Monday, February 28, 2005

The story behind Ray

ray charles
The man behind Ray, the biopic about the late Ray Charles, is none other than Philip Anschutz, the billionaire conservative from Colorado, which is a bit of a suprise since Ray Charles' personal life was not the most exemplary and Anschutz is a Dudley Do-Right.

Anchutz also was a player in the old John Wayne movie Hellfighters, a flick about the late Houston oil well firefighter Red Adair, which did much of its principal filming in the Goose Creek oil field in Baytown. The way that happened, Anschutz was facing bankruptcy because one of his own wells in Wyoming was ablaze.

Reports USA Today:

He contacted renowned oil well firefighter Red Adair and raised the money to pay him by selling the movie rights to a Hollywood studio that filmed the fire for a John Wayne film about Adair's life called Hellfighters.

Taylor Hackford, director of Ray, met nothing but dead ends for 13 years in launching the Ray Charles movie.
Hackford said he ... was told young audiences wouldn't care, that black-oriented films don't sell overseas, that it was a tough story because Charles was a heroin addict and adulterer. But Anschutz believed it would offer inspiration.


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