Matt Damon & Josh Brolin In Talks For ‘True Grit’ Remake [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 2:17 pm,

Variety is reporting that Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are in talks to join the previously announced Jeff Bridges in the Coen Bros.’ remake of the John Wayne classic, True Grit. On top of directing, the Coens have also written the script (as they do with virtually all their films) which is said to be more faithful to the original Charles Portis novel than the 1969 film.

Bridges was previously announced as being in talks to play U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (played originally by Wayne) and that appears to still be the case. If cast, Damon would play the lawman (called La Boeuf in the original, played by Glen Campbell) who teams up with Cogburn, while Brolin would play the man who kills a 14-year old girl’s father. The girl has yet to be cast.

Adding to writing and directing duties, the Coens will also produce True Grit alongside Steven Spielberg and Scott Rudin. Paramount is set to put the film into production next March for a release late next year.

I already had strong interest in the Coens’ True Grit, particularly with Jeff “The Dude” Bridges set to play the lead role. But adding talent like Damon and Brolin to the roster only heightens my anticipation for it. Brolin pretty much universally impressed people with his turn as the “hero” of the Coen’s multi-Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men, and will be seen in comic book Western movie Jonah Hex next year. Brolin really is making a name for himself on the Western front (he also starred in the TV series The Young Riders in the early ’90s).

Damon is almost always great to watch, whether that be as the globe-trotting, ass-kicking Jason Bourne, or playing undercover criminal in The Departed. I look forward to him working with Bridges and Brolin – those three names alone (never mind the Coens) are reason enough to see the movie.

Update: IGN got a chance to ask Joel and Ethan Coen about their True Grit remake, in which they confirmed Matt Damon and Josh Brolin’s attachment. They also gave us some more info the plot, particularly emphasizing how it differs from the John Wayne original movie and is more in keeping with the Charles Portis novel. Here’s what the filmmaking duo had to say:

“Yes. Jeff, Matt and Josh, that’s true – something that you read in the trades that actually turns out to be true!”

“It’s partly a question of point-of-view. The book is entirely in the voice of the 14-year-old girl. That sort of tips the feeling of it over a certain way. I think [the book is] much funnier than the movie was so I think, unfortunately, they lost a lot of humour in both the situations and in her voice.”

“Another way in which it’s a little bit different from the movie – and maybe this is just because of the time the movie was made – is that it’s a lot tougher and more violent than the movie reflects. Which is part of what’s interesting about it.”

“I [Joel] don’t actually remember the movie too well, but I do remember it as being much more of a standard western, and the book is just an oddity. It’s a very odd book.”

What do you think of Matt Damon and Josh Brolin potentially starring in the Coens’ True Grit remake? Do you think another one should be made or should it be left alone?

As stated, True Grit is planned to go into production in March next year, with a late 2010 release being eyed.

Source: Variety (Weblog) & IGN (via FirstShowing)

TAGS: True grit
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  1. Why cant hollywood come up with something orginal??? As much money as they make they should be a bit more creative. True Grit a grat movie why do this agian. I have never seen a remake better then the orginal..

    Hollywood has really lost its GLITZ I almost feel sorry for the actors.

  2. @Sherry,

    Generally I tend to agree with you, but the folks involved make me look forward to it. As far as remakes not being better than the original goes, that’s not always the case: what about The Thing, Ocean’s Eleven, Scarface and The Fly, as just a few examples? All were remakes (some people might not know that of them) and were superior to the originals.

  3. Cecile B. Demill remade the “Ten Comandments” from a Silent Era black and white production to the Technocolor master piece of the 1950′s. It improved on color, sound, music, special effects, film quality, sets, on-location, costumes, and riveting performaces. That is the only reason why you should ever remake a clasic, to improve upon it. But then again noone ever complains about a play being performed 10,000 times. How do you decide which performace was the best one? Like filming a performce of “Sweeney Todd”, what year or decade, which cast was best to record.

  4. It seems nothing is off limits these days ..True Grit is one of THE BEST westerns of all time..I don’t think they can make it better but I do think with talent like this they will at the very least try and do it justice.. I know “FOur Brothers” was a updated take on Wayne’s “The Sons of Katie Elder”.. while it was no where near as good as the original I still enjoyed it alot.. so who knows?

  5. My granddaughter Jordyan Watson tried out and got a call back but nothing since, she would be great at this although movies is not something she ever thought of. She is tough, but sweet, very sure of herself, polite christian young lady. This is and was my favorite movie always will be. I think Jordyan is a living breathing Mattie Ross. But whether she gets shot at it or not I can not wait to see it. I am going to buy the book and read it I was not aware the views were changed from the original book.