All your favourite Westerns are being remade these days. True Grit was terrific; The Magnificent Seven was decent fun; 3:10 To Yuma is still underrated. Now, get ready to add High Noon to the list of remakes. Karen Kramer, widow of original High Noon producer Stanley Kramer, has reached a deal to bring the classic real-time story of difficult justice to cinemas once more.
Eagle-eyed, elephant-memoried viewers will recall that High Noon was set for a remake two years ago, under Relativity Media. That project is now as dead as Relativity itself; this is an entirely new deal between Kramer, relative newcomer writer/director David L. Hunt, producer Thomas Olaimey, and their company Classical Entertainment. If produced, it will also actually be the second remake Kramer has made, after a 2000 TV version starring Tom Skerritt.
Hunt and Olaimey have made a single film together, Living Dark: The Story of Ted the Caver (though Hunt directed and co-wrote Greater a few years back), which makes High Noon a fairly tall order for the pair. After all, the original won four Oscars, made the AFI's top 100, and is enshrined in the Library of Congress. Nevertheless, executive producer Steven Jaffe says the two filmmakers "can do justice to" the story.
They're bullish about their vision, too. Hunt says the film will "bring the depth and power of the original to our own cultural moment," which is a fascinating pitch, depending on how you interpret it. The original was hailed as a political allegory against McCarthyism, and John Wayne called its pacifistic quality "the most un-American thing I've ever seen in my whole life," going so far as to make Rio Bravo in thematic retaliation. It's been cited as a favourite of many Presidents, and interpretations of its themes range wildly. It doesn't make all those best-of lists for nothing.
Will the new High Noon inspire a new Rio Bravo (presumably to star Vince Vaughn, directed by S. Craig Zahler)? What can it bring to "our own cultural moment"? Who should play the role that won Gary Cooper an Academy Award? Sound off below.