Despite his selfish insistence on not having fantastical adventures involving some of history’s most famous figures, legendary gunman Wyatt Earp has become the subject of several “what if” movie proposals of late, reimagining his post-Tombstone years as something a little less boring than just becoming a gold miner and Hollywood consultant and then dying of a bladder infection, which makes for a total downer ending. Instead, Earp has been drafted to fight postapocalyptic rebels in a far-off future, team with Doc Holliday to rescue Sitting Bull’s daughter, and in the recently announced Black Hats, partner with Bat Masterson to take on Al Capone and his gang in Prohibition-era New York.
Not quite done playing fanciful cowboys, Harrison Ford reportedly is attached to this newest Earp project, which comes from the Max Allan Collins novel of the same name. Unlike some other Earp films, Black Hats at least blends some fact (Earp’s friendship with Masterson, his tenure working for the L.A.P.D., Masterson’s job as a sportswriter in New York) with its total fabrication, which here involves a long-lost, heretofore-unknown son of Doc Holliday who needs rescuing from Capone. By that measure, it’s practically a documentary.