Walter Hill 101: Get To Know Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Headshot’ Director

After two missed shots, Sylvester Stallone and director Walter Hill will finally set their sights together on “Headshot.”

Ain’t It Cool News received a direct message from Stallone that he’s officially secured Hill to direct his upcoming film “Headshot.” The cop and hitman team-up pic is a long time coming for this pair of filmmakers: Stallone said that he was close to working with Hill on two of the director’s previous films, 1982’s “48 Hrs.” and 1978’s “The Driver.” Although he might not be a widely-known name for modern moviegoers, Hill’s work in the ’70s and ’80s made him one of the most respected directors of action films and the late-20th Century revival of the Western. He’s worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest action stars — McQueen, Bronson, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Rourke, Snipes — with Stallone being one of the few exceptions… until now.

Check out a highlight reel of Walter Hill’s work over his 40+ year career after the jump, and you’ll begin to see how a team-up with Sylvester Stallone on “Headshot” may be a perfect shot for both actor and director.

“The Getaway” Proves A Getaway Success For This Up-And-Coming Filmmaker
This 1972 action classic was a defining work for director Sam Peckinpah and actor Steve McQueen, and Hill’s script — based on a novel by Jim Thompson — gave them the tools they needed to make movie magic. Hill later recounted that Peckinpah shot his script with only slight changes, which undoubtedly increased Hill’s stock in Hollywood even more.

Hill’s True Talents Comes Out To Play In 1979’s “The Warriors”
Although his directorial debut happened four years earlier in the bare-knuckled boxing drama “Hard Times,” this 1979 film was the first to coalesce all of Hill’s talents under one roof. Although it didn’t break any records in its initial release, the gang drama went on for a strong second life on VHS and numerous TV airings. None other than President Ronald Reagan, himself an actor, expressed a strong liking to the film, even going so far as to screen it at Camp David and calling lead actor Michael Beck to compliment him.

Capturing Lightning (And Comedy) In A Bottle With “48 Hrs.”
It’s the film that defined a subgenre of movies that lives to this day: the “buddy cop” film. It was also the film debut for Eddie Murphy and epic producer Joel Silver, and it pushed Hill’s name to the top of the heat on Hollywood for the rest of the decade.

Discovering Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hilarious “Red Heat”
Hill returned to the “buddy cop” genre he founded in “Red Heat,” mixing a Commie cop in Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of Chicago’s finest in Jim Belushi. It was one of the first movies to exploit the future Governator’s comedic side, which was cemented that same year in “Twins.” It was also the first American film to shoot in Moscow’s Red Square, and did much to capitalize on the simmering political tensions of the time.

From “Geronimo” And “Wild Bill” To Redemption In “Deadwood”
After a string of successes in the 1980s, the final decade of the 20th Century saw the blockbuster director lost in the shuffle of the changing times. Although he pioneered the modern Western genre with the back-to-back films “Geronimo: An American Legend” and “Wild Bill,” he was adrift in the changing tides of Hollywood until he signed on to HBO’s new series “Deadwood” in 2004, directing its pilot and winning an Emmy in the process.

Is the pairing of Sylvester Stallone and Walter Hill a perfect match for a modern cop drama? Let us know your take in the comments section and on Twitter!