Posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Joel and Ethan Coen are preparing to shoot their own take on the Charles Portis novel that became the John Wayne film True Grit. We’ve known for a month that the brothers plan to give Jeff Bridges the role of Wayne’s character Rooster Cogburn. The drunk, stubborn, eyepatched character won Wayne an Oscar, and I’m excited to see what Bridges does with it. Now we’ve got two more big, great names to add to the cast that is already looking like one of my faves of 2010.
Variety reports that Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are both in talks to join the cast. Damon would be La Boeuf, Glen Campbell’s lawman who, with Cogburn and a 14-year old girl, tracks the man who killed the girl’s father into dangerous Native territory.
Brolin would play Tom Chaney, the killer being tracked by Cogburn and La Boeuf. That’s a nice flip from his role in the Coen’s No Country For Old Men, and a solid bit of casting in general.
A few big roles remain to be cast and/or announced. First up is Mattie Ross, the girl who propels the plot. There’s also Ned Pepper, the leader of the gang Chaney joins up with, originally played by Robert Duvall.
The Coen adaptation of the original novel is said to be more faithful to the text than the existing film. So we’ll likely see Mattie as an old spinster, who in the novel narrates the tale. There are likely to be a few other big differences, too, but I won’t outline them to keep the spoilerish stuff to a minimum.
Here’s your amusing little meta-moment to take away from this article: Wayne’s performance as Cogburn has been compared to the work of Wallace Beery, the actor who is explicitly referenced in their writer’s block meta-movie Barton Fink.