Twenty fours months and a hot new producer can change everything. It had names like Shia Labeouf, Ryan Gosling, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johnasson and Michael Shannon attached, but circa January 2010, John Hillcoat's "Lawless," then known as "The Wettest County" or "The Promised Land" had fallen apart.
But thanks to Megan Ellison's fledgling Annapurna Pictures — a company that the L.A. Times described as currently "energizing the indie film world" this weekend — the picture, with a mostly new cast, was brought back to life and currently is one of the biggest buzzed about films at Cannes (read our review here). So it makes sense that Hillcoat would stick around with his new patron saint. And so as we revealed earlier in the year, Annapurna Pictures is also producing a relatively old Hillcoat project from 2009, the LAPD police drama, "Triple Nine."
But is it shooting next and who if anyone from the originally rumored cast is attached? We have answers. Playlist contributor Simon Abrams sat down with Hillcoat and his "Lawless" screenwriter/composer Nick Cave this weekend in Cannes and the director confirmed: "Triple Nine" is his next project, and his "Lawless" star Shia LaBeouf is attached to star.
"Yeah, that is next," Hillcoat said when asked about the project, however formerly rumored actors Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges are not. "No, no, Shia is, but that was an earlier version of the film."
Centered on a group of crooked L.A. police officers who realize they must shoot one of their own in order to get away with planning a major heist, "Triple Nine" has been brewing for several years and Hillcoat said he'd love to continue working with some of his "Lawless," cast, but reiterated no one else but LaBeouf is currently on board. "Tom [Hardy].. .Guy [Pearce]… I've had the great fortune of working with, they're all collaborative actors that it would be great to keep working together like Nick and my production designer and wardrobe designer, that's why we keep doing it," he said. "But ['Triple Nine'] is next, they're not all in it because of schedules and such but Shia is and we'll see where it goes."
Look for announcements soon though. "No one else is attached right now, but about to be," the director said teasing some news around the corner.
Will Nick Cave, who has co-written all the music for Hillcoat's movies so far, compose the music for "Triple Nine"? "I haven't been asked yet but…," he said with a pause to which Hillcoat jumped in and replied, "Of course." We assume that will bode well for the final product.
"To do an L.A. cop thriller, the music to that, we've been dying to do something that isn't fucking period so if we can actually do some contemporary story," Cave said about his film score work with co-collaborator Warren Ellis. "I'm joking about that, but to do a contemporary movie and some modern music…if you give that fucking job to someone else that's it, you'll never get another fucking script from me."