Though it never exactly went away entirely, the Hollywood Western – one of the most respected and time-honored genres in the business – has enjoyed a boon in production of late, thanks in no part to features such as Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, Jane Got a Gun and, soon, Antoine Fuqua’s star-studded redo of The Magnificent Seven.
Indeed, Fuqua’s reboot isn’t the only Western lining the 2016 release slate, as come October, Ti West’s (House of the Devil) first foray into the genre will find Ethan Hawke and John Travolta In a Valley of Violence. Also starring James Ransone, Taissa Farmiga and Guardians star Karen Gillan, West’s feature is rooted in the dusty old town of Denton, where Hawke’s lonesome drifter – along with his canine companion Abbie – seek shelter for the night, clashing with the town’s corrupt Marshal (Travolta).
Buoyed by a relatively strong debut at SXSW earlier this year, In a Valley of Violence is expected to launch across select theaters and On Demand come October 21. For more on the Western, our chat with West revealed the inspirations behind his smart, slightly subversive take on the genre.
A mysterious drifter named Paul (Ethan Hawke) and his dog Abbie (Jumpy) make their way towards Mexico through the barren desert of the old west. In an attempt to shorten their journey they cut through the center of a large valley – landing themselves in the forgotten town of Denton – a place now dubbed by locals as a “valley of violence.” The once popular mining town is nearly abandoned, and controlled by a brash group of misfits and nitwits – chief among them, the seemingly untouchable, Gilly (James Ransone) who is the troublemaking son of the town’s unforgiving Marshal (John Travolta).