By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 11, 2011 at 2:44AM
Brendan Gleeson, Sam Elliott & 11 Year-Old 'America's Got Talent' Finalist Jackie Evancho Round Out Cast
The way it probably works with Robert Redford is that he calls you up, says he wants you for his movie and then you just ask when and where to show up. Quickly following up his musty Abe Lincoln assassination legal drama "The Conspirator," Redford is going behind the camera for the thriller "The Company You Keep." It will also mark his first onscreen appearance since 2007's "Lions For Lambs," and yes, this one has a political backbone to it as well.
Penned by the excellent Lem Dobbs (”Kafka,” “The Limey," "Haywire”) the story follows a former Weather Underground militant Jim Grant (Redford, naturally) wanted by the FBI for 30 years for a Bank Of Michigan robbery, who must go on the run when his true identity is exposed by a young, ambitious reporter hell-bent on making a name for himself (Shia LaBeouf, surprisingly). The cast thus far has mostly been stacked with older faces like Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Root, Stanley Tucci and Chris Cooper with rising star Brit Marling along for the ride as well, but with filming now underway, the final pieces of the casting puzzle have been put into place.
In what is a pretty random mix of folks, Variety reports that Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Elliott and 11-year-old "America's Got Talent" finalist Jackie Evancho will round out the credits. Either Evancho has a good agent, or Redford watches "America's Got Talent."
Anyway, Kendrick will play an FBI agent who dishes intel to her ex-lover played by LaBeouf, while Howard is also a fed who has been tracking Grant across the country and is eager to bring him down. Gleeson plays retired Michigan Chief of Police Henry Osborne who first investigated the robbery back in the day. Apparently Christie works in "the marijuana trade" under Elliot who she used to have a relationship with as well, while newbie Evancho is Redford's daughter, who isn't aware of his past.
This flick in now in front of cameras up in Vancouver, so you might as well pencil everybody in for a TIFF or Venice premiere next fall. It has a been a long time since Redford truly delivered something of note from the director's seat (that would be 1994's great "Quiz Show") but we hope that Dobbs' script brings the life sorely missing in the Sundance Kid's work of late. Redford's project is certainly not lacking in talent, but the same was also true of the turgid "The Conspirator." Maybe this time around the mix of ingredients will cook up into something special.