Here’s the official explanation for moving the release of Wettest County; they want Tom Hardy to be a big star first…
Today Harvey Weinstein offered an explanation for the postponement, citing a media strategy that aims to capitalize on the post-“Dark Knight Rises” appeal of Hardy as well as a release template followed by other action-tinged dramas. “We have a star in Tom Hardy who’s completely anonymous right now. If you go to a line at the ArcLight nobody would know who he is,” Weinstein told 24 Frames. But the film executive said that would change with the release of Hardy’s Batman picture (Hardy plays the villain, Bane) in July. “He’s going to be a huge movie star by August,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein, who said he believed performances from Hardy and LaBeouf would attract awards attention, also said that the new date would allow the film to play at at least one major international festival. “The idea is to go to Venice and then hit the domestic market right after,” he said. It was a tack Weinstein said was taken by “The Constant Gardener,” Fenrando Mereilles’ 2005 John le Carre adaptation; the movie, released by Focus Features in late summer, went on to gross $33 million domestically and $48 million internationally.
Labor Day is typically considered a very slow weekend in U.S. moviegoing, but Weinstein noted that “it can be a great bridge between the summer and the fall. And we wanted the holiday weekend for the movie, especially down South, where there’s a big audience for this film.” While a movie’s period setting usually dictates a limited release, Weinstein said he saw “Wettest County” as a wide play and planned on opening it in several thousand theaters.
(Source: Los Angeles Times)
A comment from someone who’s seen The Wettest County. It sounds very intriguing to me. Hillcoat doesn’t like to make easy films, that’s for sure.
The movie was… pretty good. A bit too violent for my own taste (though it’s entire serviceable for the story). It’s a tough movie to sit through and it takes a while to figure out what kind of story it’s telling (they may still edit it down, though). I’m curious to see how they market it. Hardy and Chastain have incredible chemistry. The main element that didn’t click for me was LeBeouf (no surprise there). He’s clearly stretching himself but I somehow never bought him in the part. As for the two ‘villains’: crazy Gary Oldman is my favorite kind of Gary Oldman (it was a Leon meets Fifth Element performance, ie. he’s fucking terrifying) while Pearce is almost unrecognizable in that he looks creepy and totally unattractive (his is a performance that toys with camp and dandiness while being eerily cold-blooded). It’s an odd choice and it took me a while to warm up to it (or get used to it) and it might actually be a talking point once the film opens as it is so bizarre.
I can never resist posting any comment from Gary Oldman on working with Tom. :)
And then the young one you seem to be working with in these three films coming up is Tom Hardy.
I wouldn’t say we have a great deal to do in Batman, and I don’t physically work with him in the Hillcoat movie [The Wettest County], but it’s been the year of Oldman and Hardy.
I’m sure he’s learning a lot from this, the youth of today!
Oh, yeah, I mean, you know when you’re getting on a bit when Tom Hardy comes in and says, “Oh, man, I love your work. I used to watch you when I was a kid.”
Just as you did with John Hurt?
Yes, I guess John’s now of that generation. He must be nearly 70 now, but it’s nice. That’s one of the lovely things about the job — we’re all like links and chain. We’re all passing through, and now you look at people like Tom and Benedict Cumberbatch and all these lovely actors that are coming up.
Here’s the exact (for now) release date for The Wettest County from Boxofficemojo:
The Wettest Country - Weinstein Company - 4/20/12
Weirdly enough, there’s been a release date for Sweden up at imdb.com for a long time: June 29 2012. So that fits.