“And so this is a life-long dream come true for him.” Washington preferred, instead, to trust his impeccably honed instincts for a great story and concentrate on making their film with Fuqua, a filmmaker he admires, from a brilliant screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk and creating their own contemporary western.
I think he sees her resolve and her determination to seek justice.” “He wasn’t able to serve justice in his own family and he now has this desire to right wrongs, to make evil people pay for their crimes.” One by one he recruits the disparate band of men who will join the cause – Josh Faraday (Pratt), a hard drinking gambler with an eye for the ladies and a gunslinger, Goodnight Robicheaux (Hawke), a sharp shooter, Jack Horne (D’Onofrio), a brilliant tracker, Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) an outlaw, Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), an expert with knives and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) a Comanche warrior.
When director Antoine Fuqua was searching for the perfect actor to lead the band of brothers that fight against injustice in The Magnificent Seven, he knew he needed an iconic figure; a man who, as he succinctly puts it himself, has “total gravitas on screen.” And he had just one name of his list: Denzel Washington.
Fuqua remembers a meeting with studio executives when he first mentioned Washington’s name and an expectant hush settled on the room. The weight, the voice, the power – total gravitas on screen.” At that point Fuqua had no idea if Washington would say ‘yes’ but the two share a powerful creative bond, a friendship, and a very successful cinematic history and, after a lunch meeting where he pitched the idea, the actor was on board.
He’s a lonely man, an honorable and courageous man, you know, everything I’m not,” he laughs.
“He’s complicated and he’s not used to dealing with people, especially some young girl like Emma but when he finds out the circumstances and what’s involved, he has a particular purpose.” The film is an action-packed, brilliantly-crafted story of the old west, with memorable characters, and, says Washington, it also poses an interesting moral question.