In the climactic scene of "Fury," Brad Pitt, playing a grimly determined tank commander, is hanging on to a turret machine gun and mowing down wave upon wave of Nazi troopers, as he and his four-man crew take on an entire enemy battalion. Amidst the smoke and blood, I had a sudden flashback to William Holden, hanging on to a smoking Gatling gun in the final scene of Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch" (1969) — a similarly desperate act of resistance (with a similarly high body count, too).

Surely, I thought, director/writer David Ayer (best known for "Training Day" and the underrated "End of Watch") must be a fan of Peckinpah's Western, and sure enough, a little digging revealed that Ayer is the credited screenwriter on a proposed remake of "The Wild Bunch" starring Will Smith and helmed by the producer of the remake of "The Karate Kid," Jerry Weintraub.

I shudder to think what a travesty that will be, but in a sense, Ayer got there first with "Fury," taking the against-all-odds climax and ruthless, not-sure-if-we like-them-or-not characters of "The Wild Bunch" and throwing in the war-is-hell cynicism of Peckinpah's own WWII film, "Cross of Iron."