Wilder Days (2003)
Peter Falk ,
Multiple Emmy® winner Peter Falk (Columbo), Tim Daly (The
Object of My Affection), Josh Hutcherson (Miracle Dogs), and
Kate Vernon (Malcolm X) star in the TNT Original film
WILDER DAYS, an adventurous drama about the challenges and rewards of
maintaining family connections and keeping the magic of childhood alive.
WILDER DAYS will air as a Johnson & Johnson Spotlight
Presentation at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Sunday, Oct. 19. Emmy®
nominee Craig Anderson (The Piano Lesson), Robert Riesenberg and
Tracy Dorsey serve as executive producers. David Mickey Evans
(Beethoven's 4th) directs from a script written by Jeff Stockwell
(The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys). The two-hour film is produced
by MAGNA Global Entertainment and Viacom Productions.
James "Pop Up" Morse (Falk) is a colorful storyteller and a fantastic
grandfather to his 11-year-old grandson, Chris (Hutcherson), but he wasn't
always there for his own son, John (Tim Daly). Instead, he was often out
chasing his dream of finding a publisher for his beautiful, hand-made
children's pop-up books. As a result, John felt neglected and rebelled
against Pop Up's world of fantasy and imagination by becoming a
straight-laced workaholic more concerned with truth and facts than tall
tales and chasing dreams. John's son, Chris, on the other hand, is
enthralled with Pop Up's spirit of adventure. When John dismisses Pop Up's
fantastic stories as lies, Chris at first defends the stories, but, with the
seed of doubt planted by his father, he begins to question his beliefs.
Pop Up deeply regrets his shortcomings as a father and the friction it has
caused with his son. At the same time, he believes that John is shutting out
young Chris' spirit of imagination. With his health failing, he knows he is
running out of time to make amends. He decides the only way to reconnect
with his son and reintroduce the "spice of life" to the entire family is to
prove the truth in his tall tales about the wreck of the Wilder Days, the
circus boat on which he once worked. Knowing that John will follow and try
to stop them, Pop Up breaks out of his nursing home and, without John's
permission, sets off with Chris on a life-changing, adventure-filled road
trip in his beloved 1959 classic baby blue Cadillac Eldorado.
The journey and discovery of the Wilder Days jolts John into a new
understanding of his childhood. As he comes to the shocking realization that
Pop Up's unbelievable tales are true, he is finally able to give up the
bitterness that had tormented him for so long. Through the journey to the
Wilder Days, he is able to experience life in all of its richness, reconnect
with his father and, most importantly, be there for his son.
WILDER DAYS is the third original film to premiere under the Johnson
& Johnson Spotlight Presentation banner. The critically acclaimed and
award-winning Door to Door, starring Oscar®-nominated actor
William H. Macy as a successful door-to-door salesman with cerebral palsy,
was the first Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation, premiering on TNT in
July 2002. It was followed by Miss Lettie and Me, starring Mary Tyler
Moore and Burt Reynolds, in December 2002.
Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentations represent an important effort by
Johnson & Johnson, a founding member of the Family Friendly Programming
Forum of advertisers, to expand family-friendly programming on prime time
television. The Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation development effort
was initiated by Interpublic's MAGNA Global Entertainment.