The post-apocalyptic genre has been a staple in sci-fi for decades, and Josh Ridgway is contributing to the thought-provoking genre with his new film, “The Sector.” The film stars Richard Tyson (“Black Hawk Down”), Lance Henriksen (“Aliens,” “The Terminator”), John Wesley Shipp (1990-91 series “The Flash,” CW’s “The Flash” ), Vernon Wells (“Commando, “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior”), Clarence Gilyard, Jr. (“Top Gun,” “Die Hard,” “Walker, Texas Ranger”) and Matthew Tompkins (“Machete,” “Longmire,” “Friday Night Lights”), and follows a bounty hunter living in a dystopian world who is simply trying to catch some outlaws. His mission reveals a conspiracy that reveals shocking truths about his own existence.
Ridgway stated that the film came about after working with Tyson on other movie projects. “I have been a fan of Richard Tyson since I was younger. I loved him in ‘Three O’ Clock High’ and ‘Kindergarten Cop,'” said Ridgway. “I’d seen him in numerous films over the years and I finally got a chance to work with him on a couple of projects and we started talking about doing a sci-fi film. I presented him the script for ‘The Sector’ and it snowballed from there. It was great to see Richard bring this haunted gunslinger character to life.”
Casting the other roles, such as Shadow Man, Stillwell and Shamrock, was just as important to Ridgway as it was to include Tyson as his leading star. The role of Shadow Man, Ridgway said, was actually a role written especially for Henriksen. “I wrote the role of Shadow Man specifically for him, never thinking I would get him,” he said. “We collaborated and expanded the depths of his character. He’s the real deal. Always has been. I was a first time director and he showed me the utmost respect. From an acting stand point, I’ve never seen that kind of commitment before. I think he knew the script better than I did when we shot.”
“I first took notice of [John Wesley Shipp] on the 1990 series ‘The Flash,’ but I’ve always felt he has a great star quality about him,” said Ridgway about Shipp. “He can take any line of dialogue and make it mean something. He’s a very graceful and compassionate person. I plan on doing many films with him.”
Casting Wells came about in an unexpected way. “It was unexpected, at first we had cast Roddy Piper in the role of Shamrock, who is a vicious loan shark,” said Ridgway. “Roddy couldn’t do it based on an injury he had at the time, so I was frantic and we approached Vernon and he was amazing. He showed up and gave much more than I expected. I owe him big time for that.”
One of the funny things about filming was the realization that three actors had shared screen time with the Governator himself. “We ended up laughing about the fact that we had three actors in our movie that were all killed on screen by Arnold Schwarzenegger,” said Ridgway. “Lance Henriksen was killed by the T-800 in ‘The Terminator.’ Vernon Wells was killed by John Matrix in ‘Commando.’ And Richard Tyson was killed by Detective John Kimble in ‘Kindergarten Cop.’ It was a happy accident.”
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