As everyone from Anthony Mann to Kelly Reichardt have triumphantly shown, the film western remains a prime framework from which to branch out into a dozen different eccentricities. Screenwriter S. Craig Zahler has already found that out once — having attracted the likes of Park Chan Wook to direct his unique 2006 Black List script, “The Brigands of Rattleborge” — but now he’s looking to try his own hand at subverting the genre, and he’s assembled a rather killer cast to accompany him along the way.
For his feature film directing debut, Zahler will tackle the horror western “Bone Tomahawk,” signaling not only an increased quality of title, but a step up in casting as well, with Kurt Russell, Peter Sarsgaard, Richard Jenkins and Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter“) all securing the leads. The brutally violent, character-driven flick centers around a sheriff (Russell), who teams up both with a cowboy (Sarsgaard) and a bumbling old man (Jenkins) to rescue a group of captives (including Carpenter) from a bunch of cannibalistic cave-dwellers.
Zahler naturally also wrote the script, which initially seems to compress both “The Proposition” and “The Road” into one entity, but the project overall still sounds incredibly promising, if only to see its three leads play off one another in an unabashed genre setting. French distributor Wild Side (“Drive“) has already snagged territory rights for the film, and with producers Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller eyeing a New Mexico-set spring start date under their Caliber Media label, it looks to become a reality sooner rather than later. [Variety]