Tommy Lee Jones to Write and Direct Remake of ‘The Cowboys’

By September 6, 2013

Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones knows his westerns. The straight-faced Oscar-winning actor has The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The Missing, and the superb TV mini-series “Lonesome Dove” under his belt, and he’s even dabbled in modern westerns with his supporting role in the Coen Brothers’ Best Picture winner No Country For Old Men. But now he’s heading back behind the camera for another tale set where the buffalo roam.

Variety reports that Jones will write and direct a remake of John Wayne’s 1972 film The Cowboys. The original movie told the story of a rancher whose ranch hands abandon him before a planned cattle herd. The rancher reluctantly hires a group of local boys to help him on his quest; things ultimately take a bloody turn and the boys are forced to fight a group of outlaws who ambush them and steal their cattle.

The Cowboys original

While I’ve yet to see this film myself (I know, I know – I’ve seen six or seven John Wayne movies and am still making my way through his filmography), it’s beloved by a few people at GeekNation HQ, so I’m definitely planning on checking it out soon. From what I hear, it’s the perfect movie to get the remake treatment because while the original is still beloved by a lot of people, it wasn’t a perfect, iconic movie. TLJ seems like a classy guy and he’s definitely someone who respects the legacy of the genre, so this will likely be a remake worth seeking out. There’s no word yet on whether or not he’ll star in the film, but I expect he’ll at least take one of the smaller roles.

If anyone can deliver a solid western, it’s Jones. Are you excited about seeing this story retold on the big screen?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.