The big talk in Western Film these days is the News about the ‘Remake of The Wild Bunch’.
(I’m a bit slow on the draw so I just herd about this recently)
It’s a shocker to be sure.
Here’s one Newsbit:
Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019 by Chris Evangelista
Proving that there are indeed second, third, and even forth acts in Hollywood, Mel Gibson is being given the keys to a major motion picture yet again. The controversial actor and filmmaker is set to helm a remake of The Wild Bunch, and some heavy-hitting talent is already lining-up to work with him. Michael Fassbender, Jamie Foxx, and Peter Dinklage are all in talks to join the Wild Bunch remake cast, indicating that Warner Bros. wants to put together an impressive cast for this contemporary remake of the violent Sam Peckinpah Western.
Mel Gibson can often be an excellent actor and a strong filmmaker. But he’s also a highly controversial figure known for misogynist, racist remarks and actions that many feel should disqualify him from being attached to major projects. Gibson was a bit of a pariah for a short period of time, but it’s clear that time has ended. Warner Bros. has booked him to direct their Wild Bunch remake, which features a script by Gibson and Bryan Bagby.
And now, Deadline says Michael Fassbender, Jamie Foxx, and Peter Dinklage are all in talks to join the cast of the film. Nothing is officially in place yet, but word has it the movie will begin production this fall. This Wild Bunch is a contemporary remake of Sam Peckinpah’s classic 1969 Western, which was set in 1913. Here’s the original synopsis:
In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by his gang, which includes Dutch Engstrom and brothers Lyle and Tector Gorch, Bishop discovers the heist is a setup orchestrated in part by his old partner, Deke Thornton. As the remaining gang takes refuge in Mexican territory, Thornton trails them, resulting in fierce gunfights with plenty of casualties.
Hollywood has been hoping to mount a Wild Bunch remake for a few years now. Tony Scott was originally set to helm a version, but his 2012 suicide ended up putting the project on hold. Since then, a remake with Will Smith possibly set to produce and star popped up, along with one directed by Hands of Stone filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz. Neither incarnation came to pass.
While Gibson, a filmmaker who doesn’t shy away from movie violence, seems like a good fit to remake this violent Western, I can’t help but feel this is a film we really don’t need, no matter who ends up being cast in the project.
Mel sure knows how to kick up some dust. I can't see this project as a mere Western yarn - and it's pretty obvious by the casting that this is not going to be a carbon copy of the original. The inclusion of Dinklage and Fox certainly tells us it's to be pretty different right away - and Gibson has said it will be a different angle from a Social/Political viewpoint. There's plenty of scepticism, of course, and it does seem like a daunting task. We'll just have to wait and see.
All the Major players in the original production have passed.
Including Sam himself.
This whole thing is riding on Mel.