The Fugitive is one of our favorite ‘on the run’ flicks. Its dark portrayal of corruption, injustice, and the Harrison Ford of it all also makes The Fugitive one of the best movies of Tommy Lee Jones‘ career.
One of the most reliable on-screen talents of his time, Jones portrayed the character Gerard in the story. But one of the best actors of all time, in our books, anyway, was almost the villain.
Here’s how early versions of the script would have drastically altered one of the best 90s movies for the worse: screenwriter Jeb Stuart told Rolling Stone, “In all of the drafts that Warners had sent me, the Gerard character was the bad guy. He was the person behind everything.”
“And so he had an incentive to make sure that the one-armed man was never found and that Kimble stayed on the run. I kept saying, ‘That’s wrong, that’s totally wrong. You need to make this guy be the guy that would never stop hunting. He has to say to himself, ‘Wait a minute, this doesn’t make any sense. Why did he come back to this area?’”
When Andrew David came on board to direct, the murders were then placed at the feet of pharmaceutical executives and their lackeys. David added, “I called up my sister, who was a nurse at Cedar Sinai Hospital in L.A., Josie. And I said, ‘Jo, what could get a doctor in trouble? I got this biggest movie star in the world, the studio’s hot on me this week, and what are we going to do? I got to fix this. What can get a doctor in a lot of trouble?'”
“She called back a couple of days later with some wonderful resident who never got credit and said, “What if there’s a drug protocol?” So my sister and this resident were responsible for the spine of The Fugitive script. We created a company called Devlin MacGregor. My dear producer, Peter MacGregor-Scott, inspired the name Devlin McGregor. And Provasic, I think, came from one of the doctors at the University of Chicago.”
There you have it, two people completely separate from production had a big impact. For more on Jones’ part in one of the best thriller movies, find out how he tried to change his most iconic line in The Fugitive and the perfect reason people still love The Fugitive. You can also find out about all of the new movies coming in 2023, including the Dune 2 release date.