March 17, 2011


Almost twenty years ago, Val Kilmer played one of the most famous gunfighters of all time by saddling up as Doc Holliday in 1993’s Tombstone.  Now Variety reports that he’s returning to the Western genre to play another legendary lawman in The First Ride of Wyatt Earp. The film is based on a true story and centers on “an elderly Earp sitting down with a reporter to reflect on the ride that made him a legend, when the young marshal rounded up a posse to track down the outlaw who mistakenly murdered the woman he loved.”

While Kilmer is the goods, the same can’t be said of his young and unknown supporting cast, which includes Daniel Booko (Glory Daze), American Idol contestant Diana DeGarmo, Matt Dallas (Kyle XY), and Wilson Bethel.  Producers Barry Barnholtz and Jeffrey Schenck reportedly see the project as a “Young Guns for the next generation.”   You know, because Young Guns is such a classic.  Hit the jump for my thoughts on Kilmer’s recent movie choices.

It’s difficult to understand Val Kilmer’s career at this point.  He’s undoubtedly got acting ability, especially when it comes to comedy.  And yet, he seems more than willing to take supporting roles in direct-to-DVD paycheck films like Gun and The Thaw that show he’s either given up and/or gone bonkers.  And it’s possible that the roles just aren’t coming in like they used to and he’s taking what he can get.  That scenario makes me sad since, like I said, the guy can still deliver the goods when given the right material like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and MacGruber.

Thankfully, Kilmer has some projects lined up that show more promise than The First Ride of Wyatt Earp.  He recently wrapped filming on Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt Now and Sunrise and the interesting-sounding Deep in the Heart, which is directed by (coincidentally) Young Guns director Christopher Cain.


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