Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Sam Peckinpah's 'The Texans' Script Dusted Off & Put Into Development

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 19, 2011 at 6:01AM

Yesterday, Vulture debuted the first 15 pages of long-deceased writer/director Sam Peckinpah’s buried script, “The Texans.” Judging from the first few pages, the film is a classic western, involving Native Americans and the takeover of their land, with “Avatar”-like nature messages strewn throughout. The genre has seen somewhat of a revival, most recently with the Coen Brothers’ “True Grit.”
0

Yesterday, Vulture debuted the first 15 pages of long-deceased writer/director Sam Peckinpah’s buried script, “The Texans.” Judging from the first few pages, the film is a classic western, involving Native Americans and the takeover of their land, with “Avatar”-like nature messages strewn throughout. The genre has seen somewhat of a revival, most recently with the Coen Brothers’ “True Grit.”

Producer Al Ruddy (“The Godfather,” “Million Dollar Baby”) found the script while cleaning out his belongings after dissolving his long-time partnership with producer Andre Morgan. The screenplay had been sitting in his desk for almost 20 years. Ruddy remembered that he first hired John Milius (“Apocalypse Now”) to write the script, but wasn’t happy with Milius’ draft of the story. He then approached Peckinpah to make some changes: Peckinpah did so, turning in a 250-page draft of the story. The script was in development with Ruddy for almost 10 years, but Ruddy recalled that when “City Slickers” came out in 1991, he didn’t feel that there was room for a classic western film anymore, so the project was shelved. Until now. Ruddy has hired Jim Byrnes (writer of TV Westerns like “How the West was Won” and “Gunsmoke”) to get the script down to 150 pages -- still a formidable length by today’s Hollywood standards -- and find a director to push the script through to the screen.

Peckinpah, known for his revisionist approach to the western genre where anti-heroes took the place of the cowboy-hero like in “The Wild Bunch,” was also a notorious alcoholic and drug abuser who often brought his addictions to set. He battled many producers and crew members on the sets of his films, damaging his reputation in Hollywood. Ruddy first approached Peckinpah to revise Milius version of “The Texans,” Peckinpah had just come off of “Convoy,” a box office hit but a critical failure that was more known around Hollywood circles for coming in late and over budget. According to Ruddy, Peckinpah wanted to revitalize his career by going back to what made him famous in the first place -- the western -- but he didn't get the chance.

Peckinpah remains a controversial director, and with Rod Lurie remaking his “Straw Dogs” set to hit theaters later this year, the helmer's work will continue to be talked about. But here’s to hoping somebody great comes aboard and some of the true grit found in Peckinpah's westerns comes back to the big screen. -Catherine Scott

This article is related to: Vintage Directors, Lost Films, Sam Peckinpah, The Texans


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates