Smith Looking to Join “The Wild Bunch”


One of our favorite westerns and a film that redefined the genre is reportedly on Will Smith’s radar for his next project. Smith is interested in remaking the Sam Peckinpah classic, The Wild Bunch.

In addition to starring in the film, Smith’s Overbrook would also produce a modern remake involving cartels south of the border, The Wild Bunch reboot is expected to follow a disgraced D.E.A. agent who assembles a team to go after a Mexican drug lord and his fortune.

The original Wild Bunch, which starred William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Oates, Jaime Sánchez and Ben Johnson, followed a group of aging outlaws that plan one last score on the Texas-Mexico border as the traditional American West changes around them in 1913. This film and another classic, Once Upon A Time in the West, are largely credited with bringing more realism to the Western genre.

Warner Bros. and producer Jerry Weintraub have been looking to reboot the property for years. David Ayer was hired to write a script and most recently, Tony Scott was developing the project with Oscar winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), who wrote about half of the screenplay before Scott died last year.

The studio and producing team are currently looking to hire a new writer for the project, which provides the opportunity to surround Smith with a strong ensemble. The original Wild Bunch starred William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez and Ben Johnson.

Smith, who has never done a proper Western before, was Quentin Tarantino’s first choice for Django Unchained and Kathryn Bigelow’s since-abandoned Triple Frontier. His earlier film, Wild Wild West was set in the Old West but the material was played for laughs.

He recently filmed a small but key role in Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut Winter’s Tale and he’s set to star in the con artist tale Focus. After that, the only firm starring vehicle on his slate is Ed Zwick’s Hurricane Katrina drama The American Can.

Up next for Smith, he will co-star opposite his son Jaden Smith in M. Night Shyamalan’s action-adventure movie “After Earth,” which opens May 31.