Now that headlines about Seth MacFarlane's attempt to pump up Family Guy's ratings are yesterday's news, we can instead look forward to his next project: A Million Ways to Die in the West, his feature-length directorial followup to his popular live-action debut on the raunchy coming of (adult) age comedy, Ted.
MacFarlane playing the protagonist in A Million Ways to Die in the West doesn't suffer so much from arrested development (a la Mark Wahlberg from Ted) as he does a lack of courage. Indeed, MacFarlane's character - a sheep herder in the Old West - gets dumped by his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried), when he decides to back out of a gunfight.
Judging by the first official photo from A Million Ways to Die in the West, Seyfried hooks up a far more manly figure - Neil Patrick Harris armed with a bowler hat and refined mustache, naturally.
Rounding out the ensemble pictured here is Oscar-winner Charlize Theron as an accomplished gunslinger, who helps MacFarlane's emasculated character gain newfound confidence. Good thing too, since her troublesome outlaw husband (Liam Neeson) soon arrives in town, looking to start a tussle.
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A Million Ways to Die in the West sounds like MacFarlane's attempt to comically subvert and deconstruct the gender-based stereotypes of the western genre, similar to how Ted approaches modern issues like delayed adulthood. Question is, will MacFarlane and his co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild (who collaborated on Ted) also carryover their trademark pop culture reference-heavy comedy, given the period setting?
If so, then it'll be all the more appropriate to call A Million Ways to Die in the West the Seth MacFarlane version of Blazing Saddles. That's not to say MacFarlane's movie will be anywhere near as revolutionary or bold as Mel Brooks' western parody (and its racially-charged humor), but MacFarlane's cowboy antics should please his most ardent of fans - tiding them over until Ted 2 arrives in 2015, anyway.
A Million Ways to Die in the West opens in U.S. theaters on May 30th, 2014.
Source: Dark Horizons