The British film director Tony Scott died Sunday.
Scott was best known for his action pictures including Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, and the most recent incarnation of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. His last picture was Unstoppable about a runaway train. According to numerous reports over the last two years his next film was to be Hells Angels based on Ralph “Sonny” Barger’s memoir Hell’s Angel. And, according to multiple writers who cover the film business, Mickey Rourke was to portray Barger. Stephen Gaghan reportedly wrote the fourth and final version of the script
Scott had a longtime fascination with the motorcycle club that wears red and white. He also owned the film rights to Hunter Thompson’s Hells’s Angels and he helped make Jay Dobyns a minor celebrity. According to Dobyns: “In 2005, after becoming acquainted with Fox entertainment through ATF’s introduction of Agent Dobyns with the America’s Most Wanted feature, a film researcher for Fox and film director Tony Scott contacted Agent Dobyns. Fox and Scott were developing a film about the Hells Angels. A relationship was struck, based on the researcher’s stated admiration for Agent Dobyns’ work, dedication and honesty.” In collaboration with a children’s author named Nils Johnson-Shelton Dobyns created his best selling book about the Angels, titled No Angel. And with the understanding that Gaghan would write the script and Tony Scott would direct Dobyns sold “his life story rights to 20th Century Fox film studios.” That film was never made either.
Anthony D. L. Scott was the youngest son of British Army Colonel Francis Percy Scott. One of his two older brothers is the director Ridley Scott. He studied to be an artist. He struggled as a painter, gave up and went into business with his brother directing commercials. That eventually led to work directing films. Scott usually wore a red baseball cap and his friends called him “Tee-Scott.”
Tony Scott died by his own hand. About 12:45 Sunday afternoon Scott jumped 185 feet from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles into Los Angeles Harbor. The lead character of William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in LA bungee jumps from the bridge which connects the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Scott made the same dive without a lifeline.
Divers recovered Scott’s body hours later. He left behind his third wife and two small children. The Los Angeles Times reported that the director had inoperable brain cancer. Tony Scott was 68.
Requiscant In PaceWhenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean favored, and imperially slim. And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said, ‘Good-morning,’ and he glittered when he walked. And he was rich – yes, richer than a king – And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Edwin Arlington Robinson