For the past couple of years MGM has been milking franchises-of-old with modern day remakes. A new Carrie movie, starring Kick-Ass star Chloe Grace Moretz, found its way to theaters just in time for Halloween 2013 and RoboCop reboot trailers have been hitting theaters and YouTube the past couple of months. The next film MGM is planning to update is the 1960 Western classic, The Magnificent Seven.
Fresh off the release of his latest directorial effort in Saving Mr. Banks, John Lee Hancock has signed on to rewrite the screenplay for The Magnificent Seven that was originally penned by Nic Pizzolatto (TV’s The Killing and True Detective). Hancock has already adapted Snow White and the Huntsman and the screenplay for Disney’s upcoming live-action Sleeping Beauty adaptation Maleficent. He also wrote and directed The Blind Side as well as penned 1997’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
The original The Magnificent Seven, directed by John Struges, is a remake of the Akira Kurasawa film Seven Samurai – a classic Japanese film about a farming village that hire seven ronin (masterless samurai) to protect their land from bandits who are threatening to steal their crops. The American film has gone through three sequels (Return of the Seven, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, and The Magnificent Seven Ride) as well as a TV adaptation that ran from 1998-2000. Three Amigos, the comedy starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Chevy Chase also borrowed heavily from the film.
The original Magnificent Seven starred a who’s-who of Hollywood action and Western stars, including Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz. The premise is ripe for a star-studded Hollywood action affair, but so far the only actor that was on board for the 21st century remake was Tom Cruise, who has since dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Depending on who else is available to star, this could be the chance for anyone who hasn’t been invited to join the Expendables to form their own shoot-em-up Hollywood All-Star team.