The author of the book "Dead Man's Walk" also wrote the screenplay for this film, which is obvious when one sees how closely the film adheres to the book. Although I have read the book in question, it didn't curtail my enjoyment of the movie.
One notices how closely the young actors portraying Gus McRae and Woodrow Call (David Arquette and Johny Lee Miller) resemble older versions of the same characters as actualized by Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones. My guess is that making that resemblance a fact was of paramount importance to the filmmakers, as the primary audience for "Dead Man's Walk" has already seen "Lonesome Dove" and would be disappointed if Arquette's performance didn't recall Duvall's and Miller's work wasn't reminiscent of Jones'.
Although it may have been primarily a marketing decision, the strong resemblance between young and old Gus and Call works for me and, oddly enough, binds the two miniseries together.
May we now see a miniseries based on McMurtry's second prequel, "Comanche Moon"?
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