The Magnificent Seven: Casting James Coburn / Britt
James Coburn played Britt in The Magnificent 7.
I figured it would be very difficult finding someone to physically
match Coburn lean and lanky physique, so I put that to the side.
But I think I did find someone who could pull this role off otherwise …
Looking everyone over, I finally decided Guy Pearce would do a great job here.
Pearce is extremely versatile as an actor. He has the talent to
morph into any role he takes and own it. He can do Action and has already
been in one notable and highly regarded Western: The Proposition.
Whatever you want, he delivers.
I haven’t come up with anybody to fill Yul Brynner’s boots .. yet. I’m working on it. But there’s at least one actor that might work for Steve McQureen’s role as the character, Vin.
I’m thinking of Viggo Mortensen. Viggo has already been in a couple of excellent Westerns: Appaloosa, and Hidalgo. His breed and his bloodlines are good. But can we talk him into it?
That might well depend on who else we can sign up …
“You never miss the water ‘til the well runs dry”.
And when all the modern smoke and mirrors finally clear, well …
the well is pretty dry.
No Burt Lancasters, Charlton Hestons, Kirk Douglas’, no Hepburns, Brynners … no Fonda’s, no Wayne’s … no Astaires, no Pecks … nor Cagney’s …
The well is not just dry. It’s gone.
I have a theory. (I always have a theory)
When the old studio film system eventually died it was a costly loss of an incredible artistic fraternity. The old studios and their moguls found and developed great STARS. They searched for and discovered talented people – then trained them – often from childhood up. They had a system; a plan; a program. And it worked. Did it ever. They looked for quality people, ability, character and talent. And found it. The list is so long, I couldn’t write it here.
Oh, it wasn’t perfect. (Nothing is). And many Stars rebelled against it – disliking it’s confinement and regimentation. Eventually it disintegrated.
I wouldn’t say there aren’t some good actors and talented people around today.
Hollywood rumour mills are churning out a story that Tom Cruise is spearheading a remake of the Magnificent Seven. It seems to be in “concept” stage only at present.
In an age where we have a dearth of Western films, any such rumour is greeted with enthusiasm.
The immediate question arises: WHO ? will be the Seven ??
Casting will spell the success – or failure – of the whole project – and presents a very daunting task: how can you match or equal the almost unparalelled cast of the original movie ? that starred Yul Brunner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Eli Wallach, Horst Buchholz …
Nearly every actor in the Seven was – or became – a bonafide movie Star in their own right.
Who would you cast as the Seven? Consider that Cruise likely will hold one role – possibly that which was played by Brunner (wonder if he’ll shave his head?)
It’s going to be interesting to see what they come up with.