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In January 1992, Variety reported that Warner Bros. was planning a theatrical version of The Wild Wild West directed by Richard Donner, written by Shane Black, and starring Mel Gibson as James West (Donner directed three episodes of the original series).


Donner and Gibson instead made a theatrical version of TV's Maverick in 1994. The Wild Wild West motion picture continued in the development stage, with Tom Cruise rumored for the lead in 1995. Cruise instead revived Mission: Impossible the following year.


Significant changes were made to Dr. Loveless as portrayed by Kenneth Branagh in the film. He went from a dwarf to a man without legs; his first name was also changed from Miguelito to Arliss and he was given the motive of a Southerner who sought the defeat of the North after the Civil War.


Kevin Kline plays Gordon, whose character was similar to the version played by Ross Martin, except that he was bitterly competitive with James West, and much more egotistical. The film script had Kline's Gordon invent more ridiculous, humor-related, and implausible contraptions than those created by Martin's Gordon in the television series.


The film also depicted West and Gordon as competitive rivals (almost to the point of a mutual dislike and distrust of one another), whereas in the television series, West and Gordon had a very close friendship and trusted each other with their lives.


Also, while Gordon did indeed impersonate Grant in the series ("The Night of the Steel Assassin", "The Night of the Colonel's Ghost" and "The Night of the Big Blackmail") they were not played by the same actor.


Jon Peters served as producer along with director Sonnenfeld. In a 2002 Q&A event that appears in An Evening with Kevin Smith, writer-director Kevin Smith talked about working with Peters on a fifth potential Superman film in 1997, revealing that Peters had three demands for the script.


The first demand was that Superman not wear the suit, the second was that Superman not fly, and the third was to have Superman fight a giant spider in the third act. After Tim Burton came on board, Smith's script was tossed away and the film was never produced due to further complications.


A year later, he noted that Wild Wild West, with Peters on board as producer, was released with the inclusion of a giant mechanical spider in the final act. Neil Gaiman has also said that Jon Peters also insisted a giant mechanical spider be included in a film adaptation of The Sandman.





Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com




Wild Wild West 1999 - Plot & Screenshots


The story opens in Louisiana in 1869. A man fitted with a magnetic collar runs through a forest trying to escape a large spinning saw blade flying through the air. The saw blade eventually catches the man and decapitates him.


From the decapitated man's perspective, we see another man in a Confederate Army general's uniform seize the saw blade, which is engraved with a large emblem of a tarantula.


In a town called Morgan, West Virginia, Army Captain James West (Will Smith), hides out in a half-filled water tower.


While he has a romantic evening with a beautiful woman named Belle (Garcelle Beauvais), he sees a small unit of Confederate soldiers arrive and load up a wagon with boxes of nitroglycerin.


West remarks that he'd been waiting for the men for a week and that they're under the command of General "Bloodbath" McGrath, the man who'd retrieved the saw blade.


The horses attached to the wagon become jumpy and cause the wagon to weaken the already rickety water tower, spilling West, naked, into the storehouse where the men are taking the nitro.


West battles with them briefly, retrieves his clothes and jumps onto the wagon (which has no driver now).


He finally takes control of the wagon, which almost goes over a cliff overlooking a saloon called Fat-Can-Candy's, or Fat-Can's. West sees that McGrath is in Fat-Can's.


Meanwhile, in the saloon, McGrath (Ted Levine) draws the attention of two burlesque performers. One of them, Rita Escobar (Salma Hayek), is pushed aside by Artemis Gordon (Kevin Kline), who wears a drag disguise.


After Gordon sings "Sons of the South" for McGrath and his men, McGrath drags him upstairs.


They pass a room where a bundle obviously containing a struggling man is being tended to by McGrath's men and into an empty bedroom.


McGrath wears a trumpet style hearing aid because he lost his ear at Chickamauga.


Gordon hypnotizes McGrath with a belt buckle equipped with two swirling wheels and begins to question him about missing scientists, including Dr. Escobar.



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