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Adventure » Fantasy » »
Legend


1985       Mia Sara

Production Noted for Legend

Ridley Scott, who launched the horror story into outer space and drove the detective thriller into the future, has come down to earth for his new film, Legend

The director of "Alien" and "Blade Runner," Scott has firmly established himself as one of today's finest visual stylists. For Legend he creates a mythical forest inhabited by faeries, goblins, unicorns and mortals. A classic fantasy-adventure, it concerns the eternal struggle between good and evil.

"The setting for 'Legend' is timeless," says Scott. "It is not a film of the future, or of the past. It is not even a story of now. The conflict between darkness and light has been with us since the creation.., and will remain with us through eternity."

The Universal Pictures release stars Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry and David Bennent. Ridley Scott directed from a script by William Hjortsberg. The film was produced by Arnon Milchan and co-produced by Tim Hampton.

Filmed at Pinewood Studios, London, Legend was the

culmination of almost four years of research and preparation.

Early on, Scott contacted novelist William Hjortsberg to discuss the possibility of his writing a draft screenplay based on Scott's ideas for a story about a young hermit who becomes a hero when he battles the evil Lord of Darkness, rescues a beautiful princess and frees the world from its icy winter curse.

"We had cocktails, and Ridley said Would you be interested in writing a fairy tale?' Coincidently, I had begun writing fairy tales on my own during the past year, so naturally I told Ridley Yes,'" says Hjortsberg, recalling his initial conversation with Scott.

Their next meeting took place several months later in Los Angeles, where Scott was filming the futuristic detective thriller, "Blade Runner." H~jortsberg remembers sitting around the kitchen table in Scott's rented house where they "batted ideas back and forth for about a week or so."

"The characters really came from left field," he says. "we discussed the hero in many forms before deciding on Jack 0' The Green.

"Then Ridley decided we should have a quest. He also wanted unicorns and thought there should be magic armor and a sword. I came up with the idea of having the world plunged into wintery darkness. So we had all these elements which had to be woven into a Story."

Even though the final story took "three years and 15 script revisions" before it was completed, Hjortsberg looks back on the writing as "great fun."

It should come as no surprise, given Scott's reputation, that 'Legend" is a visual feast. Indeed, production designer Assheton Gorton's sets are among the most elaborate ever constructed for a motion picture, pulsating with style and imagination.

Gorton's sets, all of which started life as original sketches and models, were constructed on six of Pinewood's huge sound stages, including the world's largest film stage where the vast, mystical forest came to life.

The enormous set -- with giant trees, gnarled and sinister; an undulating mossy floor with hills and dells, meandering wooded paths, delightful forest glades and babbling streams; a sun-gilded amphitheatre and a cliff-edged pond with bluebells and blossoms -- is central to the story and took 50 craftsmen 14 weeks to build.

For the winter scenes, 1,500 icicles were added to the set. Varying in length from one foot to eight feet, they were made of resin and hot wax to achieve the proper texture. The special effects team, under supervisor Nick Ailder, also supplied tons of artificial snow in the process of "winterizing" the forest set.

The forest set is but one of several major sets designed by Gorton for the film. Another is the gigantic kitchen at the bottom of the Dark Lord's subterranean castle. Constructed on a mammoth scale and populated with giant demon cooks, it appears even bigger against the tiny bodies of elves, pixies and leprechauns who appear throughout the film.

The castles great hail is another spectacular set, which includes the huge and menacing Throne of Darkness. Among its other features: ominous jet-black columns, 25 feet high and nine feet in diameter; a gigantic black marble banquet table, and a massive fireplace adorned with fantastic sculptures.

Other key sets include the ancient tomb, heaped with gems and treasures and containing the corpse of a knight lying on a golden dais clad in gold chain mail, his bejewelled sword on his chest; the Great Tree, where an inner tree sits transfixed by a curved bronze horn, and the woodcarver's cottage at the edge of the forest.

On the afternoon of June 27, 1984, the magnificent forest set was completely demolished by a fire that ripped through the Legendary 007 sound stage at Pinewood Studios. Flames leapt more than 100 feet into the air and the dense clouds of smoke could be seen for five miles away.

Luckily, the cast and crew of Legend were at lunch when the flames erupted on the world's largest film stage, which producer Albert (Cubby) Broccoli built in 1976 to house the enormous sets for 'The Spy Who Loved Me." More than 100 firemen fought the blaze, but there was nothing they could do to save the building or the expensive equipment inside.

At the time of the fire, Legend director Ridley Scott had just two days of filming left on the forest set before it was scheduled to be revamped into another fantasy scene. The art department rebuilt the required section of the set and the scenes were completed within schedule.



Item Details:
presskit 9 stills 11x14 single-sided




Legend

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CAST

Jack .......................... TOM CRUISE
Lili .......................... MIA SARA
Darkness ..................... TIM CURRY
Gump .......................... DAVID BENNENT
Blix .......................... ALICE PLAYTEN
Screwball ..................... BILLY BARTY
Brown Tom ...................... CORK HUBBERT
Pox .......................... PETER O'FARRELL
Blunder .......................... KIRAN SHAH
Oona .......................... ANNABELLE LANYON
Meg Mucklebones ................... ROBERT PICARDO
Nell .......................... TINA MARTIN
Demon Cooks ............. IAN LONGMUIR,MIKE CRANE
Dancing Black Dress ................. LIZ GILBERT
Mummified Guard .................. EDDIE POWELL

STUNTS AND DOUBLES
VIC ARMSTRONG, DANNY POTTS,TERRY CADE, ANTHONY GEORGHIOU,
PERRY DAVEY, PAUL GRANT,NICK GILLARD, KEVIN HUDSON,
WENDY LEACH, JORDAN SCOTT,DEAN SHACKLEFORD



THE CREDITS
Directed by .......................... RIDLEY SCOTT
Produced by .......................... ARNON MILCHAN
Written by .......................... WILLIAM HJORTSBERG
Co-Producer .......................... TIM HAMPTON
Music by .......................... TANGERINE DREAM
Special Make-Up Created by .......................... ROB BOTTIN
Edited by .......................... TERRY RAWLINGS
Production Designer .......................... ASSHETON GORTON
Director of Photography .......................... ALEX THOMSON B.S.C.
Associate Producer .......................... JOSEPH P. GRACE
Stunt Coordinator/Unicorn Master .......................... VIC ARMSTRONG
Costume Designer .......................... CHARLES KNODE
Special Effects Supervisor .......................... NICK ALLDER
Production Supervisor .......................... HUGH HARLOW
Supervising Film Editor .......................... WILLIAM GORDEAN
Choreographer .......................... ARLENE PHILLIPS
Dubbing Editor .......................... JIM SHIELDS
Casting (Los Angeles) .......................... MIKE FENTON C.S.A.
JANE FEINBERG G.S.A.
MARCIE LIROFF
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