Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hillcoat's 'County' Alive After All

At the start of this year news broke that John Hillcoat's next film was getting shut down do to financing. News that seriously gave me heart ache. Hillcoat is a fantastic director and it is a sad day when powerful and proven directors are not allowed to make the films they desire. I'd far more rather see a director pitch an idea they want, then have a studio just hire them for some random project. Now nearly a year later news has surfaced that Hillcoat's next project may not dead after all. Take a look at the full details below...

The L.A. Times is reporting that John Hillcoat is moving forward with "The Wettest County in the World."  The film is based off the novel of the same name penned by Matt Bondurant which was later adapted into a screenplay by Hillcoat's regular collaborator and renaissance man Nick Cave. Last I reported the screenplay was titled "The Promised Land" but it appears that Hillcoat has decided to go with the acclaimed novel's original title.

The novel is set around two legendary bootlegging brothers during the depression in Virginia. The book is narrated by the youngest brother and follows their run-ins with the law. All of the themes and tones seem to be a perfect match for what Hillcoat and Cave have done previously. Both seem to revel in the more seedy part of life and this film will certainly have plenty of moments that stem from the underbelly of society.

The film is being independently financed by Douglas Wick who produced Girl Interrupted and Jarhead. Being that 'The Wettest County' is being independently financed would generally mean the film will find itself doing a the festival circuit looking for buyers, however the recent casting that has been announced for the 1920's period piece may help its cause in tremendous fashion.

The Times claim that Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy have been cast in the film. Well truth is Hardy is the only new name. Last January, when the film was shut down, Hillcoat had already casted what he called "a dream cast" including Ryan Golsing, Paul Dano, Michael Shannon, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams and LaBeouf. Now the only name that has been verified as still on board is LaBeouf. LaBeouf and Hardy together as brothers seems like a match made in heaven. I can't stress enough how excited I am too know that Hardy and LaBeouf will be working together as booze running brothers. As for the rest of the previously mentioned cast, it be great if they come back on, but at this time there is no telling if they are available.

John Hillcoat is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors working today. He has a unique vision and a fabulous ability to develop a story. Hillcoat has the look and by working with Nick Cave again I'm 100% certain "The Wettest County in the World" is going to be a fascinating historical piece on prohibition and bootlegging in the U.S. during the depression. Stay tuned for more news as it develops...

Source: L.A. Times