FOX Picks Up Wyatt Earp Drama From Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci

Published 4 years ago by

Wyatt Earp and the Dodge City Peace Commissioners FOX Picks Up Wyatt Earp Drama From Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci

With NBC, ABC and TNT all prepping westerns for the next season – chasing AMC’s Hell on Wheels – FOX has followed suit, snagging an old west drama series centering on famed lawman Wyatt Earp produced by Fringe creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

The brainchild of writer John Hlavin (The Shield, Underworld Awakening), the series will reportedly venture deeper into Earp’s life – chronicling the attempts made by Wyatt and the brothers Earp to bring law and order to the untamed west. More importantly, the program will move beyond aspects such as the now legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which has been covered in films like John Ford’s My Darling Clementine, the Kevin Costner-led Wyatt Earp and Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

Given that the legend of Wyatt Earp has somewhat overshadowed the fact that he was not a fictional character, the question of what angle Hlavin plans to take on Earp will matter greatly to fans of the genre – and those looking for a more unique take on a character who has appeared in films and television for more than 80 years.

One intriguing premise might be to utilize material such as Steve Gatto’s book The Real Wyatt Earp: A Documentary Biography, which was published in 2000, and the 1928 book Helldorado: Bringing Law to the Mesquite. Both refute many of the claims that Earp was simply a fearless lawman, and suggest that Wyatt and his brothers also spent a great deal of time as cattle rustlers, thieves, pimps and murderers.

Val Kilmer Sam Elliot Kurt Russell and Bill Paxton Tombstone FOX Picks Up Wyatt Earp Drama From Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci

Will this new series be another 'Tombstone'?

Including this grey area in the legend of Wyatt Earp would certainly make the program less derivative, and help to distinguish it amongst the throngs of similar programs like Ronald D. Moore’s Hangtown and TNT’s Gateway.

The western series would be a return to a genre recently made familiar to Kurtzman and Orci, who wrote the script for this summer’s sci-fi western mash up: Cowboys & Aliens. In addition to producing this proposed series, the duo will be keeping busy with duties on their other television endeavors, which include a proposed congressional drama at CBS, the aforementioned Fringe and the second season of Hawaii Five-0. On top of all that, Kurtzman and Orci still have the script for the sequel to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot – which the director recently confirmed would be his follow up to this summer’s critically praised Super 8.

Most interestingly, though, the presumed-dead adaptation of Joe Hill’s Locke & Key comic, which the duo had set up at FOX, has been rumored to be on life support at MTV. At present, there has been no official word from anyone involved in the series, however.

Screen Rant will be sure to report as more news on the Wyatt Earp series develops, as well as keep you updated as the western genre war heats up between the networks.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Wyatt earp
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  1. One word…Deadwood. None of this can top that why even try?

  2. When it comes to Wyatt Earp, I would love to see a REAL show about the real man. The guy who was a legendary lawman and who lived long enough to be in a silent movie about his own life was absolutely fascinating. His last wife was equally interesting. Give me Wyatt and Josie and that’s a series I would watch.

  3. I love GOOD Westerns! Deadwood(and Lonesome Dove) is certainly a tv benchmark……lets see what they can do!

  4. I have read that biography on Wyatt Earp. He definitely had a wonky moral code, but he is a truly fascinating man. Even his later life in San Francisco and the politics he got involved in are great.
    I remember when Tombstone came out. It was touted as the more showy Wyatt Earp movie and the Costner one as more epic and historical. This was so not the case. They certainly downplayed the realities of certain characters in Tombstone, but as movies about the lawman go. It was one of the most accurate I’ve ever seen. I just wish I trusted anyone to do a good job on this and not be on cable. How about we bring back Deadwood now????

  5. I have a major problem with Deadwood that made it virtually unwatchable for me. It’s not that I don’t know the words or would have a cow if I heard them every once in a while, but with Deadwood it was as if all the writers were 13 year old boys trying out a filthy mouth in every sentence just to get a reaction. Historically, no man of that era would be likely to use such language and certainly never in front of a woman. I figured if they got that wrong, anything else was totally untrustworthy and no amount of good acting could make up for it.

    • “I figured if they got that wrong anything else was totally untrustworthy. . . ” hahahaha Going online and reading some history would have showed you why that did it that way and the accuracy of the characters for the time. It’s hollywood. Things were a little different. But not by much. Sure the words they used on the show were not in existence for the most part at the time, but the idea that every other word was a curse word would be correct and completely in line w/the time and place they were portraying. There was never the feeling that it was just in there for the sake of shock.

  6. The language in deadwood was used to connect the viewer with the era of time in which the show took place. Obviously words nowadays are different. The slang, profanity or whatvever you seem to think is 13 year old boys was simply a smarter way of doing the dialogue without sounding unfamiliar and boring, not to mention confusing to a viewer. Back in the late 1800’s im sure some of what was said makes no sense in 2011. Deadwood is widely known to have some of the best writers and beautiful dialogue around, look it up.

  7. Maybe you thought it was great scripts. I’m a history buff and just found it total garbage after watching about five episodes. It is an ongoing problem I have with HBO. No problem with showing sex, frontal nudity, or hearing swear words, but half the time it seems thrown in just to stretch a half hour to an hour and to look “adult”. They seem to have confused mild porn with genius.

  8. I would certainly hope that any new series would not delve into the claims of either Steve Gatto’s book,”The Real Wyatt Earp: A Documentary Biography,” or “Helldorado,” which was written by Behan deputy Billy Breckenridge. Both books have been thoroughly refuted since their publications. They represent essentially the beginning and end of what amounted to gigantic smears, which became wholesale during the late sixties and seventies. Wyatt Earp was certainly not the flawless character shown in “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” but even that presentation was far closer to the truth than those who have sought to debunk Wyatt’s career as an honest lawman. Most of the dishonest portrayals were based on smears originally printed in the “Tombstone Nugget” newspaper, which was owned and run by the Behan/Cowboy faction.
    The truth was always there to be found in the records of the “Tombstone Epitaph,” court documents, Wells Fargo records and reports by correspondents for some of the larger San Francisco papers.
    The movie “Tombstone,” while compressing some events and bypassing others, as any movie format requires, came much closer to presenting an accurate, historical recounting of what happened in Tombstone and who the Earps really were. The best real history of Wyatt Earp is to be found in Casey Tefertiller’s “Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend,” and Allen Barra’s “Inventing Wyatt Earp.” Stuart Lake’s much maligned biography, “Frontier Marshall,” has also been rehabilitated to a large extent by Earp researchers, in spite of its remaining flaws.
    Wyatt Earp may well have been one of the most maligned figures in history. Some of that was due to the general desire of leftwing writers to debunk traditional American history and heroes during the sixties, and some of it was a determination by his enemies in AZ to exact revenge.
    Wyatt Earp was in fact one of the most dedicated and principled lawman in frontier history, admired by his contemporaries for his courage and skill and feared and hated by his enemies because of those same qualities. Hopefully any new series will present that truth.