Bill Paxton’s son to play later father’s role in Last Train to Fortune

Bill Paxton’s son to play later father’s role in Last Train to Fortune

Bill Paxton’s son will play his father’s role in the forthcoming film Last Train to Fortune.

The Twister star died in 2017 from a stroke that came 11 days after surgery to replace a heart valve, leading his family to file and settle a wrongful death lawsuit against a Los Angeles hospital and surgeon who performed the procedure in 2022.

Paxton’s son James, 30, will take his father’s place to play outlaw Jedidiah Dooley in Adam Rifkin’s Western, which stars Malcolm McDowell as a schoolteacher Cecil Peachtree. Cecil meets Jedidiah when he misses his train to a new job and the pair decide to travel together.

Speaking to People, McDowell revealed he had been trying to get Last Train to Fortune made for decades and even had Paxton and the director Lindsay Anderson on board with the project in 1944. Sadly, Anderson died later that year and the script was abandoned.

“I said, ‘I’ve always loved that script. It’s such a beautiful script, really,’” McDowell explained of his decision to take another look at the project. “‘Why don’t we get James Paxton to do it?’ He’d be the same age as his dad was, almost. A little bit younger, but even better.’”

James has been working in the acting industry like his father for more than a decade. He has featured in projects including the Marvel action series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the crime thriller show Training Day, and Erin Elder’s mystery film The Cleaner.

James is also undertaking a role in the forthcoming Twister remake, starring Glen Powell and Daisy Edgar-Jones, to pay tribute to his late father who starred as Bill Harding in the original 1996 storm thriller.

Bill Paxton in ‘Twister' (Warner Bros.)
Bill Paxton in ‘Twister' (Warner Bros.)

Paxton, who was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, was among the industry’s busiest actors from the early 1980s until his death, amassing nearly 100 credits, including “Twister” and “Weird Science.” He was starring in the CBS drama series “Training Day” when he died on February 11, 2017 after a stroke that came 11 days after heart surgery.

His family’s lawsuit, filed a year later, alleged that the surgeon, Dr. Ali Khoynezhad, used a “high risk and unconventional surgical approach” that was unnecessary and that he lacked the experience to perform, and that he downplayed the procedure’s risks.

After a four year legal battle, the family settled the lawsuit out of court under confidential terms in August 2022. James and Lydia Paxton’s lawyer said in a statement at the time: “The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.”