2011 Oscars: Recasting ‘True Grit’

The next film in our series is a remarkable American Western about a stubborn young woman who enlists the help of a merciless U.S. Marshall to track down her father’s murderer. Here’s our Latin reimagining of Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit.

1. True Grit: Intro

2. True Grit: Martin Sheen/Jeff Bridges

ROOSTER COGBURN

Played by Jeff Bridges, 61, in the film

Recasting: Martin Sheen, 70

Why He’s Right for the Part: Martin Sheen is no stranger to playing badasses— he was fantastic as Kim Carruthers in Terrence Malick’s 1973 film Badlands—a dramatization of the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of the 1950's. And in 1979, he delivered a tour-de-force performance as the fearless Captain Benjamin L. Willard in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 war drama, Apocalypse Now. We think this more than qualifies him to play the swashbuckling Rooster Cogburn, a U.S. Marshall and merciless killer who helps a young girl vindicate her father’s murder. Cogburn is equal parts badass and rebel—just like Mr. Sheen!

3. True Grit: Victoria Justice/Hailee Steinfeld

MATTIE ROSS

Played by Hailee Steinfeld, 14, in the film

Recasting: Victoria Justice, 17

Why She’s Right for the Part: For the role of Mattie, a stubborn, fearless young girl whose father is murdered at the age of 14, we envision Victoria Justice. Although Justice, the star of Nickelodeon’s hit series, Victorious, has never starred in a major motion picture before, she has the movie star looks, and the kind of strong, determined character that makes the relentless Mattie a force to be reckoned with.

4. True Grit: Jorge Garcia/Matt Damon

LABOEUF

Played by Matt Damon, 40, in the film

Recasting: Jorge Garcia, 37

Why He’s Right for the Part: Labeouf is a well-meaning, funny and smart Texas Ranger who helps Mattie and Cogburn hunt down her father’s murderer. Because he’s proven himself to be a fantastic dramatic actor on Lost, and an equally charming and funny one on How I Met Your Mother, Garcia has the versatility to replace Matt Damon in True Grit.

5. True Grit: Danny Trejo/Josh Brolin

TOM CHANEY

Played by Josh Brolin, 43, in the film

Recasting: Danny Trejo, 66

Why He’s Right for the Part: Tom Chaney, the unscrupulous villain of the piece, has no conscience and no regrets whatsoever about killing Mattie’s father. We can’t think of a better choice than Danny Trejo for the role. The tatted-up Trejo, the quintessential bad guy in films, not only looks the part, but he’s also a fine actor who knows how to find the depth and the loneliness in every villain he plays.

6. True Grit: Related Links