The Highwaymen (film)

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The Highwaymen
The Highwaymen film poster.jpeg
Official release poster
Directed byJohn Lee Hancock
Produced by
Written by
Music byThomas Newman[1]
CinematographyJohn Schwartzman
Casey Silver Productions
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • March 10, 2019 (2019-03-10) (SXSW)
  • March 15, 2019 (2019-03-15) (United States)
Running time
132 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$49 million[3]

The Highwaymen is a 2019 American crime film directed by John Lee Hancock and written by John Fusco. The film follows Frank Hamer and Maney Gault (Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson), two Texas Rangers who attempt to track down and apprehend notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde in the 1930s. Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch, Kim Dickens, Thomas Mann and William Sadler also star.

The film had been in development for many years, with producer Casey Silver looking into the project as early as 2005. Originally pitched by Fusco as a possible Paul Newman and Robert Redford project, the film began development at Universal Pictures but never came to fruition. In February 2018, it was reported Netflix had picked up the rights to the film and that Costner and Harrelson would star. Filming took place later that month and in March, shooting around Louisiana and at several historical sites, including the road where Bonnie and Clyde were killed.

The Highwaymen began a limited release in the United States on March 15, 2019, and is scheduled to begin to stream digitally on March 29, 2019 on Netflix.


The Highwaymen follows Texas Ranger Frank Hamer and ex-partner Maney Gault. "The lawmen were out of the Rangers by the time Bonnie & Clyde started their robbery reign, but were commissioned as special investigators by head of Texas prisons Lee Simmons and first woman governor Ma Ferguson to end the robbery spree of the notorious gang reputed to have killed 10 law officers and 3 civilians."[4][5]




Around 2005, producer Casey Silver began to develop The Highwaymen, an original pitch from John Fusco that once had Paul Newman and Robert Redford poised to play the veteran Texas Rangers who put an end to the violent robbery spree of Bonnie and Clyde. The project had been a long-time goal of Fusco's to portray Texas Ranger Frank Hamer in the proper light of history. Fusco researched extensively in Texas and became friends with Hamer's son, the late Frank Hamer Jr. By 2013, the project was under development at Universal Pictures.[6]

On June 21, 2017, it was reported that Netflix was in negotiations to extricate the production from Universal Pictures. At the time of the report, Netflix was in early discussions with Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner for the two lead roles and with John Lee Hancock as director. The script was written by John Fusco. Casey Silver, who had been developing the project while it was at Universal, was set to produce.[7]

On February 12, 2018, it was announced by Netflix that the film had entered production. Hancock was officially confirmed as director, and Harrelson, Costner, and Silver were confirmed as producers. They are set to produce alongside Michael Malone and Rod Lake.[4]


Alongside the announcement of the film entering production, it was confirmed that Costner and Harrelson would be playing Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, respectively. In addition, it was announced that Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch, Kim Dickens, Thomas Mann, and William Sadler had also joined the cast.[4][5]


Principal photography for the film commenced on February 12, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana and was expected to last until April 10, 2018. The production was set to film in other locations around the state including Covington, LaPlace, Hammond, Baton Rouge, and Donaldsonville.[3] On February 21, 2018, filming took place at Laurel Valley Plantation in Thibodaux, Louisiana.[8][9][10] The production moved to Donaldsonville, Louisiana where filming took place through February 26, 2018 and where it reportedly shut down an area of the town’s historic district.[11] On March 5, 2018, filming occurred at the Old Louisiana Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge. Production reportedly caused streets surrounding the to be blocked off for the majority of the day.[12][13]

From March 21 to 25, 2018, filming took place on Highway 154. Reportedly, the production was reenacting the killing of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow near where the actual event took place. To recreate the scene on what is now an asphalt two-lane highway, the film crew planted trees along the right-of-way and added dirt to cover the blacktop road.[14] Later that month, filming took place on an old U.S. Route 380 bridge that sits southwest of Newcastle, Texas crossing the Brazos River.[15][16][17] Principal photography for the film concluded on March 29, 2018 in Shreveport, Louisiana.[18] The production reportedly had a budget of $49 million.[3]


The film premiered at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas on March 10, 2019 during the South by Southwest film festival, as part of the "Headliners" series of screenings.[19][20] It is then began a limited theatrical release on March 15, 2019 before beginning to stream digitally on March 29, 2019 on Netflix.[21]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 55% based on 31 reviews, with an average rating of 5.97/10.[22] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[23]


  1. ^ "Thomas Newman Scoring John Lee Hancock's 'The Highwaymen' | Film Music Reporter". Film Music Reporter. September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Highwaymen". Netflix. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Scott, Mike (January 3, 2018). "Netflix's 'Highwaymen' prepping to shoot in New Orleans". Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Fleming Jr, Mike (February 12, 2018). "Netflix Confirms Deadline Scoop: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson Playing Lawmen Who Killed Bonnie & Clyde". Deadline. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (February 12, 2018). "Kathy Bates and Kim Dickens Join Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson in 'Highwaymen'". Variety. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Fusco, John (February 12, 2018). "John Fusco: Courting Bonnie & Clyde Hunter Frank Hamer's Rights, Near Teaming Of Newman-Redford And What Lawman Wanted To Do To Warren Beatty". Deadline. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (June 21, 2017). "Netflix In Early 'Highwaymen' Talks; Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson Eyed To Play Bonnie & Clyde-Hunting Lawmen". Deadline. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  8. ^ "Netflix to film at Laurel Valley". Houma Today. February 8, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Arenstam, Julia (February 19, 2018). "'The Highwaymen' to film in Thibodaux". Houma Today. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Mujica, Andrea (February 27, 2018). "Lafourche deputies meet Kevin Costner at Thibodaux film site". Houma Today. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Kern, Sydney (February 26, 2018). "Donaldsonville transforms for movie production". WBRZ. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Kern, Sydney (March 5, 2018). "Filming of 'The Highwaymen' moves to BR, Executive Producer applauds local crew members". WBRZ. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  13. ^ Vowell, Elizabeth (March 6, 2018). "Several new productions keep Baton Rouge area film crews busy". WAFB. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "Movie filming to interrupt traffic in Bienville Parish, Shreveport". KTBS. March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  15. ^ Williams, Lee (February 19, 2018). "How a Netflix movie is giving new life to an old Texas bridge". Star-Telegram. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  16. ^ Franklin, Darrell (February 14, 2018). "Young County bridge to be featured in Netflix movie". Texomas Homepage. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Lankford, Angie (March 20, 2018). "Young County bridge to be featured in Netflix movie". KSWO. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  18. ^ Kennell, Tiana (March 27, 2018). "Filming of Netflix drama to wrap this week in Shreveport". Shreveport Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Kilday, Gregg (January 16, 2019). "SXSW: Olivia Wilde, Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey to Premiere New Work". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Highwaymen – SXSW". South by Southwest. Archived from the original on February 6, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  21. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (December 10, 2018). "'The Highwaymen': Netflix Reveals Date & First Look For Kevin Costner-Woody Harrelson Bonnie & Clyde Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  22. ^ "The Highwaymen (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  23. ^ "The Highwaymen reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 21, 2019.

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