Why Ethan Hawke Wanted To Join The Magnificent Seven Remake

There were probably quite a few perks for Ethan Hawke signing on to the upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven. The movie not only has an absolutely brilliant cast and an epic story, but it also has the potential to be one of the biggest blockbusters of 2016. These a pluses that would draw the attention of any talented actor, but for Hawke the attraction to the project was two-fold: the chance to do a completely different kind of western, and an opportunity to reunite with his Training Day collaborators director Antoine Fuqua and co-star Denzel Washington.

Ethan Hawke can currently be seen in limited theaters playing legendary jazz musician Chet Baker in the film Born To Be Blue, and it was after recently chatting with the actor about the new project that I took the opportunity to ask about his involvement in The Magnificent Seven. The Oscar-nominee explained that he not only had a great time working with Antoine Fuqua on both Training Day and Brooklyn’s Finest, but saw the chance to take part in something unlike anything he had ever done before. Said Hawke,

We’ve all always talked about it, and I did the spaghetti western [In A Valley Of Violence], and all of a sudden, Antoine called me with this idea that him and Denzel wanted to do Magnificent Seven and did I want to join them. And I was just totally into it! The western genre is so big, and the one with Ti [West] falls really into the spaghetti western whereas the one I did with Antoine is more like a John Ford western - kind of an epic Hollywood western.

In the remake of The Magnificent Seven (the original, of course, being a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai), Ethan Hawke plays Goodnight Robicheaux, one of seven gunmen who find themselves all brought together in the hopes of saving a poor village from the criminal forces that wish to destroy it. In addition to bringing Denzel Washington and Hawke back together, the movie also stars Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard, Matt Bomer, Byung-hun Lee, Vinnie Jones, and more. Because the film won’t be out until September, Sony Pictures has not yet unveiled a trailer for the movie, but it’s set up as one of the biggest releases of the fall.

There’s plenty to be excited about where The Magnificent Seven is concerned, but Ethan Hawke’s role is certainly towards the top of the list. Not only is he a great actor in general, but his previous collaboration with Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington really brought out the best in him (ultimately resulting in his first Academy Award nomination). Hopefully their next movie together will have a similar impact.

The Magnificent Seven will be in theaters September 23rd.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.