‘The Harder They Fall’ Director on Leaving the Door "Wide, Wide, Wide Open" for a Sequel

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Photo credit: DAVID LEE/NETFLIX
Photo credit: DAVID LEE/NETFLIX

Sometimes the best endings are new beginnings, and the conclusion of The Harder They Fall is less a goodbye than a question hanging in the air as to what comes next.

The debut feature from Jeymes Samuel follows outlaw Nat Love (Majors), who discovers that his nemesis Rufus Buck (Elba) is being released from prison and reunites his gang to track him down. It's a revenge story which wraps up the loose threads of the story, only to tug and unravel them all in the final shot.

During their sparring match, we see Stagecoach Mary Fields (Zazie Beetz) smack Trudy Smith (Regina King) around the face with her gun before screaming into her face. Then, in the wake of Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) and Rufus Buck's (Idris Elba) own showdown, we watch Nat's gang skip town together. The film ultimately features a plot-twist moment where the camera pans back to see Trudy Smith – alive! – as they ride off into the distance.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

“To me there’s a much bigger reason why she didn’t meet her demise, so to speak,” Samuel told Esquire of his thinking behind the ending. “Mary is smart, she’s not about to just kill anyone, and Trudy’s also smart. While all the men are doing gunplay, the women throw down their guns and go at it with fists. They square it out, and men don’t do that in this film.”

“I always want to turn things like that on their head,” he added. “In the final showdown between Nat Love and Rufus Buck it’s a showdown of words, not guns.”

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

When asked whether that final shot left things open for a sequel, Samuel responded, emphatically, “Wide, open. Wide, wide, wide open. I’m going back to do multiple films in what I call the CCU: the Cowboy Cinematic Universe.” He added, “For me, the only thing better than Trudy Smith is more Trudy Smith, you know what I mean? I’m always going to dive back into the Old West.”

Whether that means a sequel is already in discussion or more of a personal dream of his is unclear, but Samuel is clearly keen for his cast to saddle up again in the future.

‘The Harder They Fall’ is on Netflix now

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