Kurt Russell is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. However, it turns out that the star hasn’t just worked on some of the best movies ever made; he also has a history of saving them. That’s right, if you happen to be a fan of the iconic Western Tombstone, you have Kurt Russell to thank for saving your movie nights.
For those of you who may not know, Tombstone is a ‘90s movie loosely based on real events that took place in the 1880s in Southeast Arizona. The drama movie follows several Western outlaws and lawmen and covers iconic historical moments such as the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the Earp Vendetta Ride. Although the film didn’t make waves on the award circuit when it was first released, Tombstone is a cult classic.
It has a massive fan base, but many are unaware that it was Russell who was actually directing the film behind the scenes – not George P. Cosmatos. During an interview with True West Magazine, the actor revealed how he was instrumental to all aspects of filming Tombstone and deliberately hid his work.
“I backed the director; the director got fired, so we brought in a guy to be a ghost director,” Russell said. “They wanted me to take over the movie. I said, ‘I’ll do it, but I don’t want to put my name on it. I don’t want to be the guy’.”
Russell explained how he would give Cosmastos a shot list every night for the next day on set. Cosmastos was apparently no stranger to this process as Russell shared how the filmmaker also did the same thing with Sylvester Stallone on the action movie Rambo: First Blood.
However, despite having a ghost director, the process of filming Tombstone wasn’t made any easier for Russell, who was also starring in the project.
“Tombstone was so painful. Tombstone was so tough; you know what I mean?” He continued. “It was just so painful; it was hard physically to do – I got four hours sleep every night. And I’m so happy that we got it made.”
Val Kilmer, one of Russell’s co-stars on the film, believes the entire success of the production was because of him. “Kurt is solely responsible for Tombstone’s success, no question,” Kilmer wrote in a 2017 blog.
Despite the pain, Russell is proud of Tombstone and believes that if he had edited the film himself, it might have been one of the best Westerns of all time. “I didn’t get a chance to edit the movie, which I thought was unfortunate because it could have been one of the greatest Westerns ever, ever, ever made. And it’s pretty damn good. We had a great cast. A phenomenal script.”
Fans can now watch Tombstone via several streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus. Click our button below to check out everything that the House of Mouse has to offer.
If you are after upcoming releases, here are all the new movies heading our way in 2023. Or, if you are curious about Kurt Russell, The Thing 2 is in the works, and we have a list of all his work in the best John Carpenter movies of all time.