‘Cowboy’ ropes Hudson

Ernie Hudson is due to saddle up for “The Cowboy Way,” starring opposite Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland in Imagine’s murder mystery.

Hudson, who wraps principal photography on Fox’s “Airheads” this Sunday, will wing to New York that night to begin rehearsals on “Way,” a story about two cowboys who come to New York to find out what happened to a friend who has disappeared. In it, Hudson plays a New York cop who befriends the wranglers.

The film is being produced by Brian Grazer for Imagine, in association with Universal Pictures.

The actor has recently completed a string of roles, including playing another policeman in “The Crow,” the final film for actor Brandon Lee.

“We worked some unbelievable hours on that film (“The Crow”),”Hudson said. “We’d start work at 4 p.m. and not finish until 8 a.m. the next day.”

Hudson said that since most of the film was set at night in the rain, Lee was often called upon to remove his shirt and perform under sprinklers.

“It was shot in North Carolina and believe me, it was not warm at night,” he said. “But Brandon never complained. He was dedicated and I believe he wanted to establish something of his own.”

He’s recently finished filming re-written scenes for “The Crow,” which had to be done to change the ending in light of Lee’s death — he was killed by a projectile from a stunt gun. The crew had been eight days from finishing principal photography when Lee was killed.

From there, Hudson went to Australia for two months to shoot Gale Anne Hurd’s “The Penal Colony” for Savoy Pictures, starring Ray Liotta and Michael Lerner. He’s also starring in the upcoming Wesley Snipes feature for 20th Century Fox, now titled “Sugar Hill.” In it, he plays a villanous ex-fighter/drug dealer.

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