A quartet of actors are the latest to join director John Hillcoat’s (The Road) adaptation of Matt Bondourant’s gangster saga The Wettest County in the World. Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska (The Kids are All Right) and Jason Clarke (Public Enemies) are the latest actors to join the project. Shia LaBeouf stars in the film which centers on a family of prohibition-era bootleggers. Tom Hardy and Dane Dehaan (True Blood) also star in the film alongside Jessica Chastain (Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life) as Hardy’s love interest. THR reports that Oldman will portray a gangster who enlists LaBeouf and his friends has alcohol delivery boys, while Pearce will take on the role of an overtly violent deputy. Wasikowska is set to play Labeuof’s love interest.
When Steve recently sat down with Chastain at Sundance, the actress said The Wettest County is basically a 1930’s gangster film, and they start filming in Atlanta in March. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel.
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]