JayJay here. Oops... I left a whole bunch at the end of the Dazzler story off when I first posted it. So if you read the Debut of the Dazzler before... please read the end. Here it is and it's also been added to the original post. Sorry!
- Continued from below the People magazine cover...
Alice was CUT OUT of this picture! She was walking beside Bo!
Bo Derek was fresh from the success of 10, with Dudley Moore. She was the hottest star in Hollywood, top of the “A” list of “bankable” stars. Bankable means that the mere attachment of such a star guarantees studio financing.
Suddenly there was a BIDDING WAR among the studios for the project!
Now, the bad news, part 1: Marvel commissioned a screenplay by Leslie Stevens.
Why not me? I was the horse who got us there. But, suddenly, because it was Hollywood, for real and big time, I was “just a comic book writer.” They decided they needed a screenwriter.
Stevens ignored what I had written completely and wrote a piece of crap that defies description. In those days, despite the reasonable success of the first Superman movie, comics were still thought of as silly and campy, so that’s what Stevens went for. It was moronic.
Stevens also discarded the light powers and gave Dazzler the power to make people tell the truth. Why the name, then? Oh, well.
Bad news part 2: At the height of the bidding war, Bo Derek decreed that her husband, John HAD to be the director. Famous for behind-schedule, over-budget debacles, John Derek had to direct or no Bo.
Every bidder withdrew.
That ended Bo’s involvement.
Later, Marvel tried to shop the Leslie Stevens script around with Daryl Hannah attached. No takers.
P.S. Later, noting the strengthening of the still-fledgling Direct Market, I proposed to Galton that we publish a Direct Market exclusive issue. Around that time X-Men and other top performers were selling around 30,000 copies in the Direct Market, in addition to their newsstand sales.
The Sales Department resisted, fearing angering the I.D. Wholesalers (the newsstand distributors). The compromise was that we would use a lesser known character, rather than a top seller, which the newsstand people might pay more attention to, and might be upset by.
I picked Dazzler. I figured that would provide a good test.
Dazzler #1 was the first all-Direct comic book (at least from a major publisher). It sold 428,000 copies.