This story has a little bit of a sad undertone to it for that very reason. We normally don't hear about mysteries like this, but thanks to the folks at Listverse (where else?) we now know about this one!
A small handful of productions have garnered a reputation for being cursed. Well-known examples include the Poltergeist franchise and Rosemary’s Baby, where people attached to both films succumbed to untimely deaths. A lesser-known example is a movie that has never escaped development hell, a screenplay adapted from the 1963 novel The Incomparable Atuk. Atuk is a fish-out-of-water comedy which features an Inuit moving to the big city.
The screenplay has been kicked around Hollywood for over 30 years. Numerous stars have been attached to the project, and each has been executed by fate. In the early 1980s, John Belushi was slated to play Atuk, but he died of a drug overdose in 1982 at the age of 33. Next, stand-up comic Sam Kinison was offered the role, but he was killed by a head-on collision with a drunk driver at the age of 38. Lovable lug John Candy was also considered, until he succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 43. Lunatic SNL star Chris Farley was next in line, until he too died of a drug overdose at just 33 years old, a grim mirror of the passing of his idol Belushi.
Atuk’s influence was so sinister that it appeared to have struck people who merely read the script, including Saturday Night Live writer Michael O’Donoghue, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 54, and actor Phil Hartman, who was killed at age 49 by his wife Brynn in a drug-fueled murder suicide. Does Atuk exert some kind of evil, deadly force? This is likely a mystery we will never know the answer to, as the movie is no closer to being made now than it was three decades ago.
I get the feeling that maybe this movie just shouldn't be made. After all, somethings are best left alone, ya know?
Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have to go to the V.A. later, so I need some extra coffee!