Westerns have been a recurring feature of Walter Hill’s long, and generally pretty bloody, filmmaking career basically since the beginning. Starting with 1980s’ The Long Riders, and snaking through films like Wild Bill and Geronimo (and even a brief stint directing a single episode of HBO’s Deadwood), Hill has returned to the oater form periodically across his long tenure in the movies. Now the Warriors and 48 Hours helmer has rolled out the trailer for his latest sepia-tinged bloodbath: Dead For A Dollar, starring Christoph Waltz, Willem Defoe, Rachel Brosnahan, Benjamin Bratt, and Brandon Scott.
Fans of Waltz’s past turns in the films of Quentin Tarantino might find something familiar in the trailer, which sees the Oscar winner once again taking on the role of an old-timey bounty hunter, this time saddled with a long-running rivalry with a professional gambler and killer played by Defoe. The two men’s conflict threatens to surge into the forefront after Waltz is hired to retrieve wayward wife Brosnahan at the behest of her husband, Hamish Linklater. But when he finally tracks her down, it becomes clear that the bounty hunter has wandered into a much more complicated situation than he previously thought.
From the trailer, Dead For A Dollar looks of a piece with recent Hill films, including the 2012 Stallone feature Bullet To The Head and 2016's truly strange The Assignment—which is to say that it’s pretty clearly a lower-budget genre exercise with some higher-budget names drawn in by Hill’s extensive pedigree and reputation. It’ll be interesting to see what Waltz, Defoe, and the rest of the film’s cast can develop from what seem to be some fairly stock characters here; pretty much everyone on this marquee could sleepwalk through the basic beats of a Western at this point, so we’re maintaining at least a tentative degree of hope.