‘Cogan’s Trade’ Has Been Retitled ‘Killing Them Softly’

Published 3 years ago by

Brad Pitt in Cogans Trade1 Cogans Trade Has Been Retitled Killing Them Softly

Filmmaker Andrew Domink and actor Brad Pitt are rejoining forces for an adaptation of George V. Higgin’s 1974 crime novel, Cogan’s Trade. The mobster tale boasts a killer cast (pun intended) which includea such onscreen Mafia icons as James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta, along with excellent supporting talent in the forms of Scoot McNairy (Monsters) and Oscar-nominees like Sam Shepard (Safe House) and Richard Jenkins (Let Me In).

Domink’s cinematic adaptation of Cogan’s Trade has now been re-dubbed Killing Them Softly. What exactly the motivation behind this unexpected title change remains a mystery.

Here is the basic plot setup for Higgin’s original Cogan’s Trade novel (which Domink’s adaptation is expected to retain):

Jackie Cogan is an enforcer; and when the Mob’s rules get broken, he gets hired to ply his trade – murder. In the gritty, tough-talking pages of Higgins’s 1974 national best-seller, Cogan is called in when a high-stake card game under the protection of the Mob is heisted.

Such a storyline setup could lend itself to a slow-burn dramatic thriller that may (or may not) bear the “artistic flourishes” that has earned Dominik and Pitt’s previous joint effort – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – many steadfast admirers, but also several unrelenting detractors. If nothing else, Killing Them Softly should easily impress in the area of acting.

That said, this title change-up (as reported by Variety‘s Jeff Sneider) is mostly just confusing. Cogan’s Trade may not be an easily recognized literary title, but it arguably sounds less generic than Killing Them Softly. Regardless of whether the title change is the result of a creative choice or a marketing ploy, the logic behind the move isn’t readily apparent.

Will Cogan’s Trade be affected by the title change to the degree that Disney’s upcoming John Carter adaptation has (seemingly) suffered due to its title being shortened from John Carter of Mars? Probably not, seeing how Killing Them Softly is aiming to appeal to a different (re: limited) moviegoing demographic that won’t really care what the film is called, but still…

Killing Them Softly is tentatively set to begin a theatrical release in the U.S. on September 21st, 2012.


Source: Variety

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  1. wtf, Cogans trade was a great title , Killing Them Softly is just stupid

  2. Why?

  3. It just reminds me of Killing Me Softly.

    And that is NOT a good thing.

  4. Sounds like a Roberta Flack bio-pic…Brad Pitt as Roberta Flack???

  5. Cogan’s Trade was a much better title.

  6. The new title is really dumb. Leave it the way it was.

  7. This has got to be the stupidest name ever. They change a name that fits the machismo of the film with something that sounds like it’s a frigging love story, a pretentious love story at that. Everyone will associate the title with the SONG, Killing Me Softly. Thanks a lot, I can’t get that song out of my head now. Yes, the title will turn people off. Not everyone is a Brad Pitt fan who will watch any film that he makes. The name change isn’t going to make new fans. If I just saw the title, I wouldn’t even care to find out what it’s about. Heck, I’m a Pitt fan and I’m rethinking watching this film lol. The title just sticks in my craw. Pitt had better use his influence to get this changed. Frankly, I think Jesse James was a great movie, but the long name killed it at the box office. people are funny and sometimes stuff like that matters.

  8. I wonder how this differs from Cogan’s Bluff? Wasn’t that a Clint Eastwood movie?

  9. The original title had some crackle and some intrigue. Killing Them Softly is a much weaker “limp” title. DON’T CHANGE IT.

  10. I really cannot understand why the title change. I want to go and see a movie titled “Coogan’s Trade”…”Killing Them Softly” sounds like a Zac Effron movie!

    The producers and director of the movie should go public and explain their decision to movie fans, because where I stand, this has to be one of the dumber moves I’ve seen in a while.

    They did the same a little while back with “The Eagle Of The Ninth”, shortenning the title to “The Eagle”, not the best idea ever either…

    But in this case the change is even more obvious, and not in a good way!

    I hope they come to their senses and change it back to the original title, “Coogan’s Trade”, yes, “Killing Them Softly” awful…

  11. Cogan’s Trade was a much better title. I like it