Friday, March 09, 2007

Reel People: Jared Leto is Mark David Chapman

The film is Chapter 27, which is the debut effort of the young writer/director J.P. Schaefer.

Mark David Chapman is infamous for the assassination of John Lenon December 8, 1980. Chapman, the son of an Air Force sergeant was born in 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas but grew up primarily in Atlanta. From all accounts, Chapman's life was somewhat rebellious until in high school his life turned around after becoming a Christian, at which point most accounts regard him as well respected, particularly as he worked as a YMCA counselor and with Vietnamese Refugee Camps. His anger for John Lennon seems to have been born out of Lennon's comment in 1966 that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. Chapman also had disdain for the song "Imagine" because he had read John Lennon: One Day at a Time by Anthony Fawcett which detailed John Lennon's vast wealth.

Of all the books, this was not the most famous book associated with Chapman's assassination. Far more significant is the J.D. Salinger's Catcher in The Rye. At some point Chapman picked up this book and as his mental health began to slide identified with the main character's (Holden Caufield) isolation and drive to help protect children. Chapman attempted his own suicide in 1977 and actually attempted Lennon's assassination two months before the event. Chapman did not commit suicide because the vacuum cleaner hose attached to his car's exhaust pipe melted, and he didn't follow through with the assassination because the movie Ordinary People inspired him.

In December 6th of 1980 Chapman left items in his room and bought a copy of Catcher in The Rye which he signed and wrote in it "This is my statement." Chapman camped out that day in front of Lennon's home and earlier in the day had Lennon sign a copy of Yoko Ono and Lennon's latest album, which he had signed. That night when Lennon and Ono returned from dinner Chapman shot Lennon, at which point he bled to death.

Chapman was sentenced to prison where he currently is serving at Attica State Prison. He has come up for Parole four times in the past decade, all of which have been denied.

The upcoming film's title is based off Catcher in The Rye, in that it has 26 chapters. Vegetarian Leto reportedly gained 67 pounds for the film to look the part of Chapman. The film co-stars Lindsay Lohan.

This biographical film could certainly earn Leto some critical awards attention for his portrayl of this Real (Reel) Person.

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cukoobajube said...

Life is about choices. MDC had a choice and made a very wrong desicion. He deserves nothing except to be able to ask God and the family of John Lennon for forgiveness. He doesn't deserve for a movie to be made about him and his insane act of obsenity.
I signed the petition to boycott the movie "Chapter 27".

Sheila West said...

How sad.

I never knew he was a Christian. Which is even sadder.

As for a boycott, my experience is that anytime anyone shouts the word "boycott," that only spurs people all the more to go and see a film that might have otherwise fallen by the wayside. The two most prominent examples that come to mind are "The Last Temptation of Christ" (obviously boycotted by Christians) and the recent Jodie Foster film "Flight Plan" which angered the Flight Attendants Unions who claim the film depicted fight attendants as cruel, smug, and indifferent.

While I can repsect a person's personal conviction in choosing to avoid a certain film, boycotts almost alwasy backfire by drawing undeserving attention TO the offending film instead of AWAY from it.

kat said...

How creepy Jared Leto looks in that photo. Dead ringer.

crackers and cheese said...

It's interesting how much he was affected by media such as books and movies. Sad how those things (and his mental health) motivated him more than His relationship with Christ. I will probably see this film - thanks for the heads up!

Martha Elaine Belden said...

i'm curious what this movie will be like... it looks like it could be really good.

but i agree with the other comments that it's sad he was a Christian and used that as part of his reasoning.

Art said...

It's creepy how much Leto looks like Chapman in that pic.

Anonymous said...

I'm pissed this movie is not being shown in the US! I saw a preview on YouTube & Jared Leto is intense in the role. He risked his health for this role. If they don't want to show it in the theaters, at least release it on DVD so Jared Leto's fans can buy it.
As for the whole boycott nonesense & glorifing murderers....didn't Charlize Theron star in a movie about a murderous bisexual prostitute named Aileen Wuornos in "Monster"? AND she won an Academy Award for it!! And what about Woody Harrelson & Juliette Lewis portraying Bonnie & Clyde in "Natural Born Killers"? Or perhaps Salma Hayek & Jared Leto portraying Martha Beck & Raymond Fernandez in "Lonely Hearts"? What about the World Trade Center movies or Passion of the Christ?
The whole thing is so stupid! John Lennon was just a british rocker....what the hell? Just release the movie already!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon,

John Lennon was much more than just a British Rocker.

He was a voice of change, in a time when change was required. The world would undoubtedly be a better place if he were alive today, and I was and still am deeply saddened by his pointless and untimely death.

I agree, that boycotting this movie is probably the wrong thing to do, but you have chosen a very ignorant manor to put this point across.

Love and peace....


Sam Wilson said...

He did it for a movie? wow, he's a pro! I wonder how he could turn back easily to his figures.