Hollywood’s Westerns revival has touched off such a stampede for horses, saddles, and Southwestern locales that there aren’t enough to go around. ”What’s happening gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘This town ain’t big enough for the both of us,”’ says a spokesman for one of the 20 or so cowboy films now in production. A short list of shortages:
· The Ellis Mercantile Co., Hollywood’s biggest prop house, can’t fill all its orders for well-worn leather goods and antique guns.
· ”Wranglers and stunt coordinators are really hard to get right now,” notes Brian Grazer, executive producer of the modern-day oater Cowboy Way, starring Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland.
· Costumes are also a hot commodity. Bad Girls, starring Madeleine Stowe, is using duds from London wardrobe houses.
· Geronimo, starring Jason Patric and Wes Studi, just headed out of Moab, Utah; the crew from City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold will ride in the week of Sept. 6 to use some of the same locales and crew members.
· At the Old Tucson Studios in Tucson, where everything from Little House on the Prairie to John Wayne Westerns has been filmed, movies are stacked up like jets over O’Hare. Lightning Jack, starring Paul Hogan and Cuba Gooding Jr., will share the legendary locale with Disney’s Wyatt Earp saga, Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell. ”We got here first, and they’re breathing down our necks,” says Tombstone‘s executive producer Bob Misiorowski.
· But the fiercest showdown is between Russell’s pic and Kevin Costner‘s Wyatt Earp (for Warner Bros.). Misiorowski calls it ”friendly competition,” but another Tombstone source says Costner’s film put a hold on the best props, costumes, and guns. Adds the source, ”They took everything that wasn’t nailed down. They’d have taken the sagebrush if they could have.” A cowpoke for Warner declined to comment on the horse-opera wars.