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Michael Douglas remembers late ‘extraordinary talent’ Diane Thomas

Written by on April 4, 2024

Michael Douglas has recalled Romancing The Stone writer Diane Thomas’s death.

During an appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, the Wall Street star remembered asking Thomas how he could repay her for unofficially consulting on the script for the Romancing the Stone sequel, The Jewel of the Nile.

“I need a new car… I’d love to get a Porsche,” he recalled her saying, before noting that she later tragically died in that car.

“I gave her the keys to the Porsche. And people can read the article, but the tragedy is, she killed herself in that Porsche,” he said. “It wasn’t her driving – her boyfriend was driving – but there’d been some drinking going on, and he had some criminal issues. We lost her at a very – unfortunately – young age, and she was just an extraordinary talent.”

He concluded, “I wish – for a lot of reasons – that she was still with us, but she’s not.”

Thomas, 39, died on 21 October 1985 after her boyfriend Stephen Norman lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a pole. Norman was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of Thomas and their friend Ian Young and received five years’ probation.

The Jewel of the Nile was released six weeks after her death and she received a “based on the characters by” credit.

The Basic Instinct actor explained to podcast host Scott Feinberg that Thomas wasn’t free to write The Jewel of the Nile because she was under contract elsewhere – at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.

However, she unofficially helped the writers “punch up” the script.

“When it came close to production, I needed what’s called a ‘punch up’ – you know, a little help – and I wanted Diane to take a look at it, although she couldn’t really contractually do anything because she was involved with some other projects. But she gave me, like, a weekend – a long weekend, or a few days – to sort of, do some things,” he shared.

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