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 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 11:45 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Semple updated the original 1933 screenplay by James Creelman and Ruth Rose for the 1976 remake of KING KONG. Producer Dino De Laurentiis hired Semple to begin work on the script in 1974, and the film was the first of three that Semple did for De Laurentiis.

Semple's initial idea was to have the romantic lead named Joe Perko, a comical Italian oil-drilling foreman; Dwan was to be a "classy semi-intellectual" camera operator of a movie unit along on the expedition to film commercials for Petrox. Semple changed his mind, however, deciding that there was something "predictable" and "TV movie-ish" about a female camera operator. Therefore, Joe Perko was bumped down the line and Jack Prescott was created, as the liberal, young Princeton anthropologist. The female camera operator became the would-be actress set adrift at sea. Semple's reasoning for this was "having established 'reality' of a sort with the oil-exploration vessel setting sail, we needed a bridge to the fantasy which will follow, and what more agreeable fantasy than finding the most gorgeous girl in the world floating unconscious in the South Pacific?"

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 1, 2014 - 1:14 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Semple's second film for Dino De Laurentiis was 1979's HURRICANE. The screenplay was based upon the 1936 novel by James Norman Hall and Charles Nordhoff ("Mutiny On the Bounty"). Semple was also an Executive Producer on the film.

The film had a troubled production. Roman Polanski was set to direct the film until he was charged with statutory rape. After he fled the country, Jan Troell replaced him. Semple felt that Troell, the Swedish director of THE EMIGRANTS (1971) and THE NEW LAND (1972), was wrong for the film.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 1, 2014 - 1:33 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Semple's third film for De Laurentiis was 1980's FLASH GORDON. The film was a comic book derivative, done in a deliberately over-the-top style reminiscent of the "Batman" sensibility. As with his Batman, serious comic-book devotees assailed Semple for the allegedly disrespectful approach he took to the printed originals.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 1, 2014 - 1:51 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1983, Semple took on James Bond, when he wrote the screenplay for NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, Sean Connery's swan song in the role. Kevin McClory, Ian Fleming and Jack Whittingham had collaborated on an original story and screenplay for what would have been the very first 007 film, entitled "James Bond, Secret Agent". For whatever reasons, the movie was never made. Fleming then turned the screenplay into his novel "Thunderball". However, his right to do so was not clear.

When Harry Saltzman bought the film rights to the Bond novels from Fleming and went into partnership with Albert R. Broccoli, McClory initiated legal action. The case was settled out of court. Although the film THUNDERBALL was a fairly faithful adaptation of the published novel, McClory's suit resulted in only the earlier screenplay being credited as source material. McClory's producer credit on THUNDERBALL was possibly another term of the settlement. McClory also won the right to make his own Bond movie. But the settlement stipulated that it had to effectively be a remake of Thunderball, which was probably the reason why McClory waited 18 years after THUNDERBALL to make his film. Reportedly, Francis Ford Coppola made script contributions to the film.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 1, 2014 - 2:14 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Semple's last feature film screenplay was for 1984's SHEENA, yet another comic book adaptation. Producer Paul Aratow landed a development deal for Sheena, Queen of the Jungle with Universal Pictures as early as 1975 as a proposed starring vehicle for Raquel Welch. However, numerous script rewrites led to the project being put into turnaround. The project was picked up by United Artists, then after a failed script was put in turnaround to Filmways (later Orion Pictures) where another failed script led to another turnaround deal at Avco-Embassy, who courteously released the project before their contract had expired to Columbia pictures. The first screenwriter at Columbia (in 1980) was Leslie Stevens. At Columbia the script was subsequently completely rewritten by David Newman (BONNIE AND CLYDE, SUPERMAN) and later tweaked by Semple.



After SHEENA, Semple did some uncredited writing on a 1986 John Stamos film (NEVER TO YOUNG TO DIE), and wrote two television films before retiring.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

"I wrote a pilot called, Number One Son about Charlie Chan’s son," said Lorenzo. "A story set in San Francisco. I wrote the script which was okay, everybody liked it, which is about all you can expect, and we were thinking about casting and everything, then ABC called William Dozier saying, 'This is very embarrassing but word just came down we’re not to do any program with an ethnic lead.' They didn’t want a Chinese person in it. So they said, 'We’re very embarrassed but we owe you one.'"

While living in Spain in 1965, Semple was approached by producer William Dozier to develop a television series for ABC based on the comic book "Batman." Semple wrote a pilot which was promptly picked up, and the series was put on the air, premiering on 12 January 1966. Semple wrote the first four episodes, and also served as Executive Story Editor, in which capacity he put his writing imprint on all of the first season's scripts. Semple also provided the screenplay for the 1966 BATMAN feature film version, which opened during the summer following the first season.



It's sad that Semple would die in the wake of Batman's 75th anniversary and the upcoming release of the '66-68 television series on D.V.D.. R.I.P. Mr. Semple.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

"I wrote a pilot called, Number One Son about Charlie Chan’s son," said Lorenzo. "A story set in San Francisco. I wrote the script which was okay, everybody liked it, which is about all you can expect, and we were thinking about casting and everything, then ABC called William Dozier saying, 'This is very embarrassing but word just came down we’re not to do any program with an ethnic lead.' They didn’t want a Chinese person in it. So they said, 'We’re very embarrassed but we owe you one.'"

While living in Spain in 1965, Semple was approached by producer William Dozier to develop a television series for ABC based on the comic book "Batman." Semple wrote a pilot which was promptly picked up, and the series was put on the air, premiering on 12 January 1966. Semple wrote the first four episodes, and also served as Executive Story Editor, in which capacity he put his writing imprint on all of the first season's scripts. Semple also provided the screenplay for the 1966 BATMAN feature film version, which opened during the summer following the first season.



His last episode was the one where Bruce Wayne appoints him as president of his bank, which he hires robots as bank tellers.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 8:50 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

After SHEENA, Semple did some uncredited writing on a 1986 John Stamos film (NEVER TO YOUNG TO DIE)

I don't blame him for being uncredited on that one.

 
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