See, what happened was, this bartender named Troy Duffy wrote a screenplay called The Boondock Saints and got it to Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films. Harv loved it. Next thing you know, Troy’s got a $300,000 salary to direct the film, and a $15,000,000 budget, and also a contract for his band. Whoopee! Suddenly Troy is the Hollywood golden boy. He figures he’s the king of the world! All sorts of actors start sucking up to him: Vincent D’Onofrio, John Goodman, Matthew Modine, Billy Zane, Patrick Swayze. Two guys, Tony Montana (really? That’s the name of the Al Pacino character in Scarface) and Mark Brian Smith, start filming what they figure will be a “Making of” documentary.
Well, it could happen. We know from the example of Quentin Tarantino that a stupid-looking, working class, offensive, blowhard vulgarian can actually conceal some real writing and filmmaking talent. Why shouldn’t Troy be the next one?
For about ten minutes I’m with him … though I can see he’s riding for a fall, naive enough to think that just because names are on dotted lines, something will actually come of it all. I could have told him different, but he wouldn’t have listened. Troy listens to no one but himself, and the advice is usually bad. For fifteen minutes he’s the biggest news in town. And fifteen minutes later, no one will return his phone calls. It’s easy to see why. He is the very definition of an asshole. Every sentence he speaks contains the word “fucking” at least twice. He betrays every friend he has (many of whom are his brothers). He describes himself as “a deep cesspool of creativity,” and truer words were never spoken.
Amazingly, the film actually does get made, on half the budget he had counted on, and in Toronto. Uh-oh! Moving the production of my movie, Millennium, to Toronto turned out to be the final nail in its coffin. He gets Willem Dafoe and Billy Connelly, two fine actors, to star in it. It is finished, taken to Cannes … and nobody makes an offer. Probably because it sounds like a piece of shit. We never see any actual footage. (Oddly, it’s become something of a cult film on DVD. Maybe I’ll have to take a look at it … and maybe not.)
At the end of the film Troy is broke and basically on the street … but believe it or not, the IMDb lists Boondock II: All Saints Day as currently being in production. I guess you can’t keep a persistent asshole down. Oh, by the way, since I haven’t mentioned it yet … this is a really good film, in spite of its subject matter. Sort of a low-rent Lost in La Mancha. If you want to see how a film can go horribly, completely wrong, see this one. [This is a wonderfully gratifying karma-in-action movie.]