Will Smith has been mentioned in connection with Focus, the caper tale that was to have starred Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart, and is to star in Edward Zwick’s Hurricane Katrina drama The American Can. But that’s not all. His producing company is working on a remake of the Broadway musical Annie — which got a less-than-satisfactory screen version back in 1982 — and apparently he wants to revive The Wild Bunch as well.
Set during the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s, Sam Peckinpah’s ultra-violent 1969 classic Western features William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O’Brien, and other movie veterans as a group of outlaws fleeing from Robert Ryan while out to do one last job in war-torn northern Mexico. The Will Smith The Wild Bunch reboot, however, is to be set in the present, though the perilous locale should remain more or less the same: a disgraced DEA agent rounds up a group of ragtag oldtimers to hunt down a Mexican druglord and steal his money.
Now, who should be part of the early 21st-century’s The Wild Bunch? In case The Expendables 3 cast is unemployed at the time, expect the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, in addition to Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Mexican bandido.
The Wild Bunch 1969 cast and Oscar nominations
Besides William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch also features Warren Oates, Jaime Sánchez, Ben Johnson, veteran filmmaker Emilio Fernández (Flor Silvestre, Maria Candelaria), Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones, Albert Dekker, Bo Hopkins, future filmmaker Alfonso Arau (Like Water for Chocolate, A Walk in the Clouds), and Elsa Cárdenas. The Wild Bunch was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay (Roy N. Sickner and Walon Green for the story; Green and Sam Peckinpah for the screenplay) and Best Original Score (Jerry Fielding).
M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth Will Smith photo: Columbia Pictures.
Will Smith in The Wild Bunch remake source: TheWrap