'The Harder They Fall' Director Jeymes Samuel Talks Collaborating With Jay-Z on Western Film (Exclusive)

The Harder They Fall was released on Netflix this week and tells a fictional story about real Black cowboys and outlaws from the 1800s. The movie is directed by Jeymes Samuel who also wrote the screenplay and is one of the producers. Another producer of The Harder They Fall is hip-hop legend Jay-Z who worked with Samuel previously on a short film. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Samuel who talked about working with Jay-Z on The Harder They Fall. 

"Collaborating with Jay is like a breather," Samuel told PopCulture. "There is no area, artistically, that I go, that I venture, where he is not already acutely and intimately fluent in. "This dude speaks every artistic language you can come up with. Film, music, art, everything. So collaborating with Jay was super fun and really awesome, in that the way he would tell you things story-wise. I may be stuck on a particular storyboard, I'll have the guy not want to shoot someone in the back, but why doesn't he want to shoot this guy in the back? Why is he savoring it? Why did he savor that moment? Why doesn't the villain ever just kill Bond when he has him, immediately."

Samuel continued: "And Jay would do something like, 'Look, he needs a line. You can't do that just because. Okay, in Brooklyn...' And he told me this story about a guy rolling up on him, and then the guy drew in the moment, out in the reals, and then... True story, documented stories of someone shooting at him three times at close range and missing. He didn't draw any gun. As I said, this is not a movie, drew the gun... In the line of fire, you drop... He would tell me about all these real things that sometimes would give me the psychological workings of the gunslinger in this particular tale. It's awesome, the way he vibes into the story block works and stuff, and we kick it back and forth."

The Harder They Fall has received strong reviews, earning an 88% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zavie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Edi Gathegi, and Deon Cole. This is Samuel's first full-length film and is excited about telling a story that hasn't been told before. 

"Bill Pickett, Rufus Buck, all of the Black superheroes from the Old West that we never see portrayed on screen, all in one place and one time, swagging out. Women, Regina King, AKA Trudy Smith, 'Where's your boss? 'My boss? Clearly, you don't know me.' So excited."