Steven Spielberg Loves a John Wayne Classic, But Could It Be His Next Remake?

by Liz Holland
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Steven Spielberg is as legendary as it gets when it comes to directing. Spielberg has hit almost every genre imaginable and killed it every time. However, there is one genre missing from Spielberg’s catalog– a western. With Spielberg’s most recent remake of West Side Story under his belt, many fans are left wondering if a western is next on the horizon for the director. Spielberg expresses his love for the John Wayne film ‘The Searchers’ without shame.

Spielberg once said of the film, “The Searchers has so many superlatives going for it. It’s John Wayne’s best performance. It’s a study in dramatic framing and composition. It contains the single most harrowing moment in any film I’ve ever seen. It is high on my twenty-five-favorite film list.”

Could The Searchers be Spielberg’s next remake and the directors’ chance to break into western?

Spielberg Continues to Evolve Decades Into His Career

Spielberg’s first film as a director was an independent film in 1963. Even with that impressive of a career when it comes to longevity, Spielberg is still trying new things. The director proves over and over again his talent and ability, expanding his range several decades into his career. This is evident when it comes to Spielberg’s most recent project. The director recently wrapped up a remake of West Side Story. West Side Story is the first musical Spielberg has ever directed, but you’d never be able to tell. 

According to Spielberg, the project was beyond fun. Spielberg said at a press conference for the film, “I did jump out of my chair and I did singing and danced for the cast, singing off-key and dancing like I had three left feet during rehearsals.” Spielberg went on to compare his experience working on the film to that of his work on the 1982 film “E.T”, in reference to how the production felt like one big family. Spielberg remarked of his work on West Side Story “…I had that kind of feeling that I was part of a very diverse family. I was not in the center of the family, I was simply a part of the family.”

Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story comes out on December 10th, 2021.

Inspired by The Searchers’ Director John Ford

With nothing but good preliminary reviews of the film rolling in so far and a rotten tomatoes rating of 95%, Spielberg has certainly proved his ability to break into previously unfamiliar territory. It’s safe to assume a director as experienced as Spielberg can certainly make lightning strike twice, and re-making The Searchers would be the perfect next move. With his seamless storytelling and attention to detail, combined with such an authentic love for the original film, there is no doubt it would be a crowd favorite. 

Another factor making this the perfect choice for Spielberg is the fact that the original film was directed by one of Steven Spielberg’s inspirations. The original The Searchers film was directed by Joh Ford, another well-respected director. Spielberg once said of Ford, “I try to rent a John Ford film, one or two, before I start every movie. Simply because he inspires me and I’m very sensitive to the way he uses his camera to paint his pictures.”

With Ford’s influence on Spielberg’s technique, movie buffs everywhere would love to see the two collaborate on a remake of the film. 

Outsider.com