“Rowdy” Roddy Piper left a lasting legacy in and out of the wrestling ring, when he passed away Friday, from cardiac arrest at the age of 61. Commonly known for his Hall of Fame wrestling career, Piper was one of the greatest villains ever in the ring. Piper used his natural charisma to segue into a fairly successful, although mostly B-movie laden film career. His most iconic role came in John Carpenter’s 1988 sci-fi thriller, They Live, as a drifter who stumbles into an alien invasion. That film made him a cult hero, and solidified his transition from the ring to big screen performer. Piper was active to the end; his IMDB page has 8 projects listed in the production stages. One of them currently in post-production is Chad Ferrin’s adaptation of Peter Simeti’s original graphic novel, The Chair from Alterna Comics. The makers of that film are dedicating the project to the late wrestler/actor.
Check out the image gallery below.
The Chair is based off Peter Simeti’s graphic novel, depicting an innocent man on death row, who watches as his fellow inmates are brutally tortured and murdered by a sadistic warden. The main character, Sullivan, is then forced to jeopardize his morals for a chance at survival. Roddy Piper plays “Murphy.” The film was backed by a Kickstarter campaign, and despite the low budget, has a solid cast of genre veterans to its credit. Zach Galligan of Gremlins stars, and Bill Oberst Jr.(Abraham Lincoln in the straight to video Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies) will portray the Warden. Horror fans might also recognize Ezra Buzzington (The Hills Have Eyes), and Joseph Pilato (Day of the Dead).
Makers of the film were in constant contact with Piper during post-production, and described him as a far cry from the villain he portrayed in the ring, and a man who loved his wife and children.
Peter Simeti/ President/Publisher of Alterna Comics had this to say:
I had several conversations with Roddy through the course of pre-production and production and each one was better than the last. His persona as a WWE/WWF villain was an amazingly crafted character by a man that was anything but villainous. He was extremely close with his family and always spoke of them with such pride and love, my heart goes out to them at this time.
The Chair is due out in 2015.