When Harvey Weinstein aggressively goes after something he usually gets it. Case in point. The Weinstein Company honcho has acquired domestic distribution rights to Aussie director Andrew Dominik's follow-up to “The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford” (a picture that won Brad Pitt one of his first major awards; 2007's Best Actor prize in Venice). Thanks to his new bevy of investors, Harvey has dollars and clout and apparently slapped down a $20 million dollar promise for promotion and advertising alone for Dominik's latest, "Cogan's Trade," a pretty weighty pledge for TWC.
Deadline, who breaks this report, doesn't say how much TWC paid for North American distribution rights, but we must assume it's in the mid-to-high seven figures. Sensing a good collaboration that still can be mutually beneficial to everyone, Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck (who, despite Deadline's report, is not officially signed on yet; though it's likely he eventually will -- he scored an Oscar Supporting nod for a strikingly unctuous turn in 'Jesse James'), Sam Rockwell (another 'James' gang alum) and relative newcomer Bella Heathcote are all onboard.
The trade reports that it's possible James Gandolfini may have a role in the picture as well. There's been several rumors swirling about actors who may or may not be in the film. We've already confirmed that two are out: Josh Brolin and Zoe Saldana. That leaves (in the rumor dept. anyhow), Bill Murray, Javier Bardem and Mark Ruffalo all as question marks. The picture shoots in the spring which could prove to be a scheduling issue for Ruffalo ("The Avengers" shoots around the same time) and we assume Javier Bardem will have the good sense to not take on "Clash Of The Titans 2" leaving him potentially open.
A heist comedy, 'Trade' centers on the titular Cogan (Pitt), a thug enforcer who’s called in to set things right after a high stakes card game under mob protection is robbed. The Weinstein Company has its eyes on a wide release in Q1 of 2012. Yes, as much as you'd like to think of this one as an Oscar contender. It's a crime caper comedy. Maybe something along the lines of "Snatch" -- entertaining, but probably not heading towards the Academy podium. Those who enjoyed Dominik's "Chopper" -- featuring a stellar creepy/comedic turn by Eric Bana -- won't mind.