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Monday 22 January 2018

Butch Cassidy to return without Sundance Kid

Paul Newman played Butch Cassidy in the 1969 original that won four Oscars. Photo: AP
Paul Newman played Butch Cassidy in the 1969 original that won four Oscars. Photo: AP

Alastair Jamieson

Gun-toting cowboy Butch Cassidy is to return to screens after more than 40 years in a sequel, Blackthorn, but without his sidekick, The Sundance Kid.

Filming begins next month in Bolivia for the new movie, in which American actor Sam Shepard plays the real-life Robert LeRoy Parker, who led the Hole in the Wall Gang on which the 1969 Butch Cassidy film was loosely based.

Spanish director Mateo Gil, who won an Oscar for The Sea Inside, is writing and directing the sequel, which features Cassidy in his twilight years trying to commit one last robbery.

The original, starring Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy and Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid, ended with the outlaw pair being gunned down by soldiers in Bolivia.

The scene was based on the belief by historians that gang members Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Longabaugh (The Sundance Kid) fled the Wild West to Bolivia but were killed in a shootout near San Vincente in 1908.

Blackthorn shows an older Cassidy who has apparently survived the shootout and has been living incognito in Bolivia but feels compelled to commit just one more robbery in order to be able to return to the United States.

Gil has not explained how Cassidy managed to survive the final scenes of the original, although historians are divided on the exact fate of Parker and the bodies of those in the San Vincente shootout were never formally identified.

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid won four Oscars in 1970 and was the biggest box office hit of the previous year.

A 1979 prequel called Butch and Sundance: The Early Days featured a young Tom Berenger as Butch Cassidy but was less well-received.


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