Seth MacFarlane’s live action debut was one of the surprise hits of 2012, an original comedy that not only earned money in the US, but also did well worldwide–an unusual feat in these days when it usually takes big stars, big name source material, and 3D/IMAX to make an international hit. It earned $500 million and cost…$50 million to make.
So as you can imagine, MacFarlane could probably say, “I am going to direct and star in a musical version of ‘Hamlet’” and backers would nod and say, “Okay, let me write you a check.”
Luckily for us, he’s opted to do something a little less offbeat, though still not a slam dunk: according to The Hollywood Reporter, MacFarlane and his “Ted” co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild have come up with “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” a comedy western. MacFarlane will direct again, but this time will cut out the middle man by starring himself.
Here’s how they describe it:
The plot has been described as a Blazing Saddles-style movie — meaning a Western with contemporary humor, with one undercurrent being just how dangerous and painful life really was in the late 1800s.
It will feature MacFarlane’s “racy humor” and also will have a “romantic female lead.”
If it even comes close to “Blazing Saddles,” it’s a winner, because that movie is hilarious. However, I said this was no guaranteed hit because audiences have been lukewarm on westerns for the last few decades (with some rare exceptions). However, as noted above, “Ted” didn’t seem like an easy sell either, and looked what happened there.
THR says they’re planning this for summer 2013, which seems like an awfully short time, so I’m guessing they either mean they’re filming in summer 2013 or it’s a typo meant to be 2014. If MacFarlane can actually produce, direct, and star in a movie over the next three months while also preparing to host the Oscars in February, well, then I think we’d all have to be impressed.