MGM is reportedly finalizing negotiations with Peter Sarsgaard (Blue Jasmine) to bring him on to play the villain, Bartholomew Bogue, in the western remake The Magnificent Seven. Jason Momoa (Aquaman) is also leaving the film.
Antoine Fuqua (Southpaw) is directing the remake, which follows a town held hostage by a group of criminals who raid their food stores under gunpoint. When they kill a man to set an example, his wife hires a group of mercenaries to save the town.
Momoa reportedly left the project because his role was shrinking, due in part to the ever-expanding cast that includes Denzel Washington (The Equalizer), Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World), Haley Bennett (Marley & Me), Matt Bomer (Magic Mike XXL), and Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe: Retaliation).
Sarsgaard has bounced around between blockbusters and indies, having starred in the failed Green Lantern movie, the coming-of-age story An Education and the horror movie Orphan. More recently he was part of the NBC limited series The Slap. His next project is the Johnny Depp crime film Black Mass.
The movie is a remake of the 1960 western starring Yul Brynner (West World), Steve McQueen (The Dirty Dozen), and Charles Bronson (Once Upon a Time in the West). The movie spawned three sequels and a television show that ran two seasons. The original film was a remake of the Akira Kurosowa (Rashomon) classic The Seven Samurai. The story was also used for the plot of Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. Fuqua’s version of the story is set to be released on January 13, 2017.