‘Dynasty’ – the prequel
‘Dynasty’ creators Richard and Esther
Shapiro are currently writing a prequel to the popular nighttime soap.
The new ‘Dynasty’ film will focus on the early years of Blake and Alexis
I spoke with Richard Shapiro last week
about this exciting new project. Shapiro also answered some questions
about the original ‘Dynasty’ series that so many of us still love.
Q. Where did the idea for the original
‘Dynasty’ come from?
A. ‘… One thing that’s always
fascinated Esther … is how the rich live…. What a fascinating thing to
have all the money in the world, be able to do everything and anything
you wanted to do, break all the rules and still have all the problems
that the rest of us have.’
Q. Were any of the original characters
based on you?
A. ‘(Laughs) Hardly. ‘
Q. Talk about working with Aaron Spelling
if you would.
A. ‘Aaron Spelling was terrific. We
did the show the way we wanted. We wrote it the way we wanted and we
cast it the way we wanted. Aaron (Spelling) and Doug Cramer were in
charge of production and I think they did it beautifully. At the same
time, Aaron had a marvelous sense of casting. It was his notion to cast
Linda Evans (Krystle) … while it was Esther’s notion to cast Joan
Q. Can you tell the story about casting
A. ‘At the end of the first season we
wanted to bring in Fallon’s mother and Esther wanted Joan Collins. The
network was not crazy about that idea. Joan Collins had been out of the
spotlight…. We got to the last episode (of the season) and Blake was on
trial for killing Steven’s lover. They were in court and the mother
(Alexis) was to come in at the end. The matter (of casting) had not
been settled so we took a friend of ours … and we put her in a veil and
she stepped into the courtroom in the last shot of the show…. It
finally worked out and we got Joan (Collins).’
Q. Talk about John Forsythe.
A. ‘John Forsythe was not the original
Blake. We had originally hired George Peppard. We had shot most of the
pilot … and then there was a writers strike…. When we started shooting
again George (Peppard) came to us and said ‘I’m not the guy for this
show.’ By that time, John Forsythe had become free…. He was a perfect
gentleman…. John was a prince.’
Q. Is the ‘Dynasty’ prequel the story of
Blake and Alexis’ relationship?
A. ‘This is their love story because
it had to be that way in the beginning – a real love story…. This is a
love story and this is the beginning of the dynasty – this is how it got
started. It’s a real love affair.’
Q. Where did the prequel idea come from?
A. ‘My daughter Florie along with
Esther came up with the notion…. We had tried with what happened to
them afterwards … and we may get to that because our feeling is if this
works, this can be a franchise….’
Q. Why do you think this is a good time
for the ‘Dynasty’ prequel?
A. ‘People have been asking us about
it…. Audiences are interested. They miss the show…. It seems to be a
good time for making movies out of television shows…. This is not a
good time for movies in general – I think it’s a tough business. But
branded shows are doing well…. I think people are waiting for it….’
Q. How is the script coming along and can
you give us any hints as to what to expect?
A. ‘It’s almost done…. I think
you’ll see a lot of surprises here.’
*Shapiro published his first novel in
September of last year.
The book, ‘Tobacco Brown,’ is available on Amazon.
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