Director Antoine Fuqua knew he’d have to pull out some stops to convince Denzel Washington to saddle up for The Magnificent Seven.

After all, Washington had never done a Western. And there are big shoes to fill: Yul Brynner led an immortal cast (including Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson) in the original 1960 tale of gunslingers banding together to save a Mexican village from marauding bandits.

At lunch, Fuqua painted the whole picture of Washington dramatically riding over the hill on a black horse. He even played a hip-hop version of an Ennio Morricone Western theme to set the heroic mood.

It worked.

“Denzel just smiled and said, ‘All right, let’s do it,’ ” Fuqua recalls. “I walked out of the restaurant and said to myself, ‘Denzel Washington is getting on a horse for The Magnificent Seven.’ “

It’s not just Washington who is saddling up for Fuqua’s remake, but an all-star cast which includes Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio and Ethan Hawke (the latter officially making it a reunion of 2001’sTraining Day).

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