Life & Culture

After 15 years, my film’s on screens at last

When the star of his film died, Joshua Newton despaired. But the tech came through in the end


Filmmaking takes grit and determination at the best of times, something British writer-director Joshua Newton clearly has in spades. In 2008, he went behind the cameras to shoot a film in Poland with Roy Scheider, the legendary Hollywood star of Jaws and The French Connection.

Then entitled Iron Cross, it told the story of a retired cop who seeks revenge on an elderly man he believes is the Nazi who killed his family during the Second World War. Scheider had been attached from the very beginning, even when it was a short and the character was an estate agent. He’d even helped raise finance for it.

Problems began, however, when a camera experienced a technical fault, rendering footage shot for two scenes virtually unusable. Scheider had also made a promise to his wife Brenda to help move house, meaning he had to leave Poland — always with a view to coming back for reshoots.

“Unfortunately, during the move, Roy tripped on the garden step and the wound got infected,” explains Newton. With the actor already in remission with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, the disease returned after the accident, leaving Scheider hospitalised. He died, aged 75, shortly afterwards.

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