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The Lens: A prequel to 'Easy Rider'?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 24, 2009 - In the 1980s, the late, great Michael O' Donoghue proposed a sequel to "Easy Rider" to be called "Biker Heaven," in which Wyatt and Billy, the characters played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper and left scattered across the highway at the end of the original film, came back to a post-apocalyptic Earth as angels and fought a Nazi motorcycle gang.

Bad idea? Well, actually ... yes.

A few years later, when "Blue Velvet" and "Hoosiers" revived Dennis Hopper's career, he and Fonda continued to float sequel ideas, despite having fallen out with each other (and with "Easy Rider" co-author Terry Southern).  In one proposal, River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves would play the sons of the original characters. In another, Jack Nicholson was to play the brother of his deceased "Easy Rider" character, now a corrupt member of Congress involved in political scandal.

More bad ideas? The kind of movies that get tossed around in production meetings but never get off the ground? Probably.

Yes, it's real, and coming soon.

The Lens is the blog of Cinema St Louis, hosted by the Beacon.