Harrison Ford must’ve loved wearing spurs and riding a horse because it looks like the star of the upcoming “Cowboys & Aliens” is ready to saddle up for another twist on the Old West.
In what is either a genius premise or another nuts and gum mash-up of wildly different cinematic worlds, Ford is set to play Wyatt Earp in an adaptation of the novel, “Black Hats: A Novel of Wyatt Earp and Al Capone,” by Patrick Culhane — the pen name of “Road to Perdition” writer Max Allan Collins. As you can surmise from the title this new take on history catches up with the 70-year-old Earp working as a private investigator in Los Angeles when he’s hired by Doc Holliday’s widow to help our her son John. He’s operating a speakeasy in New York and is having a bit of trouble with a guy named Al Capone.
Old West meets Jazz Age! Old world justice versus new school gangsterism! This is either the greatest idea ever or a bad mix between two worlds better left apart. But it certainly is compelling either way. “300” writer Kurt Johnstad will pen the script which has us worrying the entire thing will be dudes growling banal dialogue at each other. But a big part of the success of this will lie in the casting of Capone and finding someone to play the young thug with a presence that will match Ford.
No studio is behind the developing project yet, but getting Ford in place is a good start (though we’d wager the performance of “Cowboys & Aliens” this weekend will determine just how eager investors are in funding another oater with the star). At the very least, it looks like Ford’s recent run of mediocrity — “Crossing Over,” “Morning Glory,” “Extraordinary Measures” — is ending with the actor taking a few more risks. [THR]