C'mon Hollywood #121

... we miss you Brandon Lee!
by Sturdy

On March 31st, 1993, the entertainment community was dealt a serious blow when Brandon Lee died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. I remember I was sitting in a McDonalds in Washington D.C. when I looked over to the table next to me and read about his accidental death on the front page of USA Today (no internet back then). Even at that young age, I had become a big fan of Brandon’s after watching SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO and RAPID FIRE. To this date, Brandon Lee is the only person that I’ve never met whose death I shed a tear for.

The odd thing about Brandon Lee is the notion that many fans around the world had strong “connections” (for lack of a better word) to him despite him just getting started in the movie business. At the time of his death, thousands expressed a sense of loss despite not really knowing the guy. People that were familiar with his work knew that the world was going to miss out on one of the most likeable actors in recent memory. For that reason, his death still hurts even though 14 years have passed.

A little cheesy, but still a good flick.

The potential that was so evident early on in his career was realized in 1994’s THE CROW. It’s still one of the staff favorites here at JoBlo.com and serves as proof of what Brandon Lee could have been. Think about how many movies in the past 14 years would have been better with Brandon in the lead. The most obvious choice for me is THE MATRIX trilogy. Although the first one was great, imagine how much better all of them would have been if the lead character was actually a martial arts expert. Heck, if it weren’t for Brandon Lee’s death, Keanu Reeves might not have a job today.

The real downer in his death was the way he died. For those of you that don’t know, he was killed by a faulty prop gun on one of the last days of shooting on THE CROW. I guess there’s not really a good way to die, but for his death to be so meaningless and preventable makes losing such a talented actor that much harder to swallow. I remember when it first happened that many people shouted foul play, but nothing ever became of it. If you want to know more about his death, I highly recommend checking out this book by Bridget Baiss. It sticks to the facts and clears some of the technicalities up.

The Crow is still one of the best.

Some people believe that Brandon was a victim of an ancient Chinese curse brought on by his grandfather. Some of those same people believe that Brandon staged his death to hide from the curse. Others have developed conspiracy theories that his death was intentional to help the film’s success. Me? Well I believe that his death was an accident brought on by long working hours and a studio’s desire to save time and money. It’s good that we’ve managed to make it 14 years without another repeat accident, but it still hurts to think about what could have been if he had not passed away so early in his life.

Tags: Hollywood



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