Director Victor Salva has caused quite the stir going into the release of Jeepers Creepers 3. And that’s putting it mildly.
Now teetering on the verge of its contentious theatrical debut, the film has sparked heated debate across the four corners of the Internet, with horror fans essentially deliberating the fate of Salva’s latest venture. On the one hand, there are those out there who plan to vote with their wallet and forego Jeepers Creepers 3 entirely – hence those threats of protesting late last month – while others are of the belief that Victor Salva deserves a second chance despite his dubious past.
In case you’re not in the know: the filmmaker was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor almost two decades ago, and served 15 months in state prison. Also of note, his victim, Nathan Forrest Winters, has since issued a statement to say that it’s really up to the audience whether they want to catch The Creeper’s resurrection on the silver screen.
One figure who firmly believes Salva deserves a shot at redemption though is Jonathan Breck, who’s played The Creeper ever since the original cult hit took flight in 2001. Now, almost two decades later, Breck has leapt to Salva’s defense, stating:
Obviously it’s a very serious issue. But I can truthfully say the very first time I met Victor it was 2000 and the Internet wasn’t what it is today. I didn’t even know anything about his background when I met him. I had the advantage of just getting to know him for who he was, how he treated me, what kind of artist he was. I got to know him through my own personal experience with the guy. It’s one off the best creative experiences I’ve ever had working on these films, a real highlight of my career. I just think it’s a shame because in this day and age, the Internet being what the Internet is, it’s been great in a lot of respects and in some respects it’s really cheated us. We can sit in our office or sit in a room and type somebody’s name and read something about somebody and judge them in ten seconds and think we know them.
Further in his exhaustive interview with IGN, the series stalwart then drew attention to Victor Salva’s purported redemption.
The truth is, Victor’s not the same guy he was 33 years ago. He’s just not. Most people aren’t. I believe people deserve second chances. It was a horrible thing that happened and a horrible mistake that Victor made and nothing can change that. But I know who the guy is today and he’s not the same person and I’d like to see him have a second chance. But then there are those who feel like he should just crawl in a hole and bring the dirt in on top of him, that he should haven’t the chance to make a living and he should just go away and never been seen or heard from again. And that’s certainly their right to feel that way. Working for him has been one of the biggest privileges of my career. I can say that with a hundred percent confidence. There is redemption in all of us.
The fate of Jeepers Creepers 3 ultimately rests in the hands of its potential audience. It’ll release via select theaters today, September 26th, before a follow-up screening on October 4th.