The remake has actually been percolating in the public’s mind since September, when the news first hit the trades. It was confirmed at the same time that Coen pal and Oscar front-runner Jeff Bridges would reunite with the Coens, taking the Rooster Cogburn role that was previously made famous by screen legend John Wayne. It was later revealed that stars Matt Damon and Josh Brolin were in discussions for key roles in the film, as Cogburn sidekick La Boeuf and main villain Tom Chaney, respectively. Now it looks as though the final puzzle piece has fallen into place, with a casting announcement of a relative unknown for the character of Mattie Ross.
Deadline Hollywood reports that the brothers have selected Hailee Stanfield, a 13-year-old newcomer who won the part over the 15,000 others who auditioned. The Mattie Ross character is a teenage girl who convinces Cogburn to help her find justice for the murder of her father at the hands of Chaney. Also investigating the crime is Damon’s character, a Texas Ranger, whose idea of justice is more within the bounds of U.S. law than Ross and Cogburn’s.
I don’t really care what the details are. Joel and Ethan Coen’s involvement is all I need to hear. That they’re remaking a classic John Wayne Western — and that Bridges is stepping into that Wayne role — is just gravy. Sweet, delicious gravy. Look for “True Grit” when it hits theaters at the end of this year, on December 25.
What do you think of the casting? How excited are you for this remake? Is there anything you’d rather see the Coens tackle?