Jim-Morrison-Not-Dead Film in the Works

 

Jim’s not dead – he’s
just sleeping…

 

By Fred Mills

 

The whole notion of Jim Morrison not actually having died in
1971 in a bathtub in Paris (due to heart failure or a drug OD; who knows?) has
long been an appealing one, particularly four decades ago when we were all a
lot younger and far more naïve as regards the intersections of art, creativity,
metaphysics and cold hard physical reality. Did you know that a lot of folks
genuinely Jimi Hendrix was killed by the CIA? So in an alternate universe, the
Lizard King didn’t die, but faked his death so he could go off and, variously,
become a gun-runner, a swashbuckling pirate or simply a dedicated poet quietly
living out the rest of his days in anonymity, having tired of all the public
acclaim and legal turmoil.

 

 

Such wish fulfillment has also proven occasional fertile
territory for fiction writers. In the 1982 somewhat dicey novel Burn Down the Night by Native-American
author Craig Kee Strete, a teenager meets a very-much-alive Jim Morrison and
myriad drug-fueled rock ‘n’ roll adventures ensue, while in sci-fi writer Lewis
Shiner’
s outstanding, eminently readable 1993 book Glimpses a fanboy somehow discovers a time/space warp and is able
to trip back to hang with Morrison and the Doors (among others; also in the
book are the Beatles, Hendrix and Brian Wilson). And no less a writer than
Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, in his own novel, 2002’s The Poet in Exile, took the ball and ran with it the entire 100
yards. It’s worth reprinting here the original publisher’s blurb on that one:

 

 

 Nearly three decades after Jim Morrison was
buried in Paris,
Manzarek asks: could Morrison be alive and living on a remote island after
staging his own death? The former keyboard player for the Doors provides a
mildly entertaining if rather implausible answer to that question in this
earnest, clumsy rock novel. The story begins when Manzarek’s alter ego, a
keyboard player named Roy, receives a couple of cryptic letters from Morrison’s
fictional foil, the Poet; the letters are postmarked from an obscure island in
the Indian Ocean. Despite his skepticism, Roy
recognizes the handwriting and the tone of the messages, so he leaves his wife
and sets out in search of his long-lost friend. Improbably, he finds his quarry
without much trouble the Poet is living in paradise after surviving a nervous
breakdown and then undergoing a spiritual recovery in which he managed to put
the trauma of his hedonistic rock-star life behind him. What follows is Roy and
the Poet’s heartwarming reunion, and the telling of the Poet’s familiar story:
he went to India to meet a guru who saved his soul, then married in the
Seychelles, had children and retreated into a peaceful, happy family life. The
story of the fake death has its share of appealing moments, and Manzarek will
doubtless enjoy tweaking the rock press as he delves once more into the Doors
legacy. (Jan.)Forecast: This should be of some interest to rock fans especially
Doors aficionados still waiting for Mr. Mojo to rise despite a very high Spinal
Tap cliché factor.

 

 

 

Spinal Tap indeed. It appears that Manzarek is now returning
to the well with a proposed film adaptation of The Poet in Exile. According to a report last week in Variety Manzarek has enlisted director-producer
Tim Sullivan (a known-in-certain-circles horror film director) to bring the
project to the big screen through Sullivan’s ClubHouse Entertainment. Shooting
is scheduled to start next year, with Manzarek producing and scoring the music.
No actors have been announced yet – hey, we vote for Val Kilmer to portray
Morrison! – but Manzarek is mulling over having a cameo appearance.

 

“The No. 1 question I get asked is, ‘Do you think Jim
Morrison’s really dead?’ “Manzarek told Variety.”All
I can say is, I personally have not seen or heard from Jim since he left for Paris 40 years ago. And I
miss that guy. He was a poet. A Dionysus to my Apollo. A great performer, a
shaman. And a damn good friend.”

 

Bizarrely, we at BLURT have not seen or heard from Jim in 40
years either… Lizard King, phone home! Okay, everyone else, sit back, take a deep breath, and grok the fullness; we’re about to take a journey…

 

 

 

 

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