Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Netflix Neo-Noir 'Bloodline' Gives Viewers The Tragic Anti-Hero Television Has Been Waiting For Since Walter White Netflix Neo-Noir 'Bloodline' Gives Viewers The Tragic Anti-Hero Television Has Been Waiting For Since Walter White 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Hugh Jackman Says 'Wolverine 3' Will Be His Last Turn As The Mutant Character Hugh Jackman Says 'Wolverine 3' Will Be His Last Turn As The Mutant Character Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Quentin Tarantino's List Of His 20 Favorite Spaghetti Westerns Quentin Tarantino's List Of His 20 Favorite Spaghetti Westerns Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki 20 Survival Films That Will Take You Into The Abyss 20 Survival Films That Will Take You Into The Abyss 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 | The Playlist 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.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates