'Wettest County' Headed for the U.S. (Cannes)

Bidding is heating up for the Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy prohibition-era pic.

CANNES -- At least three U.S. buyers -- CBS Films, FilmDistrict and Relativity Media -- continue to pursue John Hillcoat’s prohibition-era pic The Wettest County in the World, hoping to secure U.S. distribution rights.

The project is attractive for both its cast, led by Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy, and storyline.

Based on the book by Matt Bondurant, Wettest County tells the story of three brothers who run a massive bootlegging operation in southern Virginia, and extract revenge when their illegal business comes under threat.

Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska also star in the movie, while Nick Cave penned the adapted script.

CAA and Cassian Elwes are selling Wettest County domestically, while Glen Basner’s FilmNation is repping international rights.

The bidding for U.S. rights has been heating up since Thursday, when buyers were first shown a promo reel in one-on-one meetings.

Insiders say the bidding is in the $5 million to $6 million range.

One sticking point could be the terms of the film's release. The producers want Wettest County to open nationwide, while some buyers think it should be a platform release. There's also speculation that the producers want a 2011 release, in time for awards season.