Jessica Chastain is destined to be the next big thing … though none of us have had the fortune to see any of her films yet.  She’s in some of the most anticipated dramas of the next two years — Tree of Life, Coriolanus, Take Shelter, The Fields, Wilde Salome — and keeps on racking up impressive parts which certainly speaks to her talent.  Or she’s a Julia Ormond / Sam Worthington type who has buzz simply because everyone says she has buzz. (Which isn’t what I’ve heard, as word has it that she’s brilliant on stage.)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chastain has landed yet another enviable role, as she’ll be starring alongside Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf in The Wettest County in the World.   John Hillcoat’s movie went from “not happening” to “it’s totally happening, and here’s the cast” which is great news for those of us who want some bleak bootlegging.

Chastain will play Hardy’s love interest,  “a big city woman who is now living in a small town, and who at one time was mixed up with gangsters.”  Not the finest character description I’ve seen, but perhaps those more familiar with Matt Bondurant’s book will be able to shed more light.  

Unfortunately, we still don’t know what actor plays what Bondurant brother, so I’m not sure if my wish of a sliced Hardy will come true.  But as this is supposed to start filming in February 2011, we’ll have photos of Hardy and LaBeouf in newsboy caps soon enough, and know a bit more about the film’s boozy brutality.