Is the Western/Genre mashup gaining momentum? I hope so.
First a little self-congratulatory pimping:
Back in 2009 I wrote about the forthcoming Cowboys and Aliens movie, and discussed its potential to launch a new genre.
So the Science Fiction Western, while not new, may be welling toward a resurgence as a genre. God knows it deserves a reboot in the theaters after the horrific Wild Wild West (one of only one or two truly unwatchable Will Smith joints), and TV could use another crack at it too post the failure of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (an underrated show that never got its due, which also dipped a toe into SteamPunk, and got Bruce Campbell in front of an audience that wasn’t simply a gaggle of B-horror movie fanboys much like Burn Notice has done).
In 2011 I followed up with the popular post Western Genre Mashup Movies Revisited, talking about Jonah Hex, Priest, and The Warrior’s Way… and revealed that my writing partner and I had started our own take on the genre.
We hope it’s working for you … or at least that you haven’t been completely turned off to the concept, cuz true to my word in the last posting, we’re working on a Western-Genre mashup screenplay of our own. It’s big, it’s epic, it’s got classic film roots and contemporary features, and it retains that Sergio Leone feel that just might be missing from these latest outings.
Our project is still in its first draft form, as Sean and I have been busy with other things, including some final polishes on Faeries, selling Rocket Summer, and dealing with the Grampa Was A Superhero option extension.
But it’s a strong story, epic in scope, and easily our biggest budget spec screenplay to date. If you like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, or The Magnificent Seven, or if you just wish Sergio Leone had made a vampire movie, this story is for you.
Now the Deadline blog has reported that Elijah Woods’ horror prodco The Woodshed announced a Western/Genre vampire project of their own… to be shot in black and white, and entirely in Farsi.
The Woodshed will commence production on A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, an Iranian Vampire Western that will mark the feature debut of writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour. The film is described as a love story set in a fictitious Iranian ghost town reeking of death and loneliness, where a strange and jaded population is haunted by a lonesome vampire who preys upon the city’s most depraved denizens.
A Farsi Western/Vampire genre mashup? From one of my longtime favorite actors? #amstoked
Of course, screenwriters should know that they can’t chase trends… if you try writing to whatever’s already trending in theaters, you’ll always be playing catch up. Better to set trends. I feel lucky we saw this sub-genre early in its cycle… but that only counts for something if we finish what we start.
Time to get out of first draft and into final polish, pronto!