Doctor Reveals Emotional Email Chris Cornell Sent Him Months Before Death


Deadline have up a new article on the Oscars push for Chris Cornell’s song “The Promise.” Read an excerpt below, featuring a producer of The Promise film and friend of Cornell’s Eric Esrailian. Note that while Esrailian is a GI doctor he was not Cornell’s doctor.

He initially got involved in the project through his close friendship with one of its producers, Eric Esrailian, who told me recently that one of the first people he spoke to in 2010 when he joined the project was Cornell. “Every time I had some kind of self-doubt about either being able to pull it off or even internally some doubts about creative issues, he was saying, ‘You can do this.’ And he started really putting his head around this from the beginning as a story, not even just the song, and he read every version of the script, ” Esrailian said. He also noted that Cornell was even thinking about it as he wrote the song “Misery Chain” for 12 Years a Slave, which dealt with a different kind of atrocity. “I think it’s a very unique situation where you have an artist who’s organically part of the project from Day 1 as opposed to what I found out happens in a lot of other films where you make the whole movie and then you show it to somebody and then they write a song. You kind of stick it on,” he said.

Even though he was a confidant through the whole process of the film’s development, Cornell did not automatically assume that he would be asked to write a song, according to Esrailian, whose day job is as a renowned gastroenterologist based at UCLA. He said Cornell’s wife told him he really wanted to be asked, so Esrailian said it was like this awkward prom proposal when he finally did ask him formally to write one.

“Then he wrote me an email the next day and it was really touching because I can imagine that he’d been thinking about it, and he wrote me and said, ‘I want to tell you that I’m honored and that I’m devoted to this film, and that I will give it my absolute best, and I feel like my 30 years of discovery and development as a songwriter have led me to this,’” Esrailian recalled. He also included this when he delivered the eulogy at Cornell’s funeral in May.