Shia LaBeouf has long been linked to The Wettest County in the World, a period thriller from director John Hillcoat (The Road). Of course, so were Amy Adams and Ryan Gosling, but those deals fell through. However, 24 Frames confirms LaBeouf’s involvement and identifies Tom Hardy (Inception) as his co-star.
The screenplay from Nick Cave (The Proposition) centers on “a family of Prohibition-era bootleggers, and crimes committed by and against them.” The film is an adaptation of the Matt Bondurant novel of the same name, based on a true story. Hit the jump for the synopsis.
The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; Howard, the middle brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father’s business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.
White mule, white lightning, firewater, popskull, wild cat, stump whiskey, or rotgut — whatever you called it, Franklin County was awash in moonshine in the 1920s. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the “wettest county in the world.” In the twilight of his career, Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads trying to find the Bondurant brothers, piece together the clues linking them to “The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,” and break open the silence that shrouds Franklin County. [Amazon]
Boardwalk Empire has certainly whet my appetite for more dramas set in the Prohibition era, and the infinitely charismatic Hardy is a great addition to any cast. Adams had to drop out of the project in late 2009 due to a severe case of pregnancy that has since subsided. I can only hope that they get back in touch with her to see if the schedules now line up. Seems like a no-brainer, so long as they can keep her fiancé and his darn sperm at a safe distance long enough to film.
Hardy will next be seen in the romantic comedy This Means War and the spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in 2011. Hardy is set to play the villain in The Dark Knight Rises, rumored to be Dr. Hugo Strange.
LaBeouf will again run among the robots in Transformers: Dark of the Moon on July 1, 2011, and is attached to the John Grisham adaptation The Associate. He is reportedly “very interested” in playing a young Lee Atwater in Young Republicans, though 24 Frames suggests production on The Wettest County might delay that film.