After both starred in the first two Hunger Games installments but never got to really interact on screen, Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth will be teaming up again to star in a revenge Western titled By Way of Helena for Wish You Were Here helmer Kieran Darcy-Smith.
The 1880s-set flick has been coming together for a few years now, but Harrelson and Hemsworth’s casting is the most exciting news we’ve got about By Way of Helena to date. The Western boasts a script by Matt Cook, which made the Black List for most popular but unproduced screenplays back in 2009. It centers on “David, a Texas Ranger (Hemsworth) and his Mexican bride who are sent to investigate a mysterious frontier town where multiple Mexican bodies keep washing up on the riverbank.” While in the frontier town, David squares off with a sinister preacher (Harrelson) named Abraham, who “holds the townfolk in a fearful grasp.”
Going from first impressions, By Way of Helena sounds a lot like Sweetwater, in which January Jones picked up arms against a dastardly preacher in the Wild West. However, the casting of Harrelson and Hemsworth suggests to me that By Way of Helena will be a lot less cartoonish and a lot more dramatic. It’s always great to see Westerns, less common nowadays than they used to be, get off the ground, and this project is no exception. Hopefully Hemsworth will find By Way of Helena to be a much better vehicle for his talents than his last big gig, Paranoia, which totally bombed and was one of the worst movies we had the displeasure of seeing last year.
Filming on By Way of Helena is expected to commence in September, before both Harrelson and Hemsworth jet off for the promo tour for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which opens this November.