Park Chan-wook helming an ultraviolent western? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! And this is apparently a thing that’s happening. Praise be! The Oldboy and The Handmaiden director will reportedly lead The Brigands of Rattlecreek for Amazon, working from a script by Brawl in Cell Block 99’s S. Craig Zahler, with an eye on Matthew McConaughey to star.
Collider has the news and that’s a hell of a powerful combination. They do caution that while the studio wants McConaughey, and there have been overtures, he has not signed on to the project. I imagine there are a lot of people who would like the Oscar-winner to appear in their movies.
The Brigands of Rattlecreek has apparently been kicking around for years according to some reports, though under the title The Brigands of Rattleborge—it’s easy to understand the name swap. It landed on the Black List of the best unproduced screenplays all the way back in 2006, and Park was linked to the project as long ago as 2012.
The script is apparently super violent, which, considering Zahler is the man behind Dragged Across Concrete and Bone Tomahawk, shouldn’t surprise anyone. According to the report, the story “follows a sheriff and a doctor who seek revenge against a group of bandits who use the cover of a torrential thunderstorm to rob and terrorize the occupants of a small town.” So, that sounds like fun.
The filmmakers are said to want McConaughey for the doctor role with a big-name star filling the sheriff role opposite him.
Park Chan-wook is no stranger to staging horrific on-screen violence or vengeance, though it’s rarely just violence for violence’s sake and is more thoughtful and artistic than purely exploitative. It will be interesting to see him bring Zahler’s mean-spirited streak to the big screen.
This will only be Park’s second English-language feature, his first being 2013’s psychological thriller Stoker, which I believe is horribly underrated. He did, however, recently direct an excellent adaptation of John le Carre’s Little Drummer Girl in English for BBC. This marks his second collaboration with Amazon, he directed The Handmaiden for them in 2016.
There’s no word on a timeline for The Brigands of Rattlecreek, but it has my full attention.