Thursday, July 07, 2011

What Do Hidalgo, Open Range and Deadwood Have In Common?

July 7, 2011

This afternoon we were looking for a quote from Johnny Cash about True West and perusing through issues from 2003 I ran across an article we did in the Feb-Mar issue. The feature-doubletruck was on "Westerns In The Works: Get Ready for a Bonanza of New Westerns!"

Here are the titles of "new" Westerns in the pipeline for 2003. Read 'em and weep:

• Open Range, released in summer of 2003, moderate success

• Westworld, remake with Arnold Schwarzenegger, never happened

• The Last Ride, retitled The Missing with Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchard, box office bomb

• Hidalgo, Viggo Mortensen, summer 2003, moderate hit (anybody know how big?)

• Bounty, supernatural killer, not sure how this one did. Do you know?

• The Lone Ranger, still working on it eight years later with Johnny Depp as Tonto. I believe it's scheduled for 2012.

• Muraya (Mike S. Blueberry), based on the cult graphic novel series by Moebius, I think it came out, was not in wide release. It was supposed to star Eddie Izzard as Mike. That could have been damn funny.

• Men of Destiny, director John Woo, about Chinese and Irish immigrants who built railroad. Sounds vaguely familiar, anybody know if this came out?

• The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise, did pretty good. Anybody know how good?

• Mending Fences, Keith Carradine, an Arizona ranching family struggles with its own emotional issues while trying to solve a murder. Hmmmm.

• Montana 1948, small town sheriff discovers his older brother is guilty of sexually assaulting female Native American patients. Kind of glad I missed this one, but did it even come out?

Made for TV

• Then Came Jones, a remake starring Sean Patrick Flanery, a reported $5 million pilot, the premise is described as "Laura Ingalls all grown up and everything went wrong."

• Peacemakers, Tom Berenger, USA cable channel, "CSI lands in the Old West". Did it air?

• Deadwood, no comment needed, a huge hit, perhaps the biggest on this entire list and a certain columnist of ours said it was a dirty dog and nobody would watch it.

• And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, never liked the title, but Antonio Banderas did a decent Pancho, and for once Villa was not played as a goofball. Not sure how the ratings stacked up.

Quite a list. I remember at the time thinking the project with the least potential was Deadwood. Just goes to show you, when it comes to Hollywood. . .

"Nobody knows anything."
—William Goldman

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