Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #133, August 1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Anyway?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a landmark film of the late 1980s, wonderfully mixing live-action with animation. It also was eyebrow-raising because of the use of new and classic cartoon characters – an historic meeting of Warner Brothers and Disney characters, for example. No, I will never work with a duck with a speech impediment, either.

True fact: Bob Hoskins, the star of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, was the actor on whom German novelist Cornelia Funke based her detective in her great best-selling young adult novel The Thief Lord.

Starlog #133
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.50

If you were looking for a new vocation, you could do worse than follow this classified ad on page 71: “CRIME FIGHTERS AMERICA NEEDS PEOPLE, all areas. Receive certificate, procedures, ID, life enrollment, fight crime. Send $3 self-stamped envelope, (4x8) to ...”

Photo caption that isn’t appreciably less humorous when you see the photo: “Running into marauding Martians would drive anyone crazy, which may be why Sylvia Van Buren (Ann Robinson) will be fighting the new War of the Worlds from an insane asylum.”

The rundown: Cover boys Bob Hoskins and Roger Rabbit re-enact for the camera the origins of their friendship. In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O’Quinn gives career advice; Communications letters include an apology from the production company of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future about misidentified characters in some photos published in the magazine, plus readers comment on that TV series, they offer feedback on Beauty and the Beast, Richard Donner’s assistant passes along his thanks for an item in #126 about broadcasting an uncut version of Ladyhawke, and more; and David McDonnell’s Medialog reports the latest genre media news headlines, including a note that Len Wein and Berni Wrightson’s monster hero will make another big-screen appearance in The Return of the Swamp Thing.

War of the Worlds has been seen in print, on radio, on film, and now (that’s a circa 1988 “now”) it’s a weekly syndicated television series, and Marc Shapiro previews the new show; Carr D’Angelo interviews Outer Heat and Terminator producer Gale Anne Hurd; film composer Jerry Goldsmith (Innerspace, Outer Heat, Runaway, Star Trek – The Motion Picture) is profiled by Marc Shapiro; editor David McDonnell interviews Next Generation actress Marina Sirtis; Michael Vane interviews science-fiction author C.J. Cherryh in the first half of a two-part article; Adam Pirani talks with actor Warwick Davis, the star of Willow; the Fan Network pages include an answer to a reader query about the history of Hammer Films, plus short items on a heavily edited Doctor Who episode on video, Star Trek engine designs, and some silly guesses about Star Trek V.

Veteran actor and Who Framed Roger Rabbit star Bob Hoskins is interviewed by Adam Pirani, telling him some great stories (see the block quote below); Kris Gilpin interviews Jane Badler, who talks about her work on V, Highwayman, and other projects; David Hutchison reports on discounted Disney videos and other releases in his Videolog column; Beverly M. Payton interviews Starman actor Patrick Culliton; Marc Shapiro profiles actor Roy Dotrice about Beauty and the Beast; in a three-page “The Guests of Trek” section, Mark Phillips profiles Stewart Moss (“The Naked Time”) and Phillips and Frank Garcia together profile Julie Cobb (“By Any Other Name” and other episodes); Peter Bloch-Hansen (the same gentleman who wrote a letter to the editor in issue #126) goes behind the scenes to preview Short Circuit 2: More Input; and editor David McDonnell’s Liner Notes column is a collection of bits, such as the two or three degrees of separation between actor Patrick Culliton and practically everyone McDonnell knows.
“I was in L.A., doing a bit of publicity, and got a phone call from [director] Brian De Palma: ‘Do you want to meet me at the Beverly Wilshire to have a drink?’ And he sent me The Untouchables script, and he said, look at Al Capone. I looked at it, and I thought, ‘Good part.’ I met him, and he said, ‘Now look, I really want Robert De Niro to do this; I don’t think he’s going to do it, but if he won't do it, will you do it?’ So I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ He said, ‘I’ll pay you well, I’ll do the business, and I’ll look after you, and it will be a real favor to me if I’m covered.’ I said yes, I’ll do it, a couple of week’s work, terrific. Anyway, I never heard anything else; next thing I see, De Niro’s going to play it. So, I said, ‘Oh, right, De Palma got him.’ But he [De Palma] had no contract with me, nothing was signed, there was no agreement, or anything, and here I got this check for $200,000 as a thank you! ... I wonder if there’s anything else De Niro’s thinking about doing ...”
–Bob Hoskins, actor, interviewed by Adam Pirani: “Bob Hoskins: Animated Investigator”
To read previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
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