In what seems to be both a standard good idea and a smart marketing ploy, Stone Village Television has announced a plan to develop a new Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid TV show—and you will notice from the lack if italics there that this is not a Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid adaptation, meaning the legendary Paul Newman/Robert Redford movie with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and all that. No, we’re talking about the actual Butch Cassidy (a.k.a. Robert LeRoy Parker) and Sundance Kid (Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, whose real name is not as catchy as “the Sundance Kid”) from the actual Old West.
The show is going to be based on Charles Leerhsen’s book Butch Cassidy: The Story Of An American Outlaw, which means Stone Village can say it’s making a TV show about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid without having to pay anybody for the rights to the movie or find someone new to record a cover of the song.
We’re not saying this is some kind of con, because it probably isn’t (and the Hollywood Reporter story that this comes from mentions that everyone involved holds the movie in high regard), but it is a smart way to come at a iconic pice of Hollywood history from a new angle. Apparently there will be a lot of “untapped drama and romance” and a “mind-blowing finale” that the original movie “couldn’t handle.”
No network or streamer is attached yet. Also, this is only tangentially related, but one of Stone Village’s other current projects is an adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel’s book Station Eleven, which is about the immediate aftermath (and decades-later apocalyptic future) of a pandemic that wipes out most of civilization. Making it a TV show now seems pretty grim, but in an arguably ironic twist, it was actually picked up by HBO Max in October of 2019—just months before the first cases of COVID-19 emerged. Life is inescapably and oppressively weird.