The cast for John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County in the World keeps growing, and with each addition it only seems to be getting better. THR tells us that the newest additions are Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska and Jason Clarke, the last two of whom have been rumored to star in the film for the past few weeks. In case you had forgotten, they’ll be joining actors such as Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain.
Hillcoat’s adaptation of Matt Bondurant’s book (scripted by musician Nick Cave) of the same name follows the Bondurant brothers, who bootlegged alcohol in a Prohibition-era Virginia. LaBeouf, hardy and Jason Clarke will be playing the brothers, while Wasikowska is LaBeouf’s love interest, described as a “local Mennonite girl.” Pearce’s role was described as being that of an “overly violent deputy who comes down hard on the Bondurants,” while Oldman will be playing a gangster who “engages” the brothers in their illegal business.
Obviously these are some great additions, and the amount of talent on display, coupled with the interesting subject matter, all give me high hopes for the film. To give you an idea of what to expect, you can read this plot synopsis:
This family saga follows the Bondurants, bootlegging brothers runnin’ stills, runnin’ loads, and runnin’ from the law in Depression-era Virginia. The book is mainly narrated through the experience of the youngest Bondurant, Jack (in truth, a grandfather of the author), and his family’s moonshine enterprise supplies the action in a plot that evokes the culture of distilling and distributing white lightning. To optimistic Jack, bootlegging is both a bond to his older brothers, Forrest and Howard, and a means to make cash to impress a girl. Forrest, by contrast, is taciturn and suspicious: the world is violent, and he meets it on that ground. Tender of the stills and imbiber from same, burly Howard is always ready to take on the Bondurants’ enemies, corrupt law officers. Wending through this conflict in flash-forward mode is novelist Sherwood Anderson, who plumbs the Bondurant story a few years after the brothers’ climactic confrontation with the county sheriff. Descriptively gritty and emotionally resonant, novelist Bondurant dramatically projects the poverty and danger at the heart of the old-time bootlegging life.
What do you think of this cast? Are you a fan of Hillcoat’s previous work, and does the project sound interesting to you?