When promoting The Suicide Squad, James Gunn revealed he’s harboring ambitions to make his own Western. He mentioned this during a discussion on the cyclical nature of Hollywood and opined that someday the superhero craze will go the way of war movies and Westerns. Despite this, he’s itching to deliver his own take on Old West:
With his stories of eccentric, mismatched weirdos operating just outside the law he’d be a great fit for the genre, and it seems he’s paying attention to the best recent examples. Yesterday he took to Twitter to praise a particular movie that hit theaters last month, Potsy Ponciroli’s Old Henry:
Old Henry sees Tim Blake Nelson’s isolated farmer discovering a wounded man in a creek bed with a satchel of cash nearby. After patching him up, he ties him to the bed, correctly sensing that something’s not right with his story. What follows is a tense and violent thriller in which we discover that Old Henry wasn’t always so mild-mannered.
Critics loved it. It’s currently at 95% fresh on the Tomatometer, with reviews praising it as “very simple but ingeniously crafted”, a “splendid showcase” for Blake Nelson’s talents, and, quite simply, as a “masterpiece”.
Its stately and minimalist charms sound like the polar opposite of the frenetic and pop-infused pace of your average James Gunn movie, but it sounds like he’s taking notes on how to make his own Western an authentic experience. Here’s hoping he gets it into production sometime over the next few years, though with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 about to begin shooting he’s got more interstellar adventures to overcome before he can step out onto the prairie.
In the meantime, Old Henry will be available to rent online from tomorrow. Check it out!