×

Modest ‘Scarecrow’ Preps Fresh Field in Gotham

Jerry Schatzberg, who directed the 1973 Palme d’Or winner starring Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, has plans for sequel

For proof of how much the film industry has changed over the past four decades, one need look no further than Jerry Schatzberg’s “Scarecrow,” which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes 40 years ago this month. The enigmatically open-ended road movie returns to New York screens May 17, digitally restored, for a one-week run at the Film Forum.

Greenlighted by Warner Bros. as an alternative to faltering big-budget fare, the pic featured Gene Hackman (then hot off “The Poseidon Adventure”) and Al Pacino (in between “The Godfather” and “Serpico”) as drifters who dream big, hatching a plan to open a car wash together once they reach Pittsburgh.

At last month’s TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, Schatzberg announced that he and a young scribe named Seth Cohen have written a follow-up to “Scarecrow.” Assuming they can get Warners’ permission to use the characters, the film would have to be produced independently, acknowledges the helmer (who hasn’t directed a feature since 2000’s “The Day the Ponies Come Back”).

“It takes place 30 years later, and it basically deals with the boy they thought was dead,” says Schatzberg, who sent the script to Pacino a couple weeks back. “Now these guys have a very successful car wash. Hackman is married to Frenchy, and they have an adopted daughter. She’s Asian, and she’s a pistol.”

While Schatzberg and Pacino remain friendly, Hackman has since withdrawn from acting. And though Alexander Payne tried to lure him out of retirement for “Nebraska,” without success, Schatzberg had reason to hope: Hackman has called “Scarecrow” his favorite role.

“I actually went out to Santa Fe hoping I’d run into him,” the director says. “I got myself a good case of the flu, but I didn’t see Hackman.”

Alas, the reclusive actor has moved on, publishing several novels in recent years. “I think it is great that Jerry is writing a sequel,” he tells Variety. “While I do love that film, my ‘Scarecrow’ days are over.”

Even so, Schatzberg has a plan: “If I see interest from Al, I’ll push for it. I can always fi nd another actor to fit in there .”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

  • Soul Movie

    Pixar's 'Soul' Announces Voice Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey to Star

    Disney debuted a first look at upcoming Pixar film “Soul” at the D23 expo in Anaheim, Calif. and announced its star-studded voice cast. “Soul” imagines that every person on earth comes pre-installed with a soul formed and perfected in a cosmic realm. Jamie Foxx will play a middle-school music teacher on earth who dreams of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content