Back on the meteoric rise of the screenwriter of Sicario and Comancheria, who completed his “trilogy of the conquest of the West” by going behind the camera for Wind River, in 2017.
Article originally published in issue number 473 (September / October 2016) of Première magazine and shared again on the occasion of the broadcast of Wind river, this Sunday on NRJ12. Since, Taylor Sheridan filmed Those Who Want Me Dead, starring Angelina Jolie, which will be broadcast at the end of the year.
Ex-cop nice mouth Sons of Anarchy, Taylor Sheridan became Hollywood’s best screenwriter with Sicario. He also wrote the modern western Comancheria. And that’s just the beginning.
On the set of Sicario, in New Mexico during the summer of 2014, cast and director Denis Villeneuve had only one person to compliment. Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. Who is that ? So far a supporting role in the series Sons of Anarchy : the cop David Hale, nicknamed “Captain America” because of his righteousness and his face of pure American. Taylor will hold two full seasons and will ask showrunner Kurt Sutter to evacuate him in the first episode of season 3, in 2010. Sheridan, who has been stamping for fifteen years on American TV, to Walker, Texas Ranger To NCIS Passing by Doctor Quinn female doctor dreams of a screenwriter and director. He tries unsuccessfully to climb Olympus, a pilot where an ex-military secret agent discovers that he is descended from the Greek gods. “It was too ambitious, too big for a TV channel. But it’s a great scenario, swear! “, he laughs. “I wanted to deal with this subject in a completely realistic and serious way. The Greek gods and the CIA. It was as serious as it could get. ” After other tests (including a script on the attack on the American embassy in Libya in 2012), Sheridan was spotted by producer Basil Iwanyk, used to muscular neo-films (the trilogy Expendables, John wick). And the script of Comancheria, written in parallel with Sicario, is part of the 2012 selection of the Black List. The list of the best scenarios circulating in the Hollywood market. The jackpot. The scenario of Sicario will change Sheridan’s career for good.
With Wind River, Jeremy Renner finally finds his great role
“The landscape is the character”
Sicario gives the impression that Taylor had it all figured out, not just in the writing but about it. that he had delivered us the libretto for the definitive cartel film. The story of a woman of action crushed in a world of violence created and kept by men; a black odyssey in the heart of darkness, shot with a scalpel by Denis Villeneuve’s camera. It could have remained a one-shot, a single shot, but Comancheria confirms Sheridan’s writing skills. The balance between punchy lines and meaningful silences; the landscape of the American Southwest which determines the dramaturgy. Taylor has a voice and a style. “In my scenarios, I insist on the landscape. He’s a character. I grew up in Texas, and I spent a lot of time alone, outside, staring at the horizon. This is where my inspiration comes from. Loneliness. “
Taylor also wrote Soldado, Following Sicario that the Italian Stefano Sollima will realize (the series Gomorra, ACAB, Suburra). “We had mentioned a sequel before the release of Sicario, a bit like that. Soldado focuses on Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. In Sicario they fought under the control of a higher authority. There they don’t. It’s the same tone as the first movie, it’s not a big brainless action movie even if the scale is bigger, the movie more expensive “. Rather than a trilogy, should we therefore speak of tetralogy? “I didn’t even know the word existed! “, he laughs. “The common point between Denis Villeneuve, David Mackenzie and Stefano is that they understood that violence in my scripts is not free.” Villeneuve, Mackenzie and Sollima: it is significant that it is a Canadian, an Englishman and an Italian who are responsible for redesigning the American western on Sheridan’s score. May the new frontier be born from the meeting between foreign cameras and a Texan scenario. Not because America no longer seems to know how to supply great stylists, rather that it seems to need a different and external look at the land of the primal mythology of Yankee cinema. But Sheridan’s cinema territory is that of 70s cinema, with this redrawn border, the violence of the West and the refusal of the chromo: “For me, the 70s is my golden age of cinema. The perfect combination between writers, directors and actors … There is a naturalism and a rejection of melodrama in the films of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s which inspires me enormously in my writing. “ If Taylor immediately evokes Michael Mann as his main inspiration, we think rather of another Michael, at the Cimino of Duckling (1974), already a modern western with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as bank robbers. But Sheridan prefers Journey to the end of hell (1978): “Impossible to miss. A small town, characters who create their own morals, the specter of war, the vision of America … “
[Critique] Wind River, a beautiful classic design
An American trilogy
Comancheria, it is the James brothers of the 2010s, unshaven and clumsy brothers who became robbers because of the economic crisis, to save the family farm. Although different in tone – Sicario’s darkness gives way to lightness – the two films are deeply linked. “These are the first two parts of a trilogy that will end with Wind River, which I am directing. It is an exploration of the new American frontier. What has changed since the nineteenth century, and what ‘has not changed. The trilogy wants to show the consequences of the conquest of the West that we still suffer today. ” Portrayed by Jeremy Renner as a park ranger and Elizabeth Olsen as an FBI agent, Wind River will be released in 2017 and will be a killer hunt in the Utah snow. “The film concludes both Sicario and Comancheria, and it will be an exploration of family, poverty, violence. “ Taylor appears in Comancheria As an actor. A cowboy on horseback leading his herd away from a prairie fire. An anachronism, an anomaly in the landscape: “I didn’t even know this stuff was still happening in the 21st century “Taylor the cowboy growls as flames devour the horizon. A bit like the appearance of a screenwriter like Sheridan. We didn’t know this stuff was happening again.
The trailer for Wind river :
Taylor Sheridan launches filming of his new series worn by Jeremy Renner