Fast Times at Ridgemont High recently celebrated its 35 Anniversary. While this is interesting, it’s not exactly horror news—or is it? Fast Times writer Cameron Crowe recently sat down for an extensive interview with Variety, where some very interesting trivia was revealed. Apparently, the first director seriously courted for the project was none other than David Lynch!
At the time, Lynch had only directed Eraserhead and The Elephant Man, so why he was even considered is a bit of a mystery. Nonetheless, Crowe described a meeting with the experimental director at Universal Studios.
“I had a meeting with David Lynch,” recalled Crowe (“Say Anything,” “Jerry Maguire”) who won a screenplay Oscar for his 2000 semi-autobiographical “Almost Famous.”
The iconoclastic filmmaker drove up to Universal in his VW Beetle and took a meeting with Crowe. “He had a very wry smile on his face as I sat talking with him,” noted Crowe. “He went and read it. We met again. He was very, very sweet about it, but slightly perplexed we thought of him. He said this was a really nice story but ‘it’s not really the kind of thing that I do, but good luck.’ He got into the white VW bug and drove off.” Years later, Crowe ran into Lynch and reminded him of the meeting. “He very much remembered, which was great,” he said.
Amy Heckerling was eventually chosen to direct the film himself, and Lynch went on to have a very different yet equally lauded career, producing films that defy easy genre classification. Movies like Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, and Eraserhead are cult horror classics and his seminal TV series Twin Peaks is enjoying a revival on Showtime.
Of course, I’d love to visit an alternate universe where Lynch actually had directed Fast Times. I wonder how he would have directed Sean Penn’s Jeff Spicoli? I bet he’s have had a leather jacket!
Official Synopsis: Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend, Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates), Stacy gets trapped in a love triangle with nice guy Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) and his more assured buddy Mike Damone (Robert Romanus). Meanwhile, Stacy’s classmate Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), who lives for surfing and being stoned, faces off against Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), a strict teacher who has no time for the slacker’s antics.