Movie titles get changed all the time for a variety of reasons. For example, this summer’s superhero combo-pack The Avengers will be called Avengers Assemble in the UK, presumably to prevent older Brits from doddering into theaters excitedly expecting to see Dame Diana Rigg.
Sometimes it’s due to marketing, sometimes it’s just the caprices of studio execs, but in the case of The Weinstein Company’s Lawless, formerly known as Wettest County, it’s all thanks to one unexpected individual: press-shy auteur Terrence Malick. The original title of the Prohibition crime drama — starring Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf as moonshine bootleggers from the feral hills of Virginia — was a shortening of the title of the book it’s adapted from, The Wettest County in the World, a historical novel by Matt Bondurant based on the true lives of his grandfather and two granduncles. But a change of heart from the Tree of Life director allowed the filmmakers to switch the marquee.