If I’m to put a guilty pleasure in the DVD contraption tonight, there’s a fairly good chance it’ll bear John Badham’s name in the sleeve’s credit block.
I know Badham’s done some absolutely gems, namely “Saturday Night Fever”, but most of his likely know him best as the director of a slew of infectiously-fun popcorn actioners sprinkle-released throughout the ’80s – films like “Stakeout”, a film I’ve seen probably twenty times or more since the initial theater screening; “Blue Thunder”, which I know is a fave of a lot of people; “Short Circuit”, a film that snagged quite a few young buns when it hit cinemas in 1985; “The Hard Way” with Michael J.Fox and James Woods; “WarGames” with Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy and an outdated computer that proves more dangerous than an illegally-downloaded copy of Windows; and “The Assassin”, an inferior but still entertaining remake of Luc Besson’s “Le Femme Nikita” (in fact, I love the soundtrack to Badham’s version, must try dig that up).
It’s been a little quiet on the feature-front for Badham. His last theatrically-released effort was “Incognito” with Jason Patric in 1997, and just before that, “Nick of Time”, a predecessor to “24″ that had Johnny Depp getting about in a real-time situation scenario. Since then, the filmmaker has largely been directing TV – doing eps of shows like “Heroes” and “Psych”.
But Badham’s looking at returning to the big screen, and is circling a Leslie Boehm (“The Darkest Hour”) script called “In the Rough”, said to be in the vein of “Romancing the Stone”.
The Adventure-pic would team a retired hunter, female Red Cross employee, and a go-getting Jack Colton-esque CIA agent as they hunt for priceless jewels in the jungles of India. Along the way, they encounter danger at all angles – both human and animal.
I know Heidi Jo Markel, whose Eclectic Pictures has done some terrific stuff over the past few years, including “Trust” and “Solitary Man” as well as the upcoming “Lovelace”, is onboard as the film’s captaining producer, so can only imagine it’ll turn out pretty well.
Be nice to have Mr. Badham back where he belongs!