Cowboys are riding a big comeback lately. The Coen Brothers had an unexpected hit with True Grit; David Milch’s brilliant Deadwood was recently released on Blu-Ray; and the open-world outlaw video game Red Dead Redemption reportedly shipped eight million units last year.
Future projects include Jon Faveru’s upcoming Cowboys & Aliens, which is exactly what it sounds like: a movie about cowboys fighting aliens. And Quentin Tarantino confirmed earlier this week that he will continue his tour of movie tropes by making his next project a spaghetti western.
Why the sudden interest in the Old West? Maybe audiences want a gritty counterpoint to airbrushed vampire fantasies dominating billboards and bookstores. Or, perhaps after years of an infatuation with mid-twentieth century America, viewers are thirsty for bourbon served in a filthy shot glass, not an old-fashioned sipped from a tumbler.
Whatever the motivation, it seems that a new trend is taking shape. One that allows audiences to look back on a time when America had plenty to look forward to. Or, maybe it’s just an excuse to see Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig ride horses and fire pistols at spaceships.
Cowboys are my weakness.