Val Kilmer has finally revealed who worked hard behind the camera on Tombstone after writer-director Kevin Jarre was fired from the position, and it is none other than Kurt Russell. Tombstone, often deemed as the Godfather of western movies, starred Russell as Wyatt Earp. In a blog post Kilmer, who played John Henry Doc Holliday in the movie, made it clear that “Kurt is solely responsible for Tombstone’s success, no question.” I was there every minute and although Kurt’s version differs slightly from mine, the one thing he’s totally correct about is how hard he worked the day before, for the next day’s shot list, and tremendous effort he and I both put into editing, as the studio wouldn’t give us any extra time to makeup for the whole month we lost with the first director.
“I watched Kurt sacrifice his own role and energy to devote himself as a storyteller, even going so far as to draw up shot lists to help our replacement director, George Cosmatos, who came in with only two days prep,” the 57-year-old actor wrote. In a 2006 interview, Russell had admitted that he made it clear to studio brass that he did not want his name listed as director, but he did help out behind the scenes quite a bit. Kilmer said he and Russell started living together for a short while as they hammered out their roles.
“He and I worked so hard I eventually moved in with him and slept on the sofa when Goldie wasn’t in town, so we could use the extra 20 minutes writing or going over schedule, etc. “And I got all the best lines and he knew it and still laughed and joked every single day,” he added.
Kilmer did not directly say that Russell directed”Tombstone,” but wrote, “I have such admiration for Kurt as he basically sacrificed lots of energy that would have gone into his role, to save the film. Everyone cared, don’t get me wrong, but Kurt put his money where his mouth was, and not a lot of stars extend themselves for the cast and crew. Not like he did.” The actor finished his post by stating, “I’ll say it again. Kurt was responsible for the film’s success.”