A Black Western called The Harder They Fall will be released by Netflix and premiere in select theaters this fall.
Netflix dropped the teaser with a star-studded cast which includes Idris Elba and Regina King. The film’s plot heats up when an “outlaw (Jonathan Majors) discovers his enemy (Idris Elba) is being released from prison, he reunites his gang to seek revenge in this Western,” per Netflix. Jeymes Samuel directed the action-packed flick and penned the screenplay along with Boaz Yakin. Jay-Z is listed as one of the film’s producers.
This Fall, They Ride!
Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, Delroy Lindo, Edi Gathegi, R.J. Cyler, Danielle Deadwyler and Deon Cole star in The Harder They Fall pic.twitter.com/LG3fHLVJ9A
— Netflix (@netflix) June 24, 2021
Beyond the special effects and stunts, The Harder They Fall resurrects stories about real life cowboys. According to SmithsonianMag.com historians believe that for every four cowboys in the American West, one was Black.
“Right after the Civil War, being a cowboy was one of the few jobs open to men of color who wanted to not serve as elevator operators or delivery boys or other similar occupations,” William Loren Katz said to SmithsomianMag.com.
Katz is scholar of African-American history scholar who penned 40 books on The Black West, according to the interview. Per Shadow and Act, Samuel said that exploring the American West’s history from a Black perspective is rarely done, but he wanted to do it.
“I’ve been a follower of westerns since I was a child,” Samuel said. “I really, really loved westerns, but I would just see a really clear inconsistency with the portrayals of people of color, basically in the Old West and being such a fan of actors like Woody Strode, who was amazing in Spartacus but then you’ll see him pop up in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and he couldn’t get a drink in the bar. I just grew up wanting to know more about people of color and women and all of these ideas of the Old West that I was not getting from the Hollywood movies. And so I would just buy books and would…uncover amazing characters–both heroes and villains, both men and women of all colors.”
In this long overdue interpretation of Black heroes, Samuel added that The Harder They Fall offers new storytelling and portrayals of westerns. You may watch the official movie trailer by clicking this link.