The first Lawless trailer hinted at the grisly nature of director John Hillcoat’s (The Road) film, based on writer Matt Bondurant’s account of his family’s sordid history as moonshine runners in Dust Bowl-era America (titled “The Wettest County in the World”). It also showcased the movie’s all-star cast, including: Guy Pearce (Prometheus), Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) – along with The Dark Knight Rises costars Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman
Today, we have a second, shorter trailer for Lawless that focuses on how the youngest Bondurant (LaBeouf) gets into trouble, after he attempts to expand the family business in order to impress an off-limits girl (Wasikowska) – and thus, forces his older brother (Hardy) to get his hands dirty, in order to keep their family safe.
Musician/screenwriter Nick Cave penned the script for Lawless. He previously collaborated with Hillcoat on such feature-length projects as Ghosts… of the Civil Dead and The Proposition (which also starred Pearce). The two have a solid track record when it comes to producing intense and gritty flicks that mesh elements of the crime, gangster, and western sub-genres together. So far, Lawless appears to be another win for the duo.
Hardy should keep his star rising high, between TDKR and Lawless. There’s a lot of excellent acting talent onboard for the latter film (even the much-derided LaBeouf seems okay). However, it appears that Hardy has perhaps the meatiest role in Lawless, playing a man who must serve as his family’s patriarch, be willing to (literally) get blood on his hands (when the occasion calls for it), and handle his own romantic interest in a mysterious woman named Maggie (Chastain).
Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain in 'Lawless'
We’ve been anticipating Lawless for a while now, based just on the cast and people working behind the scenes. The theatrical promos have been designed to highlight the action side of the film, but Hillcoat and Cave’s previous collaborative efforts prioritized character development and storytelling. Lawless at least looks as stripped-down and violent as the rest of Hillcoat’s filmography, so that gives all the more reason to be hopeful about its other qualities.
Lawless opens in U.S. theaters on August 29th, 2012.