Remember the Denzel Washington meme that was so popular last year, in which he had a mustache and sideburns, while wearing a black baseball cap, and showing his pearly whites? This is what he was filming at the time, which explains his look in the photo that so many had a lot fun making memes out of.
Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington are teaming up again for MGM’s long-in-development remake of "The Magnificent Seven" (the 1960 American western directed by John Sturges, which itself was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s "Seven Samurai").
As recently as 2012, Tom Cruise was attached to star in the remake, although, at the time, there was no director attached. It was said that Cruise had long been interested in saddling up for a "Magnificent Seven" remake, but the project was not in his then immediate plans.
"The Magnificent Seven" starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz as a group of American gunmen hired to protect a small Mexican village from a group of savage bandits led by Eli Wallach. The 1960 film was followed by three sequels, and was also remade as a CBS TV series from 1998-2000.
The Fuqua/Washington redo will be set just after the Civil War, and, like its predecessor, it’ll once again be set in a small town – although, in this case, a small town built around a gold mine – that’s threatened by a ruthless baron and his gang of thugs, who attempt to take over the town, which leads to the deaths of many of its people in the process. In response, a young widow (played by Haley Bennett) who lives in the town, hires a bounty hunter (Denzel Washington) to use his necessary set of skills to rid the town of the bad guys. He does so with the help of 6 hired guns.
Washington leads a cast that also includes Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Luke Grimes, Wagner Moura, Matt Bomer, and Peter Sarsgaard.
That the film is set during the Civil War could have a dramatic impact on the script, given that a black man is leading the charge.
By the way, Haley Bennet also appeared in the last film Fuqua and Washington made together, which was also a remake – "The Equalizer."
The film, which is on my 2017 Oscar predictions list, is set to open theaters on September 23.
MGM, seemingly uninterested in fresh, original ideas, continues to mine its library for remakes. You’ll recall the recent "RoboCop" and "Carrie" reboots, with remakes of "Poltergeist," "WarGames," "Death Wish," "In the Heat of the Night" and others all in development.
And while I’m not exactly a big fan of what feels like a preponderance of redos/reboots/remakes/etc, a Fuqua/Washington pairing on a "Magnificent Seven" project set just after the civil war, in the American west, is something to look forward to.
A release of its first trailer is due tomorrow, Wednesday. Today, the studio has dropped some first-look pics.