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Casting Call: The Bottoms

Harry and Tom's father, Jacob, is a farmer who works part-time as Marvel Creek's constable, which leaves him in charge of solving the accumulating murders. For Jacob, we thought the rugged looks and gritty charm of Josh Brolin would do Lansdale's character justice. Known for his roles in True Grit, Labor Day, W., American Gangster, and, of course, The Goonies, we think Brolin would fit right in on a farm in East Texas and that he could easily play the role of loving father and dutiful cop.


Robert Duvall is no stranger to adaptations. The veteran actor has played roles in myriad classic novels-turned-films including The Godfather, To Kill a Mockingbird, Apocalypse Now, Tomorrow, The Great Santini, and the 1969 adaptation of True Grit. Duvall is familiar with the musings of the South (he has played a Texas ranger and preacher on separate occasions), which is why we've cast him as the elderly version of The Bottoms' protagonist Harry. The story is narrated as a memoir by the 80-year-old, who recalls his past with nostalgia and subtle sadness from an old-folks home in Houston, Texas.


For Harry and Tom's mother, we selected Julianne Moore. The details surrounding this character are sparse, but we do know that she is referred to as the "town beauty" and that she stirs up some drama when an old suitor of hers shows up in Marvel Creek. We saw Moore play the role of the promiscuous mother in The Kids Are All Right and we'd like to see her do it again, this time as a 1930's farmer's wife. Moore's natural beauty would serve the role well and she and Brolin would make for a handsome couple.  


Harry doesn't go through all this alone; he has his younger sister Thomasina by his side. Referred to as "Tom" because of her tomboy persona, we decided Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams would be the perfect fit. Although the Brit is slightly older than the story calls for (Tom is supposed to be 9 years old), we couldn't shake the badass image of GOT's Arya Stark from our minds as we dreamt up the cast. Plus, she and Asa Butterfield share a striking resemblance, making their brother/sister relationship all the more believable.


"Old Man Mose" is as an ancient friend and father figure to young Harry who is wrongly accused of murder. For this character, we kept thinking back to Morgan Freeman's performance as "Red" in The Shawshank Redemption. Freeman is a great fit for the role because he could convey the softness of an elderly man; one who has to maintain a sense of pride when wrongly accused. We can picture Freeman as wise Mose, sitting Harry down and telling him a story in his soothing, authoritative voice.


With old Harry narrating, the focus shifts to young Harry; the 12-year-old who first discovers the mutilated bodies near the river. The role of young Harry demands an actor who simultaneously conveys innocence and maturity, as he transitions into adolescence rather quickly. For this, we turned to Hugo's Asa Butterfield. While a bit old for the part, Butterfield's baby face works in his favor and we'd be eager to see him take on a more dramatic role (and take a stab at a southern accent).