Ridley Scott set to direct brutal western thriller WRAITHS OF THE BROKEN LAND

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The man who set the standard for sci-fi horror with the Alien franchise and Roman epics with Gladiator has another genre in his sights and if you are a fan of westerns, it is time to get excited. Visionary and iconic director Ridley Scott will be re-teaming up with The Martian writer Drew Goddard for a western thriller called Wraiths of the Broken Land.

The film will be based on the novel of the same name by S. Craig Zahler, which is described as a brutal western about a man hired to help save two kidnapped sisters who have been sold into prostitution to a ruthless Mexican gang leader. The story sounds intense to say the least and a solid background for a western thriller.

Zahler himself doesn’t just write books and has also taken his hand at writing and directing films, adapting his novel Bone Tomahawk for his debut film. Whether he enjoyed that experience I’m not sure, but it is interesting that he has chosen to not adapt this one himself… Mind you, if Scott ever wanted to direct something I wrote, I certainly wouldn’t say no. However, perhaps he knew the film needed a big name director to do a proper adaptation of the film having previously reported in an interview on Geek Tyrant:

So it was suggested that I adapt Wraiths of the Broken Land, which is the second of my western novels, and I said, ‘That thing is big and I don’t want to chop it down so it fits a movie length. I’d need to remove two thirds of this book so it could be a movie. But I can write another western that’s another rescue mission western.’ And that other western was Bone Tomahawk.

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Which is probably why he knew it didn’t just need a big director, but a talented script writer as well to know how best to dissect the book in a way that would make it more palatable for film.

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The official synopsis of the film is as follows:

A brutal and unflinching tale that takes many of its cues from both cinema and pulp horror, Wraiths of the Broken Land is like no Western you’ve ever seen or read. Desperate to reclaim two kidnapped sisters who were forced into prostitution, the Plugfords storm across the badlands and blast their way through Hell. This gritty, character-driven piece will have you by the throat from the very first page and drag you across sharp rocks for its unrelenting duration. Prepare yourself for a savage Western experience that combines elements of Horror, Noir and Asian ultra-violence. You’ve been warned.

Western, thriller, horror, noir and Asian ultra-violence. Its certainly marketing itself to be a visual spectacle and a fun ride and with a strong team behind it I think it has potential of being a powerful film. It’s certainly something I am keen to add on my watch list to see how it shapes up in development. The film has received good reviews and Zahler is a strong story teller, so this certainly has all the foundations of a western epic.

Last Updated: May 13, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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