Based on a 1978 screenplay by
Hamady. Production companies: August Entertainment, The Meltdown
Film Co. (Hemdale (The Terminator) and Trimark
Pictures (Cube) had also been involved, and TriStar
Pictures was to handle US distribution).
In 1992, Dolph Lundgren announced
it would be shot right after Joshua Tree and directed
by Canadian director Yves
Simoneau (Mother's Boy starring Jaimie Lee
"Didn't you have a
project with John Carpenter ? -Yes, Meltdown, a sci-fi
movie directed by Yves Simoneau, a Canadian who's very talented,
Emmerich. I'll play a a dark character, not clear, a little
like the Punisher!"
Dolph Lundgren in Cine-News, June 1992 (translated from
"In October I must shoot
Meltdown, based on screenplay by John Carpenter. Terrorists
get over a nuclear plant and threaten to blow it up. Here my
role will be much darker, very disturbed, a little like the Punisher." Dolph Lundgren in Impact, June
1992 (translated from French)
Dir: Yves Simoneau
Cast: Dolph Lundgren
Producers: George Braunstein, Ron Hamady
Screenplay: John Carpenter, Robert Roy Pool
Start Date: 7/92
Negative Cost: $15 million
Lundgren is am anti-terrorist strongman in this bruising action-adventure."
1993-94 FilmReleases (C)1993 Eric G. Carter
It was to be released around
1993 "Meltdown-When a terrorist group seizes
a nuclear power plant and initiates a meltdown, ex-commando Dolph
Lundgren is the only one who can save millions. Yves Simoneau
directs a screenplay co-written by John Carpenter."
Two years later, Meltdown
was scheduled for March 1994, then October 1994 with writer/director
John Dahl (Red Rock West, Last Seduction).
The script was rewrote by John & Rick Dahl and Scott Chetsnut.
Principal photography even began (in the fall 1994) but the production
stopped after the first week of filming in Vienna (Austria),
because of legal issues of production / distribution rights.
Trimark Pictures earlier filed a $20 million lawsuit against
Miramax Films, August Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company,
claiming that Miramax maneuvered to acquire the domestic rights
away from Trimark after they had already been purchased from
August Entertainment. In February 1995, August Entertainment
and the production companies filed a lawsuit against Trimark
Pictures. Lundgren immediately shot The Shooter in
"Dahl is currently working
on Meltdown, an action picture starring Dolph Lundgren.
"After I finished The Last Seduction, I was offered
all of these horror films that were very bad. In the end, I decided
to try Meltdown. It's another form to play with, and I
was able to completely rewrite the script," which, he adds,
"will be very dark."
from Filmmmaker Magazine, Summer 94 issue
So I was reading a copy of
from August of 1994 today and came across this little tidbit:
"The doomsday thriller
"Meltdown" began filming in May on location at a nuclear
power plant in Vienna. The John Carpenter screenplay concerns
a resourceful Navy SEAL, played by Dolph Lundgren, pitted against
a gang of nuclear terrorists. John Dahl, whose last film was
"Red Rock West," directs." from Sci-Fi Entertainment, August 1994
"The giant Swede bet
big on Meltdown based on a script by John Carpenter, a
nuclear terrorism story. One week after the begining of cinematography,
the shooting is suddenly stopped by a very convoluted legal procedure" from Impact (France), October
94 (translated from French)
Listed as a project in development
(November 1994 issue):
The Plot: The action-adventure tale, scripted by John Carpenter,
follows a terrorist group with unpredictable results.
The Players: Dolph Lundgren
The Director: Jonh Dahl
Release Date: TBD"
"WFF (The Vienna Film
Financing Fund) has already subsidized a small but eclectic group
of American co-productions, ranging from Disney's brat pack Three
Musketeers and an upcoming Dolph Lundgren vehicle called
from Filmmaker Magazine, Winter 94/95 issue
According to Asiaweek,
November 1994, filming
in the Philippines was scheduled for 1995: "Meltdown,
$5M effort that will star Dolph Lundgren and makes use of the
mothballed nuclear power plant in nearby Bataan province."
