By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 31, 2010 at 1:56AM
Filming Begins In Louisiana In March
Of all the projects announced in 2010 -- "The Dark Knight Rises," the untitled Terence Malick, "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son" -- none excited us quite as much as "Cogan's Trade." The long-awaited return of Andrew Dominik -- who made a scorching debut with "Chopper" before returning with one of the best, if not the best, film of the decade in "The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford" -- is an adaptation of the pulp crime novel by George V. Higgins (the author of "The Friends Of Eddie Coyle,)" about a mob enforcer trying to track down the thieves who ripped off a high stakes card game.
When the project was announced back at the beginning of November, Brad Pitt's name was linked to the lead role, and Variety have confirmed this morning that Pitt has officially signed on, reuniting the actor, who'll next be seen in "Tree of Life" and "Moneyball," with his 'Jesse James' director. The project was initially described as a 'comedic crime story,' suggesting a tone closer to "Chopper" than the poetic, meditative 'Jesse James,' but that doesn't mean we're not clamoring to see it.
The novel is set in Boston, but Casey Affleck, who was the first to reveal the project (and appears to be in the cast, although it's yet to be confirmed), suggested that the location has moved, and according to a Scene Louisiana report that appeared yesterday the film is expected to shoot in the state. The site says that the project has booked stage space at Second Line Stages in New Orleans, with all other filming expected to take place around the city from March. Pitt and Dominik taking on Cajun noir? We'll take that.
Aside from Affleck and Pitt, Javier Bardem, Mark Ruffalo and Sam Rockwell had previously been rumored to be in the cast, although they're yet to be confirmed. Scene Louisiana also repeat three names that we've heard banded about recently, and have been trying to confirm: Bill Murray, Josh Brolin and Zoe Saldana. If it turns out to be correct, it's three more reasons that this is our most anticipated project of the next few years. Young Australian actress Bella Heathcote, who's also going to star in "The Sopranos" creator David Chase's feature debut "The Twylight Zones," also signed on a few weeks ago.
With a March start date, it's unlikely that we'll see this before the end of 2011 -- knowing Dominik's rigorous post-production methods, we imagine that a Cannes 2012 debut is the most likely. Anyone got a time machine handy?