It’s been a while since we’ve covered Joel Coen and Ethan Coen‘s adaptation of Charles Portis‘s 1968 novel, True Grit. It was a year ago that the project was announced, and about six months ago that recent Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges joined the cast.
At some point along the line, superstars Matt Damon and Josh Brolin also joined the cast, and just a few weeks ago 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld grabbed the all-important lead role of Mattie Ross after an intense audition process that saw the likes of 15,000 or so teenage girls trying their luck.
Now, according to the trades, Barry Pepper is the latest to join in on the party. The actor has been cast as â€œLuckyâ€ Ned Pepper. Pepper hasn’t been around very often lately, but he has certainly made his mark appearing previously as a talented sniper in Saving Private Ryan and as a prison guard in The Green Mile. Ryan director Steven Spielberg will act as an executive producer on this project as well.
True Grit tells the story of a 14-year-old girl named Mattie Ross who in 1873 set off on a mission to avenge the ruthless murder of her father at the hands of a drifter who was hired to help on their farm.
To assist her in her quest for vengeance, Ross hires an old, one-eyed, tough-as-nails drunk named Rooster Cogburn to help her find the drifter, whose name is Tom Chaney. The odd couple also eventually find themselves meeting up with a Texas Ranger named La Boeuf who wants to find Chaney and claim the rewards that come with his capture.
Along with Steinfeld’s Ross and Pepper’s…err, Pepper characters, Jeff Bridges will be playing Rooster Cogburn, with Damon playing La Boeuf and Brolin playing Tom Chaney.
This of course is not the first time that Portis’s novel has been turned into a film. Legendary actor John Wayne won an Oscar for playing Rooster Cogburn in the ’69 True Grit, and played him again 1975’s Rooster Cogburn. Robert Duvall played the role that Pepper has now been cast in.
The Coen brothers’ new adaptation of True Grit will be released in theaters on Christmas Day of this year.
[Source: Variety, Deadline Hollywood]