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Wicky Wild 'Wild Bunch': Will Smith To Star In Remake Of Sam Peckinpah Classic

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 14, 2013 4:19 PM
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Will Smith

In theory, Will Smith is still one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, but it's been over five years since "I am Legend" and we're still awaiting a proper of how test of his star power has fared since then. Granted he did return last summer after a four-year gap with "Men In Black 3," which performed well, but that was always his biggest franchise and a sub-two hundred million domestic gross for an expensive franchise movie isn't blowing anyone away. The end of this month should see a more significant test when "After Earth" hits theaters, although even that sees him playing second fiddle to son Jaden Smith.

The good news is that Smith seems to be mixing it up a bit more instead of just sticking to the kind of FX-packed blockbuster he's used to: he's got a small character role in "Winter's Tale" and he's attached to the drama "An American Can" and rom-com "Focus," But he hasn't gone fully low-key, as it has now emerged that he's keeping a toe in the big action arena with a remake of a solid-gold classic. The Wrap revealed that the actor is in talks to star and produce in a remake of Sam Peckinpah's classic Western "The Wild Bunch."

The violent 1969 film, about a creaky gang of outlaws looking to pull one last border heist as the Old West comes to an end, has been in development as a remake for years, with the late Tony Scott being the last director attached, working from a script from his "Man On Fire" writer Brian Helgeland. Apparently Helgeland only wrote half the screenplay before Scott passed, and so the search is on for a new writer (and presumably a director too.)

The idea is that Smith would play the lead, a disgraced DEA agent who puts together a team to rip off a Mexican drug lord. We're pleased to see him preparing to go gunslinging for the first time since the bonkers "Bad Boys II" (even if we're not sure that the film really needs that 'Wild Bunch' name) That said, this project has been through multiple incarnations, so don't bank on it moving swiftly forward any time soon. You can see Smith in "After Earth" when it opens on May 31st.

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  • Gabe Toro | May 15, 2013 1:11 AMReply


  • Cinephobe | May 14, 2013 11:58 PMReply

    "In theory, Will Smith is still one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, but it's been over five years since "I am Legend" and we're still awaiting a proper of how test of his star power has fared since then. "
    Hancock came out in 2008.

  • Alan B | May 15, 2013 6:32 AM

    A $624 million hit with no brand recognition, a B-grade director and middling execution sold exclusively on Smith's name isn't a testament to his drawing power ... for some reason.

  • Ian | May 14, 2013 9:29 PMReply

    Christ no, don't call it Wild Bunch...

  • Jack | May 14, 2013 8:29 PMReply

    I love how "violent" is the first adjective that springs to mind for any given Peckinpah film.

  • Steven Flores | May 14, 2013 6:46 PMReply

    "The Karate Kid" was one thing but the fuckin' "Wild Bunch"? That does it. I'm going to kill Will Smith. Sam Peckinpah style.

  • Washington | May 14, 2013 6:03 PMReply

    God why even call it The Wild Bunch?

  • BEF | May 14, 2013 5:33 PMReply

    Uff da ... this is a terrible idea. The thing about the wild bunch was, they were outlaws, not former government agents. How about taking elements from it, updating it and giving it a new name? It's not like My Own Private Idaho was called Henry V.

  • No | May 14, 2013 4:48 PMReply about the odor of a bad idea...

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