McKay's New Doc 'Fay Wray' Premieres with Jackson, Watts
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of screen icon Fay Wray (1907-2004), Second Act Productions announces a new feature-length documentary based on her life and her relationship with her friend, the award-winning filmmaker Rick McKay. Fay Wray: A Life, is a first time ever hybrid of star biography and road movie as the younger director and older film star travel the globe in planes, trains, automobiles and even a vaporetto in Venice, while the screen legend regales with never-before-told tales of Tinseltown. The documentary covers Wray's experiences in a veritable century of American entertainment while documenting the unlikely friendship between the movie star and the half-century younger filmmaker.
McKay, director and producer of the hit theatrical release, Broadway: The Golden Age, met Wray in the early '90s while interviewing her for a magazine and a friendship quickly blossomed. They were soon traveling to film festivals in Paris, Venice, London and Vienna, and attending the Oscars together. While driving through small towns, foreign countries or the Hollywood Hills Wray tells of coming to America on a daring trip by stagecoach over the Canadian Rockies almost a century before and of early Hollywood in the '20s and '30s. Candidly, Wray shares stories of the kidnapping of her daughter, blackmail threats against her mother, and romantic relationships with Howard Hughes and Clifford Odets. Wray shares intimate stories of working with the century's most important directors and stars from the legendary era of silent film in the '20s through the Golden Ages of both film and television over the next 50 years. Wray's work in over 80 films includes the film classics King Kong, Mystery of the Wax Museum and The Most Dangerous Game, while her television work includes one of the medium's first series, "Pride of the Family," where her daughter was played by Natalie Wood, as well as numerous episodes of "Perry Mason," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Playhouse 90," "Studio 57" and more.
The centenary celebration of Wray's birth (September 15, 1907) includes a special evening at New York City's Film Forum on Tuesday, September 18 with Wray's 1927 silent film The Wedding March, where she was handpicked by her costar, director Eric Von Stroheim, screening alongside the first peek at a quarter hour of McKay's Fay Wray documentary. The evening will include special appearances by McKay, Wray's daughter/actress Susan Riskin, film historian Foster Hirsch and Film Forum's Bruce Goldstein.
Naomi Watts and Peter Jackson, the star and director of the 2005 remake of King Kong, participate in McKay's film, Fay Wray: A Life, including never-before-seen footage from the historic dinner McKay hosted where Jackson met his childhood idol Wray for the first time and Wray passed the proverbial baton to Watts and approved her casting. Wray's last public appearance was at the theatrical premiere of McKay's film, Broadway: The Golden Age, which was also her last film appearance.
Peter Jackson, a fan of Broadway: The Golden Age, has invited McKay to his New Zealand studio for post-production on the Wray film, which begins in March 2008. An art-house release is expected for summer/fall 2008 in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the theatrical release of the original 1933 King Kong, followed by international TV and DVD.
For more information on the September 18, 2007 Fay Wray Centenary event at the Film Forum, please go to: www.filmforum.org/films/faywray.html