First Look: Shia LaBeouf In John Hillcoat's 'The Wettest County In The World'

One of the films I'm most excited about right now is John Hillcoat's adaptation of the Prohibition-era novel The Wettest County in the World. The film had been picking up steam a year ago, then died, and now is coming back to life. Scratch that: it is alive! The film is shooting right now, and there are a couple set photos showing Shia LaBeouf in costume as one of the two leads. (Tom Hardy is the other lead.) The photos are less exciting than the fact that they prove this one is really happening. Check one of the images after the break.

Why is this awesome? Check out the cast: Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Jason Clarke, and Jessica Chastain. Nick Cave adapted the screenplay from Matt Bondurant's novel and will be scoring the film as well. (Hopefully with his Bad Seeds/Grinderman/scoring partner in crime Warren Ellis.)


Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf are the bootlegging Bondurant brothers. Guy Pearce will be "an overly violent deputy who comes down hard on the Bondurants." Gary Oldman will be "a gangster who engages the boys to deliver alcohol." Jessica Chastain is "a big city woman now living in a small town who at one time was mixed up with gangsters." Mia Wasikowska would be the love interest for Shia LaBeouf. Here's a violent but tantalizing description of the book upon which the film is based:

In 1928, a pair of thieves accost Bondurant's real life great-uncle Forrest at his Franklin County, Va., restaurant. They're after a large cache of bootlegging money and end up cutting Forrest's throat. The story of his survival and his trek to a hospital 12 miles away has taken on mythical proportions by the time Sherwood Anderson arrives in Franklin County in 1934 to research a magazine piece on the area's prolific moonshiners. Soon after Anderson's arrival, two anonymous men appear at the same hospital, one with legs meticulously shattered from ankle to hip, the other one castrated, with the by-products of the deed deposited in a jar of moonshine. The arc of the story lies between the attack on Forrest and that on the two men.

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[Shiantology -- read the comments on that page if you want to be a little bit creeped out.]