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I'm a little confused by the news in today's Variety that Val Kilmer will be playing the title role in The First Ride of Wyatt Earp. At first glance it looks great-- Kilmer already played Earp's associate Doc Holliday in Tombstone, and proved in MacGruber last year that he's still eminently watchable and good with a gun. But the plot of the new Wyatt Earp describes an "elderly" Earp telling tales of his youthful adventure to hunt down an outlaw, and while Kilmer could pass for elderly with the right makeup, there's no other actor listed to play the younger version. So is Kilmer playing both?
I could see it working except for the cast that will surround him-- 23-year-old American Idol contestant Diana DGarmo will play Earp's love interest, and 27-year-old Wilson Bethel will play Doc Holliday this time around. Variety even says the producers envision it as a "Young Guns for the next generation," and given that that movie starred youthful Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, 50-year-old Kilmer seems especially out of place. I'm assuming I've missed something, and one of the other young actors listed for the cast-- including Matt Dallas, Daniel Booko, Shawn Roberts, Stephen Grayhm, Scott Whyte and Levi Fiehler-- will be playing the younger Earp. Because that's the only thing that makes sense, right?
Production is already under way under director Mike Feifer, which makes it even more logical that Kilmer will merely be providing voiceover and scenes of the older Earp. So which of these actors will be the actual star of the film? And why does Variety have to make it so damn hard to figure this out?
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