24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Tom Hardy

Harvey Weinstein explains 'Wettest County' release date move

January 6, 2012 |  1:33 pm



On Thursday, the Weinstein Co. pushed the release date of “Wettest County,” the Depression-era drama starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy as bootlegging brothers, from April 20 to Labor Day weekend.

Today Harvey Weinstein offered an explanation for the postponement, citing a media strategy that aims to capitalize on the post-“Dark Knight Rises” appeal of Hardy as well as a release template followed by other action-tinged dramas.

“We have a star in Tom Hardy who’s completely anonymous right now. If you go to a line at the ArcLight nobody would know who he is,” Weinstein told 24 Frames. But the film executive said that would change with the release of Hardy’s Batman picture (Hardy plays the villain, Bane) in July. “He’s going to be a huge movie star by August,” Weinstein said.

John Hillcoat directed “County,” which the musician-screenwriter Nick Cave adapted from Matt Bondurant’s novel. It concerns a family in rural Virginia that lives on the edge of the law and finds itself under violent pressure from authorities who want in on the action. The movie will now hit U.S. theaters on Aug. 31.

Weinstein, who said he believed performances from Hardy and LaBeouf would attract awards attention, also said that the new date would allow the film to play at at least one major international festival.

“The idea is to go to Venice and then hit the domestic market right after,” he said. It was a tack Weinstein said was taken by “The Constant Gardener,” Fenrando Mereilles' 2005 John le Carre adaptation; the movie, released by Focus Features in late summer, went on to gross $33 million domestically and $48 million internationally.

Labor Day is typically considered a very slow weekend in U.S. moviegoing, but Weinstein noted that “it can be a great bridge between the summer and the fall. And we wanted the holiday weekend for the movie, especially down South, where there’s a big audience for this film.”

While a movie’s period setting usually dictates a limited release, Weinstein said he saw “Wettest County” as a wide play and planned on opening it in several thousand theaters.

“Wettest” will kick off a packed fall season for the Weinstein Co. The company in recent years has been stocking up at festivals for its fall slate (its 2011 best-picture contender, “The Artist,” was acquired just ahead of last year’s Cannes Film Festival). But next fall is already crowded, with Brad Pitt-starring mob tale “Cogan’s Trade,” the David O. Russell family reconciliation story “The Silver Linings Playbook,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s so-called Scientology movie “The Master,” and Quentin Tarantino’s slave picture  “Django Unchained" all likely to come out in the fourth quarter.


Shia LaBeouf-Tom Hardy drama 'Wettest' delayed to August

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Tom Hardy in "Wettest County." Credit: The Weinstein Co.

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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