James Mangold to Direct Contemporary Western 'The Gunslinger'
After fairly unsuccessful trying his hand at action-comedy with Knight and Day (although it is Fox's highest grossing movie of the year), director James Mangold may be getting back to westerns. Heat Vision reports that Mangold, director of films like Kate & Leopold, Identity, Walk the Line, the western 3:10 to Yuma and Knight and Day, is attached to direct a contemporary western called The Gunslinger. The project was just picked up by New Regency in turnaround from Warner Bros (read: they weren't happy with it). The script is from newcomer John Hlavin and is being produced by Andrew Lazar and Mangold's wife Cathy Konrad.
John Hlavin's script The Gunslinger is a revenge thriller, described as a contemporary western, that centers on an ex-Texas Ranger who sets out to punish the men who killed his brother. It's an intriguing concept bouncing off of Matt Damon's fantastic performance as a boastful Texas Ranger in the Coen Brothers' True Grit, also a revenge thriller. This one seems a bit different, with the contemporary setting, so I'm curious to see how it'll turn out. New Regency wants to move fast with Gunslinger and is aiming for a spring start. I prefer seeing Mangold work in the western/action genre without any comedy. We'll keep an eye out for this.