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The Bodyguard (1992) | Starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, the movie was the biggest hit of 30 years ago



Few debuts by artists in the world of pop music on the big screen have been as significant and remarkable as that of the late Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. Launched in its home country of the United States on November 25, 1992, arriving in Brazil on January 15, 1993, The Bodyguard celebrates 30 years since its premiere in 2022. The film, which was one of the biggest hits of their respective year at the box office (remaining number two worldwide, behind the only Disney animated phenomenon Aladdin), will be broadcast today, November 5, during the Saturday session from 2:10 p.m. Other than that, it’s currently part of the HBO Max streaming collection – which includes a lot of Warner productions – for subscribers who want a taste of the original sound and language.

The idea of ​​The Bodyguard movie had been floating around in Hollywood since the 1970s. At the beginning of that decade, the project was conceived with Steve McQueen and Diana Ross as protagonists. However, it was discarded as considered too controversial, even for the era of a more revolutionary mentality like the 70s. Then, at the end of the same decade, Ross remained attached to the project, with the change of male protagonist . Tough McQueen is gone and Ryan O’Neal is in, from the hit Love Story (1970), co-starring coincidentally with McQueen’s wife, Ali MacGraw. After about three months or so in development, production on The Bodyguard was again cancelled, this time due to irreconcilable differences between pop muse Ross and O’Neal, who had in the meantime been in a relationship – the actor whom he was a notorious and inveterate womanizer, having dated half of Hollywood.

A massive movie hit, the idea of ​​”The Bodyguard” had been floating around Hollywood since the 1970s.

The Bodyguard project, however, refused to die and continued to change hands and forms. It was in the 1980s, during the filming of Western Silverado (1985), that Kevin Costner discovered the film’s script for the first time. It turns out that the text was written by Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter of some of the biggest hits of the 80s, see The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and The Return of the Jedi (1983). Kasdan wrote and directed Costner at Silverado at the time.

An avowed fan of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, writer-director Lawrence Kasdan drew inspiration from and references his classic works for certain elements of The Bodyguard. The title, for example, is taken from Yojimbo (1961), which in Brazil and the United States is subtitled O Guarda-Costa. In a certain scene from the 1992 film, the character Frank (Costner) takes Rachel (Houston) to see the film Yojimbo. The protagonist, as well as the author of the film, was a fan of Japanese culture – the motto of the bodyguards has a lot of selflessness to give one’s own life to protect another, coming from the samurai. And who could forget the scene of the sharp sword cutting the silk.

The themes and inspirations for “The Bodyguard” came from Japanese cinema, particularly Akira Kurosawa’s films.

Another inspiration for Kasdan when creating protagonist Frank Farmer was star Steve McQueen – perhaps because the actor was initially tied to the project. Coincidentally, McQueen starred in The Magnificent Seven, the American Western-style remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic The Seven Samurai (1954). Everything is connected. By the way, when he got the role, Kevin Costner revealed that much of his performance was based on star Steve McQueen, perhaps because he already knew the screenwriter’s original intentions. The inspiration therefore went beyond the performance, with Costner even sporting the typical haircut that McQueen would be known for throughout his career.

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The plot of The Bodyguard is essentially about the romantic relationship born between a pop singer who is on top of the world, as the most famous artist of the moment, and her protector, bodyguard Frank Farmer. But the story is not a pure romance, the film is also a thriller since Rachel Marron, the star, is threatened with death by an obsessive and psychopathic fan, who seems to want to carry out his threats. The plot also attempts to gain insight into the madness of fame, how to deal with it and the dangers it can bring, using as its basis real artists who have been persecuted, threatened and even killed by unbalanced people, who have exceeded the healthy line. Oh sure, let’s not forget the songs – one of the most striking elements, but that we’ll talk about later.

“The Bodyguard” is one of cinema’s most beloved love stories, but it’s also a thriller.

