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A KringleQuest.commentary


The Return of Ilya Salkind

They say that when a man with a dream is confronted by the cold, hard facts of life, the chances are he'll reflect for a short time, depending on one's point of view, and then find a way to be harder, to think clearer --- and then, at just the right moment, strike back with a force so incredible you could not even begin to imagine the repercussions! That's what happened in 2004, when the Ilya Salkind Company came into being, along with, by extension, its namesake's return to the entertainment spotlight.

When, in August 1992, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery opened at the U.S. boxoffice to modest but ultimately tepid reviews, and then after the tragicomic courtroom drama between Alexander and Ilya in November 1993, there were a good many people who clearly figured that the Superman dream, launched so spectacularly a quarter-century before, would ultimately die with Alexander four years later, in March 1997. What they didn't count on was Ilya remembering the wisdom his father had always taught him: "Never take no for an answer."

In February 2004, Ilya Salkind, in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, revealed that he would soon begin pre-production on the first of three epic films based on the life and times of Alexander the Great. Had the man who had first proposed the Superman: The Movie concept unexpectedly gone History Channel on us? That was the question posed by us, the loyal fans of the House of Salkind, who had thrilled to the power of believing that had always been a Salkind hallmark. When The Ilya Salkind Company set up the original version of their official website shortly after the Company was launched, the world got its answer: Young Alexander is now available for worldwide distribution.

It has been a privilege here at KringleQuest to have been chosen by Ilya Salkind as one of the links to be featured on his Company's website. As I've said on these pages more times than I've cared to count, my colleagues and I --- from Hiphats, who first had the dream to preserve Superman: The Movie, to Scott Michael Bosco, who has long had access to Ilya's secrets --- even to the point of joining up with Ilya's second team --- are among the few online warriors for whom the magic of Alexander and Ilya Salkind actually meant something. Almost four decades after Santa Claus: The Movie's original theatrical release, let me tell you that a recognition like this does not come cheap. It only happened because we cared about this movie at a time when no one else would.... when everyone else was choosing to forget that this film existed.

As you can obviously imagine, like Ilya himself, we KringleQuesters aren't willing to take no for an answer. It's the reason both KringleQuest.com, Fourth Edition, as we now call ourselves, and Ilya Salkind, are still here .... because we share a wild degree of determination, resourcefulness, and commitment that, at the end of the day, finds its roots all the way back to Mikhail Salkind, Ilya's grandfather.

There's a lot of things that can change a man over an 8-year period. Sometimes it takes a little bit of reflection to put it all into perspective. When the final result has to count, though, somehow you find a way to make the moment shine through. And the triumphant look of joy and enthusiasm on one's face will always make the difference, no matter how bad the mood. We once more express our hope, then, that the next steps that Ilya Salkind takes will serve to reflect that triumphant, enthusiastic look, so that future generations will once again discover what it feels like...... to believe.

In closing, then, just this: Welcome back, Ilya Salkind. The world has missed you. We, the loyal fans of the movies you produced with your father, have missed you, too. As Founder and Senior Elf-in-Charge of KringleQuest.com, I can only say that we will continue to do our darndest to stay true to our core purpose: that of being THE ultimate online Santa Claus site. In that respect, I can only hope we've done you proud.

Go get 'em, Ilya --- and remember, we're with you all the way!

Sincerely yours,

RICHARD WASHINGTON

Senior Elf-in-Charge, KringleQuest.com, Fourth Edition

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