EXCLUSIVE: Delivering Guns Blazing Action- A Conversation with Filmmaker & Actor Joe Cornet of GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO!

Director and star Joe Cornet of the new old school homage to spaghetti westerns Gunfight at Rio Bravo stops by Action-Flix to talk about his newest endeavor, his love of westerns and working with bodybuilding champ turned action star and filmmaker Alexander Nevsky. The new action flick takes its cues from the classics of the past and throws in its own new twist with a potential franchise waiting in the wings.

With the sequel Taken from Rio Bravo already shot and in post production, Cornet has an indie action hit franchise on his hands and he was gracious enough to stop by and talk all about it.

It’s the first interview of 2023! Check it out below!

1) How did you get your foot in the door with directing and acting?

When I was just out of high school, I was on a path to pursue filmmaking. As so often happens in life, I took another journey through a few very different careers. Around eight years ago, I dived back into the film world, mainly as a hobby. Before I knew it, I was working with some real professionals and a few legends. By 2020, I had two feature films in international release. I kept working, met Alexander Nevsky and here we are.

2) GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO appears to give homage to classic Spaghetti Westerns and to action thrillers of the 1980’s, what are your favorites and inspirations? What were you going for with GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO?

GUNFIGHT is certainly a blend of the Italian western style meets classic action movies! My western inspirations include THE SEARCHERS, RED RIVER, THE WILD BUNCH and A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, to name a mere few. My go to action flicks (also to name just a few!) are TOTAL RECALL, DIE HARD, THE DIRTY DOZEN and THE LAST BOY SCOUT. I hope the audience enjoys the mash up of these two distinct genres. Why not combine them? It’s fun!

3) How was working with Alexander Nevsky?

Alexander is a complete pro, always prepared. He is very focused, calm, ready for anything. We have a very productive filmmaking partnership.

Cornet with stars Matthias Hues & Alexander Nevsky

4) The cast features action legends like Matthias Hues and Olivier Gruner. Did you specifically have them in mind for GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO?

When Alexander came up with the idea of combining classic action with spaghetti western style, we began the discussion of casting. Who better than the two stars from DARK ANGEL and SAVATE? Matthias has never been more sinister as the renegade Colonel Crawley and Olivier is truly heroic as Marshall Carter.

Cornet on set with Olivier Gruner

5) Do you prefer directing or acting more?

I enjoy doing both. I prefer directing but I love investing in a character.

6) What did you learn while directing this film that you didn’t know prior? What would you tell yourself if you could time travel?

As each film gets bigger in budget and scope, I learn how to manage more people, more action and more surprises. If I could time travel, I would tell my earlier self to relax as there will always be a solution to any problems that occur on set!

7) Is it a fair to say GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO was at least partially inspired by Howard Hawks’ RIO BRAVO?

Not only that, the sheriff’s office set (located at Gammons’s Gulch, AZ) is a close duplicate to the set used in the 1959 Howard Hawks classic.

8) Did you have any influences as a director?

I would have say these guys make my basic list:
> Sergio Leone
> David Lean
> Sam Peckinpah
> John Ford
> Andrew V. McLaglen
> Sergio Corbucci.

9) You actually worked with Academy Award Nominee Don Murray on your previous film PROMISE. How was the experience?

Don Murray was amazing and brought a terrific performance. I could not believe this legend was on my set and asking me what I wanted! He is one cool cat and kept the cast and crew entertained with some unbelievable stories. That is the most satisfying aspect of what I do, working with legends I grew up watching.

10) What are some of your favorite films of the past few years? Are you mostly into Western or what genres are you typically drawn to?

I like most all genres. Most of my vision was informed by older classic films but I do enjoy quite a few recent releases. Among those are:

11) What do you have coming up next and what can you tell us about Gunfight at Rio Bravo sequel?

Soon to be released is my first horror film, NIGHT OF THE CAREGIVER, a story of the paranormal with a dash of satanism thrown in. It stars Natalie Denise Sperl and Eileen Dietz (THE EXORCIST).

Next up is the sequel to GUNFIGHT, TAKEN FROM RIO BRAVO. Audiences can expect more action, even more epic scenery, some returning characters, new, intriguing characters and the most vile desperados you’ll ever meet!

And I hope that audiences have fun watching the good guys vs. the bad guys in GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO, it’s now available everywhere on Digital, DVD and On-Demand!

Thanks Joe for taking the time to chat and deliver a great interview! Look out for my review of the film coming this week!!!!


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