Your favorite cinematic Joel and Ethan, The Coen Bros., seem to have nailed down their next project. The dynamic duo will be crafting an “event anthology” TV series set in the Old West. Are you rejoining, because I am! This glorious event will be titled “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and it’s being produced by Annapurna Television, uber-producer Megan Ellison’s TV production outfit. We are getting another Coen Bros. western and a longform one at that! Yee-haw!
Overzealous reactions aside, this is a wonderful turn of events. Their last two stabs at western storytelling, the modern No Country For Old Men and old school remake True Grit, both ended up being fantastic films. I’d long hoped that they would hop on the horse again at some point, be it for the occasionally-mentioned original film The Sons of Ben or something else. Barring this being a reworking of Ben, something else it is!
Not much is known in terms of plot or tone here, although it is expected to involve six intertwined tales. With the Coens you can definitely never be certain of tone, but I could care less. Be this pitch-black grit or zany fun, I’ll take it. Variety broke this news and according to them, there might also be some sort of “theatrical component” to the release of Buster Scruggs. What that might be is also unclear. I can’t imagine they would give the thumbs up to an edited down version gracing the big screen, so I’m betting on some sort of limited theatrical run for the miniseries.
There’s also no word on where it might end up, TV outlet-wise. I suspect that’s something we might not hear about for awhile, barring the likes of HBO, Showtime, FX, etc. striking up a bidding war over it in the coming weeks, which is entirely possible. Barring that, this feels like a project that will come together and be made on its own, only to be shopped around after the fact.
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