Taylor Sheridan and the late Johnny Cash: two people we didn’t know we needed to join forces, but love that they’ve done so. Cash’s 2006 version of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” is featured in the trailer for Sheridan’s new film, Those Who Wish Me Dead.
Known for backing projects like “Yellowstone,” Hell or High Water, and Wind River, Sheridan is back again with another neo-western thriller. In his new film, Angelina Jolie portrays the role of Hannah: a smoke jumper still mourning the loss of failing to save three lives. As she’s reeling, she runs into a traumatized boy who is on the run from several relentless assassins.
Sheridan Highlights Johnny Cash’s Sorrowful Song in Trailer
The song, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” was initially recorded by Heavenly Gospel Singers in 1937, followed by Golden Gate Quartet in 1946 and then in 1947 by the Jubalaires. In the years since, other artists have tried their hand at the tune, including Cash, Marilyn Manson, and Odetta. The lyrics tell a cautionary tale, warning evildoers that they will eventually have to face God’s inevitable judgment.
“Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down”
Out of all the versions, Cash’s is the most well-known. It appeared on his 2003 album, American V: A Hundred Highways, the same year Cash passed away. However, the man in black features an arrangement that’s much different from the gospel versions of the song.
Thirteen years later, by January 2016, Cash’s version of the song had sold over 672,000 copies in the United States. Three years after his passing in 2006, director Tony Kaye released a music video for the song. The video, shot entirely in black and white, featured several celebrity cameos.
Artists such as Bono, Sheryl Crow, The Chicks, Jay-Z, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Tommy Lee, Lisa Marie Presley, Keith Richards, and Kanye West all make appearances. In addition, viewers can also see famous actors in the video.
If the film is anything like the raw, emotional song, fans will be pleased. According to Jolie, while the movie is chalked full of action, it also tells a moving tale of survival.
“On its surface, it feels like a great thriller, a great adventure across an unusual terrain inside a great fire,” she explained. “Underneath it, it’s a really emotional film. It’s about people who have a great impact on each other and change each other. Emotionally and practically, they go through the fire.”
Those Who Wish Me Dead hits theaters and HBO Max on May 14.