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Will Smith in Talks for 'Wild Bunch' Remake, 15 Years After 'Wild, Wild West'

By Christian Blauvelt, Hollywood Staff

Because Will Smith's last foray into the Western genre was so successful, he just has to strap on cowboy boots and six-shooters once again, doesn't he? Anyone who saw Wild Wild West (or heard the song) knows that's sarcasm. The Wrap reports that the After Earth star is in talks with Warner Bros. to star in their remake of The Wild Bunch, Sam Peckinpah's brutal 1968 classic. Smith will also likely serve as a producer through this Overbrook Entertainment company. Until his suicide last year, Tony Scott had been developing the remake from a script by Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential).

The new Wild Bunch will be decidedly different from the original, a rapidly-edited, explosively violent elegy to the Old West in which aging outlaws try to hit paydirt one last time along the U.S.-Mexico border before the West they know disappears forever. Weintraub and Warner Bros. plan something far more radical, though: they want their Wild Bunch remake to be set in the present day and following a disgraced DEA agent (Smith) as he assembles a posse to cross the border and apprehend a Mexican drug lord. Meaning that it's basically an entirely different film.

No release date has been set, and representatives for Smith and Weintraub didn't immediately return requests for comment.

Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt

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