Forsaken is Donald and Kiefer Sutherland's new Western film

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated February 17, 2016 07:00 PM
Credit: Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

For the first time in 20 years, Kiefer and Donald Sutherland are sharing the screen together – an experience the elder actor calls “great.”

Kiefer, 49, and his father Donald, 80, stepped out for the Los Angeles screening of their new Western Forsaken at the Autry Museum of the American West on Tuesday, posing together at the red carpet.

Forsaken finds the pair emulating their real family relationship on screen, as a former gunslinger and his estranged father facing off against a ruthless businessman in 1872 Wyoming.

“[This] was something that we had been talking about for about 30 years,” Donald tells PEOPLE of sharing scenes with his son. “So it was just, he came and said, ‘I think I’ve got something. What do you think?’ I said, ‘Yes. Okay.'”

The Sutherlands previously collaborated onscreen for 1983’s Max Dugan Returns and later in 1996’s A Time to Kill, but this is their first shared film as leads.

Director Jon Cassar, who worked with Kiefer on 24, says that the actor “wanted to do a movie with his father for many years and so it sort of became a two-in-one. We wanted to do western, then get dad involved, and so that’s what happened.”

He tells PEOPLE, “It was a pleasure working with them. First of all, they’re two fantastic actors. The two best actors of our time, as far as I’m concerned, so getting to work with two professionals like that, and then having the father and son play father and son is just another level on top of that.”

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In a speech before the film’s screening on Tuesday, the younger Sutherland thanked his father for participating, saying, “this was a film that I’ve been dreaming of making for 30 some odd years.”

Of Donald, he said, “I have such deep respect for his choices in storytelling, for his unbelievable craft that allows him to move from character to character just seamlessly and flawlessly.”

Reporting by MARIAH HAAS