A new image from John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County in the World has gone online. The story centers on two brothers (played by Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy) who become bootleggers in the South during Prohibition. Musician/screenwriter Nick Cave wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Matt Bondourant. The outstanding cast also features Mia Wasikowska, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Dane DeHaan, and Jessica Chastain. While I’m still waiting for Hillcoat to deliver a film that will blow me away, I know he has it in him and a script by Cave (who previously wrote Hillcoat’s The Proposition) is a good start. The Weinstein Company is close to picking up the film and if we’re lucky, they’ll distribute it this year to put it in the 2011 Awards race.
Here’s the synopsis for The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondourant:
Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant’s grandfather and two granduncles, The Wettest County in the World is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. 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]