Damon, Brolin in talks for "True Grit" roles

Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:30pm EDT
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By Jay A. Fernandez and Steven Zeitchik

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Matt Damon is in discussions to star in Ethan and Joel Coen's remake of the John Wayne Western "True Grit." Josh Brolin, who starred in the brothers' "No Country for Old Men," is also in talks for a major role.

Paramount Pictures and the Oscar-winning writer-director team are moving fast on their re-adaptation of the Charles Portis novel, first reaching out to Jeff Bridges, and now Damon and Brolin. Damon would take on the Glen Campbell role of a Texas Ranger tracking an outlaw with a gruff U.S. marshal, originally played by Wayne, who won an Oscar for his role in the 1969 film.

All three actors are in discussions with the studio, which hopes to move into production in the spring. The story concerns a 14-year-old girl traveling into dangerous territory with the two lawmen in search of the man who murdered her father, a role that Brolin would play.

Bridges and Brolin have worked with the Coens before, but Damon is new to their coterie of actors. Bridges famously portrayed Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski in the brothers' comic noir "The Big Lebowski," in 1998. And Brolin played the doomed Llewelyn Moss in "No Country," based on the Cormac McCarthy novel.

Scott Rudin, who produced the best picture winner "No Country," is producing "Grit" as well, along with Steven Spielberg. Focus Features recently released the Coens' "A Serious Man."

Damon, who stars in Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant!," will appear in Clint Eastwood's "Invictus" in December.

Brolin recently starred in "W." and "Milk." He is shooting Oliver Stone's "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps" and will next star in the June release "Jonah Hex."

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)

<p>Actor Matt Damon arrives at the premiere of "The Informant" in New York September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>