While we impatiently wait for an official release date, here’s 8 things to know about Netflix’s start-studded film The Harder They Fall.

With the official arrival of summer and the tentative lifting of Covid Lockdown Restrictions, movie lovers are gagging for the next big blockbuster and the stellar cast of The Harder They Fall (2021) promises to provide just that.

Featuring super celebs both on screen and off, the western combines the performances of Black Hollywood royalty and keen up and comers to deliver a film that is slick, gritty and unapologetic in its themes of revenge, a little love and of course, Blackness.

The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall (L-R): Regina King as Trudy Smith, Idris Elba As Rufus Buck, LaKeith Stanfield As Cherokee Bill. Image Credit: David Lee/Netflix © 2021

The plot

When a western outlaw discovers his enemy is being released from prison, he reunites his gang to seek revenge.  Rival gangs clash and decades old grudges lead to gang leaders’ thirst for revenge.  The escapee is hunted down by the posse of the gang leader seeking revenge for his parents’ murder.  But he’s got a crew of his own, led by people with names like “Treacherous” Trudy Smith and Cherokee Bill.  Everyone wants both hard cash and their pound of flesh and are not afraid to resort to gunplay to get it.

 

Many of the majority Black cast have starred together in the same film before

It’s a face-off between  Jonathan MajorsIdris Elba and Regina King.  Added to the line-up are Delroy Lindo, Zazie Beetz and LaKeith Stanfield.  Rounding out the film’s all-star ensemble are Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, R.J. Cyler, Damon Wayans Jr. and Deon Cole. (Talk about some Melanin Magic!)

Jonathan Majors and Delroy Lindo were both in Da 5 Bloods (2020) as father and son. Idris Elba, Regina King and Delroy Lindo played family members in This Christmas (2007).

The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall (L-R): Zazie Beetz as Mary Fields, Jonathan Majors as Nat Love. Image Credit: David Lee/Netflix © 2021

There’s a big name from the music world attached to the film  

The film was co-written by British directorial debutante Jeymes Samuel and writer Boaz Yakin.  Shawn “Jay-Z” Sean Carter co-produced it with James Lassiter, Lawrence Bender and Samuel.  He and Samuel also collaborated to write and produce original music for “The Harder They Fall”.

 

Director Samuel is honing his unique style with this film

British singer-songwriter, music producer and filmmaker from London, Jeymes Samuel always brings a decidedly cinematic approach to his work. Much of his musical projects were accompanied by a short film.

Talent runs in the family, his  big brother is singer/songwriter Seal.

The Harder They Fall (L-R): Jonathan Majors As Nat Love, Delroy Lindo as Bass Reeves, RJ Cyler as Jim Beckwourth. Cr: David Lee/Netflix © 2021

Covid Came Knocking

As with many movie productions planned for this and last year, the COVID-19 pandemic affected both filming schedules and subsequently release dates of The Harder They Fall. It is being reported that a crew member tested positive and shut down production for two months.  As it stands, industry rumours only suggest it will be out later this year without even a specific month for us eager movie buffs to circle on our calendar.

The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall (C: L-R): Regina King as Trudy Smith, Zazie Beetz As Mary Fields. Image Credit: David Lee/Netflix © 2021

King is back baby!

In a year where Regina King was snubbed for an Oscar for her directorial debut, her triumphant role as a woman of steel with a quick trigger finger in The Harder They Fall signals her return to the list of awards prospects.

King was shockingly left out of the Best Director category for One Night in Miami.  She’d also been nominated in the category at the Globes, as well as the Critics’ Choice Awards.  King appears to be enjoying this sojourn into the world of dystopian futures and seedy criminal underworlds based on her performance in Watchmen.

 

Who is Stagecoach Mary?

Zazie Beets’ character Stagecoach Mary is based on the real-life daring Black pioneer who protected stagecoaches during wild west times. The first African American woman to carry mail across the country, Mary Fields, who was born into slavery, was known as a hard-drinking, quick-shooting bad-ass that you didn’t want to mess with. Who’s signing our petition to have a film based on her life?

Mary Fields, better known as Stagecoach Mary
Public Domain

Homage to Fela

The legendary Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti’s “Let’s Start” is featured in the trailer for The Harder They Fall. You can hear it from 0:44.  Kuti was one of the most prolific African musicians and credited as the pioneer of Afrobeats.  He was also a human rights campaigner and political activist.  He died in 1997, aged 58. In 2008 his life was honoured in a Broadway musical Fela!

 

Watch the trailer below:


The Harder They Fall will show in cinemas and stream through Netflix this autumn.

This article was written by Katrina Marshall

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