the-wild-bunch

Is Will Smith looking to make up for balking at starring in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained by starring in a remake of one of the biggest landmarks in the Western canon? Smith has signed to produce and star in the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, which Warner Bros. has been trying to kickstart for a few years. That’s a piece of news that sounds pretty ridiculous, as the family-friendly guy who shied away fro Django is just about the last guy I’d expect to remake a film famous for its violence and adult themes.

(And yeah, let’s just get it out of the way: The Wild Wild Bunch. There, now we can move on.)

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Let’s get the good news out of the way first. It’s a big announcement day for the Scott brothers, with the more frenetic Tony Scott‘s publicists dropping word that he’s still working to make Hell’s Angels. Specifically, he wants Jeff Bridges to play iconic Hell’s Angels leader Sonny Barger. That’s great casting. I’m not going to say what I think about Sonny Barger here, because the last time I did that I heard from his attorney. Suffice to say that he’s led a colorful, controversial life and — even directed by Tony Scott — Jeff Bridges would be fantastic as Barger on-screen.

That might take some time to get underway, however, if it happens at all. See, not long ago, everyone suddenly remembered that Jeff Bridges is great, and his dance card is pretty full at the moment. So while Tony Scott waits for Hell’s Angels to come together he’s proving that old adage about idle hands doing the devil’s work. Specifically, he’s in talks to remake The Wild Bunch. Seriously? Seriously. Read More »

VOTD: Edgar Wright’s 1993 Mash-Up ‘Gun Fetish’

We post a fair amount of montages here on /Film, but this one’s extra special. Back in 1993, well before the days of Final Cut Pro, a 19-year-old Edgar Wright holed himself up in an editing suite for several weekends to put together this montage, “Gun Fetish.” The clips are pulled from VHS tapes, which explains the low quality. Even so, it’s apparent that Wright has an excellent sense of rhythm and timing, as well as real affection for the films he’d go on to reference and parody in work like Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Watch it after the jump. Be forewarned — the video is, as Wright puts it, “a little NSFW and spoiler heavy.”

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James McAvoy, who plays Charles Xavier in Matthew Vaughn‘s X-Men: First Class, just described the film to the LA Times as ‘kind of a love story,’ and because the love story would be between Xavier and Magneto, I’m afraid that’s going to be a tag that proves irresistible to many people.

But going into more detail, he says the film is like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the seminal George Roy Hill western that was an essential part of the ‘new Hollywood’ of the late ’60s, and a career-making film for Robert Redford. Linking First Class to that film, and by extension to a couple other westerns of the same era, might open a window on the story for those who don’t know the detailed backstory of Xavier and Magneto. Read More »

When talking about the screenwriter hire for Warner Bros.’ proposed reboot of Lethal Weapon, I mentioned that there was a lot of potential remake news coming out of the studio today. Well, here’s the rest. [via THR] What happened is that exec Jessica Goodman, a 13-year vet at the studio, has left, and projects that were on her desk, or hidden at the bottom of one of her ‘to-do’ piles, have been distributed among other execs.

The result is a new lease on life for a handful of possible remakes that have been dormant for some time. They include Sam Peckinpah‘s seminal ‘end of the West’ film The Wild Bunch, the aforementioned Lethal Weapon reboot, and a new version of Westworld. Read More »

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