In disappointing news announced today on The Official Dwight Schultz Fansite, it has been reported that Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict have had their cameo appearances in The A-Team movie cut from the final edit of the film. Dwight Schultz portrayed Captain H.M. “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock in the original version of The A-Team, a role taken over by Sharlto Copley in the upcoming 2010 movie remake. Dirk Benedict was the original Lieutenant Templeton “Faceman” Peck, portrayed in the new film by Bradley Cooper.
Many fans of the original A-Team series were already skeptical about this film remake. News that Benedict and Schultz’s cameos, however brief, will not make the big screen have sent ripples of disappointment and anger through the A-Team fan community. Claudia, one of the webmasters of Dwight’s official page, noted in her report:
“I usually just post news up here and stay in the background. But as one of the webmasters of Dwights fansite (Claudia) I can’t help but making an exception in this case. I personally find this disrespectful behaviour from Fox towards the original actors from the series and towards the fans of the A-team series. I know many fans were looking forward to see Dwight and Dirk in the movie. Sad but true this will not be the case.”
Comments on Facebook and several fan message board forums are equally upset and disappointed. “90% of the reason I was going to see that film in the theater was for the cameos, because Hollywood has such a track record of absolutely ruining remakes,” said one fan on Facebook. “What a proverbial slap in the face. As a forever fan who was up in arms, ready and willing to embrace the reboot, NOW I find myself wanting to turn my back on it,” said another on Dwight’s messageboard. Their lack of cameos has been confirmed in some reports from the Los Angeles premiere of the film. No news has surfaced yet confirming whether or not those cameos will surface as “deleted scenes” for the film’s eventual DVD release.
It is doubtful this decision will have any great impact on the success, or lack thereof, of The A-Team movie. Summer blockbusters are summer blockbusters, and brief cameo appearances by actors honestly forgotten by many today are not going to make or break the success of a film starring such Hollywood draws as Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, and Jessica Biel. But it does go a long way toward alienating fans of the original series who already had their doubts. The A-Team movie is going to have to build fan support from the ground up versus relying on a great deal of support from the original A-Team fan community. Whether the film can succeed in doing that remains to be seen, when it is officially released on June 11, 2010.
* The Official Dwight Schultz Fansite
* Dwight Schultz Official Fansites Facebook Page
* The Playground: Dwight and Dirk’s cameo’s cut out of the A-team movie
* ‘A-Team’ Cameos Revealed At LA Premiere! Classic ‘Team’ Members? Another Unrevealed TV Star? Movies Movies, June 4, 2010.
Update: After the publication of this article, Dwight Schultz’s Official Website received evidence that while their cameos were cut out of the actual film, they remain in the outtakes shown after the end credits. So if you want to see Dwight and Dirk, make sure not to leave the film early.