Peter Macgregor-Scott, Producer on 'The Fugitive' and 'Batman Forever,' Dies at 69

Courtesy of Andrew Davis
Peter Macgregor-Scott (right) with director Andrew Davis

The British native also worked on 'Animal House,' 'Revenge of the Nerds' and three Cheech & Chong comedies.

Peter Macgregor-Scott, who produced the Andrew Davis-directed The Fugitive, the two Batman films helmed by Joel Schumacher and three movies starring Cheech & Chong, has died. He was 69.

Macgregor-Scott died Wednesday in New York after being involved in a recent taxi accident in Manhattan, Davis told The Hollywood Reporter.

"We were like brothers who supported and relied on each other in an industry where that is rare. I will miss him dearly," Davis said.

Macgregor-Scott's producing résumé also included Carl Reiner's The Jerk (1979), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Troop Beverly Hills (1989), Out for Justice (1991), Black Beauty (1994) and Death to Smoochy (2002). He was based for years at Warner Bros.

Early in his career, Macgregor-Scott served as unit production manager on John Landis' Animal House (1978), made for slightly more than $2 million. The comedy wound up grossing $142 million, or $537 million in today's dollars.

Soon after working with Davis for the first time on Under Siege (1992), starring Steven Seagal, Macgregor-Scott and the director partnered on The Fugitive (1993), the remake of the classic 1960s ABC series that starred Harrison Ford as Richard Kimble in the role made famous by David Janssen.

To film a spectacular action scene in The Fugitive, Macgregor-Scott hired cement mixers to pour tons of concrete into the cars of a train to help keep it on its tracks before it slams into a bus — a crash that allows the prisoner Kimble to escape.

The Fugitive went on to gross $369 million worldwide ($630 million today).

Macgregor-Scott and Davis also worked together on A Perfect Murder (1998), starring Michael Douglas, and The Guardian (2006), starring Kevin Costner.

"PMS, as he was known, was the total filmmaker. He knew every aspect of production and postproduction," Davis said. "Peter knew everyone's job and what they needed to execute their craft with finesse. He cared for the well-being of the stars and the craft service personnel with equal concern. His ability to put the quality of the film first was clear from the work we did together.

"From engineering train crashes in The Fugitive to building Korean submarines for Under Siege, huge Manhattan apartments in A Perfect Murder and unique wave water tanks for The Guardian, he worked with us to figure out how we could succeed. He was beloved by the crew and cast who worked with him. Being Peter, he was funny and still as focused as one can be."

Macgregor-Scott also produced Schumacher's Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), starring Val Kilmer and George Clooney as the Caped Crusader, respectively.

  

Macgregor-Scott worked on Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980), Still Smokin (1983) and Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers (1984) and noted in a 2003 interview that the comedy duo, unlike their onscreen personas, were sober professionals.

"There was never any smoke. When the boys are working, it's a very clean set. No alcohol, no smoke, no nothing," Macgregor-Scott said. "They learned that in their live performances. They went to Folsom Prison and they had a little too much extra, and it wasn't a good day for them. They said, 'OK, that's the end of that. We go on clean as a whistle from now on.' I did three pictures with them, and that was the way it was from then 'til now, I'm sure."

Macgregor-Scott also produced Born in East L.A. (1987), with Cheech Marin going it alone minus Tommy Chong.

He was born in Madenhead, England. His father was J.C. Macgregor Scott, who served as an executive with such British film companies as Columbia Pictures U.K., Warner-Pathe Distributors and Commonwealth United International.

Macgregor-Scott told THR in June that his proudest moment in show business was screening The Fugitive for his dad a few years before the retired executive's death in 1999.

"He was hard of hearing, but he'd been in the picture business since 1932, and he got up and said, 'It's the best movie I've ever seen,' " Macgregor-Scott said, getting a little emotional. "He was very happy."

The son started his career working in the sound department at Pinewood Studios in London before coming to the U.S. in 1970.

"Peter was the best producer I ever worked with and a dear, loyal friend," two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt, who worked with the producer on the Batman films, wrote in a note to Macgregor-Scott's wife of 15 years, Susan. "We went through so much together, and there is not a day on set where I haven't thought of him and wished that he was by my side. A lovely, mischievous, laughing, unforgettable colleague and companion."
 
His brother, Ian MacGregor-Scott, worked as a sound editor in Hollywood. He also is survived by his daughter Elizabeth and son Taylor.
 
Macgregor-Scott once described his job as having "a vision about what is most practical and economical and anticipating where the problems lie. There will always be challenges on any production, but as long as you have the solutions, the problems don't really exist."

A funeral service is scheduled for Thursday in New York. The family asks that donations be made to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in his memory.

 

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