Production began in December 1985. While shooting a fight scene in Toronto in January 1986, Tom Laughlin suffered head and neck injuries when a breakaway bottle failed to break over his head. While Laughlin recovered, he lost financing on the film. He'd made a verbal agreement with a videocassette company for distribution rights for $4.2 million, but never filed the right paperwork with the bank. Laughlin then tried to sell the distribution rights to Paramount Pictures for $12.5 million. As the insurance company investigated Laughlin's accident, Paramount lost interest. Laughlin tried, and failed, to find other investors. The film was never completed. In 2009, Laughlin featured two completed scenes on his website, billyjack.com. See more »
The film was never finished because Tom Laughlin could not secure funding to finishing it, an amazing thing given that it is estimated 'Billy Jack' made upwards of 300 million dollars and 'Trial of Billy Jack' made 89 million.
Even today (December of 2020), I'd give anything just to see what they had shot, not even the full finished film. Perhaps someday someone will realize how many true fans there are out here who would love to see what they had. Shame on Warners and Paramount et al. who were all so shortsighted when Mr. Laughlin was alive. God speed.
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