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Between Red Hill, True Grit and my trip out to New Mexico to see the set of Cowboys & Aliens, this year has gotten me to fall in love with the western all over again (it also helps that I didn't have to sit through Jonah Hex). While it can't yet be determined if the public is ready for a total western revival - Red Hill was never released in more than five theaters domestically and True Grit and Cowboys & Aliens haven't gotten to theaters yet - it at least appears that filmmakers are interested in bringing the genre back. Case in point, the writers of Brokeback Mountain are currently in the midst of scripting two new ones.

Deadline reports that Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2005, are currently working on two period westerns. The first is titled The Color of Lightning, an adaptation of the Paulette Jiles novel, and is currently set up over at 20th Century Fox with Ridley Scott as the director. The second is a take on the S. C. Gwynne book Empire of the Summer Moon, which will be made by Warner Bros. and directed by Crazy Heart's Scott Cooper.

In Lightning, a freed slave named Britt Johnson has plans to move his family to Texas and start up a new business, but while he's away Native Americans kill his oldest son and take his family hostage, leading Johnson to plot revenge. Empire is described as a "Braveheart-style epic" about Comanche warrior named Quanah who held off expansionist settlers for more than 40 years.

While the first title may face a bit of adversity because of how Native Americans are portrayed, I couldn't be more excited to see more westerns. The filmmaking style is one of the oldest American traditions and when done well (see: the Coen brothers' True Grit) it can be absolutely breathtaking. Grab a stetson, throw on some spurs, and let us say, "Welcome back."

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