Tommy Lee Jones to Remake The Duke’s ‘The Cowboys’

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Tommy Lee Jones is making a continued name in the Western genre with the announcement that he will write, direct, and star in the proposed remake of “The Cowboys,” which originally starred John Wayne and was released in 1972.

The first release of the film also starred Bruce Dern and Slim Pickens, and the storyline was that of a rancher who was left with no choice but to train a group of young men to get his herd to the market in order to avert financial disaster when his cattle drivers left in search of gold. The proposed remake of “The Cowboys” has Donald De Line producing and Warner Bros. involved in the project.

Tommy Lee Jones to Remake The Duke’s ‘The Cowboys’

Photo: envato elements

Considering his history in film making, not to mention his passion for Western-style projects, it should come as no surprise that “The Cowboys” was on the radar for Jones. Having starred in Ron Howard’s “The Missing,” as well as the made-for-TV miniseries “Lonesome Dove,” he certainly has the credentials and expertise to get the job done. He’s also directed “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.” Born and raised in Texas, it stands to reason he would know a thing or two about the genre. His family moved from San Saba, in the Hill Country, to Midland, after which he moved to Dallas to attend St. Mark’s School of Texas on a scholarship. Following that, he went on to Harvard. He made his acting debut on Broadway after a move to New York. He had a short TV stint on the soap opera entitled “One Life to Live,” and went into films in 1976. By 1980, he earned his first nomination for a Golden Globe with his portrayal of Doolittle “Mooney” Lynn (Loretta Lynn’s husband) in the film “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” After that, he continued to receive increased exposure and display all the characteristics of his artistic talent in every genre he was cast in.

The original movie, starring The Duke and directed by Mark Rydell, was known as one of John Wayne’s final films. “The Cowboys,” which the title refers to, was not meant to be Wayne, Dern, or Pickens, but rather the group of school kids that Wayne’s character recruits for his cattle drive. It’s a coming-of-age-type film for those who take the journey and the task of getting the rancher’s herd to market. The movie resulted in a TV spinoff which aired in 1974.