MOVIES

The Werner Herzog Movie Role Almost Played By Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger

In a way, Jagger was fortunate: not only was the shoot for “Fitzcarraldo” legendarily miserable, it was one of the most difficult in cinema history. The film and its arduous birthing pangs were so notorious that they were captured in a documentary, “Burden of Dreams.” The film chronicled Werner Herzog’s quest to, among other things, actually haul Fitzcarraldo’s 320-ton steamship manually up a steep hill. Understandably, the shoot wore on the spirit and bodies of the cast, crew and director alike.

Klaus Kinski and Herzog fought throughout the production, to the point where the chief of the Machiguenga tribe — who were assisting the production on location — clandestinely asked Herzog if he wanted Kinski killed. Herzog said no — because he needed Kinski alive to get his final shots in. This alleged possible on-set crime helped to cement Herzog as one of the most controversial directors of all time. But in the end, most of the crew made their way up out of the jungle uninjured and alive — a triumph that produced a now-classic film that still stirs the spirit to this day.

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