MOVIE NEWS – Sam Peckinpah’s classic and controversial 1969 western The Wild Bunch will get a remake at Warner Bros. Mel Gibson will co-write (with Bryan Bagby), direct, and he will also be the executive producer of the project. It’s not yet clear whether Gibson will make a remake or a different movie from Peckinpah’s original version. It’s also reported that Warner Bros. has been trying to work with Gibson for a while now and supposedly asked him to helm Suicide Squad 2, which Gibson turned down.
The original The Wild Bunch was very controversial when it was released in 1969 for graphic violence. The film is about an ageing company of outlaws going after one last score on the United States and Mexico border while being pursued by a merciless posse. Besides the graphic violence issue, Sam Peckinpah’s original was also known for intricate, multi-angle, quick-cut editing using regular and slow-motion images, which were revolutionary cinematic techniques at the time of its release.
Last time Mel Gibson sat in the director’s chair, it was for the World War II biopic Hacksaw Ridge, which earned him a Best Director Academy Award nomination in 2017. He won’t just quit WW II either: up next for him is the World War II drama Destroyer, which focuses on the Battle of Okinawa. The film is scheduled to begin production next spring in Australia with Mark Wahlberg as the main star. Since Gibson already has a project in development, it could be a while before The Wild Bunch remake gets made. A fun tidbit that Gibson has also been talking about making a sequel to The Passion of the Christ for some years, but it’s unclear if that project is still a priority at this time.
Many of Mel Gibson‘s movies, including Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, and Hacksaw Ridge, are famous for their graphic violence, so The Wild Bunch remake also being violent won’t be much of a stretch for Gibson. While Sam Peckinpah’s original film was criticised for the amount of violence on the screen, he defended it by stating that it was metaphorical to the Vietnam War, which was going on at the time. The remake has been in development for nearly a decade, with Tony Scott originally on board to direct in 2011. However, the project stalled after his death in 2012.
Mel Gibson‘s return back into Hollywood has been a slow one after a string of personal controversies became big headlines, starting in 2006 after a DUI arrest in California when he made anti-Semitic comments to the arresting officers. Later in 2010, Gibson was recorded by ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva making racial slurs. Law enforcement launched a domestic violence investigation against Gibson, but then dropped it when he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour battery charge. Robert Downey Jr. advocated forgiveness for Gibson back in 2014, which was met with mixed reactions.