Variety reports that Ethan Hawke has joined the long-gestating contemporary remake of the John Sturges' 1960 western "The Magnificent Seven".
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offered the job to helmer Antoine Fuqua who also has the drug smuggling film "Narco Sub" in the pipeline.
Haley Bennett ("The Equalizer," "After the Fall") reportedly beat out several other actresses for the "star making role" as the widow of a murdered man who lives in a gold mine town taken over by a baron and his thugs. She hires a bounty hunter (Denzel Washington) to get rid of these evil men, giving him enough money to hire six other gunmen to help their cause.
Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt also stars in the remake. Tom Cruise became interested in 'Magnificent' early in 2012, but his busy schedule prevented him from any real commitment on his part and he withdrew his name by late 2013.
At the same time, "Saving Mr. Banks" and "The Blind Side" director John Lee Hancock has been tasked to rewrite the film. Nic Pizzolatto ("True Detective") wrote an earlier draft of the script.
Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz starred in 'Magnificent' The original was itself a loose remake Akira Kurosawa's acclaimed 1954 film "Seven Samurai" and followed seven gunfighters-for-hire tasked with protecting a small Mexican village from bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach).
Three sequels Return of the Seven (1966) Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972) and a short-lived TV series (1998-2000) followed.