You need someone to play vulnerable and grizzled? Call up Nick Nolte. At 71, the actor’s voice has never been more gravelly, nor his face more worn and he’s been using it to great effect. He was outstanding in last year’s unfairly slept-on “Warrior” and in many ways, he was emotional heartbeat of Michael Mann‘s canceled HBO series “Luck.” He’s been working at a clip lately, bagging supporting roles in Robert Redford‘s “The Company You Keep,” “Gangster Squad” and “Parker” but now he’s going to take a lead.
Nolte will star in music video director Chris Milk‘s feature film debut “Bitterroot.” Originally slated to be a vehicle for Gore Verbinski, who is now taking on producing duties, the Michael Gilio-penned, Black List-approved script (originally titled “Black Hole“) tells the story of an aging rancher in Montana who gets his life savings taken from him in a phone solicitation bank scam. With no one stepping up to take responsibility, he gets on his horse, grabs his guns and heads for the titular town to get his money back.
Sounds like a hand-in-glove piece of casting to us, and a nice start for Milk. If the name isn’t familiar, you’ve likely seen his work on music videos for folks like Kanye West, U2, Green Day, Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire. He’s also got another project brewing, an ambitious film adaptation of Rome, a record that teamed Gnarls Barkley/Beck producer Danger Mouse and Italian composer Daniele Luppi on an album of spaghetti Western homages. But “Bitterroot” will roll first, with Megan Ellison backing the picture through her Annapurna shingle. [Variety]