‘The Harder They Fall’ News, Release Date, Cast, Spoilers

Though her Oscar-nominated directorial debut was a masterpiece in its own right, Regina King was sorely missed onscreen last awards season. But she’s back in action this fall, as the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming film The Harder They Fall explosively illustrates.

The film, a western from the minds of filmmaker Jeymes Samuel and writer Boaz Yakin, reads a bit like a souped-up Red Dead Redemption (for the gamers in the room). It follows rival gangs gunslinging their way across the American frontier in an array of delightful mix-and-match hats and overcoats. They want money, revenge, and another excuse to shoot some poor sod in the face, and if the trailer is any indication, they’ll have many opportunities to do so. Netflix has had its fair share of strike-outs and home-runs in its long list of Originals, but we’d be willing to place a fistful of dollars on a bet that this one’s a hit. While we wait for more than a two-minute trailer, though, here’s what else we know.

Who’s in the cast?

Samuel and Yakin assembled a star-studded majority-Black cast for the western, which features many real-life historical figures.

King stars as Gertrude “Treacherous Trudy” Smith, a gangster, thief, and killer. There’s little written record about Smith, but she was known to be a pickpocket and an associate of a woman named Dolly Mickey, a fellow pilferer, according to IndieWire.


Lovecraft Country and Da 5 Bloods star Jonathan Majors plays Nat Love, a real outlaw who’s had much more written about him. He even penned an autobiography in 1907, though it’s unclear how much of his story is based on fact. Still, he writes that he was born in 1854 into slavery, but after the Homestead Act was passed, he became a ranch hand in Kansas, per TIME.

the harder they fall jonathan majors as nat love in the harder they fall cr © david leenetflix © 2021


The beloved Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation, Thor) takes the helm as Rufus Buck, the most feared outlaw in all of the frontier who spends years in jail then wreaks havoc after he’s broken out by his eponymous gang. The real Rufus Buck, however, only lived to the age of 18, according to TIME. He was born in the late 1870s to a Black mother and Creek Indian father, and later wrangled a crew of fellow teens to rage through Arkansas and Oklahoma. Wanted criminals, they was intercepted by U.S. Deputy Marshals and police outside Okmulgee, which resulted in a days-long gunfight and, ultimately, the group’s surrender. They were sentenced to death.

the harder they fall l to r regina king as trudy smith, idris elba as rufus buck, lakeith stanfield as cherokee bill cr david leenetflix†© 2021


LaKeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) joins Rufus’s side as Cherokee Bill onscreen, but in real life, he wasn’t part of Buck’s gang. Still, he was a terrifying crook on his own. He was “responsible for murdering eight men, including his brother-in-law, and with his accomplices went on a crime spree robbing banks, stagecoaches and stores,” Newsweek reports. His name comes from his mixed race heritage, as he was part Native American.

lakeith stanfield


Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) plays Nat’s former lover Stagecoach Mary, a singer and saloon owner (and a criminal on the side). But they likely didn’t run in the same circles in real life. The true Mary was born into slavery, freed after the Emancipation Proclamation, and who worked many jobs, according to Newsweek. At 60 years old, she became the first Black woman to work for the U.S. Postal Service, earning her nickname from her signature vehicle.

the harder they fall zazie beetz as mary fields in the harder they fall   cr david leenetflix © 2021


Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods, Get Shorty) plays Bass Reeves an officer who becomes Nat Love’s ally. He’s an actual figure in American history as the first African American U.S. Deputy Marshal. Per TIME, he was “a revered lawman in Indian Territory for three decades starting in 1875, handcuffing more than 3,000 felons; he was known for being unbuyable at a time in which many lawmen accepted bribes or were part of criminal enterprises themselves.”

the harder they fall


They’re joined by Edi Gathegi as Bill Pickett and R.J. Cyler as Jim Beckwourth, Danielle Deadwyler as Cuffee, Damon Wayans Jr. as Monroe Grimes, and Deon Cole as Wiley Escoe.

What’s the movie about?

The Harder They Fall follows two outlaws, Nat Love and Rufus Buck, and the clash between their rival gangs. Decades ago, Rufus killed Nat’s parents, and Nat’s hellbent on revenge once he discovers Rufus’s crew is breaking him out of prison. Joined by Stagecoach Mary, Bill Pickett, and Jim Beckwourth, Nat sets out to track Rufus down—but Rufus has his own posse to watch out for him. And with names like “Treacherous” Trudy Smith and Cherokee Bill, you can expect they know their way around a fight.

Who are the creators?

Co-written by Samuel and Yakin, The Harder They Fall was directed by Samuel and produced by Shawn Carter (otherwise known as Jay-Z), James Lassiter, Lawrence Bender and Jeymes Samuel.

Is there a trailer?

Prepare to watch this several times in a row.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

But if you’re looking for more, Netflix has got you covered; the streamer released an official trailer revealing the star-studded cast in gun-slinging action. In the preview, Regina King’s Trudy is in charge. When Majors and Stanfield’s Nat and Cherokee Bill ask her where her boss is, she steps up to them. “Clearly, you don’t know me,” she says.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

When will The Harder They Fall come out?

The film arrives on Netflix on Wednesday, November 3.

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