More than two decades after the release of his political thriller “JFK,” director Oliver Stone is working on “JFK II,” the highly-anticipated follow-up that will uncover the most puzzling mysteries from the 1991 production.
“Powerful, secretive forces were at play in the making of ‘JFK,’” Stone said in a recent interview with Variety magazine. “The 189 minutes on that reel of celluloid is just the surface.”
The original “JFK” is based on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and his investigation that supposedly uncovered a vast conspiracy surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The film attempts to disprove the common belief that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole shooter. “JFK II” will attempt to unravel the common belief that “JFK” was a typical Hollywood production, when in fact much about the project remains obscured by enigma.
The film’s promotional website says “JFK II” will address “four areas of lingering confusion” about the original film that starred Kevin Costner as District Attorney Garrison and took in more than $200 million at the box office.
So what will “JFK II” say about the making of “JFK”? Keep reading for a jaw-dropping, exclusive description of each shocking theory, followed by commentary from our in-house conspiracy expert Richard Omega.
The CIA’s role in “JFK”
While in Cuba for a film festival in 1988, Stone found himself trapped in an elevator with a mysterious woman named Ellen Ray, who claimed to be the publisher of Jim Garrison’s tell-all book “On the Trail of the Assassins.” While still in the elevator, Ray licked her lips, seductively tussled Stone’s hair and pitched the idea of making a movie based on Garrison’s book, a copy of which she just happened to have in her purse. As if hypnotized, Stone, with his own money, soon bought the film rights for $250,000.
On the surface, the elements of the story seem legitimate enough: film festival, stuck in elevator and a movie pitch by a stranger. That’s how the industry works, right? Maybe not. “JFK II” asks why Ellen Ray was given permission by the State Department to travel to Cuba when a travel ban was in effect. What exactly convinced Stone to fork out $250,000 for book rights after just a few minutes of idle chat?
Ray, incidentally, was later named as a defendant in a high-profile defamation lawsuit brought by Mohammed Radi Abdullah, a Jordanian unwittingly involved in a secret Israeli program to sell weapons to Palestinian militants. Ray’s publishing company, Sheridan Square Press, has all but disappeared from existence, leading many to believe it was a front for CIA-funded gun runners.
The question: Did the CIA pressure Garrison to create false leads in his book so that the agency’s real role in the Kennedy assassination would never be revealed, and did the CIA then send the seductive Ray into Havana to drug and coerce Stone into handing over $250,000 for the film rights to a CIA-sponsored book so he could direct a film that would make public dozens of false leads, and did the money then go into a slush fund that was used to arm militants in Palestine so the Israelis would have a pretext to attacks Hamas, and did William H. Webster — director of central intelligence from 1987-1991 and a known cinephile — watch “JFK” and approve of Kevin Costner being cast for the lead role, and did Webster eat buttered popcorn while he watched it?
Richard Omega: “I’d totally believe this theory and I’d give it a 94% chance of being true. You never know what those CIA directors are up to, or how much butter they put on their popcorn. Probably too much.”