The Return of Billy Jack
|The Return of Billy Jack|
|Directed by||Tom Laughlin|
|Produced by||Tom Laughlin|
|Written by||Tom Laughlin|
|Edited by||Raja Gosnell|
Nicholas C. Smith
|Unreleased (filmed in 1985 and 1986)|
The Return of Billy Jack is the unfinished fifth and final film in the Billy Jack movie series. The film starred Tom Laughlin (who also directed), reprising his role as Billy Jack, and co-starred Rodney Harvey and Delores Taylor. The film was produced from December 1985 to early 1986 in New York City (with some scenes filmed in Central Park), with additional scenes filmed in Toronto.
Billy Jack takes on child pornographers in New York City.
During the course of its filming, Laughlin suffered a head injury when a breakaway bottle malfunctioned while filming a scene in Toronto. By the time he recovered, funds to complete the film were depleted, and production never resumed. Laughlin originally planned to sell the film to a major studio, but plans either fell through or were never realized. At the time production stopped, only approximately an hour of the motion picture was filmed.
In addition, while filming took place in New York City, Laughlin broke up a street fight on Manhattan's West Side, and made a citizen's arrest of a man following an argument over Laughlin's driving.
Although sought after by Billy Jack fans, nothing from this movie has ever been released to home video. Two scenes have appeared from this movie on Billyjack.com: one shows a thug with a gun to Jean's head; and another scene shows Billy Jack disguised as a priest to infiltrate the Godfather of Godfathers' mansion.
Since at least 1996, Laughlin had sought funding to resume production on the fifth Billy Jack picture, initially as The Return of Billy Jack, but later retitled Billy Jack's Crusade to End the War in Iraq and Restore America to Its Moral Purpose; then in succession to Billy Jack's Moral Revolution, Billy Jack for President, and Billy Jack and Jean. According to Laughlin, he intended the picture to be a "new genre of film", with a focus on social commentary of politics, religion, and psychology, culminating in a debate between Billy Jack and then-President George W. Bush via computer manipulation of archived speeches. In 2009, Laughlin released scenes and plot details of that film on a video on his website.
At one point, Laughlin also had unrealized plans to make a Billy Jack television series.
Laughlin died on December 12, 2013.
- Rhodes, Lucien (1 Dec 1987). "The Return Of Billy Jack". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Actor Hurt During Filming". The Gainesville Sun. February 7, 1986. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- United Press International (August 28, 1986). "Life Imitates Art: Billy Jack Saves Downtrodden—From Further Abuse". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- "Billy Jack Character Lives, Makes Arrest". The Montreal Gazette. May 5, 1986. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- Cave, Kathy (May 3, 1996). "Check the Sign, Mister". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- Montgomery, Ben (August 19, 2007). "Is it Time for Billy Jack to Come Back?". The St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- Waxman, Sharon (June 20, 2005). "Billy Jack is Ready to Fight the Good Fight Again". The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- "Showbiz Tonight (transcript)". CNN. September 27, 2005. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- Laughlin, Tom (2009). "New Billy Jack Film: Billy Jack and Jean". Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
- Laughlin, Tom. "New Film/New Studio". Archived from the original on October 13, 1999.
- Barrineau, Trey (December 15, 2013). "'Billy Jack' Star Tom Laughlin Dies". USA Today. Retrieved February 28, 2017.