FROM THE WRAP:
Ed here: I realize that I am alone in the universe finding Will Smith's acting flashy, cloying and empty. He's a showboat.
Now whatever you thought of Sam Peckinpah he was a serious man with a serious vision about this vale of tears we inhabit. Watch "The Deadly Companions" sometime or of course "The Wild Bunch." These are bold and violent and heartbreaking statements. Will Smith ruined "I Am Legend" (apparently he's about to ruin it again with a sequel or prequel).
Maybe he'll try "Caligula" next. With some dancing it.
Will Smith is in talks to star in and produce Warner Bros.' reboot of Sam Peckinpah's classic 1969 Western "The Wild Bunch," individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Smith would produce through his Overbrook Entertainment banner along with Jerry Weintraub, who recently worked with Smith on "The Karate Kid" remake.
The original "Wild Bunch" followed a group of aging outlaws that plan one last score on the Texas-Mexico border as the traditional American West changes around them in 1913.
A modern remake involving cartels south of the border, the "Wild Bunch" reboot is expected to follow a disgraced D.E.A. agent who assembles a team to go after a Mexican drug lord and his fortune.
Warner Bros. and Weintraub have been looking to reboot the property for years. David Ayer was hired to write a script and most recently, Tony Scott was developing the project with Oscar winner Brian Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential"), who wrote about half of the screenplay before Scott died last year.
The studio and producing team are currently looking to hire a new writer for the project, which provides the opportunity to surround Smith with a strong ensemble. The original "Wild Bunch" starred William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez and Ben Johnson.
Smith has never done a proper Western before, though he was sought to star in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" and Kathryn Bigelow's since-abandoned "Triple Frontier." WB's 1999 movie "Wild Wild West" was set in the Old West but the material was played for laughs.