When people think back on the earlier, more successful portion of Val Kilmer’s career the role that gives them the most warm fuzzies is probably Kilmer’s portrayal of Doc Holliday in Tombstone. In that film he was cool, charismatic, and he basically stole the whole thing out from under Kurt Russell, who had the meatier part of Wyatt Earp. Now comes the news that Kilmer is going to slide over a spot and take on the Wyatt Earp role himself for Mike Feifer’s The First Ride of Wyatt Earp.
Feifer has done mostly direct to video work over the course of his career, and Kilmer has recently sunk into that same world, but perhaps this is the film that is going to allow both men to get into the swing of things when it comes to big studio releases. With the huge financial success of True Grit, I imagine there are going to be a lot of studios looking to gamble in the western genre. If they are able to knock this one out of the park I could see it getting a good distribution deal. Either way things go, I’m just glad to hear word of people making westerns again. What’s cooler than cowboys and horses and guns? Except for maybe pirates and ninjas, I can’t think of anything.
The movie takes on the format of an older Earp sitting down with a reporter and telling him the story of his earlier exploits. There hasn’t been word as to exactly what role Kilmer will be playing; will he just be the older Earp or will some makeup shenanigans allow him to take on both roles? Whichever way it goes it will be nice to see Kilmer back in a western setting. When I was 13 I probably watched Tombstone about once a month, and I had everything that Kilmer says in the movie memorized. I, for one, am ready for a Val Kilmer career renaissance.