I hope that the new “Alamo” movie is good, but I have my doubts. I’ve always loved Texas history and as a resident of San Antonio I would love to see the movie become a big hit. However, I’m afraid it will be hampered by a serious case of the “might have beens” thanks to the arrogance, incompetence and stupidity of Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
The film was supposed to have been helmed by Ron Howard fresh off of his Academy Award win for “A Beautiful Mind.” Howard had reportedly spent a year working on the project and had lined up Russell Crowe and Ethan Hawke to take prominent parts in the movie. There were even reports that Sean Penn was considering accepting the role of Jim Bowie.
But then Eisner stepped in and vetoed the project reportedly because he was afraid it might get an R rating for violence. So Howard dropped out and when he left so did Crowe, Hawke, Penn and anyone else of significance who might have thought about coming aboard.
So Disney brought in rookie director John Lee Hancock whose most prominent film to date was the feel-good Disney baseball flick “The Rookie” that starred Dennis Quaid. Not surprisingly, Quaid was also brought on to replace Russell Crowe in the role of Gen. Sam Houston. Unfortunately for Quaid, the latest reports say the Sam Houston role was trimmed back significantly to cut the length of the movie down from 3 hours to about 2 hours and 15 minutes. The only other actor of note to sign up was Billy Bob Thornton in the role of Davy Crockett.
Quite frankly, I’m dreading finding out how they handle the Crockett character in the film. If they give credence to that bogus story about Crockett being captured and executed by Santa Anna, well that would pretty much end it for me right there.
But I’ll wait and see what happens. Maybe Hancock will surprise everyone the way Peter Jackson did and come out with an extraordiary film. Or maybe I’ll just go down to Wal-Mart and pick up the old John Wayne version instead.