Mel Gibson to co-write and direct Wild Bunch remake
Deadline reports that Mel Gibson, director of the acclaimed war biopic Hacksaw Ridge, has set his next project behind the camera as a remake of the 1969 western The Wild Bunch for Warner Bros. Gibson will co-write the script along with Bryan Bagby, known for his work on the short film On Duty, and will executive produce the remake.
The original film, directed by Sam Peckinpah (Straw Dogs) followed an aging group of outlaws looking for one last big score as the traditional American West is disappearing around them and the industrial age is taking over. They are pursued by a posse led by a former partner they double crossed. Peckinpah (Straw Dogs) wrote the script with Walon Green.
The original starred Wiliam Holden (Network), Ernest Borgnine (BAEketball), Robert Ryan (The Dirty Dozen), Edmond O’Brien (The Longest Day), Warren Oates (Stripes), Jaime Sanchez (Carlito’s Way) and Ben Johnson (The Last Picture Show). The Wild Bunch was a modest commercial and massive critical success and has been called one of the greatest westerns in the genre’s history, maintaining a 94% “Certified Fresh” rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Warner Bros. has been working on a remake for almost eight years, with the first attempt happening in 2011 with Brian Helgeland (Legend) and from director Tony Scott (The Taking of Pelham 123), only for it to be put on hold following the director’s suicide in 2012.
Gibson’s last directorial effort, Hacksaw Ridge, was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $170 million at the box office and garnering six Oscar nominations and winning two for Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. He was last seen in the 2017 comedy Daddy’s Home 2, which grossed over $180 million at the box office but was a critical failure.