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Harvey Weinstein Says 'Wettest County' Will Go To Venice, Was Moved To Capitalize On Tom Hardy's Post-'Dark Knight Rises' Fame

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 6, 2012 6:11 PM
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PHOTO John Hillcoat's 'The Wettest County' Gets April 20, 2012 Release Date

Usually, it's only after Cannes announces their slate that we even begin thinking about the Lido, but it looks like one of our most anticipated films of the year is headed to Venice.

The Weinstein Company surprised everyone yesterday when it was announced that John Hillcoat's "The Wettest County" was being pushed to the traditionally barren (at least quality-wise) Labor Day weekend from its previously scheduled April 20 release date. But as we guessed (and hoped), the move was not a case of the studio dumping the picture, but instead, making sure that what they see as a possible awards season contender has the best debut possible.

24 Frames caught up with Harvey Weinstein, who confirmed that he wants capitalize on Tom Hardy's seemingly inevitable post-"The Dark Knight Rises" fame as well as give "The Wettest County" a proper festival bow. “We have a star in Tom Hardy who’s completely anonymous right now. If you go to a line at the ArcLight nobody would know who he is,” Weinstein told 24 Frames, adding, “He’s going to be a huge movie star by August.”

Of course, that point is up for debate. Lionsgate likely thought they would have benefitted from some residual Hardy/"Inception" buzz with "Warrior," but that movie didn't fare so well. And we'd argue Hardy's recognition with mainstream America might be difficult if he's in a mask and speaking incomprehensibly as Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises." But hey, it doesn't hurt, right? That said, the movie itself doesn't rely on Hardy alone, stacked with Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska to round out the cast. And like we said yesterday, those are exactly the kind of folks any festival organizer wants walking down the red carpet.

“The idea is to go to Venice and then hit the domestic market right after,” Weinstein said. As for why he's selected the usually quiet Labor Day weekend, Weinstein says he's expecting the movie to do big business down South, where the story of the Prohibition era tale is set and where he thinks it will have some greater resonance. And don't think that Harv is gonna do the usual limited release, either. He's planning a full, nationwide release for this one "in several thousand theaters."

So mark your calendars (and maybe book your plane tickets). "The Wettest County" hits theaters on Friday, August 30, which seems to indicate it will be the opening film in Venice on August 29 (or play concurrently with the film's release on August 30). After the quiet release of "The Road," it looks like John Hillcoat's next effort is getting the royal treatment from Harv.

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More: The Wettest County, Harvey Weinstein

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  • Kotomi | January 7, 2012 10:59 AMReply

    I think Harvey Weinstein does anything to buzz the film.By the way,I wonder why Tom Hardy needs to be a movie star.These hot actors, like Hardy,Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender are very talented,even sexy...and it is just me though,I think they are all character actors at heart.I think they all have a lot of potential to be great character actors.And it's good thing.Great character actors even have a long career than movie stars.I don't want these actors to be forced to being movie stars.Sometime it ruins their career.

  • Kotomi | January 7, 2012 11:01 PM

    I agree with everything you said,Jamie.You said it perfectly.

  • Jamie | January 7, 2012 3:15 PM

    Exactly, Kotomi. These actors, that are truly talented, should be allowed to just be good actors and pick material to push them to be even better actors. They don't need to be stars. Putting them on that path only ensures that they will either take on unremarkable studio fare or be punished for picking challenging films because those kinds of films will never top the box office (like Drive, Shame, et al). You put these talented actors in the context of "movie star" and the work gets lost, because we only respect box office when it comes to 'stars." I don't want the Fassbenders, Goslings, Hardys to be thinking about box office. Just do great work.

  • JessiilL | January 7, 2012 10:44 AMReply

    I'd say he's pretty well known. A lot of my friends and family know who he is...which might be because he's my iphone screensaver...or because he's insanely talented/hot.

  • bruckey | January 7, 2012 10:23 AMReply

    isn't labor day at least a week or two before Venice ?

  • MTL | January 6, 2012 7:59 PMReply

    Ouch. Kind of presumptuous of Weinstein to say that Hardy is completely anonymous and that no one from the multiplex would know his name right now. He might be underrated in terms of household success given his bucketloads of talent, but still... Anyway, with the stellar cast involved, it's nice to know the film will be headed to Venice rather than go out unnoticed in April.

  • Huffy | January 7, 2012 9:48 AM

    My mom, who sees about a dozen movies a year, knows him as "that cute English guy from Inception". That must count for something.

  • Christian | January 6, 2012 7:58 PMReply

    This film is going to be so awesome, count on it.

  • Ian | January 6, 2012 7:12 PMReply

    It's unusual to hear about what films will play Cannes/Venice this far in advance. The producers of the film On the Road just announced a french release date that's smack in the middle of the Cannes film festival. I'm looking forward to both films and glad that they are going to get festival bows.

  • kyle | January 6, 2012 7:03 PMReply

    ‎:D I got to watch dark knight rises unfinished movie from

    I am sure the official one coming out in summer will look kind of different than the one I watched since they have to change audio and add some more scenes.

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