Ask me who my favorite filmmakers in the world are, and I will tell you The Coen Brothers without skipping a beat. I don’t think I can even debate it at this point — after delivering hit after hit after hit (and at least two of my all time favorite movies in Fargo and The Big Lebowski), it’s impossible to deny the genius of these two men. Even their relative misfires (which I would argue their latest, Hail, Caesar!, was) are filled with a ton of incredible moments, lines, or shots. They are brilliant writers, brilliant directors, and yes, just brilliant filmmakers in general. The Coens have spent decades delivering original and bold movies, often times ostracizing the larger audiences who are less keen to their sensibilities. This of course has caused quite a few box office disappointments, even if a few of their films (such as True Grit or No Country for Old Men) break out from time to time.
But considering the recent financial letdown that was the star-studded Hail, Caesar!, I guess this next step was inevitable: like seemingly every talented filmmaker with ideas too risky for modern Hollywood, the Coen Brothers are taking their next project to the small screen…well, sort of at least.
Variety broke the story late yesterday that the pair are following in the footsteps of David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Woody Allen, and many other prestige directors by jumping onto a TV project. No surprise the project is of their very own creation, a Western entitled The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Very few details about the project have been given aside from the title, although Megan Ellison’s terrific production company’s new TV wing, Annapurna Television, is reportedly involved. The trade also mentioned something about an “ innovative approach that could combine television and theatrical” as a path towards release, but doesn’t have much more to say on the subject than that.
For now, the series was penned as a mini-series, reportedly because the story was “too large” in scope to cover in just one film. That’s certainly an exciting prospect, even if we don’t know anything about exact episode number, the outlet it will air on, or even who else will be a part of it. But, at the end of the day, all that matters is that this is a new project written and directed by The Coen Brothers —medium aside, I’m excited to hear much more about it.