Weinstein Company Will Probably Distribute Shia LaBeouf-Starring Wettest County In The World
After falling apart in early 2010 due to lack of financing-- a sad and common fate for indie films-- John Hillcoat's follow-up to The Road, the Prohibition-era drama The Wettest County in the World, finally went into production earlier this year. The savior was Megan Ellison, the billionaire heiress who's actually doing something with her wealth, pouring money into otherwise hard-to-finance indie projects like Kathryn Bigelow's Kill Bin Laden or Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled new project. Yeah, she's also picked up the Terminator rights, but you gotta keep the cash flowing even when you're a billionaire.
Now partially thanks to Ellison's connections, Wettest County may have also found a distributor in the Weinstein Company. According to Deadline The Weinsteins look likely to acquire the rights, beating out what looked like a really solid $5 million bid from Relativity Media. Deadline speculates the Weinsteins will get the film both thanks to their relationship with Ellison and their prowess in the awards race-- Wettest County will likely get a limited release in December this year and open wider in January.
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke as a trio of bootlegging brothers operating out of Prohibition-era Virginia, Wettest County also include a ridiculous amount of talent in supporting roles, including Mia Wasikowska as LaBeouf's love interest, Guy Pearce as a deputy on their trial, Gary Oldman as a gangster who supplies them, and Tree of Life and The Help breakout star Jessica Chastain as Hardy's love interest. The script, for all you music fans, is written by Nick Cave, and is based on Matt Bondurant's novel which he based on his own relatives. The image above comes from the set, where LaBeouf posed with some kid extras in his full-on Prohibition gear.
I had no idea we'd be able to expect the film so soon, given that it's still shooting, but getting Wettest County in the middle of the Oscar race seems like an unbelievable gift. The one thing to worry about is the Weinsteins overcommitting, picking too many horses for the Oscar race-- at Cannes alone they've already picked up Meryl Streep's guaranteed Oscar contender The Iron Lady-- but let's leave that worrying for later in the year.
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