Directed by John Hillcoat and written by Nick Cave, Lawless tells the story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers, three bootlegging siblings in Prohibition-era Virginia. Forrest (Tom Hardy), Howard (Jason Clarke) and Jack (Shia LaBeouf) are entrepreneurs with a thriving local moonshine business, until corrupt and lethal Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) shows up from Chicago to take a piece of what the brothers have built. The film is adapted from author Matt Bondurant’s The Wettest County in the World and also stars Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Dane DeHaan. For more on Lawless, now playing in theaters, here’s the red band trailer and five clips.
Recently I spoke with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher. During my exclusive interview we talked about the difficult process of landing financing, casting, how they achieved the period setting while shooting just outside Atlanta, deleted scenes, the current climate for trying to produce midsize projects, and more. In addition, with Wick and Fisher also producing The Great Gatsby, we talked a bit about that project. Hit the jump to watch.
- Discuss how difficult it was to get the movie made even though they thought the book was a “sure thing.”
- 1:40 – Fisher said some of the studio rejections said they didn’t want to do dramas, a Western, a gangster movie or it was too dark and violent. They went to the big studios first and then to the independents.
- 3:20 – LaBeouf came on early and was the one constant. At one point Ryan Gosling and Scarlett Johansson were interested. Chastain and Hardy were lesser known during development.
- 4:30 – The script is mostly faithful to the book.
- 5:40 – Pearce came on because he has worked on every John Hillcoat movie. Oldman shot his sizable part in just three days.
- 7:30 – Wick explains how they achieved the period setting while shooting just outside Atlanta. They had 43 days to shoot.
- 8:40 – Hillcoat “fell in love with” the Alexa camera and quickly convinced Wick and Fisher of the benefits of shooting digital.
- 11:00 – There are very few deleted scenes, but Wick and Fisher each give an example of a scene they cut and why it was cut.
- 13:50 – Discuss the current climate for trying to produce midsize projects.
- 16:00 – Wick and Fisher had been after the rights to The Great Gatsby for two years for a contemporary approach, and heard Baz Luhrmann also wanted to make a Gatsby movie.
- 17:20 – Brief mention of the 3D, but they can’t talk too much about Gatsby at this early stage.