At the best of times, particularly in the latter stages of his career, Marlon Brando was pretty unpredictable; you never knew what you might get from the mercurial actor once he was on set. But in the case of the never-made "Divine Rapture," the filmmakers never got a chance to see what might happen out of their starry production. Set to star Brando, his friend Johnny Depp (they worked together on "The Brave" and "Don Juan DeMarco") and Debra Winger, the film was all set to shoot in Ballycotton, Ireland (indeed, you can see the cast in costume above) when producers CineFin failed to secure the $4 million they needed to make the movie, leaving the movie and many villagers in the lurch. This was back in 1995, however producer Barry Navidi (Al Pacino pics "The Merchant Of Venice," "Wilde Salome" and the upcoming "King Lear") has stuck with it and it looks like nearly two decades later, the movie will be made.
"I'm going to do it within the next six months and with a new cast and updated," Navidi told the Belfast Telegraph (via Guardian). "It will be essentially the same story but this time called 'Holy Mackerel' and with different stars." More than that, the producer is seeking out Geoffrey Rush to take the lead in the movie.
Penned by production designer Glenda Ganis (whose only other credited screenplay is the Gladys Knight vehicle "Pipe Dreams"), the story revolves around a machinist who is declared a saint after apparently rising from her coffin at a funeral. This was the role Winger would've played, with Brando as a priest who deems the event a miracle (the part Navidi wants Rush to take). No word yet if the script has been given another pass, but the plan is to shoot the movie this summer, and return to Ballycotton to do it.
Will it happen? Who knows, but clearly Navidi believes in the material and certainly if it was enough to attrack Brando, Depp and Winger back in the day, there must be something to it. Guess we'll soon see. No word yet on who might direct, but we presume original helmer Thom Eberhardt ("Captain Ron," "Gross Anatomy") is no longer involved. And note to the producer: that new title is dreadful.