'Monsters' Star Joins 'Cogan's Trade'; Liotta, Bardem & Ruffalo Attached

monsters mcnairy able andrew sam

Despite a miniscule worldwide gross in theaters, Gareth Edward's acclaimed sci-fi flick Monsters served its director well, landing him the job of directing the Godzilla reboot. Now Monsters star Scoot McNairy has also gained more employment, being cast in Cogan's Trade.

McNairy joins a pair of Sopranos veterans as recent additions to the mob drama, which will star Brad Pitt as a professional thug on a mission and reunites the A-lister with his Assassination of Jess James director, Andrew Dominik.

If Deadline is to be believed, then it's a good time to be Mr. McNairy, as it seems he's also a serious contender to play a lead in both Ridley Scott's return to the sci-fi genre, Prometheus, and director Timur Bekmambetov's adapation, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. While he's had a recurring role on Bones for a few years now, McNairy's film career has mostly consisted of small box office performers - with perhaps his biggest financial hit being Herbie Fully Loaded back in 2005.

While the insightful human story at the heart of Monsters truly distinguishes the flick from other alien invasion pictures, McNairy's performance is pivotal to its success. That makes him the latest solid supporting character actor to officially sign on for Cogan's Trade, joining the likes of Richard Jenkins (Let Me In) and Sam Rockwell (Cowboys & Aliens).

Risky Business also says that Goodfellas alumni Ray Liotta will star in the film, and lists both Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) as being among his fellow cast members, essentially confirming their involvement as well.

Here's an official synopsis for George V. Higgin's original novel, "Cogan's Trade":

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.

Expertly, with a ruthless businessman’s efficiency, a shrewd sense of other people’s weaknesses, and a style as cold as his stare, Cogan moves with reliable precision to restore the status quo as ill-conceived capers and double-dealing shenanigans erupt into high-voltage violence.

That may read like the setup for a pulpy B-movie, but Cogan's Trade should play out as more a straight-faced mob thriller with Dominik running the show. Assassination of Jesse James played out as a visually gorgeous, but slow-burning tragedy in the writer/director's hands and his latest round with Pitt as a criminal who's been in the business too long will hopefully be another home run as well.

Brad Pitt starring in Cogan's Trade
Pitt as Jesse James.

Cogan's Trade is scheduled to begin filming in New Orleans later this month, and is aiming for a theatrical release by early 2012.

Source: Deadline, THR

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