By Edward Davis | The Playlist March 22, 2012 at 6:50PM
Earlier today we revealed and essentially confirmed what was quietly in the cards for a few weeks now: John Hillcoat's Prohibition crime flick "The Wettest County" starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain and many more is changing its name to "Lawless."
But wait, what about the upcoming Terrence Malick film of the same name? When we revealed the change this morning, there was an outcry from fans, many of them aiming their vitriol at Harvey Weinstein for not only "stealing" the title from Mr. Malick, but for watering down the title of Hillcoat's picture, which is often his wont.
Well, apparently you can't blame the Punisher for this decision. Acccording to the "Wettest County," now "Lawless" producers, who spoke to EW today, they always wanted to re-title their film (which is based on the 2008 historical novel "The Wettest County in the World"). The problem was Malick had the title first and they didn't want to step on toes.
Well, problem solved. Malick, gentleman that he is, benevolently gave up the title himself. “We’d always wanted the title Lawless,” producer Lucy Fisher told EW, “but it was always unavailable to us.” And you can thank John Hillcoat. Malick is such a fan of his work he was ok with gifting him the title: “Terry very graciously gave us the go-ahead to use it, because, he said, he’s a fan of John’s. He gets a special thank you in the movie.”
"Lawless" opens up August 31. Malick's now-untitled film which will star Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Rooney Mara will shoot later this year. All's well that ends well?