As hinted in my recent post about the knighting of Sir Christopher Lee, it looks like the fiscally derailed production of “Cowboys For Christ” is back to filming in Scotland. Both /Film and ShockTillYouDrop are reporting that the long-promised sequel/re-imagining/companion to the classic 1973 horror/folk-musical “The Wicker Man” is now in the midst of shooting.
“ShockTillYouDrop have been informed that Robin Hardy’s long awaited Cowboys For Christ is finally in production. Some shooting has already taken place in the US and the filmmakers are reportedly in the midst of the Scottish shoot right now. Hardy’s 1973 directorial debut The Wicker Man is truly one of the most jubilantly beloved films in the pantheon of British genre pictures. I still see it doing abundant business as late night screenings, and pretty much everybody I speak to holds it close and dear, including those of us all too aware of its shortcomings. For a good few years now, Hardy has been touting Cowboys as a kind of follow up, a ’spiritual successor’ to feature a number of the same ingredients as Wicker Man: a clash between pagans and Christians, a remote rural location, Christopher Lee as a mysterious aristocrat.”
That there will be a continuity of director and lead actor (Hardy and Lee) from the original film is certainly promising, as is the prospect of a another folk-centric soundtrack. This time headed by Scottish musician Keith Easdale of the band Calasaig. If this production finds success, or at least an appreciative cult audience, we might get the full “Wicker Man Trilogy” that Hardy mentioned back in 2007 (the proposed third film “Twilight of the Gods” would be set in Iceland and deal with Norse pagan themes). Then again, considering the 36-year wait between “The Wicker Man” and “Cowboys For Christ”, Hardy might not make it to a third installment, he’s no spring chicken you know.
In any case, I’ll be queuing up to see the film once it sees the light of day, and who knows? Perhaps the subcultural love for the original film, a love that has spawned a musical in England, and a rock opera in California, might just erase the bad taste of the misguided 2006 remake and spur a big sequel-demanding payday for “Cowboys For Christ”.