When Will Smith turned down the lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a lot of people assumed it was simply too edgy for Hollywood’s biggest star. He later revealed that he didn’t believe Django was the lead character and he refused to play second fiddle to Dr. King Schultz. Either way, it would appear that Smith is still itching to star in a western of some sort as he is currently setting up a remake of another controversial western renowned for its violence: Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. The twist is that this new version will be a modernized take on the material that involves a D.E.A. agent going after a Mexican drug cartel. It’s difficult to see this being as original and audacious as Django Unchained, but will it at least make up for Wild Wild West?
According to The Wrap, Will Smith is currently in talks to star in and produce a remake of The Wild Bunch for Warner Brothers. Tony Scott was once rumoured to be interested in directing and Brian Helgeland (Man on Fire) was in the process of rewriting the script, the first draft of which was penned by David Ayer (End of Watch). Warner Brothers will now seek out a new writer and attempt to surround Smith with a strong ensemble cast.
A remake of The Magnificent Seven has also been in development over at MGM with Tom Cruise rumoured to be attached, but it’s hard to say if one project inspired the other. This particular remake may be a western in spirit only as the story will supposedly “follow a disgraced D.E.A. agent who assembles a team to go after a Mexican drug lord and his fortune.” Sadly, it sounds like it really would have been a perfect fit for Tony Scott. What do you think, could a modernized version of The Wild Bunch work or is this just a terrible idea?