Director Andrew Dominik seems intent on getting the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford gang back together for his next film, Cogan’s Trade. Some sleuthing linked Casey Affleck to Trade earlier today; now co-star Sam Rockwell is similarly rumored, while Brad Pitt has signed on to the project in a more official capacity. According to Heat Vision, Pitt will play Jackie Cogan, “a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that takes place during a high stakes poker game under protection of the mob.”
Of course, starring in Jesse James isn’t a contractual necessity. Mark Ruffalo and Javier Bardem are likewise under consideration for a role in the film. Hit the jump for a look at where Trade fits into Pitt’s schedule alongside the script for The Gray Man.
With Moneyball and Tree of Life in post-production, Pitt has reportedly not decided on his next project. It could be Cogan’s Trade. Or, as Deadline suggets, it could be The Gray Man, an adaptation of the Mark Greaney novel about an ex-CIA agent on the run for his life. Here’s the synopsis:
Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man — a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.
Now, he is going to prove that for him, there’s no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive. [Amazon]
To compare, here’s the synopsis for George V. Higgins’ Cogan’s Trade:
[Cogan's Trade] tracks Jackie Cogan’s career in a gangland version of law and order. For Cogan is an enforcer; and when the Mob’s rules get broken, he gets hired to ply his trade — murder. In the gritty, tough-talking pages of Higgins’s 1974 national best-seller, Cogan is called in when a high-stake card game under the protection of the Mob is heisted. Expertly, with a ruthless businessman’s efficiency, a shrewd sense of other people’s weaknesses, and a style as cold as his stare, Cogan moves with reliable precision to restore the status quo as ill-conceived capers and double-dealing shenanigans erupt into high-voltage violence. [Amazon]
Well, there’s certainly an identifiable thematic throughline.
Let me ask you this: could Pitt choose these to be his next two films, or would that be artistically redundant? I think both sound pretty cool, especially with Pitt’s particular brand steering the ship.
But I haven’t seen Assassination of Jesse James yet. By all accounts, it’s terrific. So maybe a re-teaming of Dominik and Pitt (and Affleck and Rockwell?) gives Cogan’s Trade the leg up.