncertain future. Happy holidays, everyone! Enjoy the article…

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, cover.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, cover.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 1.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 1.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 2.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 2.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 3.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 3.

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Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 4.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 5.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 5.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 6.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 6.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 7.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 7.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 8.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 8.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 9

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 9.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 10.

Greg Hildebrandt, Part 3, Page 10.

 

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