As we reported last week, Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral is getting ready to start shooting in Canada. But the production has hit a snag. Director Victor Salva's criminal past is coming back to haunt him. The Canadian Performers Union has nixed a casting call that went out a few days ago. Though it's not yet clear how this will affect production, or if it will stall the start date of the long-delayed sequel.
Way back in 1988, Victor Salva pleaded no contest and was convicted for engaging in oral copulation with a minor. The director, who was making the horror thriller Clownhouse at the time, reportedly video taped himself in sexual acts with that movie's then 12-year-old lead actor Nathan Forrest Winters. The filmmaker served 19 months in jail. And has since gone onto have a fairly successful film career, writing and directing Jeepers Creepers in 2001 and its 2003 sequel Jeepers Creepers 2.
Now, Victor Salva's past is making headlines again as he sets out to make Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral. The sequel's production team recently posted a casting notice on Breakdown Services, seeking actors for the upcoming movie, which begins shooting this spring in British Columbia. When the Union of British Columbia Performers found out about the casting notice, they quickly sent out a distress signal to all talent agents who might be interested in sending their clients in for an audition. They warned various agencies of Victor Salva's sordid past. In turn, Breakdown Services nixed the casting announcement.
In the past, Victor Salva has also pleaded guilty to other 'lewd and lascivious conduct', and for procuring a child for pornography. Not too long after he was released from prison, he set out to direct Powder in 1995, mentored along by fellow filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who reportedly helped get Victor Salva a lighter sentence. Some view Powder as a thinly veiled attempt by Victor Salva to explain his sexual urges through the use of metaphors. This is something the Jeepers Creepers movies have also been accused of. The Union of British Columbia Performers had this to say.
"It has recently come to our attention that a casting breakdown has gone out for a feature film entitled Jeepers Creepers III, and that the director of the film, Victor Salva, was convicted of sexual misconduct in 1988. The conviction allegedly resulted from misconduct involving a minor whom Mr. Salva was directing at the time. At this time we would like to remind our members and their agents that, under Article A2702 (Safety & Welfare of a Minor) of the BC Master Production Agreement, a performer has the right to refuse work if they believe that the nature of the work is unsafe."
In response, Breakdown Services sent out this statement.
"Upon learning of this notice and our own verification of the facts surrounding Salva's conviction, Breakdown Services has removed this project from its files. All submissions made by any agent on this project are no longer available to the casting director nor any member of the production staff."
The casting notice in question was seeking an 18-year-old actress. The character is Addison, a girl who, at the age of 13, is forced to move in with her grandmother after her stepdad 'started making overtures'. While director Victor Salva could not be reached for comment, it is clear that the filmmaker is once again focusing on themes of sexual abuse and underaged sex acts, ideas that were explored in the previous 2 movies. What do you think about all this? Sound off in the comments below.