Clint Eastwood has not been above franchises during his long career, being an early proponent of the sequel. His two most famous characters – Dirty Harry and The Man with No Name – appear in multiple films each. And it turns out that one of his most critically-acclaimed and best westerns – The Outlaw Josey Wales – also has a sequel, but you’d be forgiven for never having heard of it.
Just as Clint Eastwood had directed and starred in The Outlaw Josey Wales in 1976, Michael Parks directed and starred in The Return of Josey Wales ten years later, in 1986. Parks’ film adapted the second Josey Wales book written by ‘Forrest’ Carter, an author who claimed to be of Cherokee descent. When the Clint Eastwood movie was released, the author was revealed to actually be white supremacist and member of the Ku Klux Klan – Asa Earl Carter.
Eastwood had originally been planning on adapting Carter’s second book The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales as a sequel himself. These plans were cancelled, possibly due to him discovering the author’s real identity.
Parks’ The Return of Josey Wales was made with a miniscule budget and seems to have disappeared without a trace. Less than 60 people have logged the film on Letterboxd, and the reviews are far from kind with lots of “well there’s 90 minutes of my life I’m never getting back” and it being frequently referred to as “pointless.”
1971’s Play Misty for Me was Eastwood’s directorial debut and since then, he’s directed 40 movies, many of which have received Oscars. 1992’s Unforgiven propelled Eastwood to a new level of critical acclaim, and his movies such as A Perfect World, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and J. Edgar have received multiple awards.
At the age of 93, Eastwood is currently filming his latest thriller movie – Juror #2. Once again, he both directs and stars in the courtroom drama, alongside Nicholas Hoult and Toni Collette. Check out our guide to the best drama movies.