With more and more Westerns coming out these days, I wanted to highlight some of the upcoming releases I am most looking forward to. Here are my most anticipated Westerns of 2022.

Butcher’s Crossing

Nicolas Cage on set for Butcher’s Crossing.

This is definitely the Western I’m most looking forward to, crossing my fingers that the Cage-starring picture is not a run-of-the-mill entry in the genre. My favorite actor, Cage is always interesting to watch even in bad movies. However, in recent years, he has made some great films including this year’s Pig. I can only hope that Butcher’s Crossing has the same power and grit.

According to IMDb: A frontier epic about an Ivy League drop-out as he travels to the Colorado wilderness, where he joins a team of buffalo hunters on a journey that puts his life and sanity at risk. Based on the highly acclaimed novel by John Williams.


Several people have asked me why I don’t make a movie about Bass Reeves? Well, unlike many great untold Western stories, the Reeves one is about to be played out. After the disappointment Hell on the Border, I’ve heard tell of several films about the black lawman. Corsicana, directed by and starring Isaiah Washington, might be the most promising of these.

The plot as described on IMDb: Deputy United States Marshal Bass Reeves reunites with his former partner turned fugitive Sam Tanner and an ex-Union sharpshooter named California. The trio are in a race against time as they track Jack Donner and his vicious outlaw gang of killers to the oil-rich Texas town of Corsicana. 

Dead for a Dollar

Besides Butcher’s Crossing, this is the Western I’m most looking forward to. Walter Hill may be the greatest living director of Westerns, having given us classics like The Long Riders, solid entries in the genre such as Broken Trail, and disappointing but still valiant efforts with Wild Bill and Geronimo. The prospect of a new Walter Hill Western and one starring Willem Dafoe and Christoph Waltz has me beyond excited.

According to IMDb: The film follows a famed bounty hunter who runs into his sworn enemy, a professional gambler and outlaw that he had sent to prison years before.

Murder at Emigrant Gulch

Gabriel Byrne and Richard Dreyfuss in Murder at Emigrant Gulch. Photograph courtesy of director Richard Gray.

I met the director of this film, Richard Gray, while making Terror on the Prairie in Montana. He shot his movie, which features a great cast including Richard Dreyfuss (one of my favorite actors), at the Yellowstone Film Ranch where we also filmed ours. Many of the people I met there also worked on this one and to say the least, I am intrigued and in a state of high anticipation to see what Richie (as we called him) has made.

According to IMDb: A former slave who arrives in Emigrant Gulch, Montana, a desolate former boomtown now on the decline, looking for a place to call home. On that same day, a local prospector discovers gold – and is murdered.

The Old Way

The second of two Westerns Nicolas Cage made in a row, this film doesn’t quite have the allure of Butcher’s Crossing. The main reason I want to see it are the people involved, many of whom I worked with in Montana. And who knows, it just might surprise me.

As told on IMDb: An old gunslinger and his daughter must face the consequences of his past, when the son of a man he murdered years ago arrives to take his revenge.

Showdown on the Brazos

Some of my fellow Western filmmakers in Texas have a new feature out. I’ve seen some of their short films and I’m thrilled to see what they do with the longer form. Bill Forster and company are good people and I’ll support anyone who is making Westerns the way I have.

According to IMDb: The year was 1887, in a little-known town in Texas situated on the banks of the Brazos River. Brazos was once a quiet and peaceful place to live and raise a family; but that was before the Nate Jones Gang rode in. As soon as they arrived, they took over. And the once peaceful town became so corrupt that travelers took longer routes to destinations in order to avoid traversing the streets of Brazos. It was reputed that the population of Brazos, Texas consisted of more murderers and thieves than the ticks on a hound, and these outlaws far outnumbered the few honest and good who remained. Many secret messages were sent to the Governor begging for help, and he finally responded by sending the Pinkerton Agency to clean up the town and arrest the outlaws. Unfortunately, those agents ominously vanished, and no one ever heard from them again. At last, two retired but infamous Texas Rangers were recruited, one who harbored exceptional contempt for the Jones Gang, and for good reason. Needless to say, when the Rangers and the Jones Gang collided, the streets of Brazos were stained with blood, and the event was thereafter known as The Showdown on the Brazos. 


Sporting an interesting cast that includes Jamie Bell, Jeffrey Donovan, and the late Michael K. Williams, this is the first I’ve heard of the film but it will definitely be on my watch list when it comes out!

IMDb describes the story: Former Buffalo Soldier Mo Washington travels West to lay claim on a gold mine. After her stagecoach is ambushed, Mo is tasked with holding a dangerous outlaw captive and must survive the day when the bandit’s gang tries to free him.

Terror on the Prairie

Of course, one of the Westerns I’m most excited about is one I worked on. The latest from producer Dallas Sonnier (Bone Tomahawk), director Michael Polish (Northfork), and featuring Gina Carano, Cowboy Cerrone, and other great actors, I’d be first in line even if I wasn’t involved. Though biased, the glimpse Dallas showed us at the end of production was incredible, teasing a brutal and memorable Western. So all of my friends and fans, get ready to see it in the next few months!

According to IMDb: Follows a pioneering family in a newly built farm which is being attacked and they must fight against the gang of outlaws that are terrorizing them.

Director Michael Polish and I on set.

-Travis Mills