Although it seems impossible to go wrong and has already been hugely successful, The Bodyguard’s script has been rejected by Hollywood no less than 67 times. It’s true. That’s the number of no’s the project received until it finally got the green light from Warner. After being embraced by said studio, the commander of the work, the Briton Mick Jackson, who had just delivered the hit comedy LA Story (1991), with Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker, for Columbia / Sony added on board. Kevin Costner, who was on top of the world at the time, delivering hit after hit in sequels like Dances With Wolves (1990 – for which he won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and JFK – The Question That Doesn’t Quiet (1991), soon after embarked on the project taking on the roles of producer and protagonist. It’s safe to say that at the time, Costner was one of the biggest stars in the world.

With all the pieces in place, it was time to find the female lead Rachel Marron – preferably a bona fide music star, or at least a talented singer. And the unique encounter that took place could not have been better. Before the perennial Whitney Houston entered, however, names like Olivia Newton-John, Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Janet Jackson and even Dolly Parton and Madonna were considered to fill the vacancy. The latter, however, was duly blocked by the producer Costner, because he had made a joke at the expense of the star in the documentary In Bed with Madonna (1991), which the actor had not liked at all. Dolly Parton did not star in the film, but she did have some involvement. It turns out that Parton is the author of “I Will Always Love You”, the biggest hit from The Bodyguard soundtrack. The country singer confesses that she had to stop when she heard her song on the radio for the first time in the powerful voice of Whitney Houston, such emotion took hold of her.

The perfect range exists. Whitney Houston shines in her film debut in “The Bodyguard”.

Whitney Houston has finally been signed to star in her first film, playing muse Rachel Marron – a role that seems to have been written for her. It is even said that Kevin Costner and director Mick Jackson did not want the singer to take acting lessons, wanting her performance to be as natural and true as possible. Additionally, the director advised the singer to approach each scene as if it were a song and act with that emotion.

During the recordings, not everything went as planned. While filming her scenes, Whitney Houston suffered a miscarriage and had to step away from production for a few weeks, leaving the filmmakers a bit wary. But the singer and actress was a warrior and returned to complete the recordings. Although during one of his departures he was unable to pose for the poster for the classic film, in which Costner carries Rachel on his lap – representing one of the feature film’s most iconic moments, in which the bodyguard thus takes the singer from the middle of a changed crowd. On the poster, we have Whitney’s stuntwoman, who purposely does not show her face. No one will ever know, but Costner revealed this little secret recently.

Whitney Houston is the star of the film. But on the poster that appears, it’s his understudy.

With a budget of $25 million and produced by Warner, The Bodyguard did not debut at number one in the box office chart upon release, but at number three. The film couldn’t beat strong competition from Home Alone 2 and Aladdin, films aimed at the whole family of free censorship. Despite this, word-of-mouth publicity grew the film during its time in theaters until it earned a total box office of US$411 million worldwide, becoming the second highest-grossing film. of thirty years ago in theaters, dethroned only by the aforementioned Disney. animated, Aladdin.

Other than that, with 37 million albums sold, The Bodyguard soundtrack is still the best-selling soundtrack of all time, bringing in a few records in this regard for the film. The Bodyguard would still receive two Oscar nominations for original songs (“I Have Nothing” and “Run to You”) – both of which were bested by Aladdin’s “A Whole New World”.

For a while there was talk of a possible sequel to The Bodyguard, set in the 1990s. In the plot, Frank Farmer (Costner) would have to deal with the trauma of Rachel’s death, while finding the strength to accept a new job protecting a new singer. Interestingly, Princess Diana had shown interest in the female lead project. It would at least be curious to see her as an actress. Sadly, Diana would pass away in a fateful accident in 1997. As well as Whitney Houston, aged 48 in 2012. This year, to celebrate The Bodyguard’s 30th anniversary, we’re also honoring the singer and actress’ 10th birthday. A sequel to the film was never released, but a remake is planned. Let’s hope for the best.

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