Will Smith Could Return to the Western Genre in Remake of ‘The Wild Bunch’

By May 14, 2013
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Quentin Tarantino had his eye on Will Smith for the lead role in Django Unchained, but Smith ultimately decided that he didn’t want to do the movie because Django wasn’t the main character. So even though The Wrap’s reporter Jeff Sneider has a pretty good track record with scoops, his latest seems just slightly questionable: Will Smith is now reportedly in talks to produce and star in Warner Bros.’ remake of The Wild Bunch. Um…Mr. Smith? It’s the Wild Bunch, not the Wild Guy. Sounds like an ensemble piece to me, which could end up presenting the same issues for him that Django did.

Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 classic western starred William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, and more as a gang of outlaws who end up taking one last job on the Texas-Mexico border and was a cultural touchstone because of its use of violence, slow motion techniques, and (for the time) quick editing style. The remake will be a modern take on a similar story, with Smith presumably playing a disgraced DEA agent putting a team together to take out a cartel leader south of the border. If Smith ends up playing that role, perhaps that will meet his needs for being the lead role in the picture, but there are still a lot of roles yet to be cast and if you have someone like Smith leading the pack, it’s not likely that they’ll fill out the rest of the group with a bunch of no-namers. (Smith’s Scientology buddy Tom Cruise has been circling a remake of The Magnificent Seven for years, so maybe he’ll come aboard for this one instead.)

Time will tell how this whole situation plays out, but with Smith on as a producer, it seems likely he’ll get his way in the end. And now, the only way this article could possibly conclude: with the music video for the Wild Wild West theme song.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, 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.