Violent. Bloody. Bestial.
These are three adjectives that would aptly describe one of the worst inter-family feuds in recent history- between the McCoy and Hatfield families in Kentucky-West Virginia. And now, this gruesome saga of the late 19th century will be seen on screen. a dispute that saw 26 years of ruthless killing, often without adequate reason, and simply for revenge.
Scott Cooper, who turned director with Crazy Heart, is all set to team up with Brad Pitt to relate the McCoy-Hatfield chronicles on the silver screen. The movie will most likely be named “The Hatfields and the McCoys”. Whispers doing the rounds say that the script, penned by Eric Roth, is ready, and Cooper has already met Pitt; the only thing left is Pitt’s confirmation. Tell-tale little birdies from Hollywood add that Robert Duvall would be another member of the cast, while T-Bone Burnett, who also teamed up with Cooper for Crazy Heart, will compose the soundtrack..
The story of the dispute speaks of 26 years of ruthless killing, often without adequate reason, and simply for revenge The beginning is in 1865, when Asa Harmon McCoy returned from the Civil War, and was subsequently murdered by Jim Vance (of the Hatfield clan) solely because of his military affiliations. A dispute over the ownership of a pig (1878) led to the murder of Bill Staton (1880). Roseanna McCoy’s affair with Johnson “Johnse” Hatfield and her pregnancy became reason to kill when Johnse married her cousin Nancy instead (1881). In 1882, Roseanna’s younger brothers stabbed Ellison Hatfield 26 times and then shot him; later, they were killed just as brutally. The zenith came on 1st January 1888, Jim Vance and his gang cornered the McCoy family while they were sleeping, shot them and then set fire to their cabin. Alifair and Calvin were killed in the incident while their mother Sarah was beaten up. Subsequently, the remaining McCoy family members fled to Pikeville in Kentucky. After three more years of warring, both families made a conscious decision to make peace. It is believed that in the course of the enmity that lasted nearly three decades, almost 15 members of both families were killed.
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