HomeEntertainmentJohn Wayne’s Sons Reveal Who They’d Want To Play The Duke in a ‘Big Jake’ Remake

John Wayne’s Sons Reveal Who They’d Want To Play The Duke in a ‘Big Jake’ Remake

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images)

In a video recording of the “John Wayne Gritcast,” one fan asked John Wayne’s sons Ethan and Patrick who they thought should play John Wayne in a “Big Jake” remake.

“For a while, I’ve watched […] Gene Hackman, at a certain period of his career he easily could have done it.”

Someone else chimes in and says, “What about Russell Crowe?” to which Patrick replies, “Russell Crowe would be great.” The group goes on to praise Crowe’s acting skills, saying “he’s good in everything he does.”

The John Wayne estate has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Big Jake,” which premiered in 1971. “Big Jake” was George Sherman’s final film, and starred John Wayne, Richard Boone, and Maureen O’Hara. The film followed the McCandles family as they are attacked by the Fain Gang. Martha McCandles sends for her estranged husband Jacob “Big Jake” McCandles in order to find their kidnapped grandson Little Jake. The film is about a strained family reuniting after a harrowing journey.

According to critics, the film was unusually violent, at least for a John Wayne picture. Gene Siskel wrote for the Chicago Tribune, “With a little bit of restraint, the latest John Wayne Western, ‘Big Jake,’ might have been one of the veteran star’s recent best. The most obvious excess and this is unusual for a John Wayne film is violence.”

Arthur D. Murray of Variety wrote that the film was “gratuitously violent far beyond the legitimate requirements of the action plot.”

Despite the critics’ receptions, the film is still quite beloved. Especially by Patrick and Ethan Wayne, as they starred in it alongside their father. Patrick played Big Jake’s son, James McCandles, while Ethan played Little Jake, the grandson.

Taylor Sheridan Cites John Wayne Collaborator as Influence on ‘1883’

Taylor Sheridan, creator of “Yellowstone” and the prequel “1883,” has called a frequent John Wayne collaborator a key influence on his work. John Ford was a pioneer in practical visual effects, and Sheridan aims to do things the Ford way.

Sheridan is relying on Old Hollywood techniques for his new series, such as building literally everything shown on screen. “We can do it as John Ford did it,” Sheridan has said. “When you need 50 wagons, you’re going to see 50 [real] wagons.”

Sheridan has also said that impressing an audience nowadays is increasingly difficult. “I go shoot these corners of the world that people haven’t seen,” he’s said. “The audience today is so experienced. They’ve seen so much, so to move the audience becomes more and more difficult. It’s incredibly expensive and very difficult.”

But, Sheridan is doing it the way he wants to do it, and that way was directly influenced by John Ford.