I hate to admit this, loyal VM Productions‘ fans, but all has not been well within the team as of late. There has been some internal strife and debate. There have been disagreements. It’s made things a bit awkward, to say the least. I’m not discussing our film projects, which continue on, or even our promotion of said projects; no, I’m discussing the increasingly intense debate over what really happened to our screenwriter, Robert Hurley.
Now let me be clear: we all want the same thing. If there is one thing the team agrees on, we want to know what truly happened to Robert Hurley. For those of you who don’t know, Hurley was the screenwriter for the award-winning film Notes From The New World who mysteriously vanished before filming could be completed. That at least is fact, and hard to dispute. The problem comes after, when everything becomes murky and no one can agree on what the truth really is.
Some of my colleagues (including our superb vlogger Christophe) believe that Hurley was a victim of the Russian mob. To be sure, there are compelling arguments: Hurley was romantically involved with a prostitute who had stolen money from those gangsters, which is never a wise life choice. They (the mob boss in particular) were certainly pursuing the woman — and by extension, Hurley himself. Christophe posits that the Russian mob killed both Hurley and his paramour, then staged the scene to look like they had vanished in the hopes of confusing the police and baffling those involved.
Here’s my problem: it’s too elaborate, too convoluted. There are too many factors left unaccounted for, too many questions unanswered. The Mob Theory suggests that the gangster took advantage of Hurley’s fascination with a sinister cult, leading people to believe he got tangled up in things he couldn’t possibly begin to understand — let alone control. But why bother? Why not just disappear Hurley and his lady love, rather than going to such elaborate extremes?
I know my own theory sounds somewhat far-fetched as well: that the cult that obsessed Hurley really did exist, and is the reason behind his disappearance. But there are so many questions that lead in that direction, so many signs that hint that the cult did in fact exist. What if Hurley, in his research for the film, inadvertently managed to stumble upon a real cult? What if those involved in the cult didn’t take too kindly to their organization being made public? Listen for example, to this phone message (Robert forwarded the file to Julia, the member of the cast of Notes from the New World and the friend of his girlfriend, Natalia).
I believe that Hurley fell victim to this strange cult that he wrote so much about. Additionally, I believe that the cult members framed the Russian mob, aware of Hurley’s issues with the group. After all, who would question the story of a prostitute falling out with gangsters, and an unwitting screenwriter caught in the crossfire?
It does make sense, I’ll admit. It just doesn’t make enough sense to quiet my doubts, and it doesn’t answer the questions left in the wake of Hurley’s disappearance. No, there is more at work here than a simple dispute over money. Something dark and unsettling lies at the root of this story.
Honestly, I hope Christophe and the team members who believe the Mob Theory are right. Truly, I do. It would be the closure we all need, the answer to a story that has plagued us all for far too long. But I have doubts — and these doubts are what spur me on, hoping to discover what really happened to Robert Hurley.
And as always, if you know anything about Robert Hurley’s disappearance, please get in touch.
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