Josh Brolin’s Directorial Debut: Oscar-nominated actor Josh Brolin has come a long way in the Hollywood industry. He initially gained popularity with his role in the adventure film The Goonies (1985). After experiencing a period of decline, Brolin made a notable comeback with his role in the crime film No Country for Old Men (2007). Above all, he is prominently known for his portrayal of Marvel supervillain Thanos. Brolin is undeniably an established actor with an impressive resume.

This information isn’t something new to his fans, but I recounted his acting achievements because now, apart from being an actor, Brolin is also a director. He has helmed an episode of Prime Video’s Outer Range in which he is also starring as the rough and tough cowboy and family patriarch, Royal Abbott. During a recent conversation with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, Brolin gave some insight into his time as the shot-caller on Outer Range and teased what will eventually become his premiere feature-length directorial project.

Outer Range is an American science fiction neo-Western television series created by Brian Watkins and starring Josh Brolin, Lewis Pullman, and Imogen Poots. The first season of the series premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 15, 2022. Following the success of the first season, the second season premiered on May 16, 2024. The second season consists of seven episodes in total, and Brolin has demonstrated his directorial chops in episode six.

Explaining that the particular number was never something that he and showrunner Charles Murray fully discussed, Brolin said: “I didn’t decide on that. I think that was a Charles thing, and I don’t know why it was necessarily Episode 6. If we go into another season, is it gonna be the first episode? Is it gonna be the first two episodes? I think [Episode] 6 felt like, ‘Let’s give this guy a shot, and let’s not make it an essential episode.’ Even though it is an essential episode — it’s turned out to be that. But that was instigated by Charles.

Referring to his call to filmmaking as “something that I couldn’t get out of my own way to do,” Brolin shared that his bite with the directing bug came more than a decade ago. He said:

“I think around the time that I was doing No Country [for Old Men], my head was going there, and then it kind of got waylaid by a lot of job offers and all that kind of stuff. I had more fun directing than I probably have done anything else in my life other than parenting.”

Outer Range churned out the filmmaker inside Josh Brolin

Outer Range revolves around the character of Josh Brolin, Royal Abbott, who is a Wyoming rancher and is fighting for his land and family. He discovers a mysterious black void in the pasture after the arrival of Autumn, a drifter with a connection to Abbott’s ranch. While the Abbott family copes with the disappearance of their daughter-in-law Rebecca, they are pushed further to the brink when a rival family, the Tillersons, tries to take over their land.

While talking about Brolin’s directorial part in the series, it can be said that Outer Range came as a blessing in disguise to him as it opened up another door for Brolin by giving him the chance to sit in the director’s chair and lend his creative vision to an episode. Reflecting on how he ended up serving as a director for the series, he ex explained:

“It’s almost like saying, ‘Look, you have a lot to say. Get out of your own way and just fucking say it. Just do it now.’ I think Charles picked up on that and said, ‘You need to direct an episode,’ and I was very happy to do it.’”

Although Brolin has only directed an episode so far, it has inspired him to pursue directing a feature film in the future. He shared more about his directing plans, stating, “We’re developing a feature right now that I’m directing. I can’t not do it because everybody says that. ‘Oh, I have a passion project.’ I don’t have any passion projects. I just want to continue doing it. We have a play that we wrote that we’re doing a reading of that we might do at Ojai; we have this book that’s out, obviously; we’re directing.

All of Seasons 1 and 2 of Outer Range are now available to stream on Prime Video.

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