An all-star cast has been brought together by a Netflix-exclusive Western, The Harder They Fall. The film is slated to hold its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and will reunite director Jeymes Samuel with Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter after the pair previously worked together on the rap artist’s 2017 music short Legacy. Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors are pitted against each other in this revenge-driven story.
The two-minute-long trailer glimpses at Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), his train escape, and the motivations that spur on the rivalry between him and Nat Love (Jonathan Majors). The trailer additionally highlights the leading characters’ respected gangs – Delroy Lindo’s Texas folk hero and U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves – sporting gunslinging tricks while on horseback. See the violent trailer below.
Jonathan Majors rolls into The Harder They Fall off of his surprise role in Dinsey+ and Marvel’s original series, Loki, where he introduced himself as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next multi-universal threat, Kang the Conquerer. It’s expected that Jonathan Majors will next appear as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Qauntumania. He isn’t the only one coming down from a superhero-sized high, as co-star and on-screen adversary Idris Elba took on the role of Bloodsport in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and previously spent time at Marvel Studios as Heimdall throughout the Thor franchise.
The Western is set to feature an all-Black cast as Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors will be in the company of Zazie Beets, Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, Edi Gathegi, and R.J. Cyler. Contributing to the soundtrack are Delroy Lindo, Daman Wayans Jr., Deon Cole, and Danielle Deadwyler. The second trailer samples a select song by Jay-Z and Kid Cudi. Netflix describes their upcoming original film as a “new school Western,” and Carter has been signed as a producer on the project. James Lassiter and Lawrence Bender are also lined up to produce the film alongside Carter and Samuel.
The Harder They Fall is Samuel’s second movie that categorizes itself in the Western genre. Before working with Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors, Samuel directed They Die by Dawn in 2013, which starred Giancarlo Esposito and Rosario Dawson. The short film, with a run time of a simple 51 minutes, shared a premise quite similar to The Harder They Fall. IMDb’s official summary of the film mentions four main outlaws, each with a bounty and a set date for a shootout. The last person standing claims the collective bounty as their own, leaving all mayhem and chaos to spiral out of control.
The Harder They Fall hosts an all-Black cast with Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors as their headlining leading men, though the Black Western is not a completely new idea. Black Western movies date back to 1938, the Atlanta Black Star reports and supplements their listicle of Black Western movies with the fact that a large number of ranch hands were of African descent, tracing the history of Black cowboys back to the late 1800s. Records initiate that at the time, one of four American cowboys were of African ancestry, and the aspect was featured later in films such as, but not exclusively, The Magnificent Seven (1960), Django (1966), and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007).
The Harder They Fall, starring Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors, will premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 6, 2021, and then will release through Netflix on November 3, 2021.