Though Seth MacFarlane, the hugely successful comedian behind Family Guy and Ted, definitely has his fair share of detractors (his “We Saw Your Boobs” gag at this year’s Oscar ceremony proved a particular divisive moment for audiences), enough people enjoy his raunchy style of humor that his projects are usually pretty big news. His upcoming comedy Western, A Million Ways to Die in the West, which MacFarlane directed, wrote and stars in, is certainly no exception.
The first official image from the film hit the web today, and while it doesn’t reveal much about the film’s plot, the shot does serve to remind us that a considerable amount of big-name stars are involved in MacFarlane’s latest big-screen gamble.
The brief plot synopsis we have for A Million Ways to Die in the West provides a pretty major clue as to what’s going on the above image:
After cowardly sheep farmer Albert (MacFarlane) backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman (Theron) rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. When her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.
Seyfried is playing the main love interest in the film, and her doting look in the image would suggest that Patrick Harris (whose character is named Foy) ends up stealing her away from MacFarlane’s Albert. The actor did great work as a fast-talking womanizing version of himself in the Harold and Kumar movies, so hopefully A Million Ways to Die in the West will find him in comparably wacky, hilarious form.
Audiences should expect more of MacFarlane’s irreverent, envelope-pushing humor in A Million Ways to Die in the West, particularly considering that he’s working with his frequent collaborators on the project. The film’s producers, Scott Stuber and Jason Clark, previously worked with MacFarlane to produce Ted. Meanwhile, the film’s co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, are showrunners for the MacFarlane-produced show Dads and also executive producers for Family Guy.
Of all the names attached to A Million Ways to Die in the West, Sulkin and Wild are the ones that concern me the most. Dads is one of the most abhorrent and misogynistic programs ever to air on television (you can read my review of the pilot here), and one of the main reasons I despise it so utterly is its crude, unfunny degradation of women. A Million Ways to Die in the West is allowing Sulkin and Wild to pen a MacFarlane-style comedy set in the Wild West, at a time when women’s rights were almost non-existent, so my hopes aren’t too high for this one. Of course, the film’s excellent cast could salvage it, but Dads did sink Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green, both fine actors, so then again maybe not.
In addition to MacFarlane, Seyfried, Theron and Patrick Harris, the film stars Liam Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman.
Are you a fan of MacFarlane’s humor and, if so, are you excited to check out A Million Ways to Die in the West? Let us know in the comments section.
A Million Ways to Die in the West heads into theaters May 30th, 2014.
Source: First Showing