Hailee Steinfeld Lands a Role in the Coen Brother's True Grit

February 23, 2010
Source: Deadline Hollywood

Hailee Steinfeld / True Grit

We already know that the Coen Brothers are following up A Serious Man with a remake of the 1969 John Wayne western True Grit. They've already cast Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, and Josh Brolin in the film, but Joel and Ethan have also been looking for someone to play the female lead. Deadline Hollywood says that after auditioning more than 15,000 teenage girls, they eventually cast Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross, the "14-year old spitfire" whose father is killed in cold blood. I haven't ever seen Hailee Steinfeld before, but I can't wait to see this, it just sounds like a potentially fantastic remake, especially in the hands of the Coens.

Determined to bring the killer to justice, Mattie enlists the help of hard-drinking U.S. Marshal "Rooster" Cogburn (Bridges) to track down the killer before a Texas Ranger (Damon) does. Scott Rudin is producing.

Initially they were planning to end up with an unknown first-time actress for the role, but then they came across Steinfeld, who has some acting experience from Heather: A Fairy Tale and She's a Fox. The Charles Portis novel that this was originally based on is entirely in the voice of Mattie Ross, which is why she's such an important character in this. When talking about this project last year, the Coens said that it would be "a lot tougher and more violent than the [original] movie" but also made it sound like they would still retain some of the humor from the book. Paramount has already set a December 25th, 2010 release for True Grit.

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  • FancyMonocle
    Can not wait.
  • Read the script. Not as good as A Serious Man but still great - plot was less interesting than the characters. But looks like they've got the perfect cast for it with Bridges, Damon and Brolin. Matt Damon's role in particular should be fantastic. The script had a real potential for atmosphere trusting Deakins is on board.
  • I am so excited about this! I absolutely love the Coen Brothers and it seems like they already have a great cast! I can't wait to learn more about this movie.
  • I was actually born in Dardanelle, AR, where the book and movie says she's from, so I'm really looking forward to this. I just wish they had planned to shoot the movie locally instead of New Mexico.
  • Corran Horn
    Gamus: I just checked True Grit's IMDb page, and as of this moment, Roger Deakins is listed as the DP, and Carter Burwell will be doing the score. Brad: I haven't read the book, but I thought the original film was set in the Plains/Rocky Mountains. Am I wrong on that count?
  • indyjack
    gamus... how did you get a hold of the script. I've been trying to find it everywhere!
  • I found three copies of the Charles Portis book at the local used bookstore. They are 1st, 8th and 12th printings, all from 1968-9. Your used bookstore will probably have a few copies lying about. Story is set near Ft. Smth, AR and the areas bordering OK and TX. The John Wayne film was set in CO. Sounds as if NM and the areas around Austin, TX will be used to play as AR and OK badlands.
  • lando Calrizzle
    cant wait to see how the coen bros treat this! and damn, that line up is great! I think the John Wayne Rooster Cogburn is great but I expect a very different movie from these guys..exciting.
  • @5 The move was shot in the Rockies, but it was suppose to be set in Western Arkansas and Western Oklahoma, which geographically speaking, don't look anything like the Rockies. It's all rolling hills that look more like the Smoky Mountains than the snow capped peaks of the Rockies. If you watch the old movie, she constantly makes reference to her home in Dardanelle, Yell County, which is the town and county in Arkansas where I'm from. The author of the book, Charles Portis, was also an Arkansas native. The Fort Smith they talk about in the original movie is the one in Arkansas because they make reference to Judge Parker who was a real judge in Fort Smith back in the late 1800's. He was commonly called "The Hanging Judge", because he sentenced 160 people to hang, with 79 sentences actually being carried out. He was the judge over all of Indian Territory at the time, which is now Oklahoma. They still got the old courthouse as a museum there and they reconstructed the gallows. I visited it once and it's kinda creepy :/
  • Sorry, it was set in Eastern Oklahoma.
  • SlashBeast
    Yawn. Another dull and lifeless movie from the Coens.
  • Bruce Kettler
    Here's one for you "True Grit" lovers out there: In the snake pit scene, Mattie comes face to face with a skeleton. A careful reading of the book will tell you its/his name. Get right back to me on that one.
  • WW
    I'm a big fan of the odd little book and a bigger fan of the Coens, so I'm ridiculously excited about this. I live in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and - because my father's a historian - I was very disappointed with the original movie. It was just a John Wayne vehicle with a semi-exciting story. The book is vastly entertaining and I'm sure the little actress picked to play Mattie will be a great improvement over the original chick. I'm sure the movie will be dark, violent, and funny as hell - as long as there aren't any snow-capped mountains, I bet I'll love it. To the local folks - similar, endless disappointment that they aren't filming here. 😛
  • Really looking forward to this remake. The original was a favorite of my parents and mine. Just saw the trailer today. Looks promising.




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