The sketchy past of the Jeeper Creepers III writer/director Victor Salva has played a part in the delaying the film’s release.
Jeepers Creepers III has been set to release sometime in 2017, but exact dates remain a mystery. The film will complete a trilogy of the horror flicks which follow a monster-like creature who terrorizes teens in rural parts of the country. The first film released in 2001, with the sequel premiering in 2003. Much anticipated “number three” follows Trish Jenner (played by actress Gina Phillips), now all grown up and a mother to a teen-aged son who she dreams is hunted down by the Creeper. Remembering the awful fate of her younger brother, Darry (played by Justin Long), she becomes determined to find the creature and put an end to his sick games. The film has been set to go in front of cameras for nearly seven years now, but the cast and crew claim funding has been an issue.
Some will venture to guess the sketchy past of the film’s writer/director Victor Salva has also played a part in the delaying the film. In 1988, during the filming of Clownhouse, Salva was convicted of child molestation after charges were filed by one of the film’s main actors, Nathan Forrest Winters, only 12 years old at the time. Police raided Salva’s home, discovering a stash of child pornography, including videos of sexual acts between Salva and Winters. Salva was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison, of which he served only 15 months.
Following his release, Salva re-entered the entertainment world, directing Disney’s Powder in 1995. Winters publicly protested the release of the film and the irony of Salva’s connection with a brand geared toward making children’s dreams come true. His efforts did not halt the film’s release, however, and Salva’s conviction was evidently brushed under the rug, making possible the beginnings of the Jeepers Creepers horror legacy. However, Salva’s skeletons surfaced once again after he posted a casting notice on Breakdown Services in 2015 asking for an eighteen year old girl to play Addison, Trish’s daughter in Jeepers Creepers III, whose sleazy stepfather pursued at just thirteen, forcing the family to relocate. The notice was posted seeking talent in the British Columbia area, but the character description raised red flags, opening the wounds of Salva’s past. Upon confirming the allegations of the director’s criminal history, the website first sent the following to readers:
“It has recently come to our attention that a casting breakdown has gone out for a feature film entitled Jeepers Creepers III, and that the director of the film, Victor Salva, was convicted of sexual misconduct in 1988. The conviction allegedly resulted from misconduct involving a minor whom Mr. Salva was directing at the time. At this time we would like to remind our members and their agents that, under Article A2702 (Safety & Welfare of a Minor) of the BC Master Production Agreement, a performer has the right to refuse work if they believe that the nature of the work is unsafe.”
The disclaimer met with an unsettling response among British Columbia performers and the site ultimately chose to remove the post altogether. Since this incident, specifics of the film’s progress have been shrouded in secrecy, but according to cast members, everything is still a go as long as funding can be secured and a 2017 release should be anticipated. As they say in the industry, the show must go on.