John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn recast
The Coen Brothers may have found their John Wayne replacement for their remake of True Grit, oh excuse me it's not a remake, it's a reboot. Reboot because they are going back to the source novel that started John Wayne on the character of Rooster Cogburn in the film True Grit.
I think it was one of John Wayne's best characters and best performances, although personally The Shootist is the best one for me. So should they be remaking it?
Well I think it can be an important distinction that a film is going back to the source novel rather than remaking the film adaptation, and I think the difference is especially apparent in older films, films that have taken far more liberties with the source than we tend to see with modern film adaptations.
Charles Portis wrote the original book (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) that True Grit was based on and provided John Wayne with a wonderful character to play on screen, one which influenced his character in The Shootist.
The news comes today from Variety that Jeff Bridges is in discussions to play the lead role of the U.S. Marshall who is persuaded by a fourteen year old girl to let her tag along with him to track down her father's killer.
The original True Grit followed the two characters and told the story from Cogburn's point of view, but this new adaptation of the novel will see it told from the young girl's point of view, and that really will change the story.
What it should do as well is continue a similar theme of the impact and severity of violence that we saw in No Country for Old Men (Filmstalker review) . That's something I'd be interested in seeing.
It's a good choice I think to see Jeff Bridges taking the role, especially with his previous associations with the film-makers. Is he the best choice though? Or is it playing on that previous relationship and the fan expectations? Or is there no way to replace that classic John Wayne performance?