YEAR 2010 RUNNING TIME 110m MPAA PG-13 BBFC 12A BUDGET $38m US BOX OFFICE $110.4m (10-JAN-11)
SYNOPSIS (novel): Charles Portis has been acclaimed as one of America’s foremost comic writers. True Grit is his most famous novel — first published in 1968 — and the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne (for which he won his only Academy Award). It tells the story of Mattie Ross, a fourteen-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, who sets out in the winter of eighteen seventy-something to avenge the murder of her father.
Since not even Mattie (who is no self-doubter) would ride into Indian Territory alone, she convinces one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshall, to tag along with her. As Mattie outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten types in her path, as her performance under fire makes them eat their words, her indestructible vitality and harsh innocence by turns amuse, horrify, and touch the reader. What happens — to Mattie, to the gang of outlaws unfortunate enough to tangle with her — rings with the dramatic rightness of legend and the marvelous overtones, the continual surprises, of personality.
True Grit is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself, who tells the story a half-century later in a voice that sounds strong and sure enough to outlast us all.
Jeff Bridges – Marshall Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn
Josh Brolin – Tom Chaney (the murderer)
Matt Damon – La Bouef
Hailee Steinfeld – Mattie Ross
Barry Pepper – ‘Lucky’ Ned Pepper
NOTES / HISTORY: 5th March 2008- The world’s most awful newspaper, the UK’s Daily Mail, is reporting that the Coens are set to work on True Grit. Apparently they are to adapt the original Charles Portis novel as opposed to remaking the John Wayne movie. “The book recounts the girl’s story,” Joel apparently told said newspaper. “In the John Wayne film, she was played older. We want her to be her real age – it’s her story!”
In June 2009 either Brad Pitt or George Clooney were rumoured to be starring in the Coen’s take on True Grit. YKFK news story here.
In September 2009 it seemed that the True Grit adaptation was almost certainly next up for the Coen brothers. Firstly, Jeff Bridges was reported as being in talks. Then the Coens themselves semi-confirmed the news.
In October 2009 it was widely reported (starting with Variety of course) that Josh Brolin would re-team with the Coens in True Grit and along for the ride too would be Matt Damon. I’m sure you will agree that so far that is an awesome cast! YKFK news piece here.
28th October 2009 – The Coens discuss their plans for the movie.
Early November 2009 seemed to confirm that True Grit was definitely next as casting calls for the 14 year-old girl, Mattie Ross, who is the focus of the Coen’s take on the Charles Portis novel went out.
Dec 19th 2009 – Seemingly struggling to cast the pivotal role of Mattie Ross the Coen’s casting people widen the search by setting up a website which allows for casting submissions by video open to all who fit the description – “a girl who’s tough, strong and tells it like it is.”
On March 11th 2010 Variety confirmed that Barry Pepper had joined the cast to play namesake ‘Lucky’ Ned Pepper. YKFK link.
In May 2010 the first on-set photos of Jeff Bridges’ Rooster Cogburn were seen. YKFK link.
Apparently the set that the movie crew had set up in Granger, Texas to stand in for 1800’s Fort Smith, Arkansas was costing $23,000 per MINUTE. YKFK link.
The first trailer was released on Apples trailer website on 27th September 2010.
The full length theatrical trailer was released on the internet on 5th October 2010.
PARAMOUNT PICTURES and ‘SKYDANCE PRODUCTIONS present a SCOTT RUDIN / MIKE ZOSS production JEFF BRIDGES
MATT DAMON JOSH BROLIN “TRUE GRIT” BARRY PEPPER and HAILEE STEINFELD music by CARTER BURWELL costume designer MARY ZOPHRES
edited by RODERICK JAYNESCASTING BY ELLEN CHENOWETH production designer JESS GONCHOR director of photography ROGER DEAKINS asc, bsc
executive producers STEVEN SPIELBERG ROBERT GRAF DAVID ELLISON PAUL SCHWAKE MEGAN ELLISON
produced by SCOTT RUDIN ETHAN COEN and JOEL COEN based on the novel by CHARLES PORTIS
written for the screen and directed by JOEL COEN and ETHAN COEN
“If anything my price is low. Judy is a fine racing mare. She has won purses of twenty-five dollars; I have seen her jump an eight-rail fence with a heavy rider. I am fourteen.” – Mattie Ross