EXCLUSIVE: Mel Gibson has been set by Warner Bros to direct The Wild Bunch, a new version of the 1969 Sam Peckinpah-directed classic Western. Gibson is writing the script with Bryan Bagby. Gibson will be executive producer.
In The Wild Bunch, an aging group of outlaws look 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 wrote the script with Walon Green. The original starred Wiliam Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez and Ben Johnson.
The film was originally considered exceptionally violent, but it later came to be considered a stylistic masterpiece. Warner Bros has tried several times to mount a remake, but it seems in good hands with Gibson. From Best Picture winner Braveheart to films like Apocalypto and the recent Best Picture nominee Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson has distinguished himself as one of the best directors of action working in the business.
Gibson will continue to prep Destroyer, the WWII drama he will direct that will star his Daddy’s Home 2 co-star Mark Wahlberg, with a script that Rosalind Ross adapted from the John Vukovitz novel. That film is finalizing its financing, but Gibson has scouted locations in Australia, where the film is expected to begin shooting by next spring.
Gibson next stars alongside Colin Farrell in the Tommy Wirkola-directed War Pigs for Millennium. He’s repped by CAA. Bagby is CAA and Anonymous Content.
Here is a look at the trailer for Peckinpah’s original: