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A New Spin on Classic Western Movies

Ready for a twist on your favorite classic western movies? Below you will find descriptions of some of the best classic western movies ever made. In addition to the description of the movie, we will be adding who we think should be cast in place of the main characters if the movie were to be ever re-made. Taken into consideration for the recast decisions, are qualities of the character being played (60%), looks (15%), and general acting style (25%). 

Movie: Lonesome Dove

Two former Texas Rangers rekindle their spirit of adventure when they decide to do a cattle drive from Texas to Montana with themselves and several others. The two main characters are Augustus “Gus” McCrae (Robert Duvall) and Woodrow F. Call (Tommy Lee Jones). Known for their hard-ass antics and no non-sense attitude, the two cowboys face many problems on the open range including storms, Indians, rustlers, and just plain trouble.

Our Recast Selection

Augustus “Gus” McCrae: Matthew McConaughey

Woodrow F. Call: Robert Downey Jr. 

Movie: Open Range

A retired gunslinger comes out of retirement when a corrupt lawman threatens his cattle crew and livelihood. In this western classic, in addition to the rough and tough cowboy plotline, there is also a budding romance between the main character, Charley Waite (Kevin Costner), and Sue Barlow (Annette Bening). Who do you think would star as their replacements in a remake?

Our Recast Selection

Charley Waite: Jude Law

Sue Barlow: Kate Winslet

Movie: Tombstone

Description: Everyone should know the story of the great shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. But what about the story of the men involved in the shootout? Tombstone follows the storyline of the infamous Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) and the Earp brothers, Wyatt (Kurt Russell), Morgan (Bill Paxton), and Virgil (Sam Elliot), as they try to stay on the path of the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, a reckless bunch of outlaws changes that for them as they start causing problems in the region, making it Doc’s and the Earp’s problem to clean up. A string of events all leading up to the bloodiest shootout the west has ever seen. Let’s see what the recast selection looks like. 

Our Recast Selection

Doc Holliday: Woody Harrelson

Wyatt Earp:  George Clooney

Morgan Earp: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Virgil Earp: Christian Bale

Movie: Unforgiven

After a gruesome close call to the town prostitute, there is a huge bounty on the heads of the guilty put in place by Sheriff “Little Bill” Daggett’s (Gene Hackman) insatiable need for justice. The infamous former outlaw turned hog farmer, William Munny (Clint Eastwood), embarks on an adventurous final mission to find the outlaws responsible for the heinous crime. Along for the ride is his old partner-in-crime, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), and an inexperienced young gunman, the “Schofield Kid”. This recast selection shouldn’t be a surprise, but here are our picks. We are dying to see Scott play in a class western! 

Our Recast Selection

William Munny: Scott Eastwood

Bill Daggett: Daniel Craig

Ned Logan: Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx, Daniel Craig, Scott Eastwood

Movie: Dances with Wolves

Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is named a hero after an accidental Union victory during the Civil War. When he starts a new position on the western frontier, he comes upon a wolf he lovingly calls “Two-socks” and an American Indian tribe. Lt. Dunbar is quick to make friends with the tribe and soon discovers there is a white woman, Stands With a Fist (Mary McDonnell) who was raised by them. Over time, he earns the respect of the tribe and leaves behind his white man’s ways. Who are our recast picks? Check them out below!

Our Recast Selection

Lt. John Dunbar: Liam Neeson

Stands With a Fist: Julia Roberts

Have your own recast ideas for these classic western movies? Let us know below!


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Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at krysta@clngo.com. Learn more about me at krystapaffrath.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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