Denzel Washington has signed up to star in a remake of the The Magnificent Seven, a Hollywood western. Joining as co-stars will be Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Haley Bennett as the female lead.
Bennett starred with Washington in The Equalizer and also recently wrapped up a role in The Blunderer with Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel.
Originally, both Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks were mentioned in connection with the remake, but their involvement has not been confirmed. The cast is still being rounded out.
Why Hollywood is remaking this classic film is not clear, but it's a go.
Washington won a "Best Actor" Academy Award for Training Day, and once again, will be teamed up with the film's director, Antoine Fuqua, who also directed The Equalizer.
Denzel recently gave a dynamic performance in The Equalizer, grossing $192 million at the wordwide box office. Recently, the Oscar-winning actor had his 60th birthday, but apparently, doesn't plan to slow down.
The Magnificent Seven (originally made in 1960) was actually a remake of Seven Samurai, a Japanese adventure film directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Yul Brenner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson, four Hollywood legends, starred in the original western.
The film featured a group of seven gunfighters who protect a small Mexican town from outlaws. Although they try, law enforcement can't stop the renegades. The locals become increasingly desperate and hire gunfighters to defend them. In the process, the seven prepare the villagers to fight and encourage them to take back what is rightfully theirs.
How much the new script will differ from the 1960 one is not yet known, but it was rewritten by John Lee Hancock. Production will begin in the next month.
Some consider the western to be a dead film genre, but if it can be resurrected, Denzel, his co-stars and Fuqua are the ones to do it.
Below is a clip of Denzel in The Equalizer:
Here's the scoop on The Magnificent Seven major players' highs at the box office, for their last 10 films:
Denzel Washington - $192 million for The Equalizer
Chris Pratt - $333 million for of the Gardens of the Galaxy
Ethan Hawke - $48 million for Sinister
Antoine Fuqua (director) - $105.5 million for The Equalizer
Sony and MGM will co-finance the film, with Sony handling the distribution and MGM overseeing production.
Both Denzel and Fuqua have strong relationships with Sony because of The Equalizer collaboration, and the studio is also building a partnership with Pratt.
With Denzel Washington leading the gunslingers, a successful remake of The Magnificent Seven would introduce a new generation to the western.