The entertainment industry has a busy few months ahead – the premiere of Spider-Man: No Way Home, for instance. The trailer for the new Marvel film accumulated 350 million views in 24 hours and will come out on December 17th in the UK and December 26th in Australia. Several other movies are coming, including The Harder They Fall, a Western featuring London’s Idris Elba and Delroy Lindo. The Harder They Fall, which will roll out in a limited release on October 22nd before streaming on Netflix, may not break records, but the movie has many intriguing elements that could inspire widespread viewership.
The Harder They Fall is an American Western directed by Jeymes Samuel. The Kilburn-born filmmaker previously served as Executive Music Supervisor on the soundtrack album to the 2013 film The Great Gatsby.
Why Could It Be A Hit?
The premise sounds similar to other Westerns, such as The Quick and the Dead with Russell Crowe, as this genre often focuses on revenge. However, this movie is different. While the events of the movie are fictional, the characters are based on real people, and these people represent a reality that’s rarely reflected in Hollywood —how in the Old West, one in four cowboys was African-American. Specifically, Nat Love and Rufus Buck are real individuals: Love is considered one of the most famous black heroes of the Old West, and Buck was the founding member of the Rufus Buck Gang.
This realism could be one of the reasons the movie succeeds, but it could also be because Western films tend to do well. This interest in the Old West has been around for decades; it has resulted in many box office hits — Django: Unchained grossed almost $4 million in its first weekend in Australia — and has even seeped into other forms of entertainment. For example, one of Australia’s most celebrated musicians intertwined himself with the Wild West when Keith Urban performed the chart-topping Old Town Road in 2019 with Lil Nas X. The song’s persona and music video rely heavily on the Old West.
In addition to movies and music, this interest in Westerns has also moved into another area of the entertainment industry: gaming. For example, some of the best online slots have Western themes, such as Dead or Alive 2, which also features real outlaws like Apache the Kid. This, again speaks on popularity and realism. In other gaming genres, there’s the smash-hit video game Red Dead Redemption franchise, Desperados, and Outlaws among an extensive library of Western-themed gaming titles, demonstrating the prevalence of the Western influence.
Lastly, the movie could also be a hit because Jay-Z is a producer. In the past, musicians working behind the scenes of movies have introduced new demographics to franchises. For instance, this was the case with Britain’s Top Boy series after Canada’s Drake revived the show. This is also important when the soundtrack is an integral part of a film’s experience. Based on the trailer, that’s the case with The Harder They Fall, especially with Seymour’s background in music.
October has been busy for the entertainment industry, but it’s only going to get busier when The Harder They Fall comes out. Between the show’s realism, the innate interest humans have in Westerns, and the inclusion of Jay-Z, the movie is bound to get people talking.