Hold on to your 10-gallon hat: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are talking about remaking "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and that has the original Butch Cassidy all riled up and ready for some feudin'.
"I think we did a good enough job with the first one," says an 81-year-old Paul Newman, on a promotional tour for "Cars," his first feature film since 2004's "Road to Perdition."
After six decades as a Hollywood star, 10 Academy Award nominations for his acting and a win for 1987's "The Color of Money," Newman plans to retire. His love of auto racing helped tempt him back for "Cars," in which he plays "Doc," a vintage 1951 Hudson Hornet.
But one last thing he wants to do before he retires from acting: work one more time with Robert Redford, his co-star in the critically acclaimed smash hits "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting."
"Redford and I are working on something," Newman says, but he won't reveal what the story is about, or what studio would produce the project.
Though both were well-established when they began working together in the late 1960s, Newman and Redford's on-screen partnership vaulted both of them to the highest stratosphere of film stardom. But now, the younger half of this tandem is approaching his 70th birthday -- making him older than Affleck and Damon combined -- and both Newman and Redford are aware that their opportunities to work together are diminishing.
"I may have one more movie in me," Newman says. "It's not by any means a slam-dunk. We're working on the script very hard."
Octogenarian Speedster in High Gear
Newman is famously unafraid of challenges. Since his landmark performance in 1959's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," he's blazed a singular trail through Hollywood, starring in such films as "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke," "Absence of Malice" and "The Verdict."
And while other leading men merely cultivate a macho image, Newman became a respected race car driver late in life. After celebrating his 70th birthday, he entered the Guinness World Records as the oldest driver to win a professionally sanctioned race, with a victory at 1995's 24 hours of Daytona.
At the same race last January, he escaped serious injury when a car he was testing burst into flames. "I don't know what happened," he told The Associated Press. "It just caught fire somehow."
The screen legend certainly has a lot to live for. He and wife Joanne Woodward continue to be one of Hollywood's true-love stories, having celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary in January. They have three children together.
The actor's not-for-profit line of "Newman's Own" food products has generated more than $200 million in charitable donations over the last 20 years. Newman now jokes that his salad dressings have earned more money than his films. That wasn't true before "Cars" came out, however, and now that "Cars" has earned more than $62 million over the weekend, it's even less true.
Still, Hollywood's rat race only holds so much interest for this octogenarian speedster. "Watching something is nothing like doing it," he says. "But if you look at the depth of focus in some of these animated shots, it's quite extraordinary."
We'll soon see if Newman will be saying the same thing, should he and Redford get back in the saddle and run Affleck, Damon and those other young whippersnappers out of town.