My Journey Through Writing Crockett’s Return to Miami… Vice??
by Rick Eager
Hello Miami Vice Fans! I want to give a big “Thank You” to you the fans, as well to the staff here at Miami Vice Chronicles for inviting me to add my screenplay, Crockett Returns to Miami… Vice??? for your viewing. It’s now a two-hour TV reunion movie that began as a feature for the big screen with the original cast. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it! The journey of writing it was long and sometimes hard, but always enjoyable.
Like you, I’ve always been a huge Vice fan. It was my favorite show ever! My journey started back in 1999 when I began to have dreams about a new Miami Vice movie while working on another project. I’m not the type to start something and not finish it, so I forged ahead with what I was working on, but the dreams continued, then the visions started. I would be thinking of nothing at all as I staggered to my morning shower, and suddenly a scene would pop into my head.
It began to haunt me day and night, until I finally sat down and opened a new Final Draft file and began writing the scenes I saw in my dreams and visions… it almost seemed spiritual. Another important element was that I was off work at the time with injuries from my job. I worked for General Motors, and had both shoulders rebuilt after chasing an assembly line, and was off for a year with the very painful surguries and rehab.
Working on the screenplay was the light and excitement of my day, as I looked forward to it every morning. I got on the Internet and talked to MV fans all over the world, and found a fan club in Poland, of all places! The fans hinted at what they would love to see in a new movie (of course, this was prior to Michael Mann’s 2006 “Miami Vice” feature film). The fans posted some of their all-time favorite scenes as I took notes.
It didn’t take long before I realized who I was writing this for… the diehard fans like you! On my journey I spoke with many fans like yourselves, and have met some wonderful people. I wouldn’t trade the experience of my journey for anything. You guys renewed my faith in mankind. All of our Miami Vice characters, like ourselves, have evolved over the years, so I had to think about what they would evolve into.
I started with Sonny, who had headed south where the drinks were colder and where he didn’t know the players. I researched what most cops do when they burn out. I had a retired DEA agent friend of mine tell me they do one of two things: a bullet to the head, or climb into a bottle and stay there a while. Having never been an alcoholic, I wanted to better understand this. I visited AA and purchased and read their Big Book. I got a sobriety coin that I kept by my computer and looked at every time I thought or wrote about Sonny.
Rico went back to New York, but couldn’t stay away from law enforcement. It was who he was and he was good at it. He later became Captain in the NYPD. Stan was easy, he loved Elvis and always will. Castillo was a career man. Trudy rolled with the flow as did Gina, who could maybe make Captain. There is Tommy the mechanic, Izzy who finally goes legit, then Noogie who had to be written in as a living tribute to Charlie Barnett… God rest his soul.
It was and is on the industry side where I experienced, well, indifference. I contacted Universal several times to no avail. I contacted Saundra Santiago who at the time was working on “One Life to Live”. She replied back with excitement in an email, telling me to contact Don Johnson, who wasn’t working at the time. It took me a while to find him, but he never responded back. I contacted Edward James Olmos, but he was very busy with Battlestar Galactica.
EJO’s secretary sent me release forms and said EJO wanted to read it. I sent it to him and he liked it. He got me an agent, who got the screenplay up to Universal. I also contacted Michael Mann, who read it, but he finally passed on it, cordially wishing me well on my career. Universal looked at it, and they also passed, then announced the new Miami Vice feature that Michael Mann was writing. I guess a reunion movie was not in the cards at that time.
I have since rewritten the screenplay as a two-hour TV movie that opens the door for a new Miami Vice series with the introduction of two new characters. I’d also like to write some new episodes with links back to the original series, since some of the perps were never apprehended. I’d also like to include a cameo in every episode from an original cast member to ensure that most of us old schoolers would tune in and turn on.
I pitched this concept earlier this year to Jeff Gaspin up at NBC/Universal, Don Johnson’s production company, and Michael Mann at Forward Pass, but have not heard back from anyone as of yet. I keep hearing Jimmy Cliff sing “Give the people what they want… it’s what they want!”
If you would like to see this movie on TV or the big screen, please contact these people and let them know, as they are the ones who can make it happen:
Steve Burke, CEO NBC/Universal
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City CA 91608
Bob Greenblatt, NBC Chairman of Entertainment
3000 W. Alameda Ave, Burbank CA 91523-0001
Michael Mann Productions
12233 West Olympic Blvd, Ste 340, Los Angeles CA 90064
Don Johnson Productions
9633 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 278, Beverly Hills CA 90210
July 2011: contacts updated
For more on myself, see my listing at IMDb. To you guys… the fans… thank you and God bless!