I was saddened to hear about Richard Roundtree’s passing. I had two professional encounters with him….
The first was back in the early 1990s. William Rabkin & I wrote a BLADE feature script for New World Pictures, which owned the Marvel library at the time. New World was courting Richard Roundtree to star. So we joined a bunch of New World execs and Roundtree at a fancy restaurant for an expensive lunch to pitch him the project. That went fine, but a few hours later, we all got horrific food poisoning. I was vomiting for days. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick. It was a bad omen. The movie…well, our version of it anyway… never got made.
Then, in 2004. Roundtree was cast in an episode of MISSING, a Lifetime series that we were writing & producing…and I ended up spending the day with him in an ADR studio in Sacramento, where I think he may have been living at the time, to re-record his dialogue which, for some reason, was in bad shape. He didn’t remember me, so I mentioned the BLADE meeting and he started laughing. “All I remember about that lunch,” he said, “is that it nearly killed me.”