Will Smith Rumored for 'Wild Bunch' Remake

Wild Wild West

He may have said "no thanks" to Quentin Tarantino's efforts to cast him in Django Unchained, but that doesn't mean Will Smith is allergic to a good old-fashioned Western, and here's the proof: the Wrap reports that Smith's got his eye on a remake of the Sam Peckinpah classic The Wild Bunch.

A project like that takes superstar-sized cojones, to be certain; the original was a hit that took home two Oscar nominations, and its stature has only grown over the years -- and the last time Smith dabbled in anything like this, the result was the spectacularly dreadful Wild Wild West.

But if attempting a straight-ahead remake is almost certain folly, you've got to wonder about the rumored take on Smith's version, which is said to be a "modern" retelling of the original story that involves "a disgraced D.E.A. agent who assembles a team to go after a Mexican drug lord and his fortune." It seems like the only point of keeping the name is to take advantage of its market value, but with Smith attached, why even worry about that?

Whatever it's called and whichever era it takes place in, this project has been kicking around for a few years now; as the Wrap notes, Warner Bros. has been talking to Weintraub about this for some time, with Tony Scott attached to direct at one point and L.A. Confidential writer Brian Helgeland getting through half a script before Scott's untimely death in 2012. (As tends to be the case when new blood comes into a project, Helgeland's work is set to be jettisoned in favor of a new writer, still being sought by the studio.)

In the meantime, Smith fans can look forward to seeing him in full action-hero mode in After Earth, co-starring young Jaden Smith, on May 31.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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