The western genre has always been ripe for a good spoofing. From "Blazing Saddles" to "Back to the Future, Part III" to "Django Unchained," oaters have been wonderfully subverted, deconstructed, and pushed into bold new territories. The newest stranger to ride into town with an agenda to take its six shooters to the western genre is "A Million Ways to Die in the West," the latest ribald confection from "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane. And now the first photo from the film has debuted. Yee-haw!
"A Million Ways to Die" concerns a cowardly sheep farmer (played by MacFarlane) who falls in love with a comely lass (Charlize Theron), who teaches him how to be brave. This bravery comes in handy when he is forced to duel with the lady's husband (Liam Neeson), a deadly criminal hell bent on revenge. The movie was co-written by regular MacFarlane collaborators Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, and costars Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, and Neil Patrick Harris.
The first photo from the film, which doesn't exactly go out of its way to be historically accurate (anyone else getting a grade school production of "Paint My Wagon" anyone?), features MacFarlane with his new flame Theron, facing off against his ex (Seyfried) and her new beau (Harris). That's about all that's going on, but it seems to continue the live action cartoon aesthetic that MacFarlane developed for his surprise blockbuster "Ted." Hopefully it'll be better than MacFarlane's ill-fated stint hosting the Oscars.
The movie, which is independently financed but distributed by Universal Pictures, will be out on May 30. Be sure to wear your best pair of leather chaps.