In 1960 Director Jim Sturges, under MGM Studios, assembled a cast of actors whose talents and skills were well-known and well-oiled in the Western genre to remake (or Western-ize) Akira Kurosawa’s classic 1954 Japanese story of the Seven Samurai.

A peasant woman from a nearby Mexican village goes in search of a gunslinger to assemble of team of equals to stop a band of thieves and pillagers running through their town.

The original movie saw Yul Bryner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughan, James Coburn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz go up against Eli Wallach’s evil Calvera and his band of marauders.

This time it’s Training Day and Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua to take the reigns. While there are likely to be a lot fans out there of the original movie who will upset with a classic being remade let’s not forget that it itself was a remake so this is just a likely evolution in film making. Nobody is forcing you to like or love this version more just accept that it’s a movie being produced in the modern day using modern standards but with a great line up of actors, much the same way the Sturges movie was.

Denzel Washington takes over from Yul Brynner as the leader of the mötley crüe. Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byun-Hun Lee, Haley Bennett, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, William Lee Scott and Matt Bomer follow him for the pistol-packing ride. Sadly, ‘not an actor but a lovely guy’ Vinnie Jones will also appear. Hopefully, in a non-speaking part.

Is Hollywood gunning for a return to the Western genre? Of late we have seen old and new approaches to the genre from old and new performers and film craftsmen. Natalie Portman starred in Janie’s Got a Gun, which was praised and applauded for its writing style and acting, D’Onofrio is making a directorial run at The Kid, starring James Franco and Ethan Hawke; last year, Forsaken saw father and son actors Donald and Keifer Sutherland pair up for an emotional but pistol-ready actioner, Diablo will see if Scott Eastwood will follow in his legendary fathers footsteps, Dheepan director Jacques Audiard will make his English-language début in The Sisters Brothers based on the the Booker-shortlisted novel by Patrick deWitt.

Even Stephen King’s supernatural dark fantasy novel The Dark Tower begins shooting soon with Matthew McConnaughey and Idris Elba leading the cast.

Come back and see our review of the film when it is released and let us know what you think of the films new cast and direction.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Dir: Antoine Fuqua
Wri: John Lee Hancock, Nic Pizzolatto (based on the screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byun-Hun Lee, Haley Bennet, and many more
Released: 23rd September 2016

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