It's been nearly 30 years since Clint Eastwood was last glimpsed wearing a Stetson hat and riding a horse through an Old West landscape in a major motion picture. But moviegoers will be treated to that familiar silhouette again in the actor/director's latest film, Cry Macho, his first Western-inspired star turn since 1992's Unforgiven. And the creative team behind the film are all too aware of what that image symbolizes.
"Eastwood fans are really going to be excited about Clint being the cowboy again," producer Tim Moore remarks in a new featurette that Yahoo Entertainment is premiering exclusively today. Executive producer David M. Bernstein echoes that sentiment: "The silhouette of him with the hat is immediately recognizable." (Watch the behind-the-scenes short, above.)
Premiering Sept. 17 in theaters and on HBO Max, the 1970s-set drama stars the 91-year-old Eastwood as Mike Milo — an ex-rodeo star and horse breeder tasked with transporting a young Mexican boy (Eduardo Minett) across the border to his father's home in Texas. Along the way, he comes to terms with his tortured past and reconnects to the world around him. "I like to make movies out of good stories," Eastwood observes in the video. "You read a story and you see it in your mind and you feel that you can come up with a pretty good film."
Cry Macho is a story that Eastwood has been hoping to tell since 1979, when he was initially approached with the screenplay, which is adapted from a 1975 novel by N. Richard Nash. At the time, he felt he was too young to take the project on, and instead considered helming the movie with legendary actor Robert Mitchum as Milo. The script sat unmade for four decades, until Eastwood decided he was finally ready to direct and star in it.
Part of the waiting process involved Eastwood arriving at a place where he felt emotionally ready to tell Milo's story. "[Film] is not an intellectual medium — it's an emotional medium," he observes. "You've got to feel what the characters are, how they interact and then go with it." It safe to say that Eastwood fans will feel all kinds of emotions when they see him back in the saddle for Cry Macho.
Cry Macho premieres Sept. 17 in theaters and on HBO Max