Michael Douglas recalls the “extraordinary talent” of the late Diane Thomas


Michael Douglas has lamented the passing of author Diane Thomas of Romancing the Stone.

The Wall Street star recalled asking Thomas how he could pay her back for unofficially assisting on the script for the Romancing the Stone sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, during an appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast.

“I must get a new automobile. He remembered her stating, “I’d love to get a Porsche,” but then added that she unfortunately passed away in that vehicle.

“I handed her the Porsche’s keys. He continued, “And while the article is available for reading, the tragedy is that she killed herself in that Porsche. Her boyfriend was the one driving; she wasn’t the driver, but there had been some drinking, and he had some past criminal activity. 

She had an incredible talent who unfortunately passed away at a very young age.”

He said, “I wish – for a lot of reasons – that she was still with us, but she’s not.”

On October 21, 1985, 39-year-old Thomas passed away after her lover Stephen Norman lost control of the car and collided with a pole. Norman was placed on five years of probation after being found guilty of manslaughter in the murders of Thomas and their buddy Ian Young.

She was given credit for “based on the characters by” when The Jewel of the Nile was released, six weeks after her passing.

The Basic Instinct star told podcast host Scott Feinberg that Thomas was under contract at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, so she couldn’t compose The Jewel of the Nile.

She did, however, informally assist the writers in “punching up” the screenplay.

“As production approached, I needed a “punch up”—a little assistance—and I wanted Diane to look it over. However, she was contractually unable to do anything because she was working on other projects. However, she let me a long weekend, or a few days, to sort of, get things done,” he revealed.