By Dr. Zaius
Monday, December 12th, 2016 at 4:09 pm
NY Wintercon took over the Resorts World Casino in NYC earlier this month and one of the main attractions was a full-scale reunion for The Warriors, the 1979 film directed by Walter Hill.
Moderated by The Furies (in spectacular cosplay), the arch rival gang of the Coney Island Warriors, the panel welcomed James Remar (Ajax), Michael Beck (Swan), David Harris (Cochise), Dorsey Wright (Cleon), Terry Michos (Vermin), and Thomas Waites (Fox). The panel was entirely Q&A with fans, which was cool since the Main Stage area was packed with Warriors fans, many in full cosplay.
The first question was about current projects being worked on. Remar, the most active and popular of the cast members, has an upcoming role in FOX’s Gotham TV show as Frank Gordon, the long lost uncle of Ben McKenzie’s James Gordon, and he was also featured on the second season of The Path on Hulu. Waites is starring off Broadway in a show called Austin and performing with his rock band The Thomas G. Waites Project raising money for underprivileged kids. Dorsey Wright gave one of the funniest answers I’ve ever heard: “I am currently starring with the NY Transit Authority, and you can see me in a subway tunnel near you.” He also does commercial voiceovers. Michael Beck is currently “off” from work but has a film, The Grace of Jake, coming out in early 2017. David Harris has a film called Mommy’s Box coming out soon, and Terry Michos actually quit acting and has been in the news and political game for over 20 years.
Obvious questions came up about possible sequels and even more possible remakes and surprisingly the cast seemed opened to just about anything. Remar said they were a gang for life and if the right ideas came up at the right time they might be open to revisiting that world. On the subject of remakes they were all very interested, which was surprising since I for one, as a fan, expect actors to be territorial about their classic projects. Remar equated remakes to different versions of Shakespeare, that everyone has their own interpretations and their film, while beloved is not sacred and untouchable.
A fan asked about the director’s cut vs. theatrical cut of the movie and they all like the version that went to theaters. All the cast members waxed poetic about director Walter Hill and thought he did a phenomenal job with the film. They discussed the longevity of the film, now nearly 40-years old and still having a massive fanbase, and what it’s meant to their careers. Dorsey Wright again was funny as hell, joking that you can never tell when making a movie that it will become this underground cult hit and affect fans into the future. Remar adds that as a stage actor he was used to the curtain going down and the show being over, so he was shocked to see months of work condensed to 88 minutes when he first saw the film.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Q&A came when discussing the impact of the film on cosplay. Keeping in mind that the moderators are dressed as the baseball gang, The Furies. The actors discussed how just a few years after the film was released they heard stories from friends in Europe about people attending midnight shows dressed as the gangs, a la Rocky Horror Picture Show. They credit the opening scene with all the different gang coming together in their diverse attires and costumes as helping to start the cosplay trend. Standing in a room in 2016 watching grown men and children dressed as those same gangs from a 1979 film, it’s hard to argue.
This was probably my favorite of the four main stage panels I took in, as the cast seemed genuinely happy to be together again, and all provided very interesting input about a film that has obviously played a major role in theirs and our lives.