After months of casting on MGM and Sony’s remake of The Magnificent Seven, the Western is finally gearing up to roll cameras later this month. Today brings word that perennial baddie Peter Sarsgaard is in final negotiations to play robber baron Bartholomew Bogue, the villain of the film whose cronies murder the husband (Matt Bomer) of a young woman (Haley Bennett), leading her to hire an unruly band of mercenaries to take back her town. Simultaneously, though, word has it that Jason Momoa has dropped out of the project, leaving one supporting role unclaimed.
Sarsgaard has made a career out of playing nasty psychopaths, from John Lotter in Boys Don’t Cry to the controlling Chuck Traynor in Lovelace, so he’s well-suited for the part of a murderous Western baddie.
As for Momoa, Deadline reports that he departed the pic after feeling like he “didn’t have enough to do, and not much to say.” The actor has been typecast as brooding man-mountains of few words ever since playing a character like that on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but with his performance as Warner Bros.’ Aquaman on the horizon, Momoa evidently decided it was time to stop playing into that perception.
Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura, Byung-Hun Lee and Luke Grimes are all in the cast for The Magnificent Seven, which Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer, Southpaw) is directing. Nic Pizzolatto, the genius behind HBO’s True Detective, penned a draft of the script that MGM and Sony then brought The Blind Side writer John Lee Hancock in to clean up a little bit.
Though it’s disappointing that Momoa won’t get a chance to display any acting muscles whatsoever in the pic, The Magnificent Seven is still shaping up into one of the more promising blockbusters on the horizon. It has a terrific cast, a talented helmer and an intriguing team of writers – we’ll keep you posted with more on the project, including who might replace Momoa, as we have it.