Netflix is breathing life into an old Young County bridge that has been shuttered for almost 40 years.
A scene from the Netflix theatrical release “The Highwaymen” — starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the two Texas lawmen who led the posse that tracked and killed Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in 1934 — will be shot on the steel-framed bridge.
The 86-year-old structure, which spans the Brazos River, is just outside Newcastle, about 120 miles west of Fort Worth, and resides next to its replacement, a more spacious bridge that opened in 1980 on U.S. 380.
Last week, Young County commissioners approved the use of the old bridge for the movie, which is already filming in Louisiana.
“It will used for transitional driving shots,” said Robbie Friedmann, an Austin-based location manager who made the presentation to the commissioners.
Friedmann told the Star-Telegram that most of the movie is being filmed in tax-friendly Louisiana, but that filmmakers wanted a shot that would “show Texas as it is.”
He said one scene features the crossing of a bridge over the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma, “and we thought this was a really good match.”
The Highwaymen is being directed by Texan John Lee Hancock (“The Rookie,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Blind Side”), according to Deadline Hollywood.
The movie is far from a remake of the film classic “Bonnie and Clyde” — starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — from 1967. The focus will be on the two lawmen — Texas Ranger Frank Hammer and his ex-partner Maney Gault — in their pursuit of the notorious lovers/armed robbers and their gang.
The old 380 bridge was built in 1932-33 and is showing all its years. It’s littered with tree branches and spray-painted graffiti — “bless this mess” — and on a recent afternoon, creaked and groaned when wind swept through its rusty frame.
Narrow and white-knuckling for the drivers of cars and trucks heading opposite directions, the bridge is near where the parents and an aunt of former Baylor football coach Art Briles were killed in a crash in 1976.
Dennis and Wanda Briles and Elsie “Tottie” Kittley were on their way from their hometown of Rule to see Briles, who played for the University of Houston, in a game against SMU in Dallas. Their car was hit head-on by a tanker truck trying to pass another truck early on the morning of Oct. 16. Briles was not told of the deadly crash until after the game.