Several films and television programs were in the works when Ray Liotta, 67, died suddenly on Thursday. As many as two projects, Universal’s “Cocaine Bear” and Apple TV Plus’ “Black Bird,” have already finished production and should be delivered on schedule, according to sources.
He was in the Dominican Republic filming “Dangerous Waters” when he passed away suddenly in his sleep. It’s been more than a month since production on the independent film began, but we have no idea where they are in the process.
John Barr is directing “Dangerous Waters,” a thriller in which a teenage daughter discovers the dark past of her mother’s new partner, leading to a sailing vacation gone horribly wrong. Along with Saffron Burrows from “You,” Odeya Rush from “Lady Bird,” and Eric Dane, best known for his work on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Euphoria,” the film also stars Odeya Rush.
However, the producers of “Dangerous Waters” expressed compassion for Liotta’s family in a statement instead of commenting on its production timetable. When they heard the news of Ray’s death, “we were profoundly devastated,” they said. “It is a huge loss, and our warmest condolences go out to his family, fiancé Jacy, and daughter Karsen,” they said.
Other projects featuring Liotta, such as “El Tonto,” a comedy written and directed by Charlie Day, and “The Substance,” a drama produced by Universal and starring Margaret Qualley and Demi Moore, remain unfinished.
Liotta plays a police officer whose son (Taron Egerton) is condemned to 10 years in prison for distributing drugs in “Black Bird,” which premieres on Apple TV+ on July 8. On the condition that he relocates to jail for the criminally insane and becomes friends with serial killer Larry Hall, he is granted early parole (Paul Walter Hauser).
Dennis Lehane, showrunner of the Apple TV+ series “Black Bird,” revealed in a statement that he wrote the role of Big Jim Keene for Liotta.
“Working with Ray Liotta was the fulfillment of a lifetime goal. His performance in “Something Wild” made him the most exciting American actor of his time, and I was hooked from the start. In Ray Liotta’s performances, there was a duality that he couldn’t fully control, and which I feel wasn’t consciously chosen by the artist.
Instead, he had the impression that it was something he was born with. Although his character was ominous and sinister, he still couldn’t keep the adorable little boy he was in his core hidden from view. Even when the character was endearing, if not loving, there was always a tumultuous undercurrent.
We delivered him the scripts the next day and he jumped at the chance to perform the part less than 24 hours later. I was astonished, humbled, honored, and fist-pump delighted,” Lehane said. ‘And what about his performance?‘ I asked. My life was changed forever.
When I saw him, I was struck by how much I could identify with him as a man who understands that a life spent cutting corners and flitting around the margins of corruption has left his son with few options.
No matter how pitifully damaged and depraved this guy is, Ray still identified noble qualities in a dad who would jump headlong into a burning building for the sake of the same son. Our show’s emotional heart was carried by that duality from beginning to end.”
Cocaine Bear Movie Release Date
Liotta’s character in “Cocaine Bear,” which concluded filming in Ireland last October, is still a mystery. The film, directed by Elizabeth Banks, is currently in post-production and is scheduled for release on February 24th, 2023, according to the studio.
After consuming a stunning amount of cocaine, an American black bear went on a deadly rampage, and this is the true incident that served as the inspiration for the film “Cocaine Bear”. Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, Margo Martindale, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. round out the cast, which also features Ray Liotta.
She later took to Twitter to discuss her “unique friendship” with Liotta, whom she met while filming “The Details” in 2011.
“I always admired his acting but I genuinely enjoyed him as a human. He was a charmer,” she said. “We have been collaborating on ‘Cocaine Bear’ these past few months. I just saw him, hugged him, heard about his summer travel plans. When any actor of Ray’s caliber puts trust in you as a director, it’s a gift. But Ray gave me so much more. I had been told in the past by Hollywood producers that men wouldn’t follow me, that I couldn’t direct action because of that. Ray’s respect for me as a director, actress and artist, as his boss on set, meant everything to me because if you can direct Henry Hill, you can do fucking anything in this town.”
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) May 26, 2022
The roles of real-life gangster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” and Major League Baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson alongside Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams” brought Liotta, a native of New Jersey, his greatest fame as an actor.
In recent years, he has appeared as a divorce lawyer in Noah Baumbach’s relationship drama “Marriage Story,” a mobster in director Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move,” and twin brothers “Hollywood Dick” and “Sally” Moltisanti in the “Sopranos” prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark.” Both of these roles were in films directed by Noah Baumbach.