Mel Gibson to Direct, Co-Write 'Wild Bunch' Remake

Bryan Bagby will co-write the script with Gibson, who will also executive produce the movie.
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Mel Gibson

The Wild Bunch will ride again.

Warner Bros. has set Mel Gibson to co-write and direct a remake of the violent and influential Western, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Bryan Bagby will co-write the script with Gibson, who will also executive produce the movie.

Sam Peckinpah, known for his action and macho-fueled movies, directed the 1969 original, which told of aging outlaws trying to live out the final days of the Wild West even as the 20th century has no use for them.

The Wild Bunch starred William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, among others, and was nominated for Oscars for original screenplay and score. But it was in its action set-pieces and imagery that the film made an impact, with the picture also dividing audiences and critics over its depiction of violence. 

The Wild Bunch is considered the zenith in the filmography of Peckinpah, who also helmed such pics as Straw Dogs and The Getaway.

The material may be sympatico with Gibson, who won a best director Oscar for the 1995 epic Braveheart, which was also notable for its violent scenes. His follow-ups The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto and the Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge have also been singled out for their gritty and bloody depictions of man-versus-man conflicts throughout history.

The Wild Bunch movie would not be Gibson’s next project. That remains Destroyer, his World War II Navy movie that he hopes to get going in 2019.