Directed by John Hillcoat (The Road) with a screenplay written by author and music icon Nick Cave, LAWLESS tells the true story of the Bondurant brothers of Franklin County, Virginia, the kings of a Depression-era bootlegging gang whose reign is threatened by authorities who want a cut of their profits. The film features a jaw-dropping cast including Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska.
LAWLESS had its L.A. premiere last night where LaBeouf explained to Reuters how the complex layers embedded in each of the characters in the script is what first jumped out at him: “Good guys that are only good are not interesting, bad guys who are only bad are not interesting,” explained LeBeouf. “I think human beings are abstract, and I think John Hillcoat and Nick Cave’s script reflected that … For me it is the real life ‘Avengers’. We are surrounded by real life super heroes, they all have their own magic power. It was really cool and a wonderful opportunity.” Guy Pearce, who portrays special agent Charlie Rakes in the story, admired the level of craft that was accorded to authenticity: “There are differences the way people dress, the language people use, the things that are appropriate, now that were not appropriate then. Particular behaviors,” explained Pearce. “That is always fascinating when you do a period film.”
The Prohibition-era gangster story was inspired by the true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant‘s family in his novel The Wettest County in the World, where the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave. LAWLESS opens on August 29th.