MGM are leaving no stone unturned in their catalogue when it comes to remakes. With “Robocop” and “Poltergeist” on the way for 2014, and “Road House,” “Death Wish,” “WarGames,” “The Idolmaker,” “Ben-Hur” and more all in development, the name of game seems to reboots over original material. And that brings us to the classic western “The Magnificent Seven.” In the works for a couple years now, the project gained some serious steam when Tom Cruise put his name to it in 2012, with a writer added over this past summer. But heading into 2014, the redo will need to find another star as a screenplay gets more work.
The Wrap reports that John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr. Banks”) has been brought in to re-write the first draft of the script by Nic Pizzolatto (“True Detective”). For now, it’s just a writing gig for Hancock who has no plans to direct, but with credits to his name including “The Alamo,” “Snow White & The Huntsman” and next year’s “Maleficent,” he knows his way around spectacle. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise has exited the project mostly because his plate is currently full with about five zillion other movies on the go, so he could probably do with one less.
So the remake machine continues on this project, and we’ll ask you this: who do you think can direct or star in this movie and at least attempt to do justice to the original?
I’ve already posted my own fantasy cast which I will boldly match up against anybody else’s projections.
Except for Tom Cruise, of course, who has now bailed out. This leaves a VERY large hole – as casting Yul Brynner’s former role was the biggest challenge of them all.
My Favorite Westerns casting for The Magnificent Seven / Remake:
Yul Brynner … TOM CRUISE
Steve McQueen … VIGGO MORTENSEN
James Coburn … GUY PEARCE
Charles Bronson … WILLEN DAFOE
Robert Vaughn … BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH
Brad Dexter … BRENDAN FRASER
Horst Buchholz … AARON PAUL
Eli Wallach… ANTONIO BANDERAS
O’Reilly (Bronson): “I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.”
TOM CRUISE’s departure from a planned remake of the star-studded western has put the project back to square one
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.”
I wonder if people really appreciate the acting of Horst Buchholz in The Magnificent Seven? I doubt it.
Here’s a young German actor who comes over here … and does a Mexican Hat Dance, a mock bullfight, handles the romance, the action, some comic relief, and is also brilliant in the several dramatic scenes including the famous ‘audition scene’ with Yul Brynner. Displaying a breadth and depth of emotion throughout the movie.
Pretty heady stuff.
The Young Bucks
There are a ton of new young male actors on the scene. A ton. There always is, but with the explosion of mass media and mass media entertainment over the last 40 years … there’s more … and more.
So it’s impossible to see everything – and everybody. So I really cant know ALL the people out there. That makes casting Chico difficult. Very difficult.
But there’s no doubt – amongst all these actors – that must be who somebody who is PERFECT for this role.
But who ? where?
I don’t know.
Yet … I have to pick somebody.
The Olden Days
In the 50’s – and more obviously the 60’s – there seemed to be a fad to cast some young buck in a lot of Westerns – whether he was needed or not.
In North to Alaska we had Fabian.
In Rio Bravo we had Ricky Nelson,
In El Dorado we had James Caan.
In Red Riverwe had Montgomery Clift (but he was needed there).
The list is long. Very long. And certainly was done in more than just Westerns.
Maybe this was a partial spin-off from the Elvis movies ??? I don’t know. But the idea was to attract young people – and the female audience. Particularly in Western Movies which were otherwise perceived to be a Male Domain.
So … we often ended up with a bunch annoying singing and unnecessary smooching … and stuff. Bletch !!
But It musta worked. Cuz they did it a lot. And I think they still are.
Amazingly … some of these young actors went on to have fine careers in the entertainment business. But many just faded into oblivion. (Oblivion is a large black hole somewhere near Hollywood – full of actors).
Anywaaaayyyyy … here we come to The Magnificent Seven … and Horst Buchholz.
What to do?
Theoretically … Theatrically …
What we are looking for:
Somebody who can play young and reckless. Energy. Ready to prove his manhood.
I’m I not certain that we need to exactly reprise Horst Buchholz’ very fine work – or his role – from the original The Magnificent Seven. Something else – something a bit different – can certainly work.
So …. I looked everywhere. Everywhere.
Latino … Bollywood … Emerging young actors … etc, etc, etc …
It was exhausting.
I went with my gut instincts …… and good taste.
And what I know.
This is going a bit outside of the box too. But Aaron Paul is another actor who is really HOT right now. Or should be, after his brilliant and stunning work as Jesse Pinkman in the equally brilliant Breaking Bad TV series.
Aaron Paul has earned the right to a ‘break out’ role on the Big Screen.
This will provide it.
His work in Breaking Bad leaves us no doubt as to his awesome acting talent.
No, he’s not young (age 34), but appears and appeals as being much younger.
Aaron Paul will do the job – a hell of a job. Whatever you need.
2008–2013 / Breaking Bad / as Jesse Pinkman
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2010, 2012) Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2010, 2012)
Nominated—Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2009, 2013)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film (2010)
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2011)
Nominated—TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2010)