Jessica Chastain joins Prohibition era drama

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Jessica Chastain will star opposite Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy in “The Wettest County,” a drama about bootlegging brothers in Prohibition-era Virginia.

Shooting starts in February with John Hillcoat (“The Road”) directing.

The movie took a long time to come together, and has remained highly coveted amongst the younger set for its meaty roles and colorful setting. The project has experimented with various acting configurations on its road to production but LaBeouf has remained the throughline.

LaBeouf had stamped “Wettest” as a passion project and stuck with it even as names such as Ryan Gosling, Paul Dano and Scarlett Johansson came and went.

The pieces came together just as LaBeouf wrapped up a long shoot for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and was looking for something more scaled down in scope yet weighty in range.

Based on the novel “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant, who was inspired by his grandfather and two great-uncles, the story follows siblings who take the law into their own hands while making a run for the American Dream.

Chastain, who stars in Al Pacino’s upcoming directing vehicle “Wilde Salome,” will play Hardy’s love interest, a big city woman now living in a small town who at one time was mixed up with gangsters.