One of my most anticipated films to be released this year is Lawless, the latest feature from Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat — the director of the blisteringly brilliant 2005 western The Proposition and the 2009 screen adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road — that is based on the acclaimed historical novel The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant.
Now, the first trailer for the film has made its debut online. You can watch the trailer here below.
Set during the Prohibition era, Lawless tells the story of the Bondurant brothers, a trio of moonshiners running a successful bootlegging operation out of Franklin County, Virginia. They find their business threatened by some stiff competition in the form of Guy Pearce as a waxy-looking lawman and Gary Oldman as a vicious gangster who packs a mean tommy gun. But the Bondurants – played by Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Tom Hardy (Inception), and Jason Clarke (Public Enemies) – are fully prepared to spill as much blood as they have to in order to protect their business and their lives.
The cast also features Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life), Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Noah Taylor (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Lew Temple (The Devil’s Rejects), and Dane DeHaan (Chronicle). Nick Cave, the famed Australian musician who also wrote the script for Hillcoat’s breakthrough film The Proposition as well composing the music for that film and The Road with his frequent collaborator Warren Ellis, wrote the screenplay for Lawless. It’s not known yet if Cave will also serve on scoring duties for Hillcoat’s latest but if he did it would make this movie a can’t-miss proposition for me.
I’m a fan of Hillcoat’s films, particularly his collaborations with Cave, and a dark and violent crime drama/period piece front-loaded with stellar actors has the potential to be both a breakout hit and a major awards contender when you consider that Hillcoat’s film has the mighty marketing muscle of the Weinstein Company behind it.
Lawless will premiere at next month’s Cannes Film Festival and will open in the U.S. on August 31, 2012.