MGM is putting together a mightily impressive cast for its upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven. Various publications are reporting that Game of Thrones alum Jason Momoa and Terminator Genisys actor Byung-hun Lee have today become the latest performers to sign on for the project, which already stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) is holding the reins on the redo, which also stars Wagner Moura and Haley Bennet. The new film will update the classic Western from 1960, which starred the likes of Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, for modern times, and use a script by True Detective mastermind Nic Pizzolatto and The Blind Side writer-director John Lee Hancock. The story is being kept mostly under wraps for now, but it involves a desperate woman (Bennet) who hires a gaggle of gunslingers to protect her homestead from menacing bandits.
Washington will play a bounty hunter who leads the charge to help the woman, Pratt will portray a magician-turned-gambler, D’Onofrio is attached to the part of a mountain man with Native American blood on his hands, Moura’s character is a horseman wanted for past offenses, and Hawke plays a military sharpshooter who deserted and has been living on the lam ever since.
Momoa is expected to play a brooding heavy in the pic, says The Hollywood Reporter, while Deadline reports that Lee has landed the role of Billy Rocks, an indentured servant who knows his way around a sai. Both actors have been on the rise for a while now – Momoa secured the role of Aquaman last year, while Lee will star as a villainous T-1000 cyborg in Genisys after a career of action-heavy parts.
Though some may question the logic of remaking a Western in an age where the genre has practically died out (save for the valiant efforts of the Coen Brothers), the appeal of getting an all-star cast together for an action film that’s not The Expendables can’t be denied. With Washington, Hawke, Pratt, Momoa and Lee all on board, practically every different kind of action star is represented. Lee’s addition is particularly exciting given the actor’s proven agility in both otherwise awful G.I. Joe films.
Casting is almost complete on The Magnificent Seven, which will begin shooting later this month. We’ll keep you posted as more updates arise.