What happened to ''Texas Rangers''?
EW explores the latest long delayed star studded movie
Sadly, we don’t have ”Town & Country” to kick around anymore as Hollywood’s longest gestating project. Luckily, we have ”Texas Rangers,” a Western that rode into the postshoot sunset in July 1999. After planning an August 2000 release, Dimension moved the $35 million pic to April 2001. But earlier this year, after conspicuously failing to cut a trailer, the studio bumped it to spring? 2002.
The delay is noteworthy given ”Rangers”’ marketable cast of young guns: James Van Der Beek (reportedly seeing his first seven figure payday), Ashton Kutcher, and Dylan McDermott. So why is ”Rangers” still out to pasture? ”Beats the heck out of me,” says costar Rachael Leigh Cook. ”I talked to Ashton a couple months ago. We always ask each other, ‘Do you know what’s going on?”’ As for a spring 2002 release, Cook says only, ”We’ll see.”
According to several insiders who’ve seen early cuts, ”Rangers” lacks true grit. ”The whole thing felt inauthentic and unreal,” says one. ”That’s pretty deadly for a Western.” Another likens the 90 minute version he saw to a ”music video” — though this source feels the film is still worthy of release: ”I worked on ‘Tombstone.’ It’s better than ‘Tombstone.”’ (And that ’93 Kurt Russell film grossed $57 million.) Director Steve Miner (”Halloween: H20”) has no comment.
Officially, Dimension says it supports ”Rangers” but admits Westerns are a tough sell. One insider suggests Dimension chief Bob Weinstein may wait to release it during a strike induced product lull: ”He certainly doesn’t think the movie is a complete stinker.”
Meanwhile, the folks who played cowboy back in 1999 are holding their horses. Says one star’s agent, ”I’m proceeding as if the movie’s never coming out.” Pity. We really wanted to see Dawson in chaps.