Following the success of Ted, in which he provided the voice of an animated teddy bear (and wrote and directed), Seth MacFarlane is now working on his live-action movie acting debut, and it's going to be a western. A Million Ways to Die in the West, which will be written by MacFarlane and his Ted co-writers, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, is being described as "in the vein of Blazing Saddles," which is a pretty tall order. It's normal to be very skeptical when you hear such a comparison, but I actually feel pretty (cautiously) optimistic about this. While it doesn't sound like it will be taking on race issues quite as directly as Blazing Saddles, it will be about how hard life was in the Old West compared to how it is today. Probably lots of jokes about nonchalantly shooting people, outhouses, and horses as both transportation and travel companions. Personally, I tend to like how MacFarlane takes the most mundane things and turns them into entire bits, so I will be very interested in seeing this thing, which is scheduled to start shooting next summer. But I'm not crowning him an heir-apparent to Mel Brooks or anything.
However, worth mentioning: Carl Reiner, a Mel Brooks guy, happens to like MacFarlane's style, as he wrote in the paper version of Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year issue.
Photo credit: EW