More than three decades ago, Joel and Ethan Coen made their film debut with Blood Simple, a noir thriller with lots of Western flavor. Since then, the Oscar-winning team has made a habit of surprising us, delivering a wide variety of fims ranging from noir absurdist comedies (The Big Lebowski) to small-town thrillers (Fargo) to cowboy pictures (True Grit). They’ve always had a particuar soft spot for the drawl and cadence of western and southern filmmaking, though, and now they’re taking that gift where even they have never gone before: television.
Until now, the closest the Coens got to TV was Noah Hawley’s excellent small-screen adaptation of their film Fargo, but the brothers just announced that they’ve teamed with Annapurna Television (a company that, on the film side, has given us gems like The Master nand Zero Dark Thirty) for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a western miniseries that grew out of an idea that apparently just got too big for one movie.
Variety reports that, as they almost always do, the Coens will write and direct the project, which will cover six different storylines. Annapurna is also considering giving Scruggs some kind of theatrical release element, but we have no idea what shape that could take right now.
So the Coen Brothers join fellow cinema greats like Steven Soderbergh, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and David O. Russell in making the leap to TV, and we’re guessing they’ll fit right in. The golden age of great entertainment you can watch from your couch continues.