Paramount Pictures is developing a remake of the classic John Wayne-James Stewart Western “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
Matt Jackson, the president of production at IM Global, is producing the remake. The project may be set in a relatively contemporary period, such as 1980s Western Pennsylvania amid the retrenchment of the steel and auto industries, but no decision has been made.
The studio has been seeking a writer for the remake. Terence Winter, whose credits include “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Sopranos,” had earlier been attached to “Liberty Valance” but is no longer involved.
The original film starred Stewart as a newly arrived lawyer and Wayne as a cowboy who team up to kill the outlaw leader Liberty Valance (played by Lee Marvin), who has been terrorizing a frontier town. The black and white film was directed by John Ford and released by Paramount in 1962.
The film, produced by Ford and Willis Goldbeck, was a strong performer at the box office with $8 million in grosses on a $3.2 million budget. The song “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” was a Top 10 hit for Gene Pitney but was not included in the film. James Warner Bellah and Goldbeck adapted the script from a short story by Dorothy M. Johnson. The supporting cast included Vera Miles, Edmond O’Brien, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Woody Strode, Strother Martin and Lee Van Cleef.
In 2007, the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
IM Global is not involved on the remake. Jackson joined IM Global in 2013 with producing credits on “Parkland” “End of Watch,” “Snitch” and “Dark Places.” He’s an exec producer on Russell Crowe’s upcoming “In Sand and Blood” for IM Global.
The news about the “Liberty Valance” remake was first reported by The Tracking Board.