[John Carpenter] "will
produce Meltdown (nuclear terrorism) : "it will be
hot", he says." from Le Nouvel Observateur,
March 1995 (translated from French)
"It almost took shape,
this Meltdown, a science-fiction thriller based on a script
by John Carpenter. Starring Dolph Lundgren, as a kind of Mad
Max disabused cop. A near future cop who must deliver a young
woman from terrorists hidden in nuclear plant they threaten to
blow up! "The producers who financed the movie pretented
having the necesseray budget and just laked a distributor for
US territory. In fact, these people lied! To finance the project,
they sold the rights to a distributor, and another three days
later. So one brought it to court. Three days before the begining
of photography, Meltdown production was stopped by justice,
waiting a judgement was made about rights ownership. Here is
what became what would make an action film a la Joel Silver.
I still ignore if the project will be brought back into production.
Whatever, it wlli be without me." John Dahl in Impact (France), April 95
(translated from French)
It's really a shame it didn't
make it, because Lundgren + Carpenter + Dahl was the perfect
package, a more nuclear Peacekeeper !
Dutch filmmaker Ate
de Jong delivered a revised script in April 1995 (don't know
if Dolph was still attached) and he was set direct the film in
1997-98 with Casper
Van Dien (Starship Troopers) as the lead.
" 'Meltdown' heats up -- again - Inside Move -
By REX WEINER
Illustrating the adage that "the show must go on,"
or just about any Hollywood cliche you can think of, "Meltdown"
is back up again.
The indie action project, financed by Gregory Cascante's August
Entertainment in which Dolph Lundgren was set to star, is famous
in foreign sales circles, various courtrooms and certain attorneys'
offices for falling apart eight days before shooting. With pre-sales
banked and partially spent, and both Miramax and Trimark laying
claim to domestic distrib rights, the resulting legal fallout
kept "Meltdown" in limbo for the past three
years until a recent court settlement.
The project is now back on course with Casper Van Dien (upcoming
lead in "Starship Troopers") set to star and
Dutch helmer Ata De Jong directing. The script, originally penned
by John Carpenter, was rewritten by brothers John and Rick Dahl.
George Braunstein and Ron Hamady are producing.
Financed once again by pre-sales conducted by August and led
by Cascante, the under $20 million pic is scheduled for an early
April start in New York and Austria. "
John Carpenter would have said
in 1998 : "I don't know anything about this. Meltdown
is a script I wrote for hire in 1978. It was originally called
The Prometheus Crisis, it had been a book. These two young
producers had the rights and wanted me to do a draft of it. What
I wrote was Halloween in a nuclear plan. They shopped
it around, it didn't get made. I even read it again in '84, right
after Starman. It was interesting but boy, did it need
some work. Then 4-5 years ago I heard they were going to do it
with Dolph Lundgren. It was a terrorist thing now, terrorists
in a nuclear plant. That didn't go. Now I hear it's going again.
I'll guarantee you, it's not my screenplay. I haven't said a
word to anybody about this project since probably 1980."
from a John Carpenter fansite
"In the seventies, Carpenter
wrote two similar scripts, Meltdown and Prometheus
Crisis, dealing with extremists terrorists groups. None was
filmed to date, even if Meltdown successively interested
John Dahl (Last Seduction), Dolph Lundgren, Casper Van
Dien (Starship Troopers) and Ate de Jong (Miami Vice)."
from Mad Movies,
John Carpenter special issue #1, November 2001 (translated from
The project is now announced
at AFM 2003 and brought back into pre-production for a fall 2003
filming, but probably without Dolph Lundgren nor Casper Van Dien.
Director: Ate de Jong
Producers: George Braunstein / David Parfitt
Production status: X Preproduction
Country of Origin/co-production: UK
Nuclear plant attacked by terrorists. One American Man and one
British Woman are between the terrorists and a Meltdown; their
attitudes clash, but they are the only ones who can save the
day." from The Business of Film AFM 2003 Product Guide