Park Chan-wook likes to keep a lot of irons in the fire, leaving several projects on to-be-made status while he pursues any one of them. One of those back-burnered ideas was for a western scripted by S Craig Zahler, tentatively titled The Brigands of Rattleborge when it was first knocked around seven years ago.
An exclusive from Collider speculates that the script’s extreme violent content (par for the course with Zahler, who shocked audiences earlier this year with the merciless Dragged Across Concrete) has kept it in production limbo until now, but no longer. The script has been rebranded with the slightly easier-to-remember title The Brigands of Rattlecreek and Amazon has given it the green light.
The retail giant plans a theatrical run for Park’s next film, and the smart money says they’ll go even wider than on the rollout for their last release together, The Handmaiden. Chalk it up to greater marketability; Park has returned to English-language filmmaking and the United States after a spell in his native Korea, and the project has already attracted the attention of a bona fide movie star.
Collider’s item specifies that Matthew McConaughey has been approached for the lead role, a doctor who partners with a sheriff (still to be cast with a star of comparable wattage) to take revenge on a gang of no-good varmints what ransacked a defenseless frontier town during a recent rainstorm. Bitter vengeance, Old Faithful bloodshed, two stern-faced men forming an uneasy alliance for the sake of justice – yep, it’s a Zahler script all right.
But Park’s remains the most intriguing name attached to this project. He’s never made a foray into the Western before, but having proven himself a chameleonic genre master with psycho-thriller Stoker and unhinged sci-fi with I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay, we can be sure that whatever he comes up with will be fascinating.
Published 22 Aug 2019
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