Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

5 Things You Should Know About The Making Of 'No Country For Old Men'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 9, 2012 at 3:40PM

At the start of 2007, the Coen Brothers were not in a good place in their careers. Even after the major success of "O Brother Where Art Thou" and the critical acclaim of "The Man Who Wasn't There," they weren't able to get their Brad Pitt-starring adaptation of James Dickey's WWII novel "To the White Sea" financed, and two commercially-aimed star-laden pictures, "Intolerable Cruelty" and "The Ladykillers," had disappointed financially and seen them pick up the worst reviews of their careers.
1
No Country For Old Men

At the start of 2007, the Coen Brothers were not in a good place in their careers. Even after the major success of "O Brother Where Art Thou" and the critical acclaim of "The Man Who Wasn't There," they weren't able to get their Brad Pitt-starring adaptation of James Dickey's WWII novel "To the White Sea" financed, and two commercially-aimed star-laden pictures, "Intolerable Cruelty" and "The Ladykillers," had disappointed financially and seen them pick up the worst reviews of their careers.

But that was all about to change, because at the Cannes Film Festival that year, the Coens premiered their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's brutal neo-Western "No Country For Old Men," the tale of an ordinary man (Josh Brolin) who comes across the spoils of a drug deal gone bad, only to be hunted by a remorseless killer (Javier Bardem), while a local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) follows the trail of blood and destruction left behind them. It was tremendously well received, became their most financially successful film up to that point, and won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor, for Bardem, at the Academy Awards. The film hit theaters five years ago today, on November 9th 2007, and to mark the occasion, we've picked out five things you might not know about "No Country For Old Men." Read on below.

No Country For Old Men
1. Mark Strong was lined up to play Anton Chigurh when it looked like Javier Bardem might not be able to do it.
It's almost impossible to imagine the film without Javier Bardem's Oscar-winning, bowl-cutted performance as the mysterious and psychopathic cattle gun-wielding murderer Anton Chigurh. And Bardem was the Coens' first choice for the part, despite the Spanish actor telling them he hated violence, couldn't drive, wasn't comfortable speaking English and had never fired a gun. And for a time, it seemed that Bardem's schedule wasn't going to work out, and the Coens turned to another oft-villainous actor who had impressed in auditions, "Sherlock Holmes" and "Kick-Ass" star Mark Strong. The actor (then best known for a small role in Stephen Gaghan's "Syriana") told Total Film: "I was phoned one weekend and told, ‘Listen Javier’s dates don’t work,’ so for a few days I was thinking, ‘Wow, I‘m actually going to work with the Coen brothers.' " It's unclear what Bardem's potential conflict was, although "Goya's Ghosts" and "Love In the Time of Cholera" both filmed around the same period. But as it turns out, it didn't matter, and Bardem was able to do it. Let's hope that the Coens are able to work the ever-excellent Strong into something else down the line.

No Country For Old Men
2. The late Heath Ledger was offered the lead role of Llewellyn Moss.
One of the many tragic things about the passing of Heath Ledger was the thought of all the directors that the actor never got to work with that could have resulted in amazing work. Ledger did extremely well in his short 28 years -- Ang Lee, Christopher Nolan, Todd Haynes, Terry Gilliam -- and he was becoming an increasingly hot ticket at the time of his death, and his performance in "The Dark Knight" would surely have made him all the more so. What's even more tragic is how close he came to working with other filmmakers. Ledger dropped out of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" shortly before he passed, and the actor was also reportedly the Coen's first choice to play the lead role of Llewelyn Moss in "No Country For Old Men." Ultimately, the actor's daughter Matilda had been born recently, and Ledger opted to take some time off instead. He wasn't the only actor considered: character actor favorite Garret Dillahunt auditioned five times for the part before Josh Brolin was picked instead. Dillahunt was, however, given the smaller role of Deputy Wendell instead.

This article is related to: Features, Coen Brothers, Javier Bardem, On This Day In Movie History


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates