In The Highwaymen, Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson play Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, the two lawmen who tracked and ultimately killed infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. But when director John Lee Hancock first got involved with the project “13-plus years ago” he hoped to cast Paul Newman and Robert Redford in what would have been their third onscreen pairing after 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and 1973’s The Sting.
“It was one of the best days of my life, traveling east and spending the day with Paul Newman, just talking to him about everything,” says Hancock, whose other directing credits include The Blind Side (2009) and The Founder (2016). “He’s an amazing guy. So, that would certainly have been an interesting pairing, for the two of them [to be] together for the third time.”
Ultimately, the poor health of Newman — who died in 2008 at the age of 83 — made it impossible for the actor to appear in the film.
“It was obvious that Paul’s health probably wasn’t going to permit him to do the movie and that was one of the times it fell apart,” says Hancock. “But I’m ecstatic with the cast we have. I think it’s the best version of the movie.”
The Highwaymen is currently open in limited theatrical release and premieres on March 29 on Netflix. Watch the trailer for the film, above.
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The Highwaymen (2019 movie)