Last year, the Coen brothers announced their intention to make a Western anthology series for Netflix: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. As a series, it’s no more, but we are still going to get it, as a full-length film now.
The film will have its world premiere at Venice Film Festival and should hit Netflix by the end of the year, with a theatrical release as well (a prerequisite for Oscar consideration). It will retain the chaptered anthology structure, featuring Tim Blake Nelson as the eponymous Scruggs alongside Zoe Kazan, Liam Neeson, and Tom Waits, who will appear throughout the 132-minute feature’s multiple narratives.
The Coen brothers themselves are no strangers to Westerns; in 2010 they directed cowboy film True Grit, while their seminal No Country For Old Men was a more modern spin on the genre. They’ll also be comfortable with the crew for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, since they’ve tapped composer Carter Burwell for the project (who’s worked with them since their debut in 1984), alongside other usual suspects including costume designer Mary Zophres and production designer Jess Gonchor (all Academy Award nominees, ofc).
On the other hand, Inside Llewyn Davis cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel shot the film with a digital camera, which marks a first for the analogue-enthusiast Coens, so it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out. We’re also due Suburbicon, the filmmakers’ first film since 2016’s Hail, Caesar!, in November, directed by George Clooney and co-written by the brothers. There’s no news as of yet though of their movie about the dark web, chronicling the true story of the digital drugs marketplace Silk Road, and its kingpin, Ross William Ulbricht.