The Coen Brothers’ TV Debut will be Western Miniseries The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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The Coen Brothers’ TV Debut will be Western Miniseries The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Per Variety, the next project for filmmaking titans Joel and Ethan Coen will writing and directing an anthology miniseries titled The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Virtually no plot details have been divulged at this time, but we do know that the series will be set in the Old West, and will track six different storylines.

It makes sense that the Coen Brothers, having proven their adroitness within the Western genre through films like True Grit, No Country For Old Men and others that channel the itinerancy and lawlessness associated with open spaces and new frontiers, will be making the leap to television by helming a Western (that said, the leap might not be a fully complete one either, being that Annapurna Television, with whom the Coens are partnering on the project, is planning a theatrical distribution for the project in addition to a television one). The long-form nature of a miniseries should prove productive for the Coens, being that the protracted format enables character development and world building beyond the limits of a feature-length film, and the brothers’ filmography has tended to revolve around highly idiosyncratic people and places.

Probably the closest example we have to what a TV show from the Coen brothers might look like is FX’s Fargo, which is based on their 1995 film of the same name, and for which the Coens serve as executive producers. Though that show came into its own from the get-go, traces of the original film remain—the wintry midwestern locale, the dry gallows humor, and the startling eruptions of violence—all of which give us a general sense of how a Coen-esque filmmaking sensibility might translate to the small screen (a.k.a. extremely well).

Needless to say, we are beyond excited at the prospect of a Coen brothers miniseries and eagerly await further updates on the show’s development.

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