The Coen Brothers’ latest film, a remake of the 1969 western True Grit, has found its Mattie Ross, the spunky teen who enlists the aid of alcoholic US marshal Rooster Cogburn to avenge her father’s murder. The role, played by Kim Darby in the original, will be filled by relative newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.
With two short films and a small role on the cancelled FOX sitcom Back to You, Steinfeld will certainly have her work cut out for her taking on the major role of Ross, described by the casting call as “tough, strong, and [telling] it like it is”–to say nothing of working with Hollywood heavyweights the Coens.
The casting of Steinfeld also comes after several other casting announcements, including Matt Damon as La Beouf, a Texas Ranger who joins forces with Ross and Cogburn (and played by Glen Campbell in the original); Josh Brolin as killer Tom Chaney (originally played by Jeff Corey); and Jeff Bridges as Rooster. The film is scheduled to begin shooting in the spring with a tentative release date of December 2010.
The original film, based on a 1968 novel by author Charles Portis, starred John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, a role so popular it earned Wayne an Oscar (his only win) as well as a sequel, Rooster Cogburn, which also starred Katherine Hepburn as an elderly spinster.