‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Director to Rewrite MGM's ‘Magnificent Seven'; Tom Cruise No Longer Involved (Exclusive)

'Saving Mr. Banks' Director to Rewrite MGM's 'Magnificent Seven'; Tom Cruise No Longer Involved (Exclusive)

Cruise is no longer attached to star in the studio's remake of the classic Western that John Lee Hancock is now re-writing

“Saving Mr. Banks” director John Lee Hancock has come on to rewrite MGM's remake of “The Magnificent Seven,” which Tom Cruise is no longer involved with, TheWrap has learned.

“True Detective” scribe Nic Pizzolatto wrote the initial draft of the script. John Sturges directed the original 1960 Western, which itself was based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic “Seven Samurai.”

“Magnificent Seven” starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz as a group of American gunmen hired to protect a small Mexican village from a group of savage bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach). The film was followed by three sequels and remade as a CBS series in 1998-2000.

Also Read: How ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Overcame Disney's Resistance to a Movie About Disney

Cruise first became interested in “Magnificent Seven” back in May 2012, when MGM began developing a remake of its library title, though with his busy schedule, the project was never in his immediate plans. Pizzolatto was hired in August 2012 thanks to heat generated by HBO's upcoming miniseries “True Detective,” which stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

MGM remains focused on mining its library titles to generate new profits. In addition to upcoming reboots of the “RoboCop” and “Poltergeist” franchises, the studio is also developing remakes of “Death Wish” and “WarGames.”

Hancock is no stranger to the Western genre, having co-written and directed “The Alamo” for Disney, which has maintained faith in the filmmaker despite that film's disappointing box office performance. Not only did the studio entrust him with its own Walt Disney movie “Saving Mr. Banks,” which is currently in the awards conversation, but it also turned to Hancock to fix its upcoming tentpole “Maleficent.” Hancock wrote several new scenes and helped oversee reshoots on the $200 million-budgeted Angelina Jolie movie.

Also Read: Director John Lee Hancock on ‘Saving Mr. Banks': We Went for the Truth, Not the Facts

Hancock directed Sandra Bullock to an Oscar nomination for “The Blind Side,” which was a surprise Best Picture nominee. His other feature writing credits include Clint Eastwood's “A Perfect World” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” and Hancock was also among a trio of scribes credited on “Snow White and the Huntsman.” He's repped by CAA.

  • hupto

    Bullock wasn't just nominated for BLIND SIDE–she won.

    Glad to see Hancock on board; he's one of the few guys who has a real feel for the genre. And also glad to see Cruise out; with him it would've been THE MAGNIFICENT ONE PLUS SIX OTHER GUYS WHO LOOK VAGUELY FAMILIAR.

  • Jim

    I heard they're gonna sound like Disney ala Hanks ala southern accents.

  • Jim

    “remade as a CBS series in 1998-2000.”

    HUH?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    • hupto

      Yep. And it's available on DVD.

      • Rita Clark

        The series was very good. I hated that it only lasted two seasons and left a lot of questions unanswered. I'm curious to see how the new movie turns our.

  • Jim

    MGM remains focused on mining its library titles to generate new profits. In addition to upcoming reboots of the “RoboCop” and “Poltergeist” franchises, the studio is also developing remakes of “Death Wish” and “WarGames.”
    “Death Wish”

    Any actress wants a job as a rape/sexually molested victim??? The actress in the original version went on to become a writer. Jeff Goldblum played one of the rapists—first movie for him.

  • 32and53fan

    Aren't there any writers now days that can come up with compelling original material? Other than writing expenses, does a studio save money by recycling old movies from their library?

    • angrymetalguy

      It also generates interest and increases sales of the original. The best thing about remakes is that all of a sudden older movies that were hard to find are now being re-released because of the interest the remake creates. So I'm assuming that it does increase sales of the original version as well.

  • sticklady

    Recently watched and thoroughly enjoyed Seven Samurai. Charactures were developed extremely well, film maker wasnt afraid of intense scenes. Prefer over Magnificient Seven.