I love Westerns. I love the genre so much I’ll even watch those crappy made-for-cable Westerns starring Luke Perry or some other has-been actor. That’s how much I love the genre. But a Western starring one of the most famous gunfighters in history, Doc Holliday, and turning it into a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-ish franchise? What the hell? That’s the plan, anyway. Paramount has snatched up a spec script by writer Chad St. John called “The Further Adventures of Doc Holliday” with an eye towards turning into into an action-adventure franchise “in the vein of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’”
Now to be honest with you, I don’t know how that’s going to work. “Pirates” worked because it was entirely fictional, so the writers were free to make shit up as they went, and oh my did they make up some shit as they went. But why would you choose an actual historical figure like Doc Holliday? And not just any figure, too, but an infamous one with plenty of facts about his life, times, and death. Plus, the guy had tuberculosis and was coughing up blood every other second. Yeah, that’s going to make a real fun “Pirates”-ish franchise there, boys. Of course, to make it work would mean completely destroying the character’s past. But if they were going to do that, why wouldn’t they just, you know, create a completely new character?
In any case, as you may or may not know, Doc Holliday (real name John Henry Holliday, pictured top left) was most famous for being a dentist who moved out West when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He became a gambler and a notorious gunfighter, and hooked up with Wyatt Earp and his brothers. Holliday’s most famous gunfight was alongside the Earps at the O.K. Carrol in Tombstone, Arizona. The character has been played onscreen by a variety of people, including Dennis Quaid in Lawrence Kasdan’s “Wyatt Earp”, and my favorite, by Val Kilmer in “Tombstone”.