Report: Actor Russell Crowe buys Two Guns, Ariz.

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe has purchased the Route 66 ghost town of Two Guns, Ariz., and intends to use it as a set for a western-sci fi movie titled “Two Guns,” according to a report in

No other media outlets have reported this. So it appears Zimbio either landed a big scoop, or such celebrity-gossip news should be taken with a rather large grain of salt.

According to the report, “Two Guns” essentially will serve as a remake of the 1973 movie “West World,” with Jerry Weintraub as producer. Michael Crichton owns the rights to “West World,” but that apparently isn’t stopping Crowe and Weintraub:

Russell’s solution, simply change the name, now called “Two Guns”, the film is about two guests at a high-tech amusement park who go on a wild west adventure. The park is peopled by robots and is designed to provide a 100% life like experience simulating Roman times, cowboy times, and medieval times. When the park’s central computer breaks down, the robots start to run amok and our two guests find themselves stalked by a robot gunslinger.

Russell was originally planning to film the movie in Sydney Australia so he could stay close to home, however when a friend told him about a Ghost Town that was for sale and on the market  in Arizona, Russell decided to have a look himself.

The report says Crowe and Weintraub looked over the property, and Crowe purchased it for $3 million.

We do know that Two Guns for years was a popular tourist trap on Route 66, with a gas station, snack store and a small zoo (hence, the ruins that contain the fading lettering of “Mountain Lions”).

The settlement quickly died after it was bypassed by Interstate 40, and has been semi-deserted for decades.

Before then, the settlement was known as Canyon Diablo, which boasted a colorful history, to say the least. According to this well-sourced article on Wikipedia:

Originally a small mobile business community catering to the needs of railroad men, once the railroad stopped at the edge of the canyon this community quickly produced numerous saloons, brothels, dance halls, and gambling houses, all of which remained open 24 hours a day. No lawmen were employed by the community initially, so it quickly became a very dangerous place. Its population was mostly made up of railroad workers along with passing outlaws, gamblers, and prostitutes. The town was designed with two lines of buildings facing one another across the rock bed main street. The center street, however, was not named Main Street, but “Hell Street”. It consisted of fourteen saloons, ten gambling houses, four brothels and two dance halls. Also located on this street were two eating counters, one grocery store, and one dry goods store. Scattered about in the vicinity of downtown were large numbers of tents, shotgun houses, and hastily thrown up shacks that served as local residences.

Within a short time the town boasted a population of 2,000 residents. A regular stagecoach route from Flagstaff to Canyon Diablo began running and was often the victim of robberies. Within its first year, the town received its first marshal. He was sworn in at 3:00pm, and was being buried at 8:00pm that same night. Five more town marshals would follow, the longest lasting one month, and all were killed in the line of duty. A “Boot Hill” cemetery sprouted up at the end of town, which in less than a decade had 35 graves, all of whom had been killed by way of violent death. The 36th grave was that of former trading post owner Herman Wolf, who died in 1899, the only one to have died a nonviolent death.

UPDATE 4/12/2011: A new blog, Two Guns Arizona, has posted a photo of Crowe reputedly with the owner of the Two Guns property, after the sale reportedly went through. There’s also a photo of Crowe reportedly at a Starbucks in nearby Flagstaff.

(Photos of Two Guns courtesy of Guy Randall; hat tip to Frank Kocevar at Seligman Sundries)

14 thoughts on “Report: Actor Russell Crowe buys Two Guns, Ariz.

  1. “West World” with Yul Brynner – very cool! Can’t wait to see it, most especially if it’s off Route 66…

  2. So what did he buy? Two Guns, or Canyon Diablo? Very different places with very different histories. The wikipedia description is of the railroad town 3 miles north of 66 that has an even better history that what is written here. Two Guns (first known as Canyon Lodge) was created by Earl M. Cundiff before Route 66 was established over the (then) new Flagstaff-Winslow highway (thanks to the twin of the Padre Canyon bridge being placed over Canyon Diablo in 1914). The best history of Two Guns can be found in Thomas Repp’s Route 66: the Romance of the West.

    Hopefully what is left of Two Guns doesn’t wind up like the ends of other Hollywood movie sites filmed on 66- with the obliteration of the site-including the “Apache Death Caves”!

    1. Sean, that’s assuming the sale has actually occurred, which has not been confirmed by any reputable news outlet that I can find — yet.

      1. Good point Ron, good point. I am thinking of taking a drive out there after work to see if there is anything at the site to indicate a change. I’ll let you know what I see.

    2. So what about Harry (two guns Indian miller)I heard he and cundiff were partners in starting two guns all the pics I’ve seen show Harry miller as owner operator not any of cundiff.

  3. My Great-Great Uncle was Earl Cundiff. My Dad spent his Summers in Two Guns as a boy and had many stories. Family vacations West from Missouri often brought through Two Guns for a look around.
    We have family stories and memorabilia about Two Guns and I am interested in any news. Please contact me with any information.

  4. Have always stopped at 2 Guns on cross country trips…since 1986 to as recently as 2003.
    There is just something about the place and its odd history that draws me there. I frequently look for pictures both old and recent since its been almost 10 years since last time I visited.
    I hope the what remains are still in decnt shape and if this story is true, they dont destroy whats left. Wish I could get back there again soon…what is it that draws me there?!?…LOL.

  5. I am the great great granddaughter to Louise & Earl Cundiff who purchased Two Guns in 1922. My father grew up on Two Guns. My family has donated a lot of pictures are memorial artifacts to the museum there in Flagstaff. There has been a lot of work & effort to protect the history, the land, what is left of the building structures and the burial site know as “the death cave” for a lot of Apache Indians. I only hope that the legal owners of the property understand the importance of the history of this place and respect that this is also a burial site for a lot of lost souls. This land should be protected and not altered or destroyed for something as careless as yet another movie!

  6. They’ve really destroyed the place. By “they” I mean idiots with spray paint. Even the people leaving “positive” messages are creating ugliness and badness in the world. I wonder if they’re aware of that. Probably not. If you had a decent brain, you wouldn’t be putting stupidity out for the rest of the world to look at. I just visited there on my way to Flagstaff. It was interesting. The wind made it almost impossible to stand up, so I’d like to go back with a camera. Nobody said there were ruins in the “canyon” right next to it. That’s almost more of a reason to visit than anything. I wonder how anyone other than an “Indian” can own land on the reservation. I’m assuming by the description that it’s on the Navajo reservation. Unless that’s just a generic term for the general area.
    I would love to see a remake of Westworld. They’d have to do some major overhauling of the property in order to do so.

  7. If you go thru Seligman, AZ you must stop at the Stagecoach 66 motel on the eastern edge of town.

    They have a slew of theme rooms: The Harley Room (with burnout marks on the floor), the Norwegian Room, the Camo room, the Cowboy room…you get the idea.

    The managers, Karen and Shawn are really nice. And the bar/restaurant in front is a cool place for a drink and just to hang out with the locals.

    click for more:

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