The Magnificent 7 Update … project in jeopardy

11 Jan



By: Mike Parker

Published: Sun, December 29, 201

Tom Cruise shoots down Magnificent Seven remake

TOM CRUISE’s departure from a planned remake of the star-studded western has put the project back to square one

CLASSIC The original 1960 cast

HOLLYWOOD studio MGM has “called in the cavalry” to rescue a planned remake of classic 1960 western The Magnificent Seven after Tom Cruise stunned producers by quitting.

Cruise, 51, blamed a personal “scheduling conflict” for his departure more than six months after agreeing to a lead role.

As he rode off into the sunset, studio bosses hired John Lee Hancock, who directed current box-office hit Saving Mr Banks, to re-write what was seen as a troubled script.

The turmoil comes at the end of a year in which the original Magnificent Seven was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of America’s Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. It starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz.

Yesterday a senior MGM source said: “Tom’s departure has thrown a real wrench in the wagon wheel.

“He was the only one of the seven we had cast and would obviously have helped draw other A-list stars into the project.

“Now it’s a case of going right back to square one in terms of casting and having John Lee Hancock re-write the script from top to bottom. You might say he’s leading our cavalry on a rescue mission.

“We’re hoping that once John Lee has completed a first draft of a new script, we will be firmly back on track and in a position to attract some of Hollywood’s best-known actors.”

Hancock, a hugely respected Hollywood figure, is no stranger to the genre, having directed 2004’s Disney remake of another 1960 western classic, The Alamo.

Even before Cruise backed out, studio bosses had become concerned about committing a reported £100million-plus to the film. They saw rival Disney take a financial hit earlier this year as an equally costly remake of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp as Tonto, flopped.

Los Angeles-based media analyst Mike Raia insisted yesterday: “I believe the western can survive and even thrive as a genre.

“However, the onus is on the filmmakers to make their modern versions resonate with today’s younger audiences as well as older fans.”


7 Responses to “The Magnificent 7 Update … project in jeopardy”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong January 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Good. This is one remake I don’t want to have to avoid.

    • jcalberta January 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      It ain’t dead yet .. there’s been too much publicity surrounding this project for it to be abandoned now – despite the horrific casting impossibilities. Somebody will smell a buck. But I sure doubt it will be made out of inspiration.

  2. Joseph Spiteri April 16, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    I think Marilyn Armstrong is right. Today’s films at least some of them and I think almost all of them have taken a sort of unrealistic approach. It is a case of sacrificing acting for technique. And technique is being used for exaggerating action in an unreal representation. Of course when it comes to remakes the difference shows more clearly. And the blood has to spurt out in slow motion filling the screen and almost flooding the theatre. What many directors fail to understand is that in real life when an open wound has to be witnessed no one looks at it through a microscope, as a sort of entertainment. And not all cowboys wear long frock coats, talk in whispers, and use the chewing gum accent.

    • jcalberta April 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

      The main problem with remakes IMO is that they don’t have the people – the Cast. Lots of examples. The recent ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ for instance. Naturally people are going to compare Bale and Edgerton to Heston and Brynner. Bales and Edgerton don’t have a chance. But YES I agree that many of todays Action movies are Special Effects extravaganzas – and not much more. Occasionally, however, they pull it off. As with Lord of the Rings where CGI is used to enhance and support the story – not BE the story. This stuff can be an asset if used properly. ??

  3. Dallas durley October 24, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    I Think Every Actor Picked To Play In Remake Of Magnificent Is All Wrong .I Will Pick Who I Think Should Be Cast

    • jcalberta October 26, 2015 at 11:48 am #

      It’s a tough project isn’t it? Everybody is going to have their own ideals. I picked a fantasy cast for this – but my cast would be horrifically expensive. Not sure they would lay out that much loot.


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