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With Cowboys & Aliens premiering tonight at Comic-Con, Harrison Ford has attached himself to another cowboy role, though this one comes with an interesting twist.
Ford is attached to star as an aging Wyatt Earp in Black Hats, an adaptation of a Max Allan Collins novel being produced by Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk and Jason Netter of Kickstart Productions.
Kurt Johnstad, who co-wrote 300 and is co-writing its sequel, 300: The Battle of Artemisia, has been tapped to pen the adaptation.
Black Hats blends fact with fiction in its telling of the story involving an older Earp, the one who spent his last years as a private detective and movie consultant in Los Angeles. The spin involves Earp learning that his friend and compatriot Doc Holliday had a son, now living in Prohibition-era New York City. While Holliday is long dead, the son has gotten himself in trouble with a rising mobster, Al Capone.
Earp teams up with Bat Masterson, one of his former deputies and now noted sportswriter for the New York Morning Telegraph, to take on the gang in what becomes a tale of six-shooters versus tommy guns.
Collins wrote the book, published in 2007, under the pseudonym of Patrick Culhane. The author, known in comic circles for creating private eye heroine Ms Tree and writing Batman stories, wrote the graphic novel Road to Perdition, later adapted into a 2002 gangster movie directed by Sam Mendes starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law.
Netter brought the book to Iwanyk, who showed it to Ford, with the actor sparking to the idea of an old gunfighter with his .45 walking the streets of 1920s Big Apple.
The producers aim to develop and package the project before approaching studios. Brazilian company RT is paying for the script and development, with RT principals Fernando Loureiro and Rodrigo Teixeria also taking on producer roles.
Iwanyk, who was a producer on The Town and Clash of the Titans, is currently in production on the latter¹s sequel and is also developing the remake of A Star is Born, to which Beyonce Knowles is attached to star.
Netter and his comic-centric Kickstart, along with Neal Moritz, last week set up comic book adaptation The Red Star at Warner Bros. Netter was a producer on the 2007 Angelina Jolie comic book movie Wanted.
Johnstad, repped by WME, Untitled, and Parseghian/Planco, also wrote The Last Photograph, a drama that has Christian Bale and Sean Penn attached to star.
Ford, repped by UTA, is notoriously choosy for this roles and is not one to haphazardly develop projects that he may or may not do. In Cowboys & Aliens he stars as a land baron who teams up with Daniel Craig to fight aliens in the Old West in the Jon Favreau-directed tentpole. The movie premieres tonight at Comic-Con.
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