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.”
The Magnificent Seven …
Casting Robert Vaughn / Lee
For some reason i thought Robert Vaughn would be easy.
Kevin Fraser casts Casey Affleck here. Possibly the best choice.
Myself, I perceive Casey as being a bit … well … creepy.
(As per, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007 starring Brad Pitt))
Sorry Kevin/Casey – let’s just call it good acting. Though that would put an interesting twist on the character.
Which raises the point: we really don’t know how the new writers – and the new Director – whoever he is going to be ?? (another huge decision that is even more important than the casting) are going to portray these Characters –
any of them!!
I/we assume they will be somewhat similar to the original movie.
Vaughn as Lee
“Till you lose your nerve. You can feel it. Then you wait… for the bullet in the gun that is faster than you are … ”
~ Robert Vaughn / Lee / The Magnificent Seven
Lee is probably the most complicated Character of the Seven.
Vaughn’s and (Director) John Stuges portray Lee as be-gloved, dapper, dudish, white shirted, articulate gentleman gunsfighter – with a string tie,
who had lost his nerve and his touch.
A washed up gunslinger.
A bit of a tragic figure to be sure … only redeemed moments before his death – a death we sense is somewhat of a relief for him from the torture of the failure that he feels himself to be.
It’s pretty well telegraphed to us from the beginning that Lee will not be one of the Seven who rides off into the sunset.
The part may also call for someone who is not youngish (though make-up artists can do anything these days) , and perhaps somewhat of a cynic … certainly depressed.
So if the remake stays true to form … we may be looking for somewhat of a similar character.
Vin Diesel will not make the list.
No, I’m not casting Di Caprio here either. Leo has already played a bit of an Dandy in two Westerns already:
the horrific The Quick and the Dead (1995) and the equally disgusting Django(yeah, yeah I’m not a Tarantino fan).
Incredibly, I find a rather long list of actors that COULD do this part – and do it well.
I looked over dozens of actors here, Including Gary Oldman. Jeremy Renner, Kevin Costner, Colin Farrell,
Gerard Butler … even Keanu Reeves … ??
Many actors are capable. BUT …
who would be right?
Who is perfect for the role?
That is the question.
Most of them didn’t ring my bell.
I always say that when your boxed in … go outside the box.
So it was time to go where no cowboy had gone before …
Casting Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the new group of emerging film Stars … who can actually Act.
And a man who is heading to the top of the BIll.
In fact, he’s there right now. He’s hot … RED HOT.
But he also fits the role of Lee very nicely.
He has a manner and sophistication mirroring Vaughn’s own sensibilities.
Articulate and intelligent.
But also perhaps lends some depth and qualities to the role that may elevate it – and which Vaughn may have lacked – an intensity to be certain.
I also believe he has a likeability that will draw our sympathy to his plight.
He’s done some Action. Maybe he’d ready to be a cowboy.
He’s great … the gunhand that fits Lee’s glove.
The Magnificent Seven ??? …
Casting Eli Wallach / Calvera