All hail legendary producer Albert Ruddy and The Vulture for graciously making public the first fifteen pages of Sam Peckinpah's November 15th, 1980 draft of THE TEXANS! I vaguely recall reading about this project when I was plowing through Peckinpah biographies a decade ago, but I figured it was lost to time - especially since it sounded like the kind of sprawling western studios would prefer to have no part of today. Peckinpah was actually the second writer Ruddy went to (after giving John Milius a shot), and Bloody Sam responded with a 250-page epic that might've played like a pissed-off version of George Stevens's GIANT.
Having just read those fifteen pages, I'm desperate to devour rest of the feast.
Peckinpah was fighting a losing battle with his personal demons around this point of his career, so it's possible the screenplay veers into incoherence here and there (the opening is particularly bizarre, if amusingly reflective of his contempt for Hollywood), but it's Peckinpah I haven't read. I need this draft on my hard drive ASAP. According to a comment at the bottom of The Vulture's article from a "Howard Prouty", the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Margaret Herrick Library has over fifty treatments and drafts of the project. Perhaps I'll have to drop by the library over the next couple of weeks and, at the very least, read the 250-page draft. I'm sure I'm the only Peckinpah fan considering this.
Ruddy tells The Vulture that he recently engaged veteran TV writer Jim Byrnes to cut Peckinpah's script down to 150 pages. As for a director who's man enough to take on the project... good luck with that.