There have been a few good Westerns in recent memory, but there is certainly room for a big budget blockbuster. You would need to hire Cormac McCarthy to write it with the help of Larry McMurtry, and let the Coen brothers work their magic on it. The movie would be filled with sweeping vistas and John Williams’ music. Of course, you would also need some heavy hitters to fill those boots…
- Kurt Russell – Cabell (Retired Texas Ranger)
- Kevin Costner – Ellis (Retired Texas Ranger)
- Harrison Ford – Jedediah (Annie’s father)
- Leonardo DiCaprio – Jackson (Aristocrat from Boston)
- Diane Lane – Annie (former lover of both Cabell and Ellis)
- Kate Beckinsale – Marion (Jackson’s new bride)
Jackson and his wife, Marion, are well-bred Bostonians taking the scenic route on their way to San Francisco, where Jackson has some business interests. Annie is among the wagon train as she is returning from a visit with her brother, who is in a Civil War hospital in Virginia. Their wagon train is attacked by Comanches. Marion is taken hostage along with Annie and several other women, and Jackson is left for dead.
Cabell and Ellis are both retired Texas Rangers who have been fighting for Annie’s affection for years. When they hear of her abduction, they agree to bury their differences and set out to find her and the other survivors. Jackson demands to go with them, despite his lack of skills. The trio seek out Annie’s father, Jedediah, who is the town drunk, but was one of the best trackers in Texas before losing his wife to cholera.
The four hit the trail and it isn’t long before they have to overcome their personal differences along with the perils of Indian country. As the story progresses, the retired rangers are forced to face the demons they buried years ago.
Jackson is a skilled marksman, having participated in many sport shooting tournaments. Before setting out on his quest to find his bride, he had never shot a person before. He learns that it gets easier, and by the end, he has devolved into a barbaric state.
When the group finally catches up to the band of Comanche warriors, Marion dies in her young husband’s arms. Cabell dies in a fierce close combat fight to save Annie. Jackson makes an impossible long range rifle shot to kill the Comanche warrior who is trying to make his final escape. After this experience, there is no way for Jackson to return to the civilized world and he sets off on his own.
This is the latest post in response to the weekly blog challenge presented by the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. This week’s topic asked you to assemble a blockbuster cast and plot out a surefire Hollywood hit.