Nice. Exciting news. Is John Hillcoat's film adaptation of "The Wettest County In The World" shooting soon? Yes, according to the director, in an ComingSoon interview, the film will start shooting in February.
The talent surrounding this one, if it happens according to plan is stellar. Nick Cave — who penned Hillcoat's "The Proposition" — wrote the script and actors surrounding the project include Shia LaBeouf, Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Dano and Michael Shannon. In a recent interview Hillcoat suggested that Gosling and LaBeouf had signed on or were at least "attached."
What's it about? It's essentially a depression-era crime drama about three brothers who ran a bootlegging gang during the Prohibition. We recently read the script (it's solid work and poetically written) and gave our own synopsis.
The based-on-a-true-story tale centers on three, real-life brothers, the Bondurants (the author of the book which it's based off of, Matt Bondurant, is actually the grandson of one of the brothers). They are essentially legendary and feared bootleggers ("wet" as in: the town is booze-soaked) that have a reputation as being tough as nails and practically immortal they've escaped death so many times. They have a moonshine dynasty in Franklin County, Virginia that's about to be threatened by the authorities wanting a cut and they are essentially mean, not-to-be-messed-with motherfuckers. Or most of them, anyhow...We also gave casting suggestions, so we think the three lead brothers should be (from eldest to youngest, and coincidentally also from craziest to sanest), Michael Shannon, Ryan Gosling (or Paul Dano) and Shia LaBeouf.
The tale is essentially told through what would likely be LaBeouf's characters perspective. The youngest brother of three that doesn't really have the stomach for violence or taste for madness and drink that his wild older brothers do. In many ways, it's the tale of the younger Bondurant building character and becoming a man, but not necessarily by following in his brother's footsteps (the middle brother Howard, who we hope is played by Gosling is a batshit crazy drunk with a feverish, grinning zest for violence and getting into trouble and it's a plum role we hope he takes).
Hillcoat hints that he has his cast and all the aforementioned names. "It's a genre film, amazing cast, and hopefully, touch wood... it's called 'The Wettest County.' He also calls it a "gangster" film, but don't mistake it for the gloss of "Public Enemies." This is the other side of that coin; shack-living extreme poverty in Virginia and the Bondurants are overall-wearing, Southern hicks essentially (and massive drunks).
Hillcoat's "The Road" is not going to be a huge hit and this film is a bit of a hard sell, but hopefully the great cast is the reason why this thing will start early next year. All the names listed are pretty perfect, so fingers crossed.