Two of the most promising young actors around are teaming up to play Prohibition-era bootleggers in “The Wettest County in the World” for director John Hillcoat (“The Road”). Shia LaBeouf has long been attached to the project, but Tom Hardy’s addition to the cast is recent. At one point it was reported the film would be retitled “The Promised Land” with Ryan Gosling and Amy Adams, among others, attached to the cast, but it appears those have fallen through. Indeed, the whole project was thought to be dead and has only been revived by a new team of financial backers and the producers of “Jarhead” and “Girl, Interrupted”. Based on the novel by Matt Bondurant about a family of bootleggers and their crimes, 24 Frames broke the news of the new casting but doesn’t mention any title change or previously attached actors.
Hardy is on a roll after breaking out in this summer’s “Inception”, landing a role in “The Dark Knight Rises” and having his name pop up in conjunction to everything from “Snow White and the Huntsman” to “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. LaBeouf is most widely known for the “Transformers” franchise and other big budget franchise action films, so this period piece appears to be a departure for both actors. Hillcoat plans to film next spring.