director-john-sturgesIn 1981 I formed a Movie Production Partnership with writer Robert Collector to produce his WWIII script about a fictional Soviet Invasion of Germany that celebrated movie director, John Sturges (“The Great Escape”, “The Magnificent Seven” and “Ice Station Zebra”) committed to direct.

But unfortunately, in the 1980s, even acclaimed directors, like John, who were 65-70 years old, were considered “too old” and could not get directing jobs, like “aged” directors can today.  John was really hurt by this “ageism” against older directors in the 1980s.

Now, it is ironic to think that all the studios wanted to do movies with the ”young” directors like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese — who are still making movies today in their 60s and 70s — at the same age, or older, than John Sturges was in 1980.


Nevertheless, I loved spending hours and hours with John Sturges listening to stories about the making of some of my favorite movies starring some of my favorite movie stars.

I learned so much from Sturges; he was a good friend and partner:  he financed me to fly to London to buy the movie rights from Trevor Ravenscroft to his hit book that major talent in Hollywood was interested in: The Spear of Destiny (which became a basis for George Lucas’ and Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark”)



After forming a partnership with celebrated Movie Director, John Sturges in the early 1980s, I put together a big-name Talent Package for our Spear of Destiny movie:  Academy Award nominee Deric Washburn who co-wrote the Academy Award Best Picture of 1977: “The Deer Hunter”, no less.  Deric was going to write the script for our Spear of Destiny movie.

Ridley Scott, who previously directed “Alien”, and was directing “Bladerunner” (at the time I met him on the set on the Warners Lot) was interested in Directing the Spear of Destiny movie, especially if Deric writes the script or…Oliver Stone.

Sure enough, Academy Award winning writer, Oliver Stone was interested in writing the script for our Spear of Destiny movie, until Ridley Scott stood up Oliver and me for lunch because of “problems on the Bladerunner set.”  Everyone’s Agents went into a state of hyper-hysteria to account for the unintended slight and Ridley’s no-show.  In the end,  Ridley Scott bailing on lunch with Oliver Stone was a waste of an interesting opportunity that could have produced an incredible movie – or a dangerous movie – telling the Occult side of the Nazi’s unlikely rise to and righteous fall from Power.

Ultimately, no studio wanted to produce a film about the Nazi Occult like we wanted to — and so, like many Hollywood Movie Projects in development hell, the movie was only produced in our minds.

And it was awesome!

Fifteen years after my partnership with John Sturges, I would grow up to co-create, co-write and develop movie and TV projects with one my other most personal Heroes of all time (and future business partner):  the only author whom I ever wanted to read:  ‘Nuff said!  Comic book writer/creator of my youth: Stan Lee.

Written by Larry Shultz