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Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy will be bootleggers

December 7, 2010 |  7:18 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy together? In the 1920s?

The hot young acting pair will team up to make "The Wettest County in the World," a Prohibtion-era dramatic thriller from director John Hillcoat ("The Road"), according to two people familiar with the film.

LaBeouf, who had previously been mentioned in conjunction with the project, and Hardy, who hadn't, will both be taking a turn to period pieces. LaBeouf did star in the golf movie "The Greatest Game Ever Played" but is of course best known for action movies and thrillers.

Hardy, meanwhile, was in adaptations such as "Wuthering Heights" and "Black Hawk Down" but is best known for his role as the agent Eames in "Inception" this summer, and he has an as yet unrevealed part in "The Dark Knight Rises." (He's also currently shooting the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy "This Means War.")

Nick Cave wrote the screenplay for "County" (speaking of teen pinups, albeit from another era). The film is based on a novel from Matt Bondurant about a family of Prohibition-era bootleggers, and crimes committed by and against them. The movie, an independently financed project that's being produced by the producers of "Jarhead" and "Girl, Interrupted" and executive produced by the man behind "Paranormal Activity," aims to begin shooting in the spring.

The firming up of LaBeouf and Hardy for "County" does put a pin, at least for the moment, in "College Republicans," in which LaBeouf was to play a young Lee Atwater and, sources say, Paul Dano a young Karl Rove, in the "Social Network"-esque story about the two conservative kingmakers in college.

That would have been juicy. But to see LaBeouf and Hardy as bootleggers may be worth the wait.

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Tom Hardy in 'Inception.' Credit: Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.

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I think it's also worth mentioning that John Hillcoat's first film, "The Proposition", was also written and scored by Nick Cave. An excellent Western set in Australia starring Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone and Emily Watson. I would highly recommend it!!

Nick Cave wrote this film as well.

A couple of months ago (maybe even a year ago it's hard to remember) I know LaBeouf and Ryan Gosling were actually attached to this. Tom Hardy is definitely creating a reputation as an actor's actor so I'm happy with the casting choice.

I am beyond ecstatic that this is going to be a film. I live in a neighboring county and many of my ancestors (and even some recent relatives) were runners. I highly recommend the book...it's a pretty scathing portrayal of the people of this area but also fairly accurate.

Even though Tom Hardy is English he looks very much like someone from this area. Of course, he's also a fantastic actor. Shia's a bit pretty for a local but I have also enjoyed his more serious roles and I think he will perform well in this movie.

I saw The Road last year and was beyond impressed at the adaptation from the novel. I think this book rests in immensely capable hands.


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