By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 21, 2012 at 7:21PM
"The Seven Samurai" is, as we recounted not long ago, a film that has been ripped-off and remade many times before. But the most famous of them is "The Magnificent Seven," the 1960 John Sturges Western that took Akira Kurosawa's classic and moved it to the Old West, for the story of a Mexican village who hire seven gunfighters to defend them from bandits. As a remake itself, it would seem to be fair game for a new version, but while new takes on, say, "The Wild Bunch" have been discussed, there's surprisingly been little word on a potential re-do of Sturges' film, despite the high-drama premise and potential star-power it could draw (although the Weinsteins were trying to get a "Seven Samurai" remake going).
Until now, that is. Variety report that remake-friendly MGM (who have "Red Dawn," "WarGames" and "Death Wish" in the works already) are delving into the archives to plan a remake, and that none other than megastar Tom Cruise, sitting back atop the Hollywood tree after the huge success of "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," is attached to the project. Cruise has long wanted to make a Western -- he was attached to the "3:10 To Yuma" re-rub a few years ago -- but the closest he's come so far is his uncredited cameo in "Young Guns."
That's of course, assuming that the film turns out to be a Western: like "The Wild Bunch" remake that's been talked about for years, it's possible that the film might be moved to the present day -- Variety have no word either way. There's no writer or director attached at present, it's not an immediate priority, particularly as Cruise has a number of projects percolating, including "All You Need Is Kill," "Top Gun 2," "El Presidente," "Van Helsing," "A Star Is Born" and "Mission Impossible 5." Perhaps more importantly, isn't there the risk that Cruise could unbalance the film? A cast of character actor types around Cruise would only make it feel like "The Magnificent One And His Six Friends," while the financial implications of trying to lure, say, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, George Clooney and Matt Damon for a true A-list cast are dizzying, even in the age of "The Avengers." But we suppose they'll cross that bridge when they come to it.