By Greg Hatcher
In other words, the movie people clearly decided, Jonah Hex as a straight western isn't going to be big enough and loud enough for a summer comic book movie. We better tweak it to be bigger and louder. Because we can't sell a western.
Speaking as someone who loves Westerns in general and Jonah Hex in particular, this notion is maddening. Because it seems obvious to me that the core film of Jonah Hex started as something good, the filmmakers clearly meant to do right by the character...but it slowly got tweaked and edited to death in an atmosphere of increasing panic over how to market the thing. And all because "we can't sell a western."
Hollywood can't sell a western? Are you kidding me? Westerns have been successful in movies and television for the better part of a century. Stagecoach. Gunsmoke. The Searchers. Bonanza. True Grit. Rio Bravo. Ride the High Country. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The Wild Bunch. The Magnificent Seven and the three sequels and TV series that spun out of it. A Fistful of Dollars. High Plains Drifter. And so on.
Oh, sure, those are classics. But they mean you can't market a Western movie to modern audiences.
Uh-huh. So I guess we just won't count Silverado, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, Unforgiven, Broken Trail, The Quick and the Dead, Young Guns, Lonesome Dove, Deadwood, 3:10 to Yuma, Pale Rider, Dances With Wolves, or any of a dozen others I could name. I didn't even mention the successful series of Louis L'Amour adaptations done for TNT starring Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott, or the Hallmark Channel's equally-successful series of made-for-TV westerns starring Kevin Sorbo, Luke Perry, and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Jonah Hex is already tanking at the box office. Once again, we see that Hollywood doesn't know anything. Hundreds of Native filmmakers could take the same actors, equipment, and money and make a better and more profitable movie.
For more on the subject, see Hollywood's Cultural Conservatism and Indians Hold Steady at 0.3%.
Below: Big explosions always make a movie more exciting.