Tuesday, February 23, 2010

True Grit Update: The New Mattie Ross

[I assume she's the one on the left.]

It's difficult to outshine a one-eyed, one-lunged cowboy legend. Depth perception and breath control help but you've got to have something special to attract that spotlight. Last week's 3 Best Friends screening of True Grit proved that it's possible to steal the show from a man named Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne). Rooster's gun-slinging was no match for the young Mattie Ross' (Kim Darby) tough talk. Mattie's a tough little daughter-of-a-bitch (that sounded awful, really offensive) that will talk your ass to death. To death!

And now that the Coen Brothers are remaking Grit, buzz continues to build as to who they're going to cast for Mattie. No one has argued for Darby's return (as she's now in her early 60s) and we at He Shot Cyrus agree. But if Darby won't be coming back, then who's it going to be? The answer: 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, whose previous credits include the titular character in a short film entitled Heather: A Fairy Tale and the non-titular character Talia in another short called She's a Fox which I can only hope is as literal as it sounds. In other words, they've cast an unknown. And I'm fine with that.

If Kim Darby could hold her own next to John Wayne then I'd bet that Hailee Steinfeld can hold her own next to The Dude. The real question is: will she be able to focus on her craft with the perennial handsomeness of Matt Damon sharing her scenes? Lord knows that what got me fired off of Invictus. I would have made a GREAT Nelson Mandela.

We'll keep you updated as details emerge.

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