Malick Approves “Lawless” Title Change

Rarely does a simple film title change get this much electronic ink.

John Hillcoat’s Prohibition crime flick, previously titled “The Wettest County”, has now changed its name to “Lawless”. An adaptation of the 2008 historical novel “The Wettest County in the World”, the film stars the likes of Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain and is set for release August 31st.

The producers tell EW that they always wanted to re-title their film to “Lawless” right from the get-go. So why didn’t they? It was already taken by “The Tree of Life” filmmaker Terrence Malick.

Malick was using the title for one of the dual films (the other being “Knight of Cups”) he’s shooting this year starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett.

So why the change now? Producer Lucy Fisher says “You can thank John Hillcoat. Malick is such a fan of his work he was ok with gifting him the title: ‘Terry very graciously gave us the go-ahead to use it, because, he said, he’s a fan of John’s. He gets a special thank you in the movie.’