Chris Pratt became a movie star this year, and now his name is a major deal when it becomes attached to any project (not that it wasn’t before, but for studios, it comes with a bigger, well-deserved asking price). Assuming Jurassic World is a hit, he could become an even bigger star with two successful franchises (three if you count The LEGO Movie), but if that film flops at the box office or he loses some momentum (Guardians of the Galaxy 2 isn’t due out until 2017), that could mean fewer opportunities.
So the savvy move is to get plenty of projects while he can, and he’s already signed on to star in the adaptation of the comic book Cowboy Ninja Viking. Now it looks like he’s taken a shine to the “cowboy” part, because he’s in talks to join Denzel Washington in Antoine Fuqua‘s remake of The Magnificent Seven.
For those unfamiliar with John Sturges‘ 1960 western, it’s a remake of Akira Kurosawa‘s classic 1954 film Seven Samurai, which is about a group of samurai who are hired to protect a small village from bandits. Samurais and cowboys are easily interchangeable since they’re both skilled with a specific weapon, operate on a closing frontier, and adhere to a code, so it was an easy translation, and while Seven Samurai is one of the greatest films of all-time, The Magnificent Seven stands on its own. It also has a powerhouse cast that includes Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, and James Coburn.
According to Deadline, Pratt’s character, Farraday, isn’t specifically modeled on any of the characters from the original, and I assume that also has something to do with Fuqua’s take on the material. I doubt he’ll do a simple 1-to-1 retread, but if Pratt signs on and joins Washington, it’s a sign that the film is attracting a strong cast, and I’m excited to see who else they’ll get.
Here’s the trailer for The Magnificent Seven: