August 30, 2009

Steven Seagal as Leonard Peltier?!

A Facebook discussion on my Why No Peltier Movie? posting:Trace A. DeMeyer:  I interviewed Peltier and he said there was discussion in 1998 about Steven Seagal playing him. As a matter of fact, since Peltier was talking to him on the phone so much and a call was transferred from an asst. to him, the prison cut off his phone privileges--this was quite awhile ago at Leavenworth. Would make a great action movie but better if it was truth and not fiction! Some day the truth will come...there was a war going on and AIM had soldiers.

Patrick G. Barkman:  Thank G*D it wasn't done with Steven Seagal!

Trace A. DeMeyer:  It was Seagal's idea, I understand. But it went nowhere. Who should play Peltier?

Rob Schmidt:  Hmm. Seagal looks a bit like Peltier, at least. But the role should go to an Indian, of course.

Rob Schmidt:  Yeah, I could see this as an action movie starring someone like Seagal. Unfairly convicted, Peltier kicks and chops his way out of prison. As a nationwide manhunt tries to corral him, he tracks down Mister X, the mysterious culprit who really killed the FBI agents.

Rob Schmidt:  The SCALPED comic-book series tells a highly fictionalized version of the Peltier story. So does the Thunderheart movie. I think a new movie would have to be highly fictionalized too. The actual story--32-plus years in prison with no parole or pardon in sight--is totally unsatisfying.

Rob Schmidt:  As for who to play Peltier, you'd have to get a Native actor who could age from his 30s to his 60s. That suggests someone who's 30 to 40 now.
Comment:  For more on Seagal, see Stereotypes in On Deadly Ground.

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