On the heels of the freedom-loving Bundy family’s first two critically reviled box office hits comes the news that we might be in for a threequel. Standoff 3: Return to Bunkerville is coming to a dusty frontier near you, just in time for blockbuster season.
The Guardian reports that a coalition of wildlife organizations is asking the federal Bureau of Land Management to compel Cliven Bundy, the patriarch and protagonist of the first Standoff, to stop grazing his cattle on federal lands in Nevada’s Gold Butte region.
Last we heard from the Bundys, Cliven and his son Ammon—the star of Standoff 2: Malheur’s Revenge, if you haven’t been following the series—were each arrested on felony charges, along with three other Bundy sons, for their roles in the family’s various entanglements with the federal government. The men are awaiting trial, and could go to jail for decades if convicted
The first standoff went down when the BLM attempted to remove the unlicensed cattle from Gold Butte in 2014. Bundy supporters showed up with guns to stand down the feds, and though the Bundys eventually were arrested for it, the cows were never actually moved.
Now, environmental groups are pressing the BLM to act, once and for all, citing concerns about the Mojave desert tortoise, a threatened species that may face competition from the cattle for food. A BLM spokesperson acknowledged to the Guardian that the cattle are still “in trespass,” but said that the bureau does not have any immediate plans to relocate them. Should they change their mind, said Angie Bundy, wife of one of the arrested Bundy sons, they should expect another whole big thing. “We’re not afraid,” she said.
As with spiritual predecessors like Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the third Bundy installment will test America’s seemingly insatiable appetite for boring, rehashed tropes, in this case likely including a Stetson-wearing hero, an overbearing government man, some ranching montages, and at least one stirring monologue about the true meaning of the word “liberty.”