renee zellwegerAppaloosa wasn’t Robert B. Parker’s first Western; that honor goes to Gunman’s Rhapsody, his 2001 novel about Wyatt Earp and Tombstone. Yet Parker promised more stories featuring his Appaloosa characters, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, if the book was optioned for a film.

New Line gave Appaloosa the greenlight as a feature film starring Ed Harris as the gunfighter/lawman Cole, Viggo Mortensen as his more articulate buddy Hitch and Renee Zellweger as the delightful yet deceitful Allie French, a part that was at one time reportedly offered to Diane Lane. Allie’s relationship with the stoic Cole

is one of the more interesting aspects of the novel.

Harris will also direct the movie, based on the script he wrote with fellow actor Robert Knott, who plays one of the bad guys. Appaloosa begins shooting in New Mexico in October.

Keeping his word, Parker says that his second Cole & Hitch novel, Resolution, will be published next spring or summer, depending on the release date of the movie.

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