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James Mangold rides back to the Wild West

December 16, 2010 |  5:53 pm

Western fans and critics were mostly enamored of James Mangold's remake of the classic "3:10 to Yuma" when it hit theaters three years ago. So they might be interested to know that the director is returning to that territory.

The filmmaker,who's also behind "Walk the Line" and "Knight and Day," is coming on to direct "The Gunslinger," an original story of vengeance centering on a Texas Ranger. If that sounds like a certain other movie that's about to hit theaters, it should. The Coen brothers' "True Grit" is also a tale of vengeance with a Texas Ranger playing a key role (though it is, of course, in period; "Gunslinger" is a modern-day story).

We're a long way from a western renaissance. But "The Gunslinger," which will be set up at the Fox-based production company New Regency, suggests some savvy dealmaking: if "True Grit" becomes a hit, we could see another western coming in right behind it, only with a Mangold-ian instead of Coen-ian touch.

-- Steven Zeitchik


 Photo: 3:10 to Yuma. Credit: Lionsgate