Will Smith has entered negotiations for a Wild Bunch reboot. The actor will star in the film, which would be a modernized update of the 1969 Sam Peckinpah classic, according to a Tuesday report from The Wrap.
The website noted that Smith would also produce under the same banner — Overbrook Entertainment — that he used for The Karate Kid remake.
The new version would not take place in the Wild West, but would follow a disgraced DEA agent (Smith), who unites with a band of modern day outlaws to take out a Mexican drug lord and his fortune.
The original was set in 1913 and focused on an aging band of outlaws vying for one last score at the Texas-Mexico border. It was also inspired by the real-life Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, Butch Cassidy’s team of ne’er-do-wells.
Critics praised and maligned the film in 1969 for its staggering level of violence, and it still holds up by today’s standards in case you’ve yet to give it a look. Will Smith and company will probably follow in the original’s footsteps in that regard.
They’re definitely hoping for an ensemble like the first film, which featured William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez, and Ben Johnson.
(And if you don’t know who any of those people are, shame on you.)
Warner Brothers and producer Jerry Weintraub have been hoping for a remake for several years. They came close recently when Oscar winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) stepped in to the writer’s seat with the late Tony Scott attached to direct, according to the Standard-Examiner.
Scott’s 2012 suicide stalled the proceedings for a Wild Bunch reboot, but they now appear to be back on track.
Here’s a look at the original film’s trailer:
This film should make up for fans clamoring to see the actor in a western not getting that chance with Django Unchained, but with the modern setting, we’re not sure this technically counts. (And neither did that train wreck Wild Wild West.)
What do you think about Will Smith in a Wild Bunch reboot — good idea or “Please God, no”?