In the career of Clint Eastwood, antihero cop Dirty Harry Callahan stands as one of his most memorable creations. Clint Eastwood turned the no-nonsense police officer into the star of a five-film franchise during the 1970s and 1980s, which features some of Eastwood’s best movies.
The Dead Pool, released in 1988, is the last of the Dirty Harry movies but, almost 20 years later, Eastwood came close to returning to the character at the center of some of his best thriller movies in a very unusual form: a videogame.
In 2005, Entertainment Weekly reported that Eastwood would offer his voice and likeness to the new Dirty Harry game, as well as serving as a creative consultant behind the scenes. Gene Hackman and Laurence Fishburne were also set for voice roles, giving real star power.
Eastwood said he hoped the game would “introduce this memorable film character to new generations on a medium they appreciate”.
Unfortunately, this proved to be a tricky nut to crack and the game never saw the light of day. Studio mergers, a difficult schedule, and staffing changes led to the project ending up in development hell and ultimately being canceled completely.
This wouldn’t even have been the first Dirty Harry video game, with a NES game released in 1990. It was a side-scroller in which players guided Dirty Harry on the trail of drug lord The Anaconda, before confronting him at his Alcatraz hideout.
Obviously, the involvement of Eastwood and more of the best actors around would have added a different level of excitement to a Dirty Harry videogame. Let’s face it, a game about some of the best Clint Eastwood movies could only be enhanced by having the man himself behind it.
Sadly, the time has almost certainly passed for Eastwood to give us prime Dirty Harry. And nobody is lining up to make a movie based on The Mule or Cry Macho, as far as we know.
For more on one of cinema’s all time greats, find out why Clint Eastwood inspired a Hollywood rule to stop him firing people and why Clint Eastwood refuses a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We’ve also rounded up the best Westerns and explained why the Western has always been a genre for women too.