Malcolm McDowell, James Paxton, Bernadette Peters, and Laura Marano are set to star in Adam Rifkin’s Last Train to Fortune, a Western film that tells the story of a schoolmaster named Cecil Peachtree who misses the final train to Fortune and meets an outlaw named Dooley. In exchange for Peachtree’s teacher’s stipend, Dooley agrees to ride Peachtree to Fortune. Along the way, the two men bond over gunfights, jailbreaks, and saloon gals. The film is produced by Michael Gerstein, Paxton, Matt Williams, Rifkin, and Brad Wyman and is said to be in the spirit of True Grit, Butch & Sundance, and Once Upon a Time in the West. The film also stars Mehdi Ajroudi, Lee Arenberg, Marshall Bell, and M.C. Gainey.
Last Train to Fortune has a unique and poignant backstory. It was written by Rifkin’s mother, Michele Rifkin, 37 years ago, and was intended to star the late Bill Paxton in the role of Dooley opposite McDowell. Lindsay Anderson was set to direct, but sadly, Anderson passed away before production could begin. In 2017, Rifkin, Wyman, McDowell, and Paxton decided to try again, this time with Rifkin at the helm. However, just as pre-production was scheduled to begin, Paxton passed away unexpectedly. In the years that followed, Rifkin, Wyman, and McDowell grew closer to Bill’s actor son James. At a recent lunch, everyone decided the time was finally right to move ahead with the movie, with James stepping into the role originally intended for his father.
Production and Release
Last Train to Fortune is financed by Future Artists Entertainment and Intention Forward Productions. Rifkin previously directed Burt Reynolds’ final film The Last Movie Star, as well as Detroit Rock City and The Dark Backward. The film is highly anticipated, and Rifkin has praised McDowell and Paxton’s performances, calling them “powerful” and “a revelation,” respectively. The film also marks McDowell’s first time starring in a Western, a fact he is thrilled about, saying, “I’ve waited 60 years to do a Western so I’m thrilled my first one gets to be Last Train to Fortune!” There is currently no release date for the film, but fans of the Western genre and the cast members are eagerly awaiting its arrival.
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