Dear Will Smith,
I read recently that you are involved in remaking Sam Peckinpah’s classic western, “The Wild Bunch.”
So I’m writing this open letter, pleading with you to reconsider this unnecessary exercise.
To my thinking, Peckinpah’s film is perhaps the greatest western ever made; a wider sampling of critics put it in the AFI’s Top 10 of all westerns. And I don’t say that just because I wrote a book about Peckinpah and have watched the film literally dozens of times.
It’s one thing to remake “Uptown Saturday Night,” a comedy trifle, or to offer endless iterations of “Men in Black” or even “Bad Boys” (though I pray you don’t make another one of either). Or even (do you need reminding?) to try to revamp a campy old TV show. Yes, I’m going there – “Wild Wild West.”
But “The Wild Bunch” – well, I won’t go so far as to say that it’s sacrosanct. But there’s really no way to improve upon it and no need to revisit it. Comparisons are odious, as Christopher Marlowe noted.
This commentary continues on my